Scott Pruitt and His No-Pretrib Fallacies – Part 1
SCOTT PRUITT AND HIS NO-PRETRIB FALLACIES – Part 1
Scott Pruitt manages a blog called “No-Pretrib” which he ardently graces with one page after another filled with gross fallacies, some of which come very close to blasphemy.
How do I come to this conclusion? References to Satan as a liar are widespread in the Bible. However, there are those who unashamedly place Jesus Christ in the same category as Satan and brazenly insinuate that He is a liar which is closer to blasphemy than Satan is to his eternal perdition in the Lake of Fire.
One of Scott Pruitt’s most shocking blasphemous statements is that the supporters of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture are worshipers of the Ammonite idol Molech, and dares to go so far as to portray it graphically in one of his most scandalous articles as “Pre-Tribulational Idolatry.” Scott Pruitt would do well to make a permanent mental note of the following indictment in Scripture.
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
One must have a sickeningly perverted mind to suggest that Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, is idolatry and equal to or as good as the sacrificing of infants to Molech.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words”
In the Masoretic text the name is “Molech”; in the Septuagint “Moloch.” The earliest mention of Molech is in Lev. xviii. 21, where the Israelite is forbidden to sacrifice any of his children to Molech. Similarly, in Lev. xx. 2-5, it is enacted that a man who sacrifices his seed to Molech shall surely be put to death. Then, curiously, it is provided that he shall be cut off from the congregation.
In I Kings xi. 7 it is said that Solomon built a high place for Molech in the mountain “that is before Jerusalem.” The same passage calls Molech an Ammonite deity. The Septuagint as quoted in the New Testament (Acts vii. 43) finds a reference to Molech in Amos v. 26; but this is a doubtful passage. In II Kings xxiii. 10 it is stated that one of the practices to which Josiah put a stop by his reform was that of sacrificing children to Molech, and that the place where this form of worship had been practiced was at Topheth, “in the valley of the children of Hinnom.” This statement is confirmed by Jer. xxxii. 35.
From II Kings xxi. 6 it may be inferred that this worship was introduced during the reign of Manasseh. The impression left by an uncritical reading of these passages is that Molech-worship, with its rite of child-sacrifice, was introduced from Ammon during the seventh century B.C.
Nature of the Worship
- Critical View:
The name “Molech,” later corrupted into “Molech,” is an intentional mispointing of “Melek,” after the analogy of “bosheth” (comp. Hoffmann in Stade’s “Zeitschrift,” iii. 124). As to the rites which the worshipers of Molech performed, it has sometimes been inferred, from the phrase “pass through the fire to Molech,” that children were made to pass between two lines of fire as a kind of consecration or februation; but it is clear from Isa. lvii. 5 and Jer. xix. 5 that the children were killed and burned. The whole point of the offering consisted, therefore, in the fact that it was a human sacrifice.
From Jer. vii. 31 and Ezek. xx. 25, 26, it is evident that both prophets regarded these human sacrifices as extraordinary offerings to Yhwh. Jeremiah declares that Yhwh had not commanded them, while Ezekiel says Yhwh polluted the Israelites in their offerings by permitting them to sacrifice their first-born, so that through chastisement they might know that Yhwh was Yhwh. The fact, therefore, now generally accepted by critical scholars, is that in the last days of the kingdom human sacrifices were offered to Yhwh as King or Counselor of the nation and that the Prophets disapproved of it and denounced it because it was introduced from outside as an imitation of a heathen cult and because of its barbarity. In course of time the pointing of “Melek” was changed to “Molech” to still further stigmatize the rites.
- Motive of Sacrifices
The motive for these sacrifices is not far to seek. It is given in Micah vi. 7: “Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” In the midst of the disasters which were befalling the nation men felt that if the favor of Yhwh could be regained it was worth any price they could pay. Their Semitic kindred worshiped their gods with offerings of their children, and in their desperation the Israelites did the same.
For some reason, perhaps because not all the priestly and prophetic circles approved of the movement, they made the offerings, not in the Temple, but at an altar or pyre called “Tapheth” (LXX.), erected in the valley of Hinnom (comp. W. R. Smith, “Rel. of Sem.” 2d ed., p. 372). “Tapheth,” also, was later pointed “Topheth,” after the analogy of “bosheth.” In connection with these extraordinary offerings the worshipers continued the regular Temple sacrifices to Yhwh (Ezek. xxiii. 39).
From the fact that I Kings xi. 7 calls Molech the “abomination of the children of Ammon” it was formerly assumed that this worship was an imitation of an Ammonite cult. But so little is known of the Ammonite religion that more recent scholarship has looked elsewhere for the source. Because of the mention in II Kings xvii. 31 of Adrammelech (= Adar-malik) and Anammelech (=Anu-malik) as gods of Sepharvaim transplanted to Samaria, it has been inferred that this form of worship was borrowed from Babylonia (comp. BÃ¤thgen, “BeitrÃ¤ge zur Semitischen Religionsgesch.” pp, 238 et seq.).
This view rests on the supposition that “Sepharvaim” is equal to “Sippar,” which probably is not the case. Even if it were, Anu and Adar were not gods of Sippar; Shamash was god of that city. From this verse, therefore, a Babylonian or Assyrian origin can not be demonstrated.
Support for this view has been sought also in Amos v. 26. If, as is probable, Siccuth and Chiun in that passage are names or epithets of Babylonian deities (comp. Chiun), the use of “Melek” in connection with these affords no sound basis for argument. The whole passage may be, asWellhausen and Nowack believe, a late gloss introduced on account of II Kings xvii. 31, and is in any case too obscure to build upon.
Furthermore, there is no evidence that the sacrifice of the first-born was a feature of the worship of Babylonian deities. Because child-sacrifice was a prominent feature of the worship of the Phenician Malik-Baal-Kronos, Moore (in Cheyne and Black, “Encyc. Bibl.”) seeks to prove that the worship of Molech was introduced from Phoenicia. The evidence of its existence in Phoenicia and her colonies is especially strong. Diodorus Siculus (xx. 14) tells how the Carthaginians in a siege sacrificed two hundred boys to Kronos. Burning was an important feature of the rite.
Scott Pruitt is wresting Scripture to his own destruction.
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:16).
In this series of three installments, I shall be dealing with Scott Pruitt’s article, “3 Reasons Why There Cannot Be A Pre-Tribulation Rapture,” and prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Scott Pruitt is accusing Jesus of lies and very close to the worst kind of blasphemy.
SCOTT PRUITT’S REASON #1:
Like all the enemies of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, Scott Pruitt fails to see the difference between the suffering of saints throughout their sojourn on earth and the wrath (tribulation) of God which is going to come upon the entire world during “the hour of temptation to try them who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10).
Scott Pruitt’s first shot in the dark at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture exposes his inability to think clearly and come to conclusions that do not contradict Scripture. He writes:
“One of the main arguments that I have heard to support the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is that a loving God would not allow His children to suffer through such a difficult time. (Discerning the World: Not true. The supporters of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture have never said or even suggested that a loving God would never allow his children to suffer through difficult times.).
This argument is foolish. There are numerous examples in both the Old and New Testaments of people that suffered to the glory of God as testimony to those who have gone before and those who will come after us.”
Then he continues to mention some of the saints who suffered for their faith – Job; the Old Testament heroes in the book of Hebrews; Jesus Christ Himself; John the Baptist who was beheaded; Steven who was stoned to death; the apostles who were also stoned, imprisoned, tortured and murdered; the early church saints who watched their children being slaughtered because they refused to renounce Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
To reinforce his point, Scott Pruitt continues to say:
They were covered in pitch, tied to poles and set on fire to entertain the Roman rulers. They were fed alive to lions and bears in front of cheering crowds. They hid in burial tunnels beneath the city of Rome.
And history is replete with these examples to this very day. If you are raised a Muslim in a Muslim country and become a Christian, often you will be put to death. The Communists have murdered countless Christians because they dare to believe that God is greater than the State.
So let me ask you, does God not love those who have suffered for His Name? That is a rhetorical question. Of course He does. So to say that God will exempt Christians from suffering because we are His Bride is not consistent with the rest of the Bible. Instead we should say as Job did, “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him”
Scott Pruitt’s suggestion that the Pre-Tribulation stance accuses God of not loving those who have suffered in his name is not only puerile but downright ludicrous. God loves everyone, whether saved or unsaved.
Does he really think the Pre-Tribulationists do not know or believe this? How puerile can you get? This is yet another example of the bland depths the No-Pretrib bunch are prepared to sink into to prove that there is no such thing as a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. The question we need to ask is not “does God not love those who have suffered for His Name?”
The question we should ask is, “why must God’s elect (the Jews) suffer so much during the seven-year tribulation?” Surely, Scott Pruitt knows that the seven-year Tribulation is also called “Jacob’s Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) which clearly points to its distinctive Jewishness. I shall deal with this question later in my article.
TRIBULATION SUCH HAS NEVER BEEN OR EVER SHALL BE
What Scotty conveniently forgets are Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:21, and this is precisely where he effortlessly makes Jesus a liar.
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Mat 24:21).
The Classic Amplified Bible says it thus:
For then there will be great tribulation (affliction, distress, and oppression) such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now-no, and never will be [again].
Unless Jesus was lying or completely delirious and oblivious of the horrendous persecutions his saints have been enduring since Cain and Abel, He could not have referred to the persecutions Pruitt mentions in his blog, simply because they had been part and parcel of the saints’ sojourn on earth since the beginning of the world.
Had it been true that the seven-year tribulation will be a reflection of the tribulation the saints have been experiencing since the beginning of creation to this very moment, Jesus would never have referred to the tribulation as a unique time that “was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the persecution of the saints throughout the ages and the tribulation period of seven years “to try them who dwell on the earth” are two diametrically different events.
The difference is rooted in this magnanimous Old Testament passage.
Isaiah 26:9 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
My soul yearns for You [O Lord] in the night, yes, my spirit within me seeks You earnestly; for [only] when Your judgments are in the earth will the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God).
The main purpose of the persecution and suffering of the saints since the beginning of the world has never been, and never could have been, to learn righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God). Why would it be necessary for God to judge the saints who had already been made righteous in Christ Jesus so that they may learn righteousness? That’s unthinkable!
Please make a special effort to remember the phrase “to try them who dwell on the earth” because it is vitally important to understand the difference between the persecution the present-day saints are exposed to and the persecution during the seven-year tribulation. As I said earlier, I shall deal with it near the end of this article.
Conversely, Scott Pruitt has the audacity to say to Jesus, “No, no, no Jesus, you are lying. The persecution the saints are going to endure during the tribulation will be exactly the same as that which the saints have been experiencing since Cain and Abel.
How dare you call the persecutions during the seven-year tribulation unique, and indeed so completely unparalleled that it has never occurred during the full scope of man’s history and never shall occur again?
Have you forgotten how severe the following saints suffered for their faith? – Job; the Old Testament heroes in the book of Hebrews; You Yourself; John the Baptist who was beheaded; Steven who was stoned to death; the apostles who were also stoned, imprisoned, tortured and murdered; the early church saints who watched their children being slaughtered because they refused to renounce you as their Lord and Savior.
THE CORRIE TEN BOOM TRUMP CARD
Trump cards are convenient scapegoats in the No-Pretrib camp of whom Corrie ten Boom is one of their most famous to vilify the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
One of their oldest tricks in the book is to use world-renown persons’ opinions to substantiate their own fallacies, instead of reading and believing what the Bible says about the Pre-tribulation Rapture. Hence their frequent use of Corrie ten Boom’s opinion on the Pre-Tribulation Rapture that runs as follows:
Sometimes I get frightened as I read the Bible, and as I look in this world and see all of the tribulation and persecution promised by the Bible coming true. Now I can tell you, though, if you too are afraid, that I have just read the last pages. I can now come to shouting “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” for I have found where it is written that Jesus said, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things: and I will be His God, and he shall be My son.” (To overcome in this sense does not necessarily mean to score a victory in the face of persecution or suffering. The word Ï„”Ï‰Í‚Í… Î½Î¹ÎºÏ‰Í‚Î½Ï„Î¹” is of a moral character and can mean any of the following: (a) victory over your easily besetting sins, (b) victory over your carnal nature, (c) victory over the world and its temptations, (d) victory over doctrinal error, and (e) victory over the ills and trials of life. Tribulation cannot always be associated with persecution and a martyr’s death.).
This is the future and hope of this world. Not that the world will survive – but that we shall be overcomers in the midst of a dying world. Betsy and I, in the concentration camp, prayed that God would heal Betsy who was so weak and sick. “Yes, the Lord will heal me,”, Betsy said with confidence. She died the next day and I could not understand it. They laid her thin body on the concrete floor along with all the other corpses of the women who died that day.
It was hard for me to understand, to believe that God had a purpose for all that. Yet because of Betsy’s death, today I am traveling all over the world telling people about Jesus.
There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days. Most of them have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution.
Corrie ten Boom made the very same mistake the Thessalonian Christians made in Paul’s time who were so shamefully misled by false teachers when they endured so much persecution, with one exception only.
Whereas Corrie ten Boom proclaimed that those who uphold and adhere to a Pretribulation Rapture “are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days,” Paul of Tarsus said the very opposite and asserted that those who taught the Thessalonians Christians that they were already in the midst of the seven-year tribulation were actually the false teachers.
That does not say much for Corrie ten Boom’s integrity on the end-times who also believed that a large portion of Christians was already smack-bang in the middle of the tribulation and therefore the Pre-Tribulation doctrine was and still is a myth. Let’s read what Paul said.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-10
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.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
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, shewing himself that he is God.
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:
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.
The new converts in Thessalonica were being led astray and confused by false prophecies, false reports and false letters, some of which were allegedly sent by Paul but turned out to be fraudulent letters sent by false teachers.
These evil men taught the Thessalonian converts that they were already headlong in the Day of the Lord (Tribulation) because of the excruciating persecution they experienced at the hands of Christ Jesus’ enemies.
Doesn’t this sound familiar? Corrie ten Boom and numerous other enemies of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture were/are guilty of the very same lie. “Look”, they say, “because a large number of Christians are already experiencing all kinds of horrendous miseries this very moment, “we urge you to prepare and arm yourself for the seven-year tribulation that is coming upon the entire world.” Listen to what Corrie ten Boom said:
In China, the Christians were told, “Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated – raptured.” Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly, “We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution, rather than telling them Jesus would come first. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when the tribulation comes, – to stand and not faint.”
I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the world has already entered into the tribulation. There is no way to escape it. We are next. Since I have already gone through prison for Jesus’ sake, and since I met the Bishop in China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think, “Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation.” Then I write it down and learn it by heart.
SHOULD THE SAINTS PREPARE THEMSELVES AND EACH OTHER FOR PERSECUTION?
Why do the enemies of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture find it so vitally important to prepare the saints for tribulation when the Bible succinctly and forthrightly already teaches that the Jews and Gentiles who are going to be saved during the seven-year tribulation would summarily be martyred and beheaded for their faith?
Isn’t the very thought of telling those saints they are going to lose their heads enough to prepare them for persecution? I mean, what else is going to make them more prepared when they are told, “Your heads are going to be chopped off left right and center” How do the No-Pretib bunch intend to enhance such a direct and plainspoken preparation of his saints’ persecution and death?
What kind of encouragement and preparation do they aim to present to the sixty percent of the Body of Christ who is currently incessantly being martyred and killed for their faith, to enhance or improve the reassurance the Bible already offers them? Do they tell them, “Do not faint,” “Stay calm and collected,” “Be strong in the Lord,” and “Do not fear?” Or do they tell them what the Bible tells them?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (Romans 8:35-36).
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11).
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:18).
Had the Bishop of China who said “We have failed” known these passages (and perhaps he did but failed to believe them), he would have rejoiced in the martyrdom and killing of millions of Chinese Christians who remained faithful to Jesus Christ to the very end. He would have rejoiced in passages such as the following.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11).
Their martyrdom/death is the very proof that Jesus Christ is the Supreme Victor and that they were more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. Had the Bishop of China also known that each and every one of the Chinese martyrs who had been slaughtered for their faith is going to receive the crown of life (James 1:12), he would never have said, “We have failed.” In fact, their martyrdom and death itself were the preparation they needed to win the crown of life.
A crown given by the Lord Jesus Christ is hardly a failure. Perhaps Corrie ten Boom should have memorized this verse and said, ““Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation.” This crown of life will be given to believers who endure trials, tribulations, and severe suffering, even unto death during the tribulation. (Revelation 2:8-11). This crown is also referred to as the martyr’s crown.
Moreover, Corrie ten Boom would not have conceded to failure either. By the way, did Corrie ten Boom believe in any other kind of rapture, given the fact that she did not believe in a Pre-Tribulation rapture?
Jesus said that He will give the martyr’s crown to those who undergo severe hardship, testing, tribulation and/or physical death on His behalf. Being willing to die for your faith in God would be the ultimate sacrifice. It is the greatest act of courage and love that you can show God.
Christians who have been martyred for their faith throughout history will not only be given this crown of life but other rewards as well, once they enter into heaven. Anyone who calls this a failure must have his head examined or perhaps he is unaware of the consequences of the Gospel.
Don’t they know that the word for witness in Acts 1:8 is “martus” and literally means to be martyred? Indeed, Jesus knew how to prepare his followers for suffering and persecution right from the very start by telling them they would be his witnesses (martyrs). Now that’s what I call genuine preparation.
Why didn’t the Bishop of Rome and Corrie ten Boom do the same? It would at least have prevented them from saying such a horrid thing that the Chinese saints were not prepared for persecution because they were told the Pre-Tribulation Rapture was the way by which they would escape persecution. Jesus’ exhortation that they would be martyred and put to death were the very preparation for tribulation. Didn’t Jesus say, . . . . and ye shall be my witnesses (martyrs) when they had received power from above?
THE PURPOSE OF THE PRETRIBULATION RAPTURE?
Anyone who ventures to teach the saints that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is a means to escape persecution is completely oblivious of the true purpose of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. The true and only purpose of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is to be with the Lord forevermore. (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
Paul never taught the Thessalonian Christians that the purpose of the imminent return of Christ Jesus at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture was to save them from persecution or to prevent or end suffering and persecution, as the Christians in China were told and lied to. Anyone who says this is misleading their brethren and culpable of gross false teaching.
In fact, the Thessalonian Christians were already enmeshed in persecution and dire sufferings when Paul revealed to them the Pretribulation Rapture. He never said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled and don’t let anxiety grip your minds because Jesus is going to rapture you at any moment so that His enemies won’t have a chance to martyr and kill you.”
That’s absurd because they were already suffering very severely when he introduced them to the mystery of the Pr-Tribulation Rapture. He told them, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these (latter) words.”
The “comfort” to which Paul referred could not have been an allusion to the way Christians are going to escape persecution and suffering, but to the fact that the Christians would be with the Lord for ever more from the moment they are caught up at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. That was their hope and glory, in fact, their only hope and glory as it is of today’s saints as well.
HOW SHOULD THE SAINTS BE PREPARED FOR PERSECUTION AND SUFFERING?
As I’ve already indicated, there is no need to prepare the saints for persecution and suffering. In fact, any effort we may venture to offer the saints to prepare them for persecution is an arrogant attempt to improve Jesus’ perfect preparation when He said “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses (martyrs) unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
The only correct way to prepare saints for persecution and suffering is to present them with the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ. How did Paul summarize the Gospel?
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Here, in a magnanimous nutshell, Paul reiterates the suffering and humiliation of the Son of God but also his resurrection and glorification. However, he did not stop there. He also said, “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master . . .” (Matthew 10:25), meaning that his servants should be happy, content, cheerful and joyful whenever they are called to follow in the footsteps of their Master.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2).
All saints should prepare themselves for persecution, suffering, and even death every single day of their lives, by keeping their eyes fixed on Jesus and not on Antichrist, as the No-Pretrib cronies love to do.
There are many passages in Scripture with which Christians should familiarize themselves in order to prepare themselves for possible persecution, martyrdom, and slaughter.
When I was still a young and inexperienced Christian I attended a course written by Dr. D. James Kennedy called “Evangelism Explosion.” During one of the sessions the presenter of the course told us,
“When you present the Gospel to people under no circumstances speak about persecution, martyrdom and a martyr’s death. That would immediately put them off and scare them away from the Gospel.”
Well, in that case Jesus must have been wrong when He commanded Ananias to tell Paul, “Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” (Acts 9:15-16).
Wow, that was the only preparation Paul of Tarsus received to launch him on a glorious career of suffering, persecution, stoning, floggings and ultimately a martyr’s death. Here are his own words.
2 Corinthians 11:16-33
I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.
That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.
Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.
Are they Hebrews? so am Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:
And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.
ARE THE PRESENT LOCALIZED PERSECUTIONS AND SUFFERINGS OF THE SAINTS THE LITMUS TEST TO PROVE THAT THERE WON’T BE A PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE?
Paul who suffered far more for his faith than any other saint of his time never once thought or taught that the persecution and sufferings (tribulations) he endured was an infallible proof that there is no such thing as a Pretribulation Rapture.
In fact, one of the gravest mistakes the enemies of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture make is to think that the persecution, martyrdom, and murder of the saints are the sum total of the phenomenon called “tribulation” during the seven-year tribulation.
If Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:21 rings true and had the persecution and suffering of the saints been the sum total of what the word “tribulation” embraces, we could very well have concluded that the persecution of the saints during the seven-year tribulation is something so unique and matchless that it never did or could have occurred in the past.
Anyone who maintains that the persecution of the saints (those who are going to be saved during the seven-year tribulation) will be any different from the tribulation many saints are presently encountering in certain localized areas and countries, are either deliberately or unintentionally ignoring all the disasters that God alone is able to bring upon the entire world during the seven-year tribulation “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
Therefore, the persecution, martyrdom, and slaughter of the saints during the seven-year tribulation period cannot possibly be the single most important event that is going to constitute the tribulation, although it will be part of it.
And by the way, the worldwide disasters that are going to come upon the entire world during the Tribulation cannot come to pass unless Jesus Christ, the Only Worthy One to break the seven seals and open the scrolls of God’s judgments because He was slain from the beginning of the world and rose again from among the dead, unleashes these judgments.
This fact alone debunks Jacob Prasch’s timeline of the seven-year tribulation which he divides into first the wrath of Antichrist, then the wrath of Satan and only then the wrath of God. The entire seven-year tribulation is God’s wrath. How do we know this?
Scripture clearly teaches that the seven-year tribulation can only commence when Christ Jesus breaks the seven seals.
(1) And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
(2) And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
(3) And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
(4) And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
(5) And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
(6) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
(7) And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
(8) And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
(9) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
(10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Who breaks and opens the seven seals – Satan? Jacob Prasch seems to think so because he believes Satan vents his wrath between the 4th and 6th seals, subsequent to the wrath of Antichrist (1st – 3rd seal) and prior to the wrath of God which allegedly only begins when the seventh seal is opened.
There are several vitally important truths we need to take note of in the above passage.
- Only Jesus is worthy to open the book and lease the seven seals thereof because He was slain and has redeemed us to God by virtue of the shedding of his own blood on the cross. He is the Lion of Judah who also stands in the midst of the throne as the Lamb of God.As such, no man in heaven, nor in the earth and neither under the earth (including Satan and his host) may open the book or even look thereon. To suggest that Antichrist and Satan both vent their own wrath during portions of the seven-year tribulation on the dwellers of the earth is to intimate that Satan and Antichrist are worthy to approach God on his throne and to take the book from his right hand, and to open the seven seals.There cannot and will never be a seven-year tribulation unless He who alone is worthy to open all of the seven seals, opens them. This clearly proves that the entire extent of the seven seals is God’s wrath and His alone.
- Moreover, the wrath of God is more than just merely becoming mad at someone. God’s wrath encompasses his righteous judgments on a rebellious and wayward world of unbelievers or dwellers of the earth as Revelations 3:10 puts it. We’ve already seen this from Isaiah 26:9-10.Surely Jacob Prasch must know that Satan and his Antichrist have absolutely no authority to judge individuals and whole nations. To suggest such a thing is to attribute to Satan and his Antichrist God-hood in the same category as the Triune God of the Bible.In fact, Satan is going to try and present himself as the Triune God who judges righteously in his own false arrangement of him being the Father, the Antichrist being the Son, and the false prophet being the Holy Spirit.Yes, Satan and his Antichrist are going to unleash their wrath, with God’s permission, to persecute and kill the Jews and Gentiles who are going to be saved during the seven-year tribulation. Nonetheless, we cannot interpret this as judgment.If, as Revelation 3:10 indicates, wrath will come upon the entire world during the seven-year tribulation, it is rather stupid to suggest that Satan and his Antichrist are going to vent their wrath against the unbelieving world.Why would he and his Antichrist vent their anger against their own followers who will bear his mark 666 on their foreheads and in their hands? That’s just so puerile, it borders on a Hollywood story made up by a bunch of unbelievers whose fantasies have gone totally haywire. But then again, we shouldn’t in the very least be surprised at Prasch’s phantasmagoric little stories, especially when you take a hard look at his Nephilim absurdities.I thought Jacob Prasch had more savvy to see the impossibility of Satan and Antichrist venting their wrath on their own followers, but apparently, he has very little – ah, maybe a little bit more than Scott Pruitt.What Prasch suggests in his timeline of the end-time is blasphemy. Listen up, mister wise guy who calls himself Jacob Prasch, Satan and his Antichrist will have no authority whatsoever to judge the inhabitants (or earth dwellers) during the seven-year tribulation, let alone the saints – NOTHING whatsoever!God alone has that authority, as you should have learned by now. I urge you to go on your knees and read John 5:22 prayerfully. If the seven-year tribulation as a whole is a time when God’s judgments are going to be poured out on the entire world, then the full gamut of the seven seals are God’s wrath, and not Satan’s or his Antichrist’s wrath.If wrath and judgment are inseparable counterparts of the seven-year tribulation, then again we must conclude that the entire scope of the seven seals are God’s wrath because He alone has the authority to judge righteously. ( John 5:22).
- Prasch states that the first three seals represent the wrath of Antichrist. Here again, Prasch’s Hollywoodian fantasy world takes complete control of his Nephilim invaded mind. Scripture clearly says that Antichrist will be unable to do anything whatsoever without Satan, who is going to possess and energize him completely. (Revelation 13:2).It follows that the first three seals must also be interpreted as Satan’s wrath, that’s if Prasch is correct in dividing portions of the seven-year tribulation into first Antichrist’s wrath and then, after that, Satan’s wrath.
JACOB PRASCH’S TIMELINE OF THE SEVEN-YEAR TRIBULATION
Please click on the image on the right to listen to one of Prasch’s teachings on the end-time.
Here now is a reminder of what is going to transpire during the seven-year tribulation
- First seal (vv. 1-2) – the Antichrist is let loose upon the world
- Second seal (vv. 3-4) – wars begin and peace is lost
- Third seal (vv. 5-6) – famine breaks out
- Fourth seal (vv. 7-8) – the ultimate result of war and famine, which is death
- Fifth seal (vv. 9-11) – persecution of God’s people, which brings more of God’s vengeance on the world, but not until their evil has been filled up with the last martyr’s death
- Sixth seal (vv. 12-17) – a great earthquake along with other celestial upheavals
The seal judgments are also described in Jesus’ Olivet discourse, found in Matthew 24. The first four are mentioned in verses 1-7; the fifth in verse 9; and the sixth in verses 7 and 29.
The breaking of the seventh seal comes in Revelation 8 and marks the second wave of judgments, the trumpet judgments: “When the Lamb opens the seventh seal, there will be silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. . . . Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them” (Revelation 8:1-2, 6).
The first six trumpets will include of the following judgments:
- First trumpet (verse 7) – one third of earth, trees, grass is burned up
- Second trumpet (verses 8-9) – one third of the sea creatures die and ships are destroyed
- Third trumpet (verses 10-11) – one third of the waters polluted and many die
- Fourth trumpet (verses 12) – one third of the sun, moon, and stars are darkened
- Fifth trumpet (verses 9:1-11) – Locusts/demons are released to torment people
- Sixth trumpet (verses 9:13-19) – Four bound demons are released to kill one third of humankind with an army
Whereas many of the trumpet judgments affect one third of their target, the bowl judgments are more comprehensive in their effect:
- First bowl (verses 16:2) – Horrible sores on those with the mark of the beast
- Second bowl (verses 16:3) – Everything in the sea dies
- Third bowl (verses 16:4-7) – All the waters are polluted
- Fourth bowl (verses 16:8-9) – The sun burns and scorches people
- Fifth bowl (verses 16:10-11) – Brings complete darkness over Antichrist’s kingdom
- Sixth bowl (verses 16:12-16) – The Euphrates dries up ; the kings of the East come, and the scene is set for the battle of Armageddon
- Seventh bowl (verses 16:17-21) – Produces a great earthquake; cities of nations fall; a huge hailstorm occurs.
These are the events “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor never shall be “and not, I repeat, NOT the persecution, martyrdom and slaughter of God’s saints during the seven- year tribulation.
HOW WILL THE TRIBULATION DURING THE SEVEN-YEAR TRIBULATION DIFFER FROM TODAY’S USUAL RUN OF THE MILL TRIBULATION?
So, the question we need to ask is, how will the tribulation during the seven-year tribulation differ from the usual run of the mill tribulation some saints are now enduring in certain localized areas and countries, that is, if we are to take Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:21 seriously.
Can we make a distinction between these two tribulations and categorically state that they are not the same and indeed differ from one another in several ways? The only infallible way to establish this is to listen to what Jesus Himself said and particularly look carefully at what He said in Revelation 3:10
Revelation 3:10, Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
Because you have guarded and kept My word of patient endurance [have held fast the lesson of My patience with the expectant endurance that I give you], I also will keep you [safe] from the hour of trial (testing) which is coming on the whole world to try those who dwell upon the earth.
Note carefully that nowhere in the entire Bible are the saints (Bride of Christ) called “earth dwellers” or “those who dwell on the earth.” Like Abraham their father in the faith, they are merely passing through this world as strangers on their way to the City whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrew 11:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:1-2). The word “katoikeoÌ„” (kat-oy-keh’-o; dwell) means “to house, reside or dwell permanently.”
WHO ARE THE PERMANENT EARTH DWELLERS?
Although several passages in Scripture refer to the enemies of God as dwellers of the earth (Revelation 6:10; 13:14: 14:6; 17:8), the ones who are going to inhabit the earth for all eternity are the remnant of Jews who shall be saved at Jesus Second Advent to the earth (not the Pre-Tribulation Rapture).
One of the crucial mistakes the enemies of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture make is to erase the distinct differences between the nation of Israel and the Bride of Christ (Gentile and the Jewish Christians.).
Several passages in Scripture prove that the Jews are God’s permanent earth-dwellers and many passages confirm that the saved remnant of the Jews at the second advent of Christ Jesus will inherit the earth as their eternal and permanent residence.
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting (“oÌ‚laÌ‚m”, i.e. eternal) possession; and I will be their God. (Genesis 17:8).
And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting (“oÌ‚laÌ‚m”, i.e. eternal) possession. (Genesis 48:4).
Scripture refers to “Jews . . . Gentiles, and . . . the church of God” (1 Corinthians 10:32), proving that God makes a distinction between the three.
Jews and Gentiles who believe on Jesus before He comes secretly at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture are part of the Church (Body of Christ or Bride of Christ); Jews and Gentiles who do not receive Christ as Savior until He appears at the Second Coming will inhabit the earth for evermore.
The remnant of believing Jews will then be in the special relationship to their Messiah promised to Israel together with the believing Gentiles, as part of the nations that remain on earth, (Revelation 21:24; 22:2).
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:30-33).
The main purpose of the seven-year Tribulation, which is called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) will be to prepare the remnant of Israel for the Millennial age of peace and ultimately the eternal state of a divinely instituted peace/heaven on earth. Then, the prayer: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” will finally be answered and brought to fruition. Do I hear a Hallelujah?
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. (Jeremiah 30:5-9).
” . . . for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble” in the above passage resonates perfectly with Jesus’s words in 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.” Note carefully that Jeremiah 10:5-9 which harmonizes perfectly with Matthew 24:21, is Jewish in nature and proves that the seven-year tribulation will be exclusively Jewish in character.
WHY MUST THERE BE A TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE (SEVEN-YEAR TRIBULATION FOR THE JEWISH NATION)?
Drastic measures are often required to break stubbornness and stifneckedness, and, as we may see from Scripture, the Jews, in particular, are a stiffnecked people. (Exodus 32:9; 33:3, 5; 34:9; Deuteronomy 9:6, 13; 10:16; 2 Chronicles 30:8; Acts 7:51). Hence God’s decree to deal with Israel so severely during the seven-year tribulation with great fortitude.
With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD. (Isaiah 26:9-10).
When Israel inherited their land and their resources and riches increased they began to forget God and his commandments and started to worship false gods. God explicitly warned them against this in Hosea 13:6 and Deuteronomy 8. The context of Isaiah 26 revolves around the millennial age of peace on earth and the preparation of his peculiar people, the Jews, to inherit the earth as their eternal dwelling place.
SCOTT PRUITT’S CONTRADICTIONS
Please keep Scott Pruitt’s statement “Because it exempts us from suffering” in mind because I shall prove in the next installment of this series how he paints himself into a corner without realizing it. In the last paragraph of his article, Scott Pruitt practically tells Jesus, “Dear Jesus, I don’t want to pick a fight with you but the doctrine which you personally revealed to Paul as a mystery, i.e. the Pretribulation Rapture, “is a potentially dangerous false teaching. Why? Because it exempts us from suffering and at the same time teaches that a God of love will not allow His children to suffer.”
THE COMFORTING WORDS OF SCOTT PRUITT, JACOB PRASCH, JOE SCHIMMEL, JOHN HALLER AND JOEL RICHARDSON
Yes, indeed, the Thessalonian saints were already being persecuted and killed for their faith. Their persecution was so severe that they began to believe they were already headlong in the seven-year tribulation.
To make it worse, false teachers sent them fraudulent letters under Paul’s name saying that they were already smack-bang in the middle of the seven-year tribulation.
Their despondency must have reached rock-bottom levels when Paul intervened and proved to them that they were not in the seven-year tribulation, as some false teachers wanted them to believe.
Therefore, they should not become despondent and weary of their persecution but rather comfort and encourage one another – whilst they were being so fiercely persecuted – with the knowledge that both the dead in Christ and the living saints will be caught up in the air at Christ Jesus’ imminent return – to be with Him forever, BEFORE the seven-year tribulation (Jacob’s Trouble) kicks off.
Now, let’s for a moment put Scott Pruitt and his cronies (Jacob Prasch, Joe Schimmel, John Haller and Joel Richardson) in Paul’s shoes and imagine what they would have told the Thessalonian saints.
Don’t be discouraged or misled by the Pre-Tribulation Rapture supporters who are a bunch of idolaters and regularly sacrifice their kids to Molech.
The severe persecution you are experiencing right now is but a forerunner of the tribulation, persecution and martyrdom you are going to undergo at the hands of Antichrist when he appears on the scene.
So, don’t look out with sanctifying hope to the appearance of Jesus Christ but rather to the appearance of Antichrist, because at least one of you will need to be here on earth to identify him when he makes his appearance. (Revelation 13:8).
Aren’t these the most comforting words you have ever heard in all your life? Of course they are; So go ahead and comfort one another with these words whilst you are being persecuted, martyred and killed right now. Hallelujah!
NO-PRETRIB = NO RESURRECTION?
For heaven’s sake, whenever did Paul of Tarsus tell the Thessalonian saints that God does not love them and consequently decided to exempt them from the severe persecution and suffering in the seven-year tribulation by means of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, whilst they were already headlong in the midst of the severest persecution, suffering and martyrdom imaginable?
Allow me to ask you a few questions, Mr. wise guy Scott Pruitt.
- Have all the Christians throughout the entire history of the church suffered persecution and martyrdom in the same way the saints you mention on your blog or were there at least some of them who were exempted of bodily harmful persecution and suffering?
- If there had been at least some who’ve never and never shall experience the same bodily harmful persecution and suffering as the saints you mention on your blog, does that mean God never loved them?
- Have you, Mr. Scott Pruitt, ever suffered persecution and martyrdom in the same way as the saints you mention on your blog? If not, does that mean God does not love you?
In that case, I would like to suggest that Joe Schimmel of Good Fight Ministries, Jacob Prasch of Moriel Ministries, John Haller and Joel Richardson make a video in which they castigate, vilify, haul you over the coals, and slander you in the same way they did Paul Wilkinson in their video “An Eye Opening Rebuttal to The Berean Call’s Critique of Left Behind or Led Astray,” for all the puerile nonsense you have written thus far On your blog, No-Pretib.
That would at least give you an opportunity to suffer persecution and martyrdom in some way so that you may know that God loves you.
Perhaps you should start a new blog and call it “No Resurrection.” You have a whole year to figure out why I’ve made such a suggestion.
A POST-TRIB RAPTURE WILL CAUSE THE MILLENNIAL AGE OF PEACE ON EARTH TO BE UNINHABITED BY UNBELIEVERS
It is imperative to note that Satan, after having been bound in the abyss for 1000 years, will be released from his prison to deceive the nations and lead them in a war against Jesus Christ and his saints in Jerusalem (Revelation 20:7-10). Where are these unbelievers among the nations going to come from?
If the Rapture were to take place after the seven-year tribulation (Post-Trib) simultaneously with the Second Advent of Jesus Christ, and just prior to his 1000-year reign of peace on earth, every single believer, including the Jews and Gentiles who are going to be saved during the Tribulation, will receive their new spiritual/heavenly bodies like unto that of Christ Jesus at that the Post-Trib Rapture.
According to Matthew 22:30 the resurrected saints and the in-the-twinkling-of-an-eye transformed saints at the Rapture will no longer marry and spawn children. They will be like the angels. It follows that – at a Post-Tribulation Rapture – only resurrected believers will populate the Millennial age of peace on earth when Christ Jesus returns, unless unbelievers are going to be allowed to enter the Millennial Kingdom of Christ Jesus, or only some of the Jews and Gentiles who are going to be saved during the seven-year Tribulation are going to remain behind at the Post-Tribulation Rapture which means that they will enter the Millennial in their natural bodies to be able to spawn children. In that way, unbelievers (some of the children of the believers who enter the Millennial in their natural bodies) will be able to populate the Millennial Age of peace and grant Satan the opportunity to summon from them an army to attack Christ Jesus and his saints in Jerusalem.
REFUSING TO LISTEN TO EXHORTATION
(26) Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
(27) Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.
I doubt whether Scott Pruitt, Jacob Prasch and their cronies will ever listen to the earnest exhortation of others. In fact, when I sent Scott Pruitt an email inviting him to read my article, he responded as follows:
Actually Tom, I’m not at all interested in your vain ramblings.
I doubt whether he read my article. Nevertheless, his accusation that my article is merely ramblings is actually an attack on God’s Word, because I consistently validated my arguments from Scripture. The reason why he responded in the way he did is ample proof that he is wholly and completely incompetent to refute my arguments from Scripture. I can only say:
(14) Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.