The Rapture and the Truth

The Rapture and the Truth

The Rapture – Christians are exhorted to read and interpret biblical passages in their proper context and to avoid eisegetical interpretations of Scripture in favour of exegetical ones. Of course, all these tools are essential for an accurate understanding of many difficult passages in Scripture.

Scott Pruitt - the rapture
Scott Pruitt

As a matter of interest, most of the present day false teachings and outright heresies are the results of context manipulation and eisegesis falsities.

Nonetheless, blaming your misinterpretation of Scripture on your misunderstanding of the assumed complexities in Scripture will never exempt you from God’s righteous judgments.

No one will ever be in a position to say “I misunderstood the context of such and such a passage and therefore you may not judge me.” Pay attention to what Brother Peter said,

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 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 3:14-16).

Peter says in effect, “It’s OK when you do not always understand difficult passages in Scripture but beware of wresting (perverting) them while feigning to have a correct understanding of them. It may lead to your destruction. Rather admit that you do not understand them and prayerfully wait upon the Lord to teach you.” (John 8:32). Peter’s exhortation makes it abundantly clear that false teachers often use the context card to either conceal their own feigned understanding of difficult passages or to nip any debate in the bud, especially when they are unable to answer probing questions.

Questions are often the best way to appraise peoples’ understanding of some of the major doctrines in the Bible. As a matter of interest. Jesus Christ often asked questions to either expose the Pharisees’ and Sadducees’ hypocrisies or to teach those who genuinely thirsted after his truth the true meaning of his doctrines. The proper understanding and interpretation of the major doctrines weighed so heavily upon Brother John’s heart that he wrote the following extremely important exhortation.

Anyone who runs on ahead and does not remain in the doctrine of Christ [that is, one who is not content with what He taught], does not have God; but the one who continues to remain in the teaching [of Christ does have God], he has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9).

To echo his very strong admonishment he also wrote the following,

We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6).

It is suffice to say that a wrong understanding and interpretation of Christ’s doctrines is extremely dangerous. Indeed, it is so dangerous that Paul deemed it necessary to devote a very large portion of his epistles to false prophets and their teachings in an attempt to warn his brethren against their deceptive heresies. Jude also made it clear that deception was on the increase,

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. (Jude 1:3-5).

The Rapture: The “Ad Hominem” Card or The “Boo-Hoo” Card

Nowadays, you dare not contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints without being accused of ad hominem attacks and an unloving attitude. False teachers love to play their “ad hominem” card whenever their false teachings and heresies are brought into the open. It reminds one of a nest of scorpions hidden under a large rock. As soon as you overturn the rock and expose their nest to the blazing light and heat of the sun, they quickly lift their poisonous tails sky high in an attempt to sting you and hurriedly scurry to the next rock where they can remain hidden to the naked eye.

The ad hominem card also reminds one of the false teachers’ pompous aggrandizement, their self-importance, and high-mindedness. In fact, they are so concerned about their own public image and self-importance that they don’t care a hoot whenever they disparage Jesus Christ and his doctrines in the public arena. To them, that’s just fine but be warned never to contend for the faith in view of exposing their false teachings and heresies because that, that, my dear friends, is unloving and a petulant ad hominem attack that could be likened to the unpardonable sin. Moreover, false teachers are somewhat reluctant to protect their own “lily-white” characters and often use their fellow consorts to do their dirty work for them.

The Rapture: Scott Pruitt and His Team of Fellow Pre-Trib Haters

To illustrate I would like to refer you to an incident which I recently experienced on Scott Pruitt’s site. Before we go there, let me remind you that Scott Pruitt is arguable one of the most knowledgeable experts on the NOPRETRIB doctrine. There is, of course, no such thing as a NOPRETRIB doctrine but Scott has proven him to be so wonderfully at enmity with the Pre-Trib doctrine that he has managed to birth a brand new doctrine which he calls the NOPRETRIB doctrine.

In fact, his animosity has grown so fierce that he unashamedly and regularly refers to the Pre-Trib Rapture as a teaching from the pit of hell. I have warned him on several occasions to refrain from his anti-God and anti-Christ rampage but to no avail. He persistently continues to vilify Jesus Christ and one of his major doctrines in public. Not even the prophet Isaiah managed to encourage him to make an about turn and repent of his callous attacks on the Pre-Trib Rapture

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! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:20-21).

To enlighten our readers a wee bit more, I shall now quote to you word for word a comment Michael Edwards, presumably one of Pruitt’s spiritual associates, wrote on Pruitt’s blog.

“Tom, Scott. Ad hominem attacks against a person or persons, rather than simply discussing ideas, ESPECIALLY when it comes to eschatology, is both fleshly and worldly. I won’t say demonic (though Satan can certainly use Christians) because I am assuming you are both saved. You cannot prove or disprove who the restrainer is. Tom, you should admit that calling the removal of the Holy Spirit a doctrine from the pit is over the top since neither you nor I know who the restrainer is for sure.”

In my reply, I wrote the following comment on Scott Pruitt’s site which, like all the others, was promptly removed. Scott Pruitt seems to think that’s the only way to conduct a debate.

While I was busy writing my first comment I knew that someone was going to accuse me of an ad hominem attack. That’s what they usually do when they fail to refute solid proof from Scripture. You seem to be content when people who call themselves Christians viciously attack and vilify Jesus Christ and some of his major doctrines as being from the pit of hell – IN PUBLIC ‘nogal.’ Yet, as soon as someone contends for the faith and calls someone out for an insipid remark like “from the pit of hell,” you are immediately up in arms.

I proved to you from Scripture that the instances when the Holy Spirit was removed during the Old Testament, pungently allude to Him being the Restrainer in the New Testament who, as in times of the Old Testament, will once again be removed as a means of intense judgment. In fact, it occurred on several occasions (Genesis 6:3 and 1 Samuel 16:14). Yet you persist in your “ad hominem attacks” against Jesus Christ?

As for your suggestion that the angel Michael may possibly be the Restrainer, I must add that such a notion is just as insipid as dubbing the Pre-Trib Rapture as something “from the pit of hell.” Daniel 12:1 explicitly says that Michael will stand for the nation of Israel DURING THE TRIBULATION at which time the restraining office of the Restrainer will already have been taken out of the way.

In fact, the entire gamut of the seven-year tribulation will be a time of no restraining. You cannot have a restraining prior to the seven-year tribulation and then again during the Tribulation. The main object of the restraining is to prevent the devil from bringing his Antichrist into the open and to empower him to do his damnedest. At any rate, the idea that Michael may be the Restrainer sounds a lot like the infamous doctrine that Michael and Jesus are one and the same person. Heresy? You bet!

In conclusion. Would you rather have me say to Scott Pruitt “Get thee behind me Satan?” Perhaps not, because that too would be seen as an “ad hominem attack.” Stop boo-hooing when someone tries to correct you.

The Rapture: Scott Pruitt, the Clandestine email Contender for the Faith

Scott Pruitt was more interested in having a clandestine discussion with me via his emails rather than in an open debate on his site, NOPRETRIB. He never once responded to my comments on his blog, probably to prevent others from reading them and being influenced in a positive way. Needless to say, this is one of the false teacher’s most devious tactics to prevent the eyes of those whom they have already led astray to be opened and consequently abandon them and their false teachings.

No wonder Paul said, “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:30). They hate it when the poor souls they have drawn away to follow after them are finally enlightened by the truth, and their grievous deceptions are exposed.

In one of his emails he wrote,


I have no interest in debating you. I will not approve your comments on my site for reasons I have already pointed out to you in times past. To that list of reasons, I will add, responding to your comments feeds your sense of self-importance. I’ll pray for you but I will not give you a platform.

Oh, so now suddenly the command to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3) has become a flowery blossomed vehicle to boost your self-importance? Really? He went on to say,


This is not about doctrine, it is about you, evidenced by the fact that in your last email, you refer to yourself 10 times in only 5 sentences. Go ahead and write your article. Just like your past ones, it is sure to be long on ad-hominem attacks and short on Biblical exegesis. Your reference to Matthew 17:9 is a glaring example. You cite a reference, fail to explain its meaning or context, and then make an unsubstantiated accusation associated with it. This is yet another reason why I don’t want to debate you or give you a platform, it is because you are unreasonable and argumentative for the sake of being contentious. Your arguments are unconvincing and merely take up space.

“Once again we are witnessing the method of interpretation called eisegesis as opposed to exegesis, and an example of ignoring context. First let’s look at the context of Revelation 2-3. It is a message directly from Jesus to the churches. Some would argue that these messages were only for the actual geographical churches that existed at the time of the writing and others say that it represents the churches that will exist at the end of the age. More likely it is both, but regardless, if the church of Philadelphia escapes the tribulation by being raptured, then what happens to Church in Smyrna? They are told to just tough it out through the tribulation. To say that Revelation 3:10 is teaching a pre-tribulation rapture ignores the context of the message to the rest of the churches.

Secondly, a closer examination of the original language makes the passage more clear. The phrase “keep you from” in the Greek language consists of two words, tereo and ek. The word tereo means “watch over protectively, guard”, and “ek” is a proposition that infers, “out of something that it is already in.” If the meaning was intended to convey that the church would be removed before entering the tribulation the preposition apo would have been used instead of ek.”

Scott Pruitt’s remark “This is not about doctrine, it is about you, . . .” sounds so much like Rick Warren’s infamous maxim, “It’s not about you.” In fact, both of them make light of the importance of doctrine. Since when does the self-importance of an individual lead others astray? Every single biblical apostle or prophet consistently warned saints against false doctrine and never against anyone else with an alleged egotistical self-importance. In fact, if they had they would have been guilty of an ad hominem attack.

I replied,

You charge the Pre-Tribbers with a faulty exegesis causing them to rather apply an eisegesis, whilst you are actually the one guilty of this particular sin. If the word “apo” were to be used instead of “ek” to convey a complete removal or transportation from one place to another, then surely “apo” should have been used instead of “ek” in Matthew 17:9.

Lo and behold the word “ek”  is used with the word “nekros” to tell us that Jesus rose from among the dead, which means that the other dead remained behind whilst He was raised from the dead, completely and entirely out of the sphere of the dead. Or perhaps He too was protected or guarded whilst remaining within the sphere of the dead? That’s just too preposterous to even contemplate. That would be a denial of his resurrection, no so?

And by the way, Jesus has ONE church (Matthew 16:18) and not one in Smyrna that will have to tough it out through the tribulation and one in Philadelphia who won’t need to tough it out. Like, today there were true and false believers in those churches. Philadelphia is a metaphor of all the true believers who remained faithful to Jesus Christ and his doctrines. (2 John 9). And please don’t remove my comment. Answer me like a true scholar.

I wouldn’t speak of ad hominem attacks if I were you when you so blatantly attack me by making those unsubstantial accusations. Referring to myself 10 times in only 5 sentences hardly nullifies the fact that you are misrepresenting – and yes viciously attacking – Jesus Christ and one of his major doctrines in public.

As I said earlier, you are playing with fire (Isaiah 5:20). Stop your vicious attacks against Jesus Christ. You take the liberty to vilify Him in public but whenever someone gives you a little tap on the wrist you start crying like a little baby. Be a man and answer questions from Scripture without making the silly remark about faulty exegesis or context.

The context card is one of the oldest and most laughable. People like you use them whenever they are driven into a corner and fail dismally to answer simple questions. The context of Matthew 17:9 is so clear that even a child can understand it. OK wise guy, what is the mysterious context of Matthew 17:9? Surely you should be heralding its context with gusto on the Internet knowing that it is one of the most magnanimous things that ever happened in the history of mankind. However, make sure that you interpret “ek nekros” correctly and not in the way you interpret “terei ek” in Revelation 3:10. You are deliberately misleading people and will have to give an account to God one day for your malicious context shenanigans.

Since when is contending for the faith being argumentative? Would you have accused Paul of Tarsus for being argumentative when he says, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Gal 1:8). And by the way, Paul uses “I” four times in just one sentence which is vastly more than my 10 times in five sentences.

“To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might, by all means, save some.” (1Corintians 9:22). Does that make him a narcissistic self-serving pig head? I can give you many more examples but doubt whether it would convince you of your childishness. I will certainly write my article to warn people against your false gospel which is leading many to destruction.

The Rapture: The Preposition Controversy: “Apo Tereo” or “Ek Tereo?”

As you may have noticed, Scott Pruitt deliberately wrenched one of the most prominent passages in Scripture that substantiates a Pre-Trip Rapture with so much clarity, out of context by implying that the word “apo” instead of “ek” would have been used if the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine was true. Let’s go to the passage.

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).

To begin with, the believers who had been and are being saved in this dispensation, beginning with the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost and right up to the Rapture prior to the seven-year tribulation, are never referred to as “them that dwell on the earth.” The word κατοικέω (katoikeō) means to house or dwell permanently, in other words, to inhabit the earth eternally. Jesus promised his Bride to prepare an eternal abode for her in heaven, and not on earth. (John 14:1-4). It follows that it cannot possibly refer to Christ’s Bride. Who then are the “them that dwell on the earth” who are going to be tried on earth and for what particular reason and purpose?

To answer this question satisfactorily we need to go back in Israel’s history as God the Father’s peculiar people whom He says is his wife (Ezekiel 16:1-63). Perhaps it would be a good thing to start with the disciple’s question in Acts 1:6, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Pay attention to the words “again” and “to Israel” which implies that there was a time in Israel’s history when God set up a kingdom on earth that prefigured his ultimate eternal Kingdom on earth. The prefigured kingdom had to resemble the final and eternal one on earth in all aspects. It had to include all twelve tribes of Israel and it had to have a king who ruled Israel from his throne in Jerusalem. Was there such a time in Israel’s history?

When Israel demanded to be ruled by a king like all the nations, Samuel was sorely displeased but God urged him to grant their wish for they did not reject him but God himself. (1 Samuel 8:1-9). God often gave his people what they wanted as a form of judgment, especially when they wanted it immediately and refused to wait until He gave it to them in his own timing. A dynastic kingdom was promised to Israel in Genesis 49:10 and Numbers 24:17 as part of His Messianic, redemptive plan.

Saul was a valiant king in the beginning of his reign and gained many military victories over their Ammonite and Philistine enemies to the extent that the Kingdom was renewed at Gilgal despite the division into the Northern and Southern Kingdoms in 931 BC. Sadly King Saul fell into disrepute with God when he disobeyed His sacrificial law regarding the burnt offering which only an anointed priest was divinely ordained and allowed to offer.

And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee. (1 Samuel 13:13-14).

The man after God’s own heart was, of course, David of the tribe of Judah, which is also the tribe of Jesus. Several aspects of David’s life resembles that of his descendant, Jesus Christ. David was anointed king of Israel long before he ascended and established his throne in Jerusalem. Jesus Christ (the anointed King of kings) is now waiting in heaven at the right hand of his Father until He returns at his Second Advent (not the Rapture) to establish his Kingdom on earth to Israel, and to ascend the throne of his father David in Jerusalem. (Luke 1:30-32). David became king of Israel only when the divided Southern and Northern Kingdoms became one united kingdom and asked him to be their king.

Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel. So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah. (2 Samuel 5:1-5).

All the tribes of Israel will acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah as members of his bone and his flesh (Matthew 4:22) only after they had gone through the trials and the tribulations of the seven-year tribulation with the sole purpose of preparing them for His return to the earth together with his Bride (Jude 1:14), and to rescue the remnant of Israel from the clutches of Antichrist. Hence the unique designation “Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) and not “the Bride’s trouble” or “the Bride’s tribulation,” or “the Bride’s persecution.”

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, (2 Thessalonians 2:6-9).

Please note the sequence of events:

  1. First He who restrains the mystery of iniquity that is already active in the world, is taken out of the way.
  2. Then shall that Wicked (man of sin; Antichrist) be revealed,
  3. Whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his Second Coming to set up his eternal Kingdom on earth for Israel.

The disciples question ““Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” shows that they were well-acquainted with God’s promises in the Old Testament to restore the Kingdom that once flourished under the rule of King David when he united the twelve tribes as one to Israel (to them who shall be housed and reside permanently on the earth). For those who doubt that “them who dwell on the earth” does not refer to all the nations without distinction but peculiarly only to Israel (reunited twelve tribes), Revelation 14:6 will convince them that there will indeed be a distinction between “them that dwell on the earth” and all the other saved individuals from every nation when Jesus returns to restore the Kingdom to Israel. (Ezekiel 37:15-28).

At the moment Israel’s eyes are still darkened for the sake of the salvation of the Gentiles.

(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompense unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? (Romans 11:8-12).

Their darkened eyes will be enlightened again as soon as the Bride of Christ, consisting mainly of Gentile Christians, is taken out of the way at the Rapture prior to the seven-year tribulation (Jacob’s Trouble), so that God may once again deal directly with Israel, whereupon a small remnant from every one of the twelve tribes will be saved. Context and exegesis, as I said earlier, are vitally important to understand some of the more difficult passages in Scripture. In some cases, the context of a passage must be gleaned from other similar passages that deal with the same topic. As such, it may be more difficult and time-consuming to eventually reach a correct understanding. In other cases, the context may be so obvious in a single passage that there is no need to look any further than the passage at hand.

When I refuted Scott Pruitt’s explanation of the use of “tereo ek” instead of “tereo apo” in Revelation 3:10 by referring him to Matthew 17:9 where the word “ek” is used together with “nekros” indicating that Jesus’ resurrection was a complete “exit” from without the realm of the dead, whilst the other dead remained behind, he wrote the following silly comment,


This is not about doctrine, it is about you, evidenced by the fact that in your last email, you refer to yourself 10 times in only 5 sentences. Go ahead and write your article. Just like your past ones, it is sure to be long on ad-hominem attacks and short on Biblical exegesis. Your reference to Matthew 17:9 is a glaring example. You cite a reference, fail to explain its meaning or context, and then make an unsubstantiated accusation associated with it. This is yet another reason why I don’t want to debate you or give you a platform, it is because you are unreasonable and argumentative for the sake of being contentious. Your arguments are unconvincing and merely take up space.

What more is needed to explain the meaning and context of Matthew 17:9 when it is so glaringly self-explanatory and so easy to understand that even a child can see that the context is the resurrection of Jesus Christ? It is the manner of his resurrection that needs to be contextualized a bit more by referring to other passages in Scripture. If, as Scott Pruitt contends, “If the meaning was intended to convey that the church would be removed before entering the tribulation the preposition ‘apo’ would have been used instead of ‘ek,’” we have the liberty to contend that “If the meaning was intended to convey that Jesus Christ would be removed from among the dead completely whilst the other dead remained behind, the preposition “ek” would have been used instead of apo.” You cannot make “ek” to mean a certain thing in a passage and have it altered to mean something totally different in another passage, especially when it is a preposition. Such an inconsistency would label the Holy Spirit who inspired the authors of Scripture a liar and a cheat who cannot be trusted.

Our word “exit” consists of “ex” and “it” which simply means “he or she goes out.” While the “it” can either be a “he” or a “she,” or “it” the “ex” will always remain the same in its etymological meaning, no matter how it is used in sentences. The exit from a theater or a mall, or whatever, will always convey the same meaning, and that is to remove yourself from the environment you occupied to a completely different environment, completely outside and removed from the original environment.

The preposition “apo” which Scott Pruitt suggests should have been used instead of “ek” to convey the meaning of a complete removal, in the sense that you are no longer part of a particular environment but a completely different environment, cannot possibly be exchanged for “ek” in Revelation 3:10. Here’s the reason: The preposition “apo” simply means to be “away from, separate, apart from, and free from” something. Therefore, you may be away from, separate from, apart from or free from something whilst still actively present within a particular environment. Christians are in the world but not of the world and should therefore “lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21). The word for “lay apart” is ἀποτίθημι (apotithēmi). Pay attention, Mr. Scott Pruitt, it has the preposition “apo” and not “ek,” if you please.

Had it been true that “apo” rather than “ek” should have been used in Revelation 3:10, simply because “ek” allegedly does not convey a complete removal out of a particular environment and “apo” actually does, it completely debunks the No-Pretribbers view of persecution. As we know, one of the main reasons for their rejection of a Pre-Trib Rapture is that the saints have always been exposed to the severest persecutions imaginable in the past, which prods them to argue, “why not now?” If Christians have always been subjected to the most severe persecutions, why would they be exempted from the persecution during the tribulation which is going to be vastly greater in its severity than any others in the past? What makes them so special to escape persecution when God has consistently promised that they would endure affliction and persecution in this world?  (Hebrews 11:37-40).

However their assumption that “ek tereo” conveys a separation and protection from persecution within an environment where the persecution, affliction, death and mayhem reign, the burden of proof is on them to convince us that God’s promise in Revelation 3:10, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, . . .” fits in with and compliments their view of persecution. How do you marry the notion that the saints are going to suffer the most horrific persecution and affliction during the tribulation with God’s promise that He is going to keep them (tereo ek) from the hour of temptation? Surely, there is a vast contradiction in terms in these two statements.

Moreover, why is it necessary to prepare the saints for their alleged persecution and suffering (aka the Corrie ten Boom style which the No-Pretribbers love to emulate in their attempt to substantiate a No-Pretrib Rapture) during the tribulation when God supposedly promised to keep them from (ek tereo) persecution in allegedly the same way he protected and guarded Israel in the land of Goshen? The irony is that Israel never suffered the slightest affliction in Egypt while God poured out his wrath on the Egyptians, making it absurd to use the Goshen episode as an example of “ek tereo” in Revelation 3:10, that is, of course, if “ek tereo” describes a protection (kept from the hour of temptation) within a particular situation without being removed entirely out of that situation or circumstance.

An astonishing phenomenon is presently taking place in the church. I ‘m reluctant to call it an apostasy from the faith in the soteriological sense of the word, although this is also happening in the church today. I would rather call it an apostasy from the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13) which refers to the Pre-Trib Rapture, also alluded to by Christ in John 14:1-3. The nearer we come to the Rapture, the lesser most Christians will believe Jesus’s teaching on the Pre-Trib Rapture through the apostle Paul, and are instead listening to Christians who unashamedly call the Pre-Trib Rapture a doctrine from the pit of hell or “rubbish.”

The Rapture: One Church, One Bride, One Body

The rapture

False prophets love to parrot (pun intended) one another and say the same things over and over again. If the church needs to endure the seven-year tribulation or at least a part of it in order to purify her, then surely the church as a whole will need to go through the fiery furnaces of the tribulation simply because the church is an indivisible unity (one body; one Bride; Ephesians 4:4). If it were true that God purposed the seven-year tribulation to be the final zenith of all purification methods for the church, then surely the entire one body (Bride of Christ) ought to be purified in the Tribulation. What about all the departed saints who had never experienced persecution during their entire lifetime the way Antichrist is going to unleash it during the seven-year tribulation? Are they not purified, and if not how does their impurity affect their relationship with the Bridegroom?

A so-called modern-day prophet of God Sadhu Selvaraj who has allegedly predicted many events that have since come true calls the Pre-Trib Rapture “rubbish” which puts him squarely in the fold of another Pre-Trib-hater who calls it a doctrine from the pit of hell. The only difference is that this false prophet has a wee bit more manners. “Rubbish” doesn’t sound as bad as “from the pit of hell.” He starts off by telling his audience,

You are not going to escape the persecution.

So, get ready.

It is coming.

The church will go through the persecution of fire, because that fire will purify the church.

It will purify the believers.

From whence does this false prophet get the notion that the fires of persecution which is going to be fuelled by a bunch of impure entities, viz. the Antichrist and his cohorts, will be so pure itself to purify the church? Fire cannot purify any form of impurity, let alone the spiritual dimension of man. It is impossible for impure beings to create something pure, albeit a purifying fire. In Hinduism, from whence Sadhu Selvaraj converted to Christianity, purification by fire is an everyday occurrence. Like many sheep who have not been purged of the blood-sucking ticks they picked up in their pagan religions from which they escaped, he too is still saturated with these ticks. Listen to what a site says about fire purification in Hinduism.

The Ancient Practice of Fire Ceremonies

Take some time to be with fire in a sacred way. Let it enchant you, purify you, and empower you as it has done for countless others throughout the centuries.

Fire can heat your food or burn down your house. It is a force of destruction, creation and purification. We can be engulfed in flames or on fire with inspiration. The raw power of fire was recognized by the ancients who infused this element with prayer, intention, and reverence. Today it still carries much value in our lives and can be used in positive ways to enrich our connection with the divine.

Fire can be used to enhance your spiritual practice or support you by helping you purify and set intentions in your own life. Many personal fire rituals are based on the ancient ceremonies handed down through the ages, in all cultures. Here are a few fire ceremonies from around the world.

Fire has been used in ceremonies around the world for countless centuries.

Yajna Ceremony

Yajna, the Hindu fire ceremony literally translates to mean “sacrifice, devotion, worship, offering”. It basically refers to any ritual done in front of a sacred fire, often accompanied by songs or mantras. This is an ancient practice developed to help us heal from trauma, and disconnection with the spiritual realm.

The divine masculine (Kukai) and the divine feminine (Amaterasu) are said to come into balance through the Yajna ceremony. The ritual is designed to help us clear any obstacles so that we may attain a more perfect harmony with ourselves and the spiritual realm.

Fire allows for rapid transformation. It provides the avenue to let go of the old story and drama, to transform, to renew and to be reborn. – Dr. Alberto Villoldo

Yajna is a sacred Hindu fire ceremony to connect to the spiritual realm.

Sacrifice and Surrender

Yajña, sacrifice, is an act by which you surrender something for the sake of the gods.

Such an act must rest on a sacred authority (āgama), and serve for man’s salvation (śreyortha). The nature of the gift is of less importance. It may be cake (puroḍāśa), pulse (karu), mixed milk (sāṃnāyya), an animal (paśu), the juice of soma-plant (soma), etc; nay, the smallest offerings of butter, flour, and milk may serve for the purpose of a sacrifice. – Apastamba Yajna Paribhasa-sutras 1.1, Translated by M Dhavamony

The energetic vibrations that are invoked during a traditional Vedic fire ceremony are said to represent the most powerful presence of the Divine on Earth. The upward motion of fire is said to be similar to the divine kundalini energy. It is believed to be a powerful purifying element, especially for any type of negative karma you may have gathered from non-virtuous behavior.

Some may probably want to quote 1 Peter 4:12 to prove that fiery trials are common occurrences among believers and, therefore, they will need to go through the tribulation period. Look again, dear friends, and you will see that brother Peter does not say that the burning fires are necessary to purify them of impurities (whatever that may be)  but merely test their allegiance, and loyalty to Christ Jesus.

Our wonderfully informed false prophet said the following anti-biblical garbage whilst his audience nodded their heads in agreement with his lies.

You know, you are a very smart people, aren’t you? NO? Why do you give me a stare, then? Are you smart people (audience answers, “yes”). OK! I’ll give you a simple math, OK, a simple math, not very difficult. Now, you just listen to me very carefully and you will see logical reasoning now. If all the good people, good Christians, those who are walking with the Lord, all are raptured, all gone, and only the nominal Christians and all the evil ones are left behind, OK. Why force them to take the mark of the beast . . . because they are all prepared to take the mark of the beast?

I don’t know about you but I am not prepared to listen (like the women in the audience) to this guy’s logical reasoning and simple maths because he is way off track. How do I know? Well, let’s read what God says in his Word.

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: 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. (Revelation20:4).

This wonderfully informed false prophet’s problem is that he listened to a person who changed himself into an angel of light and said he was Jesus Christ instead of just reading the Word of God. To corroborate his false teaching he said that the “Jesus” who appeared to him told him to open the Bible at Matthew 24:8. Had he been more careful he would have rather started reading at Matthew 24: 23 and 24.

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:3-5).

The very thing the genuine Jesus of the Bible warned him against, was the very thing he did – to listen to another Jesus and hence be deceived, so much so that verse 11 may be applied to him, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. “

The idea that the church (singular) must go through the fires of the tribulation to purify her is wholly unbiblical and horribly deceptive. Whenever they speak of the church of Jesus Christ having to go through the tribulation, the one church which Christ Jesus promised He would build and the gates of hell shall not prevail against her (Matthew 16:18), they must of necessity refer only to the living members of the church who, according to their thinking, must endure the fires of the seven-year tribulation in order to be purified. Does the church or Bride of Christ, to be more precise, consist merely of living saints, or does she also include the departed saints?

The church is one body (Ephesians 4:4-5) which means that the departed saints will also have to enter into the seven-year tribulation to somehow undergo purification by fire like the living saints. The living saints cannot possibly be called a church (one body; one Bride) without the departed saints, and therefore cannot possibly go through the tribulation without the departed saints. To be consistent in their view, the No-Pretribbers should not argue that the CHURCH (Bride of Christ as a single body) will have to endure the wrath of Antichrist in order to be purified. They should at least make it clear that only a portion of the Body of Christ, that is the living saints at that time, will go through the tribulation. This again begs the question: If the fiery furnace of the tribulation which Jesus said would be so unique in its nature that it never occurred in the past and never again will occur in the future (Matthew 24:21), especially for the purification of the church (Bride of Christ as a single body), then surely Jesus would never be so unjust as to just have a portion of the church (the living saints at the time) to be purified of her alleged impurities.

This alone proves how preposterous the idea is of the church (entire Body of Christ; the Bride) having to go through the seven-year tribulation to be purified. How will incorporeal beings be purified by fire? In fact, departed saints are already completely purified because they have already discarded the instrument or carrier, if you will, of sin which is the human body. The Pre-Tribulation Rapture is the only viable option that vindicates the church of Jesus Christ as one single united body without having to divide her into two separate sections, a living and a deceased, to accommodate a time of persecution for only a portion, presumably to perfect or purify the living section before Christ’s return.

If the fiery furnaces of persecution, especially during the Tribulation, are supposed to be the mechanism to purify the church, why do some of them never experience persecution in the form of martyrdom, beheading, brutal lashing and the likes? There are millions, if not billions, of Christians who had never and never will be imperiled by the kind of persecution akin to that of the Great Tribulation. Were they never purified? In fact, the notion that the church as one body (Bride of Christ) needs to be purified before she can meet her Bridegroom is a mockery of the blood of Jesus Christ. Purification of the church (Body of Christ, Bride of Christ) has and never will be accomplished by any fiery furnaces of persecution. It reeks of the Roman Catholic’s infamous doctrine of Purgatory. Indeed, the only method of purification Jesus Himself instituted is the washing of feet (the forgiveness of sins)

Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. (John 13:6-10; Hebrews 10:19-22).

The word for “clean “in the above passage is καθαρός (katharos) and means to be completely pure of impurities. If persecution were intended to be the method of purification, especially in the manner the Antichrist is going to pursue his enemies during the tribulation, then every single member of the one body (church), living and dead, must of necessity go through the fiery furnaces of persecution and tribulation, lest any of them may be found to be impure. One of the worst things that makes the church impure is false doctrine, and may I add, specifically the No-Pretrib doctrine which Scott Pruitt and his cronies are spreading.

Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 11:1-4)

At the pre-Tribulation Rapture the dead in Christ will rise first to receive their glorified sinless bodies, and the living saints theirs at virtually the same time when they shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye to meet Jesus in the air and to be translated to heaven where the marriage of the Lamb shall be consummated. In the Pre-wrath economy of the Rapture, the living part of the Bride of Christ shall go through the tribulation while the departed section of the Bride shall be waiting in Paradise to be resurrected at the Pre-Wrath Rapture which they believe is going to occur between the sixth and the seventh seal. If the purification of the church (the Bride of Christ as a single body) was such an important doctrine, as the No-Pretribbers like to believe, then surely the entire body (Bride of Christ) should be granted the magnanimous privilege to be purified by the fiery furnaces of the Tribulation under Antichrist. It’s not going to happen no matter how you interpret the Rapture. I sincerely hope the No-Pretrib cronies will learn to understand why their “purification of the church” shenanigans are hopelessly unbiblical, unless, of course, they dare to separate the living and the departed saints and woefully call the living saints the church and the deceased saints something else.

The only instance mentioned in the Bible when the saints will go through some kind of purification is in 1 Corinthians.

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

We learn from Scripture that God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:29), and that’s precisely why all the members of the Bride of Christ need new bodies like unto that of Jesus Christ. Our present natural bodies will immediately be consumed if it had been possible to appear in the presence of God in our present bodies.

Our new glorified bodies like unto that of Jesus will be completely free from any kind of impurity. Only the works we had done on earth can either be pure or impure. Impure works are those we will have done in the flesh (John 6:63), or those done in the power of the Holy Spirit (pure). The impure works are built upon wood, hay and stubble (elements that are burnt up completely in fire) and the pure works which are those built on gold, silver and precious stones.

This scene will take place in heaven after the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and prior to the marriage of the Lamb. Mankind, including the Antichrist, are completely powerless to muster any degree of persecution of whatever kind to purify the church. God alone was able to do that when He died and shed his blood on the cross for her. (John 13:6-10). His own persecution at the hands of sinful men achieved the Bride’s purification. The doctrine of purification through the fires of persecution is a Roman Catholic heresy which denies the efficacy of the blood of Christ and the forgiveness of sin unto eternal redemption. It is another Gospel. Period!

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Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing 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.

62 Responses

  1. Yes I’m back, finally :clap: it’s been a very long time. Thank you for your encouragement Tom!!

    [1 Feb 2019 – Ok not really back yet…but soon]

  2. Robbie says:

    … I am picking up a lot of pebbles here today. :nod:

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