Not Wrath, but Rapture – Will the Church Participate in the Great Tribulation?

Rapture - Four HorsemenThere is an onslaught by Satan on snatching believers away from The Blessed Hope.  This onslaught is so intense that hardly anyone believes in a pre-tribulation rapture anymore, and if you do believe that Jesus would dare come and fetch His Church before the tribulation starts you are branded a heretic for something as sincere as doing exactly as Jesus told us to do, “watch and pray”.

Satan is turning the Christians attention to the world, where Jesus wants your attention turned to Him waiting for Him to rescue us as He did Noah before the flood.

Now-a-days every so called Christian is moving in the direction of either Pre-millennialism/Post-tribulation (rapture takes place at the end of the tribulation, this view is based on Replacement theology as there is no distinction between the Church and Israel), Post-millennialism (an interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation which sees Christ’s second coming as occurring after the Millennium – this view is rare. ), Preterist (interprets prophecies of the Bible, especially Daniel and Revelation, as events which have already happened in the first century A.D.), or an Amillenial view (rejection of the theory that Jesus Christ will have a thousand-year long, physical reign on the earth).

It is only a small handful of Christians who are holding onto a Pre-tribulation view which is Jesus’ promise of The Blessed Hope.

The excuse for the attacks by the above adherents of other eschatologies is that people who hold to Pre-tribulation views (if Jesus does not return) will be shocked that they have entered the tribulation and end up denying Jesus Christ.  How they can make such a ludicrous statement is beyond me because if one is GENUINELY saved, no matter what happens your love for Jesus Christ will hold true till the end.  If that is the ‘logic‘ they want to use then I will use the same logic against them…If Jesus comes, He will not take you because you changed your entire doctrine to follow that of the world and not keep your eyes on Him as He asked you too.  You were looking for the anti-Christ;  that when Jesus does come, because you are not looking for Him, He will will not take you.  How do you think you will react knowing you were left behind? Is it not true that it is mankind’s nature to hold a grudge and find any reason to hate before he finds a reason to love (because we are sinful) – and now you have been left behind by Jesus Christ, when you thought you would be taken – your reasoning was that, even if you didn’t believe in the Rapture, and believed in other strange doctrines, He would still take you, but now others have gone and you have been left to suffer through the tribulation;  how easily would you give up on Jesus Christ?

I do believe the latter argument would have far more people in mental anguish, wondering why they were not taken, than the pre-tribulation person pondering why Jesus has not come to rapture the church as yet; and if the tribulation starts it’s still confirmation that the bible is 100% accurate – Jesus is who He says He is and I was the one who made a mistake,  it wont change my love for Jesus.

I would rather look for Jesus, keep my eyes set on Him, and Watch and Pray, because my eyes are not set on what is going on in this world, my eyes are set firmly on Jesus Christ, and I want to be with Jesus Christ more than anything else.

Satan is doing his best to snatch people away from The Blessed Hope, and he is winning as the numbers that are turning their backs on Jesus’ return by the day are astounding.  Satan can’t wait to meet you in the tribulation, and it’s not going to be pleasant.

Not Wrath…but Rapture

Will the Church Participate in the Great Tribulation?

By Dr. Harry Ironside

1)  WHAT IS MEANT BY THE TERM “THE GREAT TRIBULATION”?

The careful student of the prophetic scriptures cannot fail to observe that in both the Old and New Testaments the Spirit of God speaks of a trial involving the pouring out of divine wrath on men. This is known as… …. “the great tribulation,” ….”the time of Jacob’s trouble,” ….”the coming hour of temptation,” ….”the day of the Lord,”    and also designated by other striking terms This specific period of judgement is clearly distinguished from the ordinary trials and tribulations to which the people of God have been subjected in all dispensations, and which are promised to the church of God at the present time. “In the world,” said our Blessed Lord, “ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” “We must,” declared the apostle Paul, “through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God.” Speaking for all saints, Paul could say, “We glory in tribulation.” So long as Satan is the god of this world and believers are on this earth, there will be trial and tribulation to face. This arises from the very nature of things. The world is opposed to everything that is of the Spirit of God. The Christian’s trials arise from the adverse circumstances through which he is passing, like Israel of old journeying through the wilderness. More than this, there is the direct opposition of the enemy: “All they that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” But there is one character of tribulation that God’s children in this age will never have to know, and that is exposure to divine wrath.“God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We look for His return as our deliverer from the coming wrath. This is a principle of great importance when it comes to defining the church’s relationship to the great tribulation, when the vials of wrath will be poured out on guilty Christendom and apostate Judaism.

Many have taught in the past, and some still teach, that the Old Testament passages referring to the great tribulation were all fulfilled in the days of Israel’s sufferings under the nations, after the fall of Jerusalem, particularly in the era of Antiochus Epiphanes, who is sometimes called the Old Testament antichrist. But a careful examination of the scriptures of the prophets having to do with this time of trial, and a comparison of these with New Testament declarations, make this position absolutely untenable. Others have supposed that the great tribulation referred either to the days of persecution under pagan emperors of Rome for two bloody centuries, following the death of the apostle Paul, or perhaps the even more fearful persecutions under the papacy during the dark ages. But there are very definite statements made by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself that positively negate any such view and make it evident that this solemn period of judgement is still in the future. Will the church of God or any part of it go into or pass through this day of grief and sorrow? In order to answer this question correctly, it will be necessary first of all to consider carefully a number of scriptures indicating the nature of and the time for the great tribulation. The first scripture that definitely speaks of this era is Deuteronomy 4:26-31. This is part of the message that Moses gave to Israel on the plains of Moab before they entered the land of Canaan, shortly before their great leader resigned his responsibility and went up into Mount Nebo to be put to sleep by God until the day of the Lord’s coming.  He said to the people, as he warned them of the folly of departure from God:

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it;ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you.”

These words have been literally fulfilled. For many centuries Israel has been scattered among the nations, and even though many of them have recently returned to Palestine, the day of their dispersion is not yet ended. This scattering was because of their sin and their violation of God’s holy law. In v 28 and v 29 Moses continued, saying:

“And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”

This last verse has not yet been fulfilled. Evidently it does not refer to the return from Babylon. It has to do with the final repentance of the nation when they will be brought back from among all the nations on the earth. The scattering referred to was not simply that which took place in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, but rather the worldwide dispersion following the destruction of Jerusalem forty years after the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Never since that day have the people of Israel turned whole-heartedly to God. Consequently they have not yet been restored to their land. The present movement is not a return to God but simply a natural awakening, leading many to go back to Palestine while still in unbelief. Such a return is elsewhere predicted in scripture, but is not what is referred to here. The circumstances that will result in the repentance of the nation are indicated in the verses that follow:

“When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice: (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God:) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers, which he sware unto them” (v 30 and v 31).

It seems that we  have here the first definite mention of the coming tribulation. Certainly v 30 does not refer to the age-long sorrows through which the people of Israel have passed, but to a definite set period of tribulation in “the latter days.”  This term, as any student of prophecy knows, refers to the closing days of God’s dealings with this nation before they will be restored to Himself. There are no other clear references to this same period until we come to the book of Psalms. Many of these psalms give us experiences that Israel will be called to pass through in that time of distress and show us what the glorious outcome will be. Space does not permit dwelling on the testimony of the Psalms. Let us pass on to the prophets. There are many passages that we might quote from the book of the prophet Isaiah. Let us consider two. In Isaiah 13:6-13 we have a graphic description of the day of the Lord’s indignation.

“Howl ye: for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: and they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them: they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another: their faces shall be as flames. Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And it will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity: and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to case, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold: even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.”

The phrase by “the land” means, as it does throughout all the prophets, the land of Palestine or the home of God’s earthly people. “He shall destroy the sinners out of it”: this will be one result of the tribulation the nation will go through. The apostates will be destroyed but a remnant will turn to the Lord. Notice that there are certain supernatural events which must take place at that time, affecting, as our Lord himself later indicated, the stars of heaven and the constellations. The darkening of the sun and the shrouding of the moon are here definitely predicted. Keep these things in mind as we shall come across them again. Not only will the people of Israel be punished in that day, but the judgements will fall on the world because of pride and arrogance. These verses provide a most vivid description of the end of our boasted civilization, when God is left out. They show us what this present evil world is hastening toward. They tell us what apostate Israel will have to endure and what unbelieving gentiles will be obliged to go through. We may get a little idea of at least part of the meaning of this prophecy if we remember what happened to the great empire of Russia. How little there was of God for many years, and how corrupt and false the professing church. Evangelicals were terrible persecuted. Pride and arrogance prevailed, until God overthrew the ancient regime and permitted the awful conditions that have succeeded it, as if in answer to the sin and corruption of those who professed to own his name. His people have suffered dreadfully in that tribulation. But the wrath of God has not been poured out, nor have the saints known divine indignation. Turn now to Isaiah 17:4-11:

“And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean….that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images. In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation. Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation,and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips, In the day shalt thou make thy plants to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.”

In v 4-7 we see the remnant of Israel in the latter days, and in v 8-10 we see the conditions that will prevail in the land of Palestine. Already we see everything working up towards this. Notice the striking prophecy of v 10, where God told the people that because of their long years of rebellion against him, their land shall be denuded of tress, that just prior to the day of their great tribulation they shall plant that land with pleasant plants and shall set it with strange slips. It is a remarkable fact that in recent years many millions of plants and slips have been imported into and planted in the soil of Palestine. At the present moment the Jewish leaders are congratulating themselves that the day of their long trial is almost ended, and that their ancient patrimony will soon be again a land flowing with milk and honey. God has said,

“In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and desperate sorrow.”

Whose grief and whose desperate sorrow will this be? The answer to this question will settle the problem that is before us. In this passage God was speaking of Israel’s apostasy and His dealings with them. When our blessed Lord was on the earth, Palestine was one of the most fruitful of lands. Josephus’s account of the conditions prevailing in Galilee before the siege of Jerusalem is almost unbelievable, so productive was that land and so thickly populated. But they did not know the time of their visitation, and when the Saviour was rejected as Messiah and His authority refused, God rejected the people and cast them out and blasted their land. Since then Palestine has been like a great desert, with here and there an oasis, unable to support a large population. The climate of that country has also been changed, chiefly because of the fact the large forests on the Lebanon mountains have been destroyed. The Turkish government has only helped the desolation. The Turk never planted a tree where he cut one down, and in the last hundred years of his rule he put a tax on trees, which was so exorbitant that the people found it cheaper to cut down their orchards and groves than to pay this tax. But ever since World War I they have been busy planting the land with pleasant plants and setting it with strange slips. If we did not have the word of prophecy we might take it for granted that the new day of Israel’s final blessing is dawning. But as we study what God has revealed, our hearts might well bleed as we realize, what these poor Jews are going back to. How little they understand that this, their hour of tribulation, is still in the future. How little they realize that they must pass through it before they recognize the Messiah their fathers rejected. Now let us turn to the prophet Jeremiah 30:4-9: 

“And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the Lord: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it;it is even the time of JACOB’S TROUBLE: but he shall be saved out of it. For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them”

Reading this chapter carefully and the one that follows will give us many more particulars in regard to the subject that is before us. What I particularly wish to stress here is the different name now given to the era of tribulation. It is called specifically “the time of Jacob’s Trouble,” and it is important that we have this clearly in mind. IT IS NOT THE TIME OF THE CHURCH’S TROUBLE. As we have seen, we are having our time of trouble now. We have been enduring tribulation ever since the beginning of the church’s testimony here on earth. But the passage before us refers to something very different, a time of unprecedented distress that is called “Jacob’s Trouble.” If Christian students of the scriptures would always distinguish carefully what prophecy has to say concerning the Jew, the gentile, and the church of God, it would not be difficult to clear up this entire subject. It is by confusing these three distinct classes that many unscriptural theories are foisted on the people of God. Observe that the time of Jacob’s trouble is to be immediately followed by the repentance of the remnant and their deliverance from gentile oppression, when once more they will serve the Lord their God. The true Son of David will be recognized as their Messiah and will be seated on David’s throne: David means “beloved” and God the Father has already designated the Lord Jesus Christ as His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. He was refused as the Son of David when He came in grace the first time. He will be received in that very character when He returns in power and glory. From many passages we might quote in the book of Ezekiel. I will confine myself to only one selection, found in Ezekiel 20:33-38:

As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”

Note carefully that here too this time of divine fury poured out on the people is to be Israel’s culminating experience immediately preceding their restoration to the Lord, when He will purge from among them the rebels and those that transgress, and will bring the redeemed remnant out of the lands of the gentiles into their own country, revealing Himself to them as the Shepherd of Israel. By no possible system of sound exegesis can these experiences be made to refer to the church of God. The Lord tells us why He will permit this time of trouble. It is to be a judgement on those in Israel who rebel against Him. It will be the time when he will separate the remnant from the rebels. He will cause that remnant to pass under the Shepherd’s rod and will acknowledge them as His own flock. The book of Daniel, as we know,  is the great prophecy of the times of the gentiles and gives us Israel’s experiences under the domination of the nations. One could pause over many passages, but we draw attention particularly to Daniel 12:1-4:

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament: and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

In Daniel 11 God gave us a remarkable picture of his dealings with the nations, from the overthrow of the Persian empire right on to the time of the end immediately preceding the Messiah’s second coming. In that day Israel will be passing through a time of trouble such as never was.   But what will the result be? God says,

“Thy people, [that is, Daniel’s people, the Jews] shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”  or those who are regenerated. For centuries they have been sleeping in the dust of the earth. Some take this literally, but it actually refers to their present condition as scattered among the gentiles. But in this time of trouble some, referring to the remnant, shall awake to everlasting life, and some, referring to the apostate, shall awake to shame and everlasting contempt. This era of trouble is to prevail until the end-time. Evidently the Spirit of God has in view that particular period spoken of by Moses as the tribulation of the latter days. The minor prophets abound with awesome descriptions of this same day of distress, but we must content ourselves with two more Old Testament quotations. Notice Joel 3:9-11:

“Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles: Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares to swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord.”

It is the call of God to the heathen to come up into the land of Palestine for the great conflict of the latter days when Israel will be back in the land in unbelief. The fearful wars of that time will go on until the Lord Himself descends with a host, designated here as “Thy mighty ones,” Who are these mighty ones? If we had nothing else to guide us, we might think of them as angels. Undoubtedly angels will be in His train, as many scriptures show. But we shall see as we go on that these mighty ones are the saints of the past and present dispensations, who shall have been caught up to be with the Lord and glorified before the great tribulation begins. Zechariah 14:1-4  in his last chapter described the great Armageddon gathering, and tells us of the last siege of Jerusalem immediately preceding the Lord’s return:

“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh….Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the … north, and half of it toward the south.”

Here we have a wonderful description of the appearing of our Lord. This proves that the great tribulation does not refer to any past experiences which the Jews have gone through, not yet to any experiences the church has suffered, but to that time of Jacob’s trouble which immediately precedes the revelation of Jesus Christ from heaven to set up his kingdom and reign over all the earth in righteousness. From the Old Testament, then, we have learned that the tribulation will take place in the latter days of Israel’s history. The people who will feel it most will be the Jews, but all the apostate nations of the gentiles will also share the afflictions. It will not be a time of mere providential judgements but a time when there will be terrific and startling signs in the heavens and on earth, and men will be obliged to acknowledge that God Himself is dealing with them in His wrath and great indignation. All past tribulations have been merely natural and providential. But this time of trouble will be characterized by supernatural events that will add to the horrors under which men will live, so that they will desire to die, and death shall flee from them. We have also seen that this tribulation goes right on to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ with His mighty ones to rule with the rod of iron. During the trial, a remnant of Israel will be separated from the apostate part of the nation and will turn in repentance to the Lord and be led to recognize Him when He comes. This remnant He will own as the true Israel and in them “all Israel shall be saved.” They will be the handful of corn on the top of the mountains, the gleanings of the olives on the topmost bought, that will eventually “blossom and bud and fill the place of the whole earth with fruit.”

Now let us turn to the New Testament and see if we can get any further light on this day of grief and desperate sorrow. Look first at Matthew 24. In this portion of the kingdom gospel, our Lord portrayed the conditions that will prevail on earth right up to his second coming. He does not, however, speak definitely of the church, which is His body, or of any testimony such as we now know. This great prophecy was given before the revelation of the mystery and it is in keeping with the older predictions. Our Lord revealed to us the conditions that will prevail in the land of Palestine where there will be a remnant who cleave to him and love His name immediately preceding His second coming. In verse 15 He indicated the beginning of a time of special trial “when ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place.” This carries us back to Daniel 12, and is clearly the starting point of the great tribulation, which He described in Matthew 24:16-29:

“Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders: insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert: go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers: believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west: so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will be eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.”

Note particularly that all of this is Jewish, and all refers to the land of Palestine, except as the gentile nations are linked with the conflict of that day. Here we have the definite name given by the Lord Himself to this period of trial, “the great tribulation.” That it is exactly the same period spoken of by the prophets from Moses to Malachi is clear in the verses that follow, taken from Matthew 24:30-31, where we read:

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

This makes it plain that the great tribulation has never taken place in the past, either in connection with Israel’s experiences or those of the church. It could not refer to Israel’s sufferings under Antiochus Epiphanes, for our Lord spoke of it as in the future. It cannot refer to their sufferings in the days of Titus and Vespasian, for those experiences did not culminate in the return of the Son of God. Neither can it by any possibility be fitted into the experiences of the church, either in the days of the pagan emperors or the papal persecution, for both of these are long since in the past and the Son of man has not yet returned. His coming will definitely put an end to the great tribulation. We can only conclude therefore that it is still in the future and the scriptures we have considered show that it has to do with the future of Israel, not of the church.

2) THE COMING HOUR OF TEMPTATION

It might be well to compare the testimony given in Matthew’s gospel with the records of both Mark and Luke.

In Mark 13:14-27 we have a passage almost parallel to the one in Matthew, a careful reading of which only confirms what we have already seen, namely, that the great tribulation is still in the future, and that it ends with the Son of man coming in the clouds with power and great glory. In Luke 21 it is evident that considerable time must elapse between the overthrow of Jerusalem under Titus and this coming of the Son of man, Jerusalem’s destruction is predicted in v 20-24:

“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains: and let them which are in the midst of it depart out: and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

Notice particularly that following the downfall of the holy city and the desolation of Palestine, Jerusalem’s treading down or subjection to the nations is to last until the times of the gentiles is fulfilled. This expression, “the times of the Gentiles,” is not used anywhere else in scripture, though a similar term is found in Ezekiel 30:3:

“For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy day: it shall be the time of the heathen.”

The heathen are the gentiles. Ezekiel is referring there to the triumph of Nebuchadnezzar over Israel and the powers to which they turn for help. Egypt and Ethiopia. The times of the gentiles began with Nebuchadnezzar. They go on until the return of the Son of man. Who will come as the Stone that smites the feet of the image of gentile supremacy, breaking it to pieces and scattering the dust to the four winds of the earth, then becoming a great mountain and filling the whole world. The actual circumstances immediately preceding this coming are given in Luke 21:25-27:

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars: and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring: Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

The signs referred to here are the supernatural events that we have already seen will take place during the great tribulation, while the conditions set forth in Luke 21:26 show us the effects of these things in the hearts of humankind. This period of tribulation culminates in the shaking of the powers of heaven. Then the Son of man will be seen descending in a cloud to take His kingdom and reign in righteousness. A careful consideration of many scriptures, particularly in the Old Testament prophets, would how us that when the Lord thus returns, He will smite apostate Israel and the rebellious gentile world with judgement. They will be destroyed at His presence. On the other hand, a remnant of Israel will not only be spared from judgement, but will welcome Him as their long-looked-for King and Messiah. A great multitude of gentiles will be saved from the wrath that will fall on the worshipers of the beast and will form the nucleus of our Lord’s kingdom on this earth for a thousand years. This is the predicted program for the coming of the Son of man.*

The term “the coming of the Son of man” never refers to that particular aspect of the second advent for which the church is taught to look. When our Lord addressed Israel when He was on this earth He used this expression over and over again. In John 14 our Lord announced an aspect of His return that is NOT depicted in the Synoptics. He spoke of coming to receive His own to be with Himself. This is the first clear word we have in the New Testament regarding what is commonly called the rapture. This particular aspect is always distinguished from the coming of the Son of man. With the above facts in mind, let us now turn to Revelation 3:10- 11.

Writing to the angel of the church in Philadelphia, our Lord said: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation [of trial], which shall come upon all the world [habitable earth], to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly:hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”

These letters to the seven churches set forth “the things which are,” that is, the conditions prevailing in the professing church of God on earth throughout the present dispensation. Until our Lord returns, churches will be found in the moral and spiritual condition of those depicted here. These seven letters set forth the characteristic features of seven distinct periods of church history from apostolic days until the end of her testimony in this scene. The warnings and exhortations and promises in these seven letters are for all the church of God throughout the dispensation. Addressing those who are shown to be genuine, who have kept Christ’s word and not denied His name, which is the least that could be said of any true believer; we have this definite promise that such will be kept from the coming hour of trial, which is to fall on the entire habitable earth. The term “habitable earth” is a translation of the Greek word oikoumene, which was used in apostolic days to distinguish that part of the world which was in subjection to the Roman empire and which is the proper sphere of prophecy, from all the rest of the world whose inhabitants were called barbarians. It is on this Roman earth that the vials of divine wrath will be poured out in all their intensity in the days of the great tribulation. Those who will be particularly exposed to these judgements are distinguished as “dwellers on the earth.” This expression is used again and again in Revelation. A careful consideration of every passage in which it is found will make it plain that it refers not simply to people who live on this globe, but to those who have despised the heavenly calling and whose hopes and affections are all centered on this earth. In other words, they are the same as those spoken of in Philippians 3, who have spurned the heavenly calling and who “mind earthly things.”

Now this promise expressly declares that real believers of this dispensation, that is, the true church, will be kept from this coming hour of trial. They have not been kept from the frequent trials and tribulations to which Christians throughout the past centuries have been exposed, but they will be kept from this particular hour. It is evident that the Spirit of God in so speaking was using a term which Christians generally were expected to understand. If any ask, “What is the hour of temptation or trial, coming on the entire earth, from which we shall be kept?” the hour of temptation is that hour of trial so frequently spoken of elsewhere in scripture. We have seen something of what the Old Testament and also the four gospels have to say concerning it. Let us consider references to the hour of temptation in the epistles.

First Thessalonians is the earliest of Paul’s letters that the Spirit of God preserved for the edification of the church. In this letter the second coming of Christ was presented as the imminent hope of the saints. No one can read the latter part of chapter 4 thoughtfully without seeing that the Spirit of God intended the church to live in the daily expectation of our Lord’s return. No one can possibly live in the daily expectation of the coming of the Son of man as set forth in the Synoptic Gospels unless he knows that he is in the very closing days of the great tribulation. Consequently, the hope of the Lord’s return set forth in Thessalonians must of necessity be a different thing to the expectation of His coming to set up His kingdom, and careful consideration of the passage referred to only serves to make this clearer. It is the Lord’s coming for His saints whereas the other is His coming with them. Now in chapter 1 in this epistle, Paul spoke of the conversion of the Thessalonians 1:9-10, and the testimony they were giving to the world outside, and he said:

“For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come”.

The last clause, it is generally conceded, does not exactly represent what the apostle wrote.  The Revised Standard Version translates it, “Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”  J.N. Darby rendered it, “Jesus, our Deliverer from the coming wrath,”  Dr. Young was very explicit: he translated it, “Jesus who is rescuing us from the anger that is coming.” The point is that it is not simply that we are looking for our Lord as the One Who has delivered us from eternal wrath, but we look for him as the one who is coming to snatch us away from the wrath that is soon to all on earth. This agrees with the promise in Revelation 3:10. And it is in this way that the church will be kept from that hour of trial. Before the judgments fall the Lord Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout, the dead in Christ will be raised, and the living saints changed, and we shall be snatched away, caught up to be with Him before the indignation is poured out on this guilty scene.

Turn now to 2 Thessalonians 2. As we read it carefully, let us bear in mind what has already been before us. In order to see the viewpoint both of the apostle himself and of those to whom he was writing at that particular time, it will be well to consider certain facts that may be clearly deduced from a careful study of the entire letter. It is evident that the coming of the Lord had a large place in the hearts and minds of these particular saints. Some among them had become unbalanced on the subject, and were teaching that they were already entering into the time of great tribulation. They believed that the day of the Lord was practically upon them. They were endeavoring to substantiate this teaching by the use of a forged letter purporting to come from the apostle Paul, and the advocates of this system declared that the Spirit had revealed these things to them. Therefore the saints were becoming unsettled, losing the blessedness of the hope of the Lord’s return for His own.They feared they were already entering the great tribulation, and that the next event would be the coming of the Son of man. Notice carefully 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2:

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him. That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

The Revised Standard Version reads, “To the effect that the day of the Lord is just at hand.”

The best manuscript authority authenticates this. The day of Christ is not the same thing as the day of the Lord. The day of Christ refers to the time when believers will stand in their glorified bodies at Christ’s judgement seat. But the day of the Lord is the time when His judgements will be poured out on the earth, and He will descend and take the kingdom. The apostle reminded these believers of what he had already written in his previous epistle. They were not to look for the day of the Lord but for the return of our Saviour to deliver them from the coming wrath. So he pleaded with them in view of these facts, that “by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and by our gathering together unto Him,” we are not to be troubled or distressed, no matter what assertions others might make in regard to the day of trouble being already on us. The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto Him must take place before that time of distress can begin. This is exactly what we insist on today, we who do not believe that the church will go through the great tribulation. Our daily expectation is the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto Him. This must precede the judgments.  The day of the Lord cannot begin until after it takes place.

Let me use an illustration for which I am indebted to another, though I cannot recall to whom.  Suppose that a great city is in rebellion against its rightful sovereign, but there are in that city certain loyalists who who grieve over the defection of the rest, and are faithful to their king. Word comes that the offended monarch and his great army are on the way to the city to subdue or destroy it. Naturally the loyal citizens are anxious and troubled. They do not want to be exposed to the fire of the royal army and they manage to get word out to the king declaring their loyalty and asking his consideration. Word comes back that his standard will be planted on a certain mountain outside the city before the bombardment begins. When that standard is seen on the mountain, all the loyalists are instructed to leave the city under protection of the king, who will make special arrangements to guard them from destruction. Soon the van of the army appears. More and more troops arrive and surround the doomed city. Great guns are being placed at advantageous points on the outlying hills and all preparations for the shelling of the city are being made. Rumours of all sorts are being circulated. The bombing is to begin tonight, or tomorrow, or the next day. The loyalists are becoming nervous and anxious, but in some way a message reaches them. “I beseech you my the coming of the king, the lifting up of the standard on the mountain, and your gathering together unto him, be not troubled because of what you see in the way of preparation.”  The messenger assures them that not one shell will fall on the city until they are safely gathered unto him outside the wall. And so their hearts are quieted. One day the standard is uplifted. A regiment of cavalry comes careering over the plain, and at the same moment the loyalists, acting by preconcerted arrangement, leave the city and are immediately protected by the royal horsemen. Soon they gather about the king, prostrating themselves at his feet and attesting their faithfulness. Then the attack on the city begins.

Like all human illustrations, I realize this one does not fully picture the conditions that are to prevail at the Lord’s return, but it may at least help to make clear what the apostle means in these opening verses, and it will prepare us to understand what follows:

“Let no man deceive you by any means for that day shall not come except there come a falling away [the apostasy] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” 

The “day” is the day of trial and distress that we have been occupied with, but it will not come until the apostasy is fully manifest. There cannot be complete apostasy so long as the church of God is in this world. No matter how much there may be in the way of unfaithfulness to Christ and His truth, our Lord has declared, “Upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” As long as the church is in the word, it is being led in His triumph. There may be individual apostates, but there cannot be complete apostasy. But when the church has been caught up to be with Christ, then the apostasy in all its fullness will arrive. Out of that condition of things the son of perdition will arise,  2 Thessalonians 2:4:

“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped: so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”  

This is the sinister character whose awful features are dimly seen in both Testaments as one of the dominant actors in the last days. While not for one moment condoning the abomination of the papacy, it is not logically possible to link this personage with that system as a whole, nor with any individual pope of the past or present. The popes at their worst have all professed to act as vicars of Christ. They have not exalted themselves above all that is called God or that is worshiped. But the man of sin will be an absolutely self-deified atheist. He will recognize no God but himself. His rise to power is evidently linked with the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place, spoken of by Daniel and referred to by our Lord as the true starting point of the great tribulation. In 2 Thessalonians 2:6-10 we are told of one who hinders this full manifestation of evil until the set time appointed of God:

“And now ye know what withholdeth [hinders] that he might be revealed in His [own] time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth [hinders] will let [hinder] until He be taken out of the way. And then shall that “Wicked” [one] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved”

There has been a great deal of controversy about this passage. Some claim that the hinderer is Satan who has his place in the heavens until after the rapture of the church, and then he shall be taken out of the way. Others insist that this hinderer is orderly government, and as long as orderly government prevails these things cannot take place. Some of the early fathers thought the hinderer was the Roman Empire, and that Paul dared not put on paper just what was in his mind lest he expose Christians to the charge of plotting the downfall of the existing private information which he had given to the Thessalonians when he was with them that had to do with this subject. But let us remember that this letter, like every other epistle in the New Testament, was written not for the local believers only to whom it was addressed but for all Christians during the entire dispensation. Therefore v 6 is addressed to believers everywhere, who ought to be capable of understanding it, if they are at all familiar with their Bibles.

“Ye know what withholdeth that he [that is, the man of sin] might be revealed in his [own] time.”

Every Christian should be able to answer as he reads these words of scripture,

“Yes I do know who it is that hindereth the full manifestation of iniquity.”

There is only one answer possible and that is, of course, The Holy Spirit.

What Christian is there who would think of any other hindering power in such a connection? In both Testaments this is the very province and work of the Spirit of God.  “He causeth the wrath of man to praise him and the remainder of wrath he doth restrain” (Psalm 76:10). “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him ” (Isaiah 59:19).  He is working in the church at the present time, convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement. Moreover, His presence in the church continues as long as that church is here, for our Lord promises, “When He is come He shall abide with you forever.”

How then will he ever be taken out of the war? This will only occur by the fulfillment of 1 Thessalonians 4, with the return of the Lord and our being caught up to meet him in the air. This is the tremendous event that will clear the way for that time of trouble from which the church of God is to be kept. There is one other passage that deals with the rapture. 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 says:

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality,then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave,where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

There are two aspects of the coming kingdom: heavenly and earthly.  Both together are called the kingdom of heaven. The saints of this and past ages will not live here on the earth during the kingdom age, but their home city will be the New Jerusalem above. This is called the Kingdom of the Father. “Then shall the righteous shine forth.” declared our Lord, “in the kingdom of your Father.”  The earthly saints will live here in this world in natural bodies. This is spoken of as the kingdom of the Son of man. The apostle was referring to the heavenly kingdom when He said,

“Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God: neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”

All who have part in the heavenly side of the kingdom will have glorified bodies in that day. The manner in which this will be brought about is given us in the verses that follow.

“We shall not all sleep [that is, we shall not all die], but we shall be changed [or transformed].”

This will take place in one moment in the briefest possible period of time at the last trump. The sound of that trumpet will end the present dispensation, and the dead will be raised incorruptible and the living changed. This is in exact accord with what we have already seen in 1 Thessalonians 4.

Some have endeavored to link the last trump of 1 Corinthians 15:52 with the seventh trumpet of the book of Revelation. But it should be remembered that the book of Revelation was not in existence when the apostle wrote his letters, nor did it come into existence until many years afterward. Therefore, he could not possibly have referred to anything in that book. Furthermore, it is perfectly clear that this last trump is the same as the trump of God in 1 Thessalonians 4, which is altogether different from the trumpet of an angel. The term seems to be a military one, and refers to a signal used in the Roman army to set the legions in motion. At the first trump tents were struck, at the second trump they fell into line, at the last trump they marched away. We are waiting for the last trump when we will not march nor fly, but will be caught up to be with the Lord in the air, and so we shall be kept from the hour of temptation which is coming on all the earth.

3) WHAT SAINTS WILL BE IN THE GREAT TRIBULATION?

It is evident from the word of God that certain saints will be found on earth in the days of the great tribulation. Many of these will be called on to suffer martyrdom while others will be preserved through this entire period and will enter into the kingdom to be set up on earth. Because of this, it has naturally been concluded that these are necessarily members of the church, the body of Christ. Many think of the church as a surname by which the entire family of faith from Adam to the end of the millennium is designated. If one thinks of the church in this manner there can be only one answer to the question.

“Will the church or any part of it go through the great tribulation?”

Certainly many members of the household of faith will have to endure great suffering during that time of trouble. But if one has learned to distinguish clearly from scripture between new birth, common to all children of God in every dispensation, and membership in the body of Christ, which belongs alone to the saints of this present age from Pentecost to the rapture. It should not be difficult to distinguish the saints who will have part in the tribulation from those who will be caught up before it begins. But because many believers are not clear as to this distinction, I think it well to go into it somewhat fully, and in order to do so, I take the liberty to quote from an earlier work of mine entitled, “Who will be Saved in the Coming Period of Judgement?” part of which is included in the discussion here.

First, then, let it be noted that Old Testament prophecy never refers to this dispensation in which we live (extending from Pentecost to the Lord’s coming for His own), save in a most indefinite way, as, for instance, in Daniel 9:26. From Moses to Malachi, scripture is mainly occupied with one nation, Israel (Amos 3:2; Deuteronomy 7:6; Psalm 147:19-20), and the hope of that nation, namely, the raising up of a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15), priest (Psalm 110:4; Zechariah 6:13), and king (Isaiah 32; Psalm 2:6). who is to bring them into everlasting blessing as people (Psalm 132:11-18; Isaiah 35:10; 51:11; 61:7), though not until they have been born again (Ezekiel 36:24-30). The gentiles will share in that blessing (Isaiah 56:6; 65:1), not on the same footing with Israel, but rather in subjection to them (Isaiah 14:1-3; 60:3-5; 62:2-3).

Ere (Before) the ushering in of that day of Jehovah’s power and Messiah’s glory the prophets predicted the rejection of the looked-for Redeemer by Israel to whom He came (Isaiah 53). In consequence Israel is set aside by God (Zechariah 7:13-14), while the rejected Messiah takes His place in the heavens on Jehovah’s throne (Psalm 110:1), which He will occupy until the future repentance of the people (Hosea 5:15). This setting aside of Israel is not final, as Jeremiah 30-31 declare.  But before their restoration to divine favor and the land of Palestine, the Israelites must pass through a short period of unequaled persecution and chastisement, called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). At the close of this time they will be ready to acknowledge the crucified one as their Lord, and will “mourn for Him as one mourning for his only son” (Zechariah 12:10-14: 13:6- 7).

In the darkest hour of their sorrow, when Jerusalem is surrounded by armies and they are in dire distress, He will appear as their Deliverer and the destroyer of their enemies, after which the tabernacle of David will be raised up and the reign of righteousness ushered in (Zechariah 14: Amos 9:8-15). Thus far the Old Testament. Turning now to the New Testament we find much new data introduced, without which the present working of the Spirit of God in the world would be inexplicable. In Romans 11 we are told that upon the breaking off of the natural branches (Israel) from the tree of promise, wild branches (Gentiles) are introduced in their place. In other words, Israel’s rejection has made way for unforetold grace to be shown to the nations, though Old Testament prophecy of blessing to the heathen can be quoted as proof that such grace is not in opposition to their final blessing. However, this special work among the gentiles is not to go on forever though;  for if these continue not in divine goodness, they too shall be cut off and the natural branches grafted in again, for God is able. God, then,  is doing a work now that is unmentioned in the Jewish oracles, during the time that His earthly people are Lo-ammi “not my people,” (Hosea 1:9), or unacknowledged by Him, “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:25).  

This is one of the “mysteries”, one of the secret things (Deuteronomy 29:29) that has until now been unrevealed. The Lord Jesus confirms this (from the political side) in his prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem, the long period of desolation and gentile supremacy following it, and the end that occurs with his personal appearing. Luke 21:24 records:

“Jerusalem shall be trodden of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

This connects us against with Daniel 9, where we get the great prophecy of the seventy weeks.  A lengthy exposition of this passage cannot be attempted here, but we briefly notice the main points. From the course of time, seventy weeks (or heptads) of years (note the periods before the prophets mind in v 2), making in all 490 years, are “determined,” or “cut off,” and given to Daniel’s people, the Jewish nation. Ere (Before) this period of time expires six important events will have taken place:

  1. Transgression will be finished; 
  2. An end will be made of sins; 
  3. Atonement (rather than reconciliation) will be made for iniquity; 
  4. Everlasting righteousness will be brought in; 
  5. Vision and prophecy will be sealed up, or finished, ie.,  all fulfilled; 
  6. And the most holy, or holy of holies, of the millennial temple at Jerusalem will be anointed (see Ezekiel 40-48).

The seventy weeks are divided into three unequal periods. The first is seven weeks, or forty-nine years. The second is sixty-two weeks, or 434 years. The third is one week, or seven years. During the first seven weeks, or “the strait times”, the city and wall of Jerusalem were to be rebuilt. The date from which to count is found in Nehemiah 2, when a “commandment went forth to restore and build Jerusalem.” The sixty-two weeks seem to have immediately followed, and ended in the coming of Messiah. After the conclusion of this period He was cut off and had nothing, but atonement was made. Then comes the present long interval of Jerusalem’s treading down. The city is destroyed, as our Lord foretold also, and “even unto the end shall be war,” until one arises who confirms a covenant with the Jews for the last final week. Clearly, then, this week is still future. The prophetic clock stopped at Calvary; it will not start again until “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”

The present is a timeless epoch, parenthetically introduced between the sixty-ninth and seventieth week, in which God is taking out from among the gentiles a people for His name (Acts 15:14). He has utterly given up the Jew, but both Jew and gentile stand on equal footing: “There is no difference: For all have sinned” (Romans 3:22-23). Both are saved through faith in Christ, and all such are made members of the one body, the church. By the Holy Ghost both are united to the Lord Jesus Christ as head in heaven. (See Romans 16:25-28; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4; Colossians 1:24-29). This began with the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2; 1 Corinthians 12:13). It will be completed at the coming of the Lord when He calls His church to be forever with Himself, an event which may take place at any moment (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 2 Thessalonians 2:1). Then the long-delayed seventieth week will begin to run its course. At its conclusion Daniel’s prophecy (as all other millennial prophecies) will be entirely fulfilled. Atonement was made for iniquity after the expiration of the sixty-ninth week. Everlasting righteousness will be brought in at the end of the seventieth.

This brief period will be one of judgement. It will include judgement on apostate Christendom, on Israel, and on the nations at large. It is to be the awful result of the rejection of the Prince of Peace. Revelation 4-19 is occupied entirely with its solemn events. The saints of all prior dispensations, as well as the church, are seen enthroned in heaven as the twenty-four elders who have been redeemed with the blood of the lamb (Revelation 5) at the beginning of the week. They ride forth as the “armies of heaven” with “the Word of God” at His glorious appearing at the end. The last three-and-one-half years will be the time when Israel shall receive “of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins” (Isaiah 40:2), the “time of Jacob’s trouble” spoken of in Jeremiah 30:7 and Daniel 12:1, and the “great tribulation” of Matthew 24 and Revelation 7:14. The covenant breaking prince of Daniel 9 is the beast, the head of the Roman Empire, who makes a league with the willful king of Revelation 11:36-39.  

He is the antichrist of prophecy (1 John 2:18), the idol shepherd of Zechariah 11:15-17, who will “come in his own name,” as foretold by the Lord Jesus in John 5:43, and will be received by the majority of the Jews as messiah, but who will become the cruel persecutor of a faithful company designated as “the remnant” (Isaiah 11:11; Ezekiel 6:8; Revelation 12:17). In Revelation 7 we read of 144,000 out of all the tribes of Israel and a numberless white-robed multitude of spared gentiles who will follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They are said to have come up out of the great tribulation and to have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Many take it for granted that this is a heavenly company, and one is not surprised at that, for the language used is so nearly like that which we find later on in connection with the saints in the new Jerusalem. But a careful comparison of this chapter with a part of Isaiah 49 makes it clear that this great multitude represents the nucleus of the kingdom to be set up in this world at the time when our Lord returns and the days of heaven prevail on the earth. In other words, it refers to heavenly conditions in this world. In Isaiah 49:8-13, we read:

“Thus saith the Lord. In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages. That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them; for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted. Behold, these shall come from far; and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains; for the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His afflicted.”

There is no question here of resurrection or the peopling of the heavenly Jerusalem. This entire prophecy has to do with the resurrection of Israel and the blessing of the gentiles through them of the earth in a coming day. The language of Isaiah 49:10 is almost identical with that of Revelation 7:16. Who then are these saints? First we must consider the 144,000. There has been speculation regarding this company. Some see them a picture of what they call a first fruits rapture, linking this passage with Revelation 14, where 144,000 are seen standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion. The current teaching states that a select group of believers will be raptured before the great tribulation, while the rest will have to pass through it. The 144,000 are supposed to represent this select group. The great multitude, the majority of the church, will be purified in the fires of the great tribulation. But scripture knows nothing of any such selective rapture. The word of God is perfectly plain. Consider these texts from the Bible: “Christ the firstfruits, afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” and “We which are alive and remain shall be caught up together.” There is no hint of any division in the church of God, the body of Christ. All are saved by grace, all are alike made “meet to be partakers of the of the inheritance of the saints in light.”

The rapture is never presented as reward for special devotedness, but is preliminary to the judgement seat of Christ, where we shall all stand to receive our rewards. We will be in a glorified body when we appear at that great tribunal. This could not be true if only a special group were raptured before the tribulation. It is sad to observe the way various sects and systems seek to identify themselves with the 144,000. According to the Seventh-day Adventists, these are those who keep the commandments perfectly. The Russellites insist that they are a special class of over-comers who will be exalted to the divine nature, whereas others will be saved on a lower plane. Various pentecostal groups declare that they are those who have been baptized with the Spirit and speak in tongues, or are characterized by other remarkable gifts. But what are the facts?

First we have the vision (Revelation 7:1- 3), and then the interpretation (Revelation 7:4). The 144,000 are out of all tribes of the children of Israel and represent that remnant which will turn to the Lord after the church has been caught up, in accordance with Romans 11:23: “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” In the book of Daniel, and in many parts of prophetic scripture, we find this remnant distinguished from the mass. They are the wise who understand. They are the gleanings in the day of Jehovah’s wrath, who will be recognized by Him as His own. They are sealed for preservation in view of the coming kingdom, before the dreadful storm of the great tribulation is permitted to break on the earth. In Revelation 14 we see them as a victorious company, safely emerged from that storm, having formed what we might call the bodyguard of the Lamb, when He returns to mount Zion. It is evident that they will be a witnessing company and will carry the gospel of the kingdom to millions who have never heard and rejected the message of grace. As a result of their testimony, we see the great multitude of gentiles brought to a knowledge of Christ and cleansed by His precious blood. Isaiah 66:18-21 is very instructive in this connection:

For I know their works and their thoughts; it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory. And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them into the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw thee bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the Lord.”

Here we have God dealing in grace with Israel and the gentile nations during the time of the great tribulation and just before He sets up His glorious kingdom here on earth. We are told in Daniel 12:3,

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” 

  This, as the first verse of the same chapter shows us, has to do with their testimony in the time of trouble yet to come, but Daniel had told us,

“At that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”  

The hour of their darkest trouble and deepest sorrow will result in the elect among them returning to the Lord. The 144,000 of Revelation 7 are those who will say,

“Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up” (Hosea 6:1). 

Zion’s sore travail shall result in a great bringing forth of children, as predicted in Micah 5:3 and Isaiah 66:8. 

Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”  

The “blindness in part”  is to be done away, the “fullness of the Gentiles” having come in, as shown also in Hosea 3:4-5:

“For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their King; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.”

This is true not of the nation as a whole (see Zechariah 13:8-9; Isaiah 24:13; also Ezekiel 20:31-44) but of the remnant. The mass will be destroyed for their apostasy. The remnant will be acknowledged as the nation, and “so all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26). To be of the sons of Jacob will not ensure an opportunity of grace. None who refuse the truth now, whether Jew or gentile, can be saved then. In Matthew 25, we have the judgement of the living nations at the Lord’s return. This is to be distinguished from the judgement of the great white throne. The former is pre-millennial, the latter post-millennial. We read:

“When the Son of man shall come in His glory and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations.”  

Notice there is no word of people here being raised from the dead, as at the final judgement. But we see the living nations gathered before him, and a separation is made according to the treatment afforded those whom the Lord calls “my brethren.” Linking this with the passages we have already considered, it would seem to be clear that the “brethren”here referred to are His brethren after the flesh, the remnant of Israel. Those who enter into the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world are the gentiles who received these brethren and heeded their message. These are the ones who inherit the millennial kingdom. Those who are martyred under the beast and the anti-christ in that day will be raised from the dead when the Lord descends to take the kingdom, and will thus form the last cohort of the first resurrection.

Notice the order indicated in Revelation 20:4-6. First, John says,

“I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgement was given unto them.”  

These are undoubtedly identified with the saints who are raised at the rapture before the tribulation. Then John mentions another class.

“And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

These are the martyrs of the tribulation period. They have their part in the heavenly side of the kingdom. As to the unsaved, we are told in verse 5.

“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”

Verse 6 includes the entire company who have part in the various cohorts of the first resurrection.

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

It is plain then that there will be saints on the earth during the great tribulation, but they are not members of the body of Christ, as that body is now constituted by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They will be individual believers, as in Old Testament times, and will through grace be enabled to witness for Christ in that day of great distress. They will share in the kingdom and enjoy the blessing of the Lord in a wonderful way, but they are not included in the body of Christ that occupies a distinct place through all the ages to come.

4)  THE BLESSED HOPE?

As we thoughtfully read the words of our Lord Jesus recorded in the early verses of John 14 and as we consider the teaching given in the Pauline Epistles in regard to the hope of the church, it becomes increasingly evident that there is not the least hint that believers of this dispensation were to look forward to a long series of events preceding the return of the Lord Jesus to raise the dead in Christ and change the living and take them to Himself in the Father’s house. This blessed hope is always presented as imminent, which it could not be if one had to suppose that the destruction and revival of the Roman empire, the rise of the antichrist, and the great tribulation, must precede that glorious event. Yet there are other scriptures that distinctly show, as we have seen, that there will be saints on the earth when these conditions prevail. But I trust it has already been made clear that they will not belong to the church, the body of Christ.

There are in fact two distinct stages of our Lord’s return presented in the New Testament. He is coming for His saints; this is the rapture that precedes the great tribulation. And He is going to be manifested with all His saints when he descends to exercise judgement on those who have persisted in rejecting His grace; this is when He will establish His glorious kingdom to reign in righteousness over this world. In other words, while the Old Testament and the four gospels, together with other scriptures, plainly predict Christ’s second coming to establish His kingdom on this earth, it is part of the mystery hidden from past ages that when He comes He will have with Him a bride to share His throne, as well as a host of other redeemed saints from all past dispensations in His train. This is looked on as a visionary interpretation by many, and the attempt has been made again and again to show that this view, which is often called the futurist theory, was originated by Spanish Jesuits in order to turn away opprobrium from Rome. But the fact of the matter is that the Jesuit writers in question, Alchzar and Ribera, simply set forth what was taught with more or less clearness by some of the church fathers in the first three centuries of the Christian era, and was lost sight of later.

Others again have tried to put the stigma of demonism on the precious truth that the Lord may return at any time to take His saints to be with Himself preceding the great tribulation, endeavouring to link this with certain theories taught by the late Edward Irving and his followers in the early part of the nineteenth century. But anyone at all acquainted with Irving’s teaching can see how truly false this is. From the time when long- neglected prophetic truth came again into prominence there was a great deal of confusion regarding the two aspects of the Lord’s return mentioned above. But eminent Bible teachers who weighed all the scriptures carefully and prayerfully before God were led to see the distinction between the church as the body of Christ and the saints of a coming age. These saints would be witnesses for the Lord in the time of the tribulation and would share with Him in the manifested kingdom. The more carefully these views have been examined by men of God dependent on the teaching of the Holy Spirit through the word, the more they have been seen to be distinctly in harmony with divine revelation.

In recent years, particularly following World War I, there has been a recrudescence of post-tribulationism, brought about largely by the fact that so many stirring events have taken place which seem to foreshadow the actual conditions that will prevail during the time of Jacob’s trouble. Already the Roman empire seems in process of revival. The rise of dictatorship gives us to understand how readily the great world ruler of the coming day will forge his way to the front and be acclaimed as the very representative of God himself. The return of thousands of Jews to Palestine, involving the rehabilitation of that land, is certainly preparing the way for the very events depicted in the prophets and by our Lord Himself, which are to take place in the last days.

All of these things and many others that might be added, seem to have swept some dear brethren away from their moorings. Losing sight of that blessed Hope, they are now fixing their attention on events, rather than on the Person Who is coming. The effect of this is not a healthy thing. It results in occupying the heart and mind with earthly things instead of with the coming Saviour. It has led many to think that perhaps we are entering even now into the great tribulation – perhaps we are actually through the greater part of it and are just waiting for the revelation of the antichrist and then the Lord’s actual descent to the Mount of Olives and the establishment of the kingdom. But the very fact that we see conditions shaping themselves for tribulation times should only lead us to realize the nearness of our hope. At any moment now the Lord may descend from heaven to raise the dead and change the living, and then will come the dark days predicted in both Testaments for apostate Israel and apostate Christendom.

Another view that has clouded the faith of many who cannot see that at least some saints will be caught up before the great tribulation, is what is commonly known as the partial or firstfruits rapture. This, however, is in plain contradiction to the testimony of the Holy Spirit given through the apostle Paul and our blessed Lord Himself. The Saviour made no distinction among His heavenly people when he said, “If I go…I will come again and receive you unto Myself.” He had just foretold the defection of Peter, but He did not even hint that unless Peter is restored he will have no part in the heavenly Father’s house. In fact, our Lord addressed Himself particularly to Peter when He said, “Let not your heart be troubled.” He of course had made provision for the restoration of the soul of his disciples, as He does for all of us; but He gave no suggestion that any would be left behind when He would return for His own. In the epistles the rapture is seen to be all-embracing. We read:

“They that are Christ’s at His coming.”

We do not read that they are eminently faithful, nor that they speak with tongues, but simply that “they that are Christ’s.” And again, in 1 Thessalonians, we have the statement, “We which are alive and remain shall be caught up together.” There are no distinctions made between mature and immature Christians in these words. If other scriptures are cited which seem to indicate that some will not be ready when the Lord comes, a careful examination of the context will show that in each instance the reference is to the coming of the Son of man at the end of the great tribulation, and not to the descent of the Lord to the aid to receive the saints of this dispensation and past ages to be with Himself in the Father’s house. Therefore it may be confidently affirmed that neither post-tribulationism nor partial rapture theories are taught in the word of God.

It seems perfectly evident that the blessed Hope is intended to be the daily expectation of the believers, which could not be if certain events had to take place before its fulfillment. Moreover, if I put anything in my thinking between the present moment and the return of the Lord, I am losing what is of infinite value in connection with my personal walk and Christian experience.

“Every man that hath this Hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure.”

I know of nothing that is so effectual in controlling the heart and mind of the believer, so that his one aim and object will be to walk in holy separation to the Lord Himself, as the thought that at any moment He Who has redeemed us may return and take us to the Father’s house. One may hold certain intellectual views of the second coming of Christ, even the view of the pre-tribulation rapture, and not be practically sanctified thereby. But if this hope holds me, it cannot but result in increased personal piety.

Then too we need to remember that it is at the return of the Lord for His saints that He will go over our record as servants when we stand before the judgement seat of Christ. At that time, we are to be rewarded according to the deeds done in the body, and our place in the coming kingdom indicated. It is then that the crowns of reward are to be distributed, and in this connection it is significant to note that in the book of Revelation, we see the twenty-four elders crowned and enthroned around the central throne of God and of the Lamb (Revelation 4-5), before the solemn judgments begin to fall on the earth. Almost all futurist interpreters are agreed that in Revelation 6-19, we have the great tribulation period. It is then that the wrath of the Lamb and the wrath of God will be poured on the habitable earth, and Satan will be cast down from the heavenlies, having great wrath, knowing that his time is short. These are the circumstances of the great tribulation. We are looking for Christ as our deliverer from the wrath to come. Whatever view we may take of the symbolic elders, whether we think of them as twenty-four individuals, or as representing the entire heavenly priesthood, which to me is clearly the true interpretation, there is this to bear in mind;they are seen crowned in heaven before the judgements begin. Consider these facts:

  • a) the tribulation period does not begin until the Lamb receives the seven-sealed book and breaks the seals.
  • b) But the Lamb does not receive the book until crowned saints are seen in heaven.
  • c) No saints have yet received their crowns, nor will there be crowned saints in heaven until the judgement seat of Christ is past.
  • d) The apostle Paul declares definitely that the crown of righteousness will be given to him and to all who love Christ’s appearing in that day; this is the day of the manifestation following our Lord’s return for His saints.
  • f) Therefore it seems plainly evident that the great tribulation cannot possibly begin until after the rapture of the church.

There is much more that might be said, but I leave the matter here, commending the entire subject to the spiritual judgement of the people of God, feeling assured that the more carefully this matter is weighed, the clearer it will be that the church, the body of Christ, is not to look forward to a time when the wrath of God will be poured out on this world, but is to live in daily expectation of the Lord’s return to take us to be with Himself before the time of grief begins.

May it be our privilege to search the scriptures daily concerning the truth of these things, and to live in the power of that blessed Hope.

Please share:

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

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38 Comment authors
Wayne MyersCarl StatonTom (Discerning the World)john berryThomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) Recent comment authors
Redeemed
Guest
Redeemed

Dan, if you study the articles that give chapter and verse for the endtime scenario and the Rapture of the Church, you will find answer to your question.

You are right, there is a tunsami of sorts coming, the stage is being set for a one-world government. Be careful that you don’t get caught up in those who are dissecting every bit of news and warning Christians of dire persecution directed at the entire Body of Christ now on earth. They are most likely offbase in their eschatology and what it does is instill fear and the need to take steps to “prepare” for persecution by stocking up on food, guns, etc.

There is only one way to prepare and that is to draw closer to the Lord, be about His business and not be concerned about things that we cannot control, but we know the LORD can and will.

The Lord instructs us to watch and wait and to be faithful and fulfill the Great Commission. He tells us He is coming for His Bride and it is our job to be READY for His coming because we do not know when that will be, but we know it could be at ANY MOMENT. In any case, we are safe with Him, just as Noah and his family were safe in the ark.

We are to be less concerned about the headlines and more concerned about the Bible and devoting ourselves to prayer and serving Him.

The Word alerts us that wickedness would increase and all the things that would occur before He comes for His Church. We are seeing that more and more. It should not be any surprise for us.

Daphne
Guest

Hi Redeemed I hope all is well! I know you probably thought I forgot about you again. In your reply to me you said you thought I was confusing the Bride of Christ and the Body of Christ. For me to confuse the Bride of Christ with the Body of Christ they would have to be two different things. If so then could you please explain how the Bride of Christ is not the Body of Christ and the Body of Christ is not the Bride. We are all one in the Lord Jesus; we (those who believe in him) are the body and the Bride i.e. the Church.

Eph. 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the CHURCH: and he is the savior of the body.

Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are ONE BODY in Christ, and every one members one of another.

You said:
“Just as the Old Testament believers are in the Body of Christ, His Church even though they died before His sacrifice on the cross. There are different dispensations and situations. Not having a proper understanding of this causes confusion, that is why I consider it very important to rightly divide the Word and comprehend the different ways God deals with mankind at different times in history.”

“Don’t misunderstand, God and Jesus Christ are the same, today, yesterday and forever, but times and circumstances are not.”

What you are saying is confusing in itself. God and Jesus are the same today as they were a million years ago but God does things according to changing circumstances: So God is a go with the flow kind of fellow and his will for me is whatever the circumstances dictates? It seems to me that even you are confused in what you are saying. If that is not true then why would you feel the need to explain to me that God is the same today as yesterday?

God dictates circumstances not the other way around and he has never treated man differently: he expects acknowledgement, obedience, and love and if he doesn’t get them from individuals or from nations he punishes them. If they repent (change their mind) and give him thanks and start living right he will change his mind and withhold his judgment but if not he will carry out his punishment.

What it all boils down to is there are two kinds of people in this world: those who love Jesus and those who don’t; there are the sheep and the goats, the wheat and the tares, and there are those who will endure God’s wrath (punishment) and those who won’t.

As far as dispensationalism is concerned it is a man made thing. It was man who divided times of history not God, as a matter of fact man can’t decide how many dispensations (if it really meant periods of time) there should be and have anywhere from seven to four.

The word “Dispensation” is used commonly in the sense of a period of time or epoch but according to “Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words” to use this word in that way is incorrect because it has nothing to do with periods of time. The word dispensation is used by Paul four times in the New Testament and he uses it to mean stewardship or administration of the Lords Word. The actual definition by “Strong’s Concordance” is: (G3622-oikonomia) (1) the management of a household or of household affairs; (a) specifically, the management, oversight, administration, of other’s property; (b) the office of a manager or overseer, stewardship; c) administration, dispensation.

2 Cr. 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Can you or anyone here answer this question? If the Bema seat judgment is for all Christians who are resurrected and raptured when Jesus comes in the clouds and that judgment takes place in heaven during the seven years of tribulation while many thousands are being martyred then when does the “Tribulation Saints” get their rewards? When are they resurrected and dressed in white linen? They are Saints after dying for Christ, so certainly they will be coming back with Jesus and those saints who were resurrected and raptured when Jesus came in the clouds? After all Paul told us that Jesus would bring those who died in him with him (1 Th. 4:14).
God Bless!!!

Daphne
Guest

P.S. Retraction:Time was divided once by God and that was when Jesus came and things changed from the Old Testament times to the New Testament times.

Daphne
Guest

Thanks for your reply Deborah.

I understand all too well that the tribulation period is going to be worse than at any time in history and that the worst part of it will start at the time of the Abomination of Desolation but nowhere in the Bible does it say the time of Jacobs’s trouble is God’s wrath (punishment). Answer me this riddle Bat Man (lol): if it is the Antichrist who is killing all the Christians that come to Christ after the rapture/during tribulation, is that God wrath? Clearly that is what the pre-trib people seem to think it is? If it is then the passages that say Christians won’t have to endure God’s wrath is a lie? Because rather they come to Christ after the rapture or not they are still Christians?

You said: Answer this: Do you think He is going to leave His Bride on earth to face His wrath? When He made an escape for Noah when he destroyed the earth, he made an escape for Abraham from Sodom and Gomorrah, do you think He is incapable of making an escape plan for His Bride?

Noah nor Lot were removed from the earth to avoid the destruction that was coming. The first born of the Hebrews were not removed from the earth when God’s hand trolled through Egypt killing the first born Egyptians. If you read Ezekiel nine you will find that there were six men who came into Jerusalem and they all had a slaughter weapon in their hand and one of the men was dressed with linen and he had a writer’s ink horn and God told the man with the ink horn to mark all those who cried for all the abomination that had been done there (long story short) those not marked were killed. Then last but not least there is the 144,000 (Christians: those who follow the Lamb wherever he goes) that will not be removed from earth but will be sealed to keep them safe from the wrath of God. Why couldn’t all Christians be saved in the same manner?

Rev. 6:17-For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Rev. 7:3-Saying, hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

You said: Tribulation saints go straight into the new Millennium with Jesus Christ, they do not go up to heaven.

This does not adequately answer my questions: when is their resurrection and why are they not part of the marriage supper of the Lamb when all the other Christians are?

Daphne
Guest

P.S. Re: Why couldn’t all Christians be saved in the same manner?

I do realize that some will be killed but there are some who won’t so when I used the word “all” I miss spoke (wrote lol).

Luke 21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and SOME of you shall they cause to be put to death.

Rev. 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast SOME of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Matt. 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

There will be those left alive that remain after the tribulation so all the elect are not killed.

I am going to jump the gun and guess that the next argument (lack of better words) will probably be that the elect in Matthew 24 is not the Christians but they are; Jack Van Impe said so Sunday morning (lol: he really did!). http://numberofhisname.blogspot.com/search/label/Jack%20Van%20Impe

But of course other than listening to Jack I read the Bible and scripture tells us that the elect are those who follow Jesus an example of that is 1 John 1:1-3.

2 John 1:1-3 The elder (John/apostle/Jew/Christian) unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; for the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us forever. Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

Clearly John is writing a letter to a sister in Christ and he addresses her as “the elect lady”.

Strong’s Concordance: G1599-eklektos: picked out, chosen by God to obtain salvation through Christ. You will find this same meaning is also used in Matthew 24.

I look forward to your reply.
Daphne

antoinette krijnen
Guest
antoinette krijnen

just want to thank you for your clear understanding of the scriptures.i was reborn in 1974.i lived in benoni [johannesburg] and moved back to new zealand. please continue the goodnews.with christian love,antoinette

Sharon
Guest
Sharon

Ephesians5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the WRATH of God upon the children of disobedience.

Colossians 3:6 For which things’ sake the WRATH of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

1st Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the WRATH to come.

1Thessalonians5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

I just wish to share some thoughts I have concerning the Rapture of the Church (true church) The verses I have shared above are proof sufficient that we (the church) will NOT go through the Great Tribulation. But… … we could very well go through a great persecution.

Being an American has always afforded us freedom of religion like no other nation on earth. I believe the true church here in the USA for the most part believes that we will always have the freedoms that many died for us to have. But I also believe that the “winds of change” are blowing very strong. Our leaders are reprobates for the most part and some are even worse. The FACT that our Lord Jesus Christ will soon catch His Bride away is clearly taught in scripture.

We shouldn’t try to make scripture fit into our plans. What the WORD says is what the WORD means. God knew that man would need HOPE whether saved or not, all humans need hope. So God knowing this gave us the simple, beautiful, profound and prophetic(sounds like Jesus doesn’t it?) verse of scripture in Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

God’s Tribulation wrath is not just God being angry. It’s not God just being upset. This is the WRATH OF GOD! After centuries of people trampling through the blood of His precious Son, Jesus Christ it is time for God to repay. God stated in the Word in Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Matthew 24:21 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 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

God says, that’s it, this is the time of my vengeance. So with that said, praise God that we, the saved, have The Blessed Hope! After we are gone all hell breaks out upon this planet for 7 years. It will be this time when we are first to be judged. This judgment is not about where we spend eternity. That was secured the moment we received Jesus as our Savior. But we will be judged for what we did for Christ, or what we didn’t do for Him.

I hope those who come to this site and have not been saved very long will be able to glean from the truth that is written in this blog. Heresy is hit hard and rightfully so. I am no theologian but of the things that I have read here are right on.

I grew up in a preachers family so the issues here, the ones familiar to Americans
I agree 99.9% of what is said here. We may differ in the ways we express our beliefs, but so far everything at this blog is 100 correct.

I hope in some small way to help someone see this issue of the rapture of the church a little better. Please get your Bible and look up the verses I have placed here. Before you read, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you.

Here is a saying that helps me understand a verse better. Remember, every thing written in scripture is TO us. But not every thing is FOR us. There are some things, even in the New Testament that are for the Jews only. Other things are for the gentiles also.

Do you have the Blessed Hope?

Daphne
Guest

Hi Deborah,

Thanks for your reply!

You said: “Antichrist is not killing Christians that are coming to Jesus Christ; he is killing PEOPLE coming to Jesus Christ to become Christian. Think about your wording Robbin before you try to trick Batman ok? lol ;)”

Okay, my bad, let’s put it this away. I am sure that after all the “true Christians” disappear in the rapture there will be many who know what has happened and within a short time give their life to Jesus. For example let’s say I am raptured up and my mother who has lived with me the past five years is well aware of the rapture because I talked about it all the time. Wouldn’t it seem plausible that after me and millions of others have disappeared she would know what happened and immediately give herself to the Lord? I would think so. So then she is a Christian at the very moment she ask Jesus to come into her life: right? Then three days later (let’s say) the Antichrist’s people show up at the house and offer her the mark or to die and she doesn’t except it and they kill her. Would she not be a Christian killed in the tribulation/wrath of God? I mean how many PEOPLE who are not Christians will give their life for Jesus?

“I do not know why you are listening to Jack Van Impe he is a false teacher.”

I listen to Jack for one reason and that is to catch him in lies and expose them on occasion.

“That blog is wrong regarding the verse.”

That article was in no way saying that the elect in Matthew 24:22 or 24:24 is Jesus that would be ridiculous; it is clear it means a group of people not one person and that group of people is Christians. If it is not Christians then why would Jesus warn that there would be false Christs? I mean how many people do you know who don’t believe in Jesus that is going to be deceived by a false Christ especially an unbelieving Jew? If I didn’t believe in Jesus I sure wouldn’t be deceived by a false Christ because I wouldn’t be studying it to start with.

What that article is saying is that last year (and many years before) Jack Van Impe was telling people that the word elect in Isa. 42:1 is the Jews (a group of people) and that proved the word elect in Matthew 24 was the Jews and not Christians: this year he is saying the word elect in Matt. 24 is the Christians. Now let me throw this question into the mix: If Jesus is the elect and we as Christians are his body (one with him) then would we not be the elect too? Notice in Mark 13:20 (a parallel verse to Matthew 24:22) how the elect are also called the chosen of Christ: whom he (Jesus) hath chosen so these people are not just any group of people but rather the chosen of Christ (Christians).

Mark 13:20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the ELECT’S sake, whom he hath CHOSEN, he hath shortened the days.

One more question that I have been wondering about for a while now concerning the pre-trib rapture: when it happens are the Christian Jews who live in Israel raptured?

Many Blessings to you!!!
Daphne

Sharon
Guest
Sharon

Jack and Rexella Van Impe are false teachers. At one time he was doctrinally straight as an arrow. His ministry building is about 20 miles from where I grew up in Michigan.
Jack hit hard at the Vatican for many years. The man knows most of the Bible by memory.
He set a date back in the 80’s for the Lords return. I quit listening back then.

Many of the Baptist Pastors and Evangelists stopped fellowshipping with him because of his heresy. Then along comes Pope John II Jack announces that he is sure the pope is a born again pope. What heresy!

From that point on Jack turned in favor of Roman Catholicism. His ancestors were Catholic. I guess the pope made Jack feel welcome. What ever.

One time I was “channel surfing” to see what was on. I stopped when I saw Jack holding up his bible. Right on the very front cover was a satanic symbol. So I sent an email to his ministry twice and asked why he was using a bible with this symbol right on the from cover. I got no reply either time. That told me why he was holding it up.

This symbol is what is called The Star of David. The Star of David has nothing to do with King David. The Jews even say it is not the star of David. Even before Hitler used it during WWII it was an ancient Babylonian symbol.

Daphne
Guest

Hi Deborah,

You said: “Not necessarily so, if people don’t give their lives to Jesus when times are going well, the chances of them giving their lives to Jesus when times are going bad is even worse. Just the fact that people who were left behind will harden their hearts. Its the nature of man to do so.”

I know you must have miss spoke when you said chances are slim that people will give their lives to the Lord when going through tribulations? That is when most people turn to the Lord: when they are in trouble with nowhere else to turn?

You said: “Whether she made a decision right after the rapture or later it does not matter, it is the tribulation, she is going to be persecuted for what she believes in right?”

Right, she is going to be persecuted for what she believes in which brings us back to the original question: if persecution/tribulation is the wrath of God then would she not be a Christian suffering the wrath of God and if So wouldn’t that make those verses that say Christians aren’t to suffer the wrath of God a lie?

You said: “The anti-Christ is persecuting people and they join him in leaps and bounds instead of turning to God. And Jesus says, that when He returns he doubts he will find any faith on earth.”

I agree there will be those excepting the mark in leaps and bounds but there will also be a number which no man can count who don’t except it. Rev. 7:9, 14 After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues… And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation…

You said: Yes, they are new creatures in Jesus Christ, part of the body of Christ/Bride.

Thanks, I really was wondering about that. I read a pre-trib commentary a while back by a guy (can’t remember who) that said all those in Judah who run and hide (Matt. 24) are Christian Jews.

Many Blessings!

Shae
Guest

Not reading the article or the comments (hey I’m honest…) but I would like to point out that condemning other Christians for their beliefs misguided or not causes more alienation than any athiest article. You just turned me off to whatever point you were trying to make within the first few sentences. We’re to bring each other up not tear each other down. To understand the apocalypse is to already be experiencing it first hand. Stop trying to sell Left Behind and go back to the Bible. And cause I’m lazy can you explain when the Holy Spirit leaves the Earth with God’s bride how anyone “left behind” is to be saved or is Revelation left to fall on deaf ears?

Tom (Discerning the World)
Admin
Member

Shae,

Then you have the wrong Jesus in mind. The real Jesus said:

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Mat 10:34-38)

These articles are not written to condemn anyone – believer or unbeliever. They are written to warn others against falsde teachers and their deceitful teachings. The teaching that there is no Pre-Tribulation Rapture is a deception and you are deceived. The restraining power of the Holy Spirit is going to be removed and not his office as Comforter to convict of sin, righteousness and judgement. The Holy Spirit resides in all believers collectively who are the salt and the light of the world. When they are removed their light (which exposes the lies of Satan) and their salt (which is a preservative agianst evils in society) will no loinger be on earth, the result being – JUDGMENT AND CHAOS. Hopefully you may recall that when Abraham prayed for Sodom and Gomorrah he based his prayers on the presence of believers as the means to appease and restrain God so that He would not judge them. Guess what? There are not going to be a single saved believer left on the earth after the Rapture, the result being that the restraining power of the Person who lives in all believers – and not only restrains evil but also God’s judgment on the evil – will no longer be on earth.

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. (2Th 2:5-8).

Did you notice the words “restrain” and restraining?” Of course you did. Well, then you should start to believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture.

john berry
Guest
john berry

It seems to me that luke 21:28 could only be referring to those to be raptured , ie because those left behind will not have a head to lift up to look up , does that sound right to you bible scholars ?

Carl Staton
Guest
Carl Staton

A couple of questions: Is not “at the last trump” in 1Corinthians 15:52 the 7th and last trumpet where the 7 vials of God’s wrath are poured upon the earth (Revelation 15)? Is this trumpet which occurs “immediately after the tribulation of those days” (Matthew 24:29-31) where the same terrestrial and celestial events occur in Revelation 6:12-17? And maybe this is the same trumpet accompanied by a shout and command of Christ in 1Thessalonians 4:16-17 when the rapture happens (which, by the way, seems similar to Revelation 11:11-15 where the two witnesses are resurrected and are caught up to heaven in a cloud right at the 7th and last trumpet)? And why does Paul use the pronoun “we” in his passages concerning the resurrection?

Another question: Isn’t Revelation 7 (specifically v 9) the answer to the question in Revelation 6:17 “and who is able to stand” before “the face of Him who sitteth on the throne?” This great innumerable multitude of saints with palm branches seem reminiscent of the great crowd that accompanied and welcomed Christ in His “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem on the donkey where here He is coming on clouds.

Couple of more questions: Were not the Israelites led out of Egypt AFTER the Egyptians experienced great tribulation and the Israelites were protected through them; even from the worst and last plague by the seal of blood on their doorposts? Why was Noah not translated like His great grandfather Enoch nor died just before the flood like His grandfather Methuselah but instead was protected through the flood?

thank you
be blessed

Tom (Discerning the World)
Admin
Member

Carl Staton

THE LAST TRUMP
It depends on whether you believe in dispensationalism or not. If you don’t the last trump will mean the last in point of time to you. If you do, it would mean the last in sequence. In the latter scenario the word “last” signifies the conclusion of a program (or dispensation). It also depends on whether you believe the church has replaced Israel (Replacement Theology) and that God has no program for his chosen people, the Jews. However, if you believe that God’s program for the church (dispensation of grace) differs from his program for the Jews (the seven year tribulation, also called the time of Jacob’s trouble), then each of these programs (dispensations) will be terminated by the blowing of a trumpet, called the last trumpet without making the two last trumpets identical. There are several differences between the two trumpets.

1) The trumpet in 1 Corinthians 15:52 will sound before God pours out his wrath on the world (seven years tribulation). The trumpet in Revelation 11:15 will be blown at the end of the time of God’s wrath (seven years tribulation), just prior to Jesus Christ’s Second Advent to the earth.
2) The last trumpet for the church in 1 Corinthians 15:52 is called the trump of God. The seventh trumpet in Revelation 11 is an angel’s trumpet, probably the angel Gabriel who is the angel of Israel.
3) The trumpet for the church is singular. No trumpets precede or follow it and therefore cannot be said to be the last in a series. The trumpet that ends the tribulation period is clearly the last in a series of seven.
4) The voice associated with the sounding of the trumpet in 1 Thessalonians 4 is heard before the resurrection of the dead and the transfiguration of the living saints. Whilst a resurrection is mentioned in Revelation(11:12), the trumpet does not sound until after the resurrection
5) The trumpet in 1 Thessalonians heralds a blessing in life and in glory while the trumpet in Revelation heralds judgment on the enemies of God.
6) 1 Thessalonians the trumpet sounds “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” In Revelation 10:7 it probably sounds for the entire duration of the judgments that occur under it because John speaks of the angel that shall “begin to sound.”

The Rapture of the church and of the two witnesses in Revelation differ in some detail. The Rapture of the church is called a mystery (“musterion”) whilst that of the two witnesses is not identified thus. Both the two witnesses are killed and then resurrected to be caught up. At the Rapture some saints will already have died and then resurrected whilst the living saints are going to be transformed in the twinkling of an eye. This is the mystery which had not been revealed before in the Old Testament whilst the resurrection of the dead (such as the two witnesses) was common knowledge in the Old Testament.

Paul used the pronoun “we” because he believed that the Rapture could happen any moment, even in his day.

Revelation 7:9 and 6:9 describe the same event. These are the saints who are going to be martyred and killed during the Tribulation. They will be granted a special privilege to serve and worship God before his throne. Revelation 6:17 describes the judgment of unbelievers during the tribulation.

The argument that the present day saints are not going to be raptured and instead will go through the seven year tribulation is flawed. As you’ve said, the anti Pre-Trib rapturists believe that God is going to protect the saints in much the same way He protected Israel in the land of Goshen when He poured out his wrath on Egypt. The fact is that not a single Israelite and their livestock were killed whilst they remained in Goshen. However, during the seven years tribulation God is going to grant Antichrist the power to make war with the saints and to overcome them (kill them – Revelation 13:7; 6:9). What kind of protection is that? Surely, if the protection of the Israelite in Goshen was a prototype of God’s protection of the saints in the tribulation, then none of them should be killed because not a single Israelite was killed during their slavery in Egypt. In fact, most of the saints are going to be beheaded during the tribulation and precious little will remain to be raptured at a Post-Trib Rapture, that’s if there is one.

Why wasn’t Noah translated like his grandfather Enoch? Well, I suppose we can also ask, “Why wasn’t Cain raptured before he murdered his brother Abel or why wasn’t Abel raptured before his brother Cain murdered him. At least then Cain would have been prevented from sinning against God. The name “Noah” means to comfort. “And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed. (Genesis 5:29). He could not have been much of a comforter for those who lived under the curse if he had been raptured like his grandfather Enoch who escaped the curse. It reminds me of what Paul once said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. (Philippians 1:21-24). Noah could only have been more needful as a comforter to those who lived under the curse whilst he was still on earth and therefore, I assume, he was not raptured.

Carl Staton
Guest
Carl Staton

Thank you very much for your reply. Your answers are interesting but I’m not one to argue.

A few more questions in response to your question “What type of protection is that?” What type of protection did Christ offer to the congregation in Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11)? I can see them awaiting comforting news from a messenger sent from the Apostle John with a letter dictated to him by Christ. They are encouraged to see that Christ knew about the “tribulation” they were going through, their “poverty” which was a consequences of that tribulation, and the “insults” (blasphemy) they endure from a neighboring prospering Jewish congregation who measures their “blessing” by their material prosperity and not by the prosperity of their impoverished souls. The messenger stands before the congregation and reads that they are to stop fearing an ever greater suffering. But ow can these next words not bring great fear to even this faithful church. The devil himself will point the accusing finger to cause some to be incarcerated. Ten days of false accusations will lead some even to be executed. And the comfort that Christ gives is “be faithful unto death.” Be faithful unto death? What type of protection is that? Protection that when they endure unto the end they will be saved and receive a victors (nikoia) crown of life. This type of protection is protection from the second death. Reminds me of what happens in Luke 21:12-19 where some will be killed no doubt by beheading. But how can “not an hair on their head (not) perish” mean that those who lose their heads will do so with promise of keeping a head full of hair? Again protection from the second death. That is the type of protection our God provides to those of us who endure tribulation. We who suffer with Him have the promise to reign wit Him. We wear the brand-marks of Christ without fear and without shame.

be blessed

Tom (Discerning the World)
Admin
Member

Carl Staton

Is answering questions a kind of arguing? You don’t have to agree with everything I say. However whatever you say must harmonize with Scripture and at the moment you are doing a little “protection” egg dance. First you insist that the alleged protection of the saints in the seven years tribulation will be a literal and complete physical protection from harm in much the same way the Israelite were protected in Goshen during their bondage in Egypt and then you do an about turn to insist that it will be a spiritual protection from the second death.

You wrote,

The messenger stands before the congregation and reads that they are to stop fearing an ever greater suffering. But how can these next words not bring great fear to even this faithful church. The devil himself will point the accusing finger to cause some to be incarcerated. Ten days of false accusations will lead some even to be executed. And the comfort that Christ gives is “be faithful unto death.” Be faithful unto death? What type of protection is that? Protection that when they endure unto the end they will be saved and receive a victors (nikoia) crown of life. This type of protection is protection from the second death.

Are you suggesting that a saint’s endurance to the end is what saves him? It sounds too much like the Calvinists’ “P” in TULIP (Perseverance of the saints). Are you a Calvinist? All saints receive “protection” from the second death the moment they are born again. It is not contingent upon their endurance in times of persecution.

The protection in Revelation 2:8-11 is not a protection from God’s wrath as it was in the time of Israel’s bondage in Egypt. The seven years tribulation is primarily a time of God’s wrath upon the entire world. (1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 3:10). There is a vast difference between the tribulation of the saints and the seven years tribulation. When referring to the seven years tribulation Jesus said in Matthew 24 that it would be a time “ . . . such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” The persecution and tribulation of the saints already began with the murder of Abel and has continued down the centuries until this very day. There’s nothing unique about the tribulation of the saints and can hardly be seen as something that never happened since the beginning of the world to this time. Moreover, the tribulation of the saints throughout the ages never occurred simultaneously to all saints worldwide. While some saints experienced persecution and tribulation in one place, others did not in other places. The tribulation during the seven years’ time of Jacob’s Trouble will be a worldwide occurrence befalling all of mankind and not only the saints (the Jews and Gentiles who are going to be saved during the seven years tribulation). “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” (Revelation 3:10).

The word “from” in the above verse is “ek” (ex) and denotes a complete removal from one place to another. It is the same word used to describe Jesus’ resurrection from among the dead.

When therefore he was risen from the dead (“ek nekros”), his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. (John 2:22).

At first the disciples could not understand when He told them that He would be raised from the dead (ek nekros). The phrase “ek nekros” (from among the dead) was to them a completely new concept. They believed in a general resurrection when all the dead would be raised but never before heard about a resurrection from among the dead, i.e. a resurrection from the dead whilst the rest of the dead remained un-resurrected. They believed that the resurrection entailed the simultaneous resurrection of everyone. It was only after Christ’s resurrection that they understood the meaning of “ek nekros.”

The reason why Paul called the Rapture a mystery (a “musterion” – something not previously disclosed) was because this very concept of a complete removal of the saints from among unbelievers, from one place to another, was unknown. First the deceased saints are going the be raised from among the dead (ek nekros) in the very same way Jesus was raised from amongst the dead, and then the living saints are going to be changed from the corruptible to the incorruptible in the twinkling of an eye. And then these two groups of saints are going to be removed (“ek” – ex) from among the unbelievers on earth to meet Jesus in the air.

Carl Staton
Guest
Carl Staton

No dance here. I refuse to ignorantly judge brethren and people whom I do not know. Eventually the Master will allow us to meet sooner or later and hopefully we will both rejoice. Just asking questions and reading your answers. And to answer your question “No. I am not a Calvinist.” But Matthew 24:13 and Luke 21:19 are not my words. Please take a word of advice in peace (again not my words): “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”

be blessed

Tom (Discerning the World)
Admin
Member

Carl Staton,

Your egg dance is becoming a lot more aggressive. You must decide whether you want your alleged protection of the saints during the seven years tribulation to be a literal, physical one or a spiritual one. You can’t have it both ways.

Walfoord and Zuck says of Matthew 24:13 and Luke 21:19 (and I agree with them) the following:

Matthew 24:13: Those (of the Jews and the Gentiles who get saved during the seven years tribulation and not the Bride of Christ who will have been raptured before the tribulation) who remain faithful to the Lord until the end of that period (the Great Tribulation) will be saved. This does not refer to a personal self-effort at endurance that results in one’s eternal salvation, but to physical deliverance (not of the Bride of Christ who had been raptured before the tribulation) of those who trust in the Saviour during the Tribulation. They will enter the (millennial) kingdom in physical bodies.

Luke 21:19: Jesus’ statements “But not a hair of your head will perish,” and “By standing firm you will save yourself” have confused many . Some interpret these phrases as speaking of spiritual realities in a believer’s life. Ultimately, even if a believer dies, he or she will be protected eternally by God. However, it appears that Jesus was speaking here of salvation as entering into the Kingdom alive (cf. Matthew 24:9-13). To “save yourself” by “standing firm” means that believers show that they are members of the believing community in opposition to those who turn away from the faith during the times of persecution (Matthew 14:10).

These verses do not refer to the Bride of Christ in this dispensation of grace between the outpouring of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost and the Rapture when He (the Restrainer – the Holy Ghost) will be taken out of the way at the Rapture prior to the seven yea rs Tribulation.

Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. (2 Th 2:5-8)

And by the way, I was not judging you. I was judging what you said (believe) in the light of Scripture. That’s precisely what you should do as well.

1 Corinthians 2:15 Amplified Bible (AMP)

15 But the spiritual man tries all things [he [a]examines, investigates, inquires into, questions, and discerns all things], yet is himself to be put on trial and judged by no one [he can read the meaning of everything, but no one can properly discern or appraise or get an insight into him].

Wayne Myers
Guest
Wayne Myers

you should check christconnection.net. google ‘word 4 today’ Martel Trevor Ministries

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