The Rapture: The Corrie ten Boom Trump Card (#3)
I find it extremely distasteful when the anti-Pretribulation devotees use frail mortal beings to defend their hopelessly failing and ailing war on the Pretribulation Rapture. Corrie ten Boom is not, I repeat, NOT, the Alpha and Omega of authority on the Rapture. Of course, Paul of Tarsus was also a frail human being but the difference between Paul’s and Corrie’s frailness is that Jesus taught Paul everything he knew about the Pretribulation in a direct encounter with him. (Galatians 1:11-12).
Let us again carefully consider what Paul says in second Thessalonians.
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. (2 Thesslonians 2:1-7)
The Thessalonian saints seemed to have been more concerned about two possible issues in regard to the Rapture:
- They were already in the seven-year tribulation and
- The departed saints were going to miss the rapture.
The Thessalonian Christians were deceived by false prophets and teachers who conned them into believing that the letters they received were actually from Paul, confirming that they were already headlong in the seven-year tribulation. Paul nipped this lie in the bud by explaining that they could not have been in the tribulation just then “except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”
It follows that the seven-year tribulation can only kick-off when first a “falling away” (note that he does not say “a falling from the faith”) takes place and Antichrist appears on the scene. Consequently, there is a definite sequel of events which is introduced by first a falling away and then after that the appearance or disclosure of the Antichrist. It seems that both these events may occur just about simultaneously and the “man of sin, the son of perdition” could appear shortly after the falling away. How do we know?
Satan and his cohorts in the New World Order have been trying to usher in their Kingdom Now scheme of things for many years, only to fail again and again. The reason why their plots haven’t been successful is because the Restrainer (Holy Spirit indwelling the saints) hasn’t been taken out of the way as of yet. Despite their very strong desire to seek and to find a man who is able to establish a global peace, none of their plans have come to fruition. Henry Spaak, the General Secretary of NATO (1957-1960), said:
“What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the alliances of all people and to lift us out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and be he god or devil, we will receive him.” (Emphasis added).
Ask any Jew what they would like their Messiah to accomplish, they immediately tell you it is to bring a lasting global peace. In an article on Judaism 101 we read the following:
The mashiach will be a great political leader descended from King David (Jeremiah 23:5). The mashiach is often referred to as “mashiach ben David” (mashiach, son of David). He will be well-versed in Jewish law, and observant of its commandments (Isaiah 11:2-5). He will be a charismatic leader, inspiring others to follow his example. He will be a great military leader, who will win battles for Israel. He will be a great judge, who makes righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15). But above all, he will be a human being, not a god, demi-god or other supernatural being.
It has been said that in every generation, a person is born with the potential to be the mashiach. If the time is right for the messianic age within that person’s lifetime, then that person will be the mashiach. But if that person dies before he completes the mission of the mashiach, then that person is not the mashiach.
Olam Ha-Ba: The Messianic Age
The world after the messiah comes is often referred to in Jewish literature as Olam Ha-Ba (oh-LAHM hah-BAH), the World to Come. This term can cause some confusion, because it is also used to refer to a spiritual afterlife. In English, we commonly use the term “messianic age” to refer specifically to the time of the messiah.
Olam Ha-Ba will be characterized by the peaceful co-existence of all people (Isaiah 2:4). Hatred, intolerance and war will cease to exist. Some authorities suggest that the laws of nature will change, so that predatory beasts will no longer seek prey and agriculture will bring forth supernatural abundance (Isaiah 11:6-11:9). Others, however, say that these statements are merely an allegory for peace and prosperity.
What About Jesus?
Jews do not believe that Jesus was the mashiach. Assuming that he existed, and assuming that the Christian scriptures are accurate in describing him (both matters that are debatable), he simply did not fulfill the mission of the mashiach as it is described in the biblical passages cited above. Jesus did not do any of the things that the scriptures said the messiah would do.
There is just a single event of such enormous cataclysmic proportions that will be able to render a man of this stature, energized and indwelt by Satan, the once in a lifetime opportunity to appear on the world scene and present himself as a crafty peacemaker.
The event that is going to present this man of peace on a white horse and a bow in his hand (minus arrows) the opportunity to appear on the world scene is the Pretribulation Rapture. Satan is going to give him the power to bring order and peace in the midst of the chaos and pandemonium the departure or disappearance of millions upon millions of saints is going tol cause. (Revelation 6:2; Daniel 8:25).
The Stark Difference between “Falling Away from the Faith” and “Falling Away.”
The word “Apostasia” (from which our word “apostasy” comes) appears twice in the New Testament, in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 and Acts 21:21. The latter does not speak of an apostasy, departure or forsaking of “the faith” (the Christian faith) but a forsaking of Moses (the Law). The Greek word “Apostasia” is a compound of two Greek words: “Apo” that is, “to move away”, “stasis” means “standing or state”, or “to stand”. Literally, from its basic definition, “apostasia” means “to go away from”, or “depart”, or “change state or standing from one state to another.”
To give credence to the word “apostasia” as a “falling away from,” a “departure from” or a “forsaking of” the faith it must be used in this context of religious piety being forsaken for a different or another faith. When it stands alone without being contextualized by the word “faith” it simply refers to a departure. A good example is that of Paul’s warning in 1 Timothy 4:1 where he warns that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, an doctrines of devils.
However, Instead of using the word “apostasia” he uses the word “aphistēmi” which means to remove, that is, (actively) instigate to revolt; usually (reflexively) to desist, desert, depart, draw (fall) away, refrain, withdraw one self. And here Paul clearly identifies the nature of the falling away — “forbidding to marry” and “to abstain from meats.” Who can deny that this refers to the Roman Catholic Church? Priestly celibacy became a serious point of disagreement between the Eastern Orthodox and the Western Roman Catholic churches and contributed to the Great Schism between the two in A.D. 1. So too is the abstention from meats a Roman Catholic idea as a means to worship God and to attain his favor. As such, we may safely say that it was a great falling away from the faith. Did the Antichrist make his appearance directly after this falling away? Perish the thought.
It is imperative to note that the word “faith” in 2 Thessalonian 2:3 is not used side by side with “apostasia” (“falling away”). Moreover, the duration or time space between the falling away and the revelation of that man of sin cannot be very long or spread-out indefinitely. The word “and” clearly indicates that the two events will not be separated by a prolonged period of time. Miriam Webster defines “and” as “a logical operator that requires both of two inputs to be present or two conditions to be met for an output to be made or a statement to be executed.”
Therefore, the only possible alternative is that apostasia refers not to a falling away from the faith which has been going on indefinitely, but a departure or disappearance from the earth of all the genuinely saved Christians, for It alone does justice to the word “and” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. At any rate, how many great apostasies from the faith have there been in the past, and which of those heralded the appearance of the Antichrist?
Besides, Jesus promised that he will build his church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18), which we may safely interpret as the church that will never fall away from the faith or apostatize (depart) from the truth. The only alternative explanation for the notion that a falling away from the faith will precede the Rapture is to pin the falling away from the faith-tag onto the professing church, simply because the true church Jesus Christ promised he would build, will never depart from the faith, unless He lied about his promise in Matthew 16:18.
We should then also cast Jesus’ promise in John 10 to the wind, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: . . . And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” That doesn’t sound like a falling away from the faith within the ranks of the one true church Jesus is building. Perhaps Jacob Prasch, Joe Schimmel, John Haller and Scott Pruitt would like to explain how a professing church can apostatize from the faith when it never once expressed or practiced true salvific faith, and how the church which Jesus Christ is building can possibly apostatize from the faith?
Both these scenarios completely deflate the view that a great falling away from the faith will precede the Rapture that will overshadow all the other fallings away in the past, forcing us to construe that this, the end time apostasy, is the mother of all apostasies. The majority of Christians interpret apostasia as being a falling away from the faith of all those who profess to be Christians, i.e. the tares which look like the real McCoy (wheat) but do not bear the fruit of the Spirit.
This seems highly improbable because there have been many great apostasies (fallings away from the faith) since the beginning of time. Take care to note that the Bible never speaks of a renouncing of the faith but a falling away from the faith. Allow me to explain.
Cain’s apostasy from the faith and murder of his brother Abel became the template of how and why so many apostasies occurred throughout human history (Jude 1:11). Cain was never really saved from the word go and yet he apostatized from the faith. It simply means tha He knew the truth (the only reliable truth to be saved) but refused to accept God’s way of salvation by virtue of the shedding of the blood of an innocent victim (Hebrews 9:22) and dared to present God with his own sweat and toil (good works) to gain his approval for salvation. Paul elaborates more precisely on how this apostasy from the faith in the ranks off professing Christians usually comes about.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (“katechō” – literally to withhold) the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Romans 1:18-21).
Please note that their hearts were darkened which means that they themselves did not darken their own hearts but someone else did it for them. It reminds one of what Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians.
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. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12).
The only reason given for this devastatingly concise and final judgment is that they “received not the love of the truth [to be saved].” Jesus once said to the Jews, “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” (John 5:43). He clearly referred to the Antichrist. Consequently, it seems that the great falling away from the faith will transpire only after the appearance of the Antichrist and not before.
Therefore, at the outset it may seem quite feasible to place the Rapture before the seven trumpets and seven bowls judgments. However, bear in mind that Paul reminded the Thessalonian Christians who had been duped by false teachers into believing that the Day of the Lord was already at hand, mainly because they suffered so many harsh persecutions, that the Rapture could not have taken place then. Why? Because first the falling away must take place and then at virtually the very same time and in tandem with this falling away, the true colors of the Antichrist will be revealed.
We have already seen that the “apostasia” in Acts 21:21 refers to a departure from the Law (Moses), and not the Christian faith. That seems to strengthen the notion that the greatest falling away from the faith will occur when Antichrist desecrates the newly built temple (which is exclusively Jewish) and “exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.“ (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Some Jews will worship him and depart from their ancestral faith while the remnant will flee to the mountains (Matthew 24:15-16).
Does that not prove that Prasch’s timeline of the endtime is correct when he places the Rapture between the 6th and 7th seals, and prior to the seven trumpets and seven bowls judgments which he says is exclusively the Wrath of God? To answer this question, we need to establish when the wrath of God begins and when it ends.