Pastor Bob (12 Apr 2015)
""Pre-Tribulation Truth - 7""

All Doves:

Reports coming out of the Alternative Internet media are filled with reports concerning a major military CONUS exercise.  There are certain things that I am aware of that actually give credence to the meaning and purpose of this military exercise that is to take place between July 15th and September 15th of this year.  Those of you who are connected to the alternative media will know what I am referring to in my noting such an ominous event.  I can only store it away in my memory base for confirmation.  I simply remind you of the Scriptures that I quoted in an earlier segments about the subject of fear.

The world is largely motivated by greed or fear.  As Christians we are called to trust and obey.  I have had fifty+ years to prepare for what lies just over the horizon, specifically September 13, 2015.  I have an extensive post coming shortly, in a week, that is about as comprehensive as possible pertaining to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.  In the interim for those still questioning the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, or are easily rattled by opponents of the Pre-Tribulation teachings of Paul, let me give a brief preview to comfort you.  This is a brief intro to a much larger post coming shortly.

1.  At the Rapture, Jesus Christ comes FOR His Bride/Church (born-again believers).  Consider these specific passages of Truth:  Luke 21:36; John 14:1-3; 1st Thessalonians 1:10; 4:14-17; 5:9; Revelation 3:10.

2.  At Jesus Christ's Second Coming, Jesus comes WITH His Bride/Church (born-again believers).  Consider these specific passages of Truth:  Zechariah 14:5; Colossians 3:4; Revelation 19:7-8; 14:21; 9:10; Matthew 24:29-31; Jude 1:14-15; 1st Thessalonians 3:13.

3.  At the Rapture, Jesus appears to only the Bride/Church (born-again believers).  Consider these specific passages of Truth:  1st Thessalonians 4:13-16; Matthew 5:8; John 11:40; Hebrews 9:28.

4.  At His Second Coming, He appears to everyone.  Consider these specific passages of Truth:  Zechariah 14:4; Revelation 19:11-21; Revelation 1:7; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 24:30; Luke 3:6; John 19:37.

5.  At the Rapture, only true Christians (the Bride/Church (born-again believers) are taken (those who are alive at that time and those who have died prior).  This remains a unique experience, something that most of you long for to be part of your blessings.  Unbelievers (those not of the true Bride/Church) are left behind.  Consider these specific passages of Truth:  Matthew 25:1-13; Revelation 3:8-10; 4:1; 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18.

6.  At His Second Advent, the wicked are taken.  The righteous (those made righteous and washed in the blood of Jesus Christ's atonement (Tribulation saints) that repented and come through the Tribulation bruised and battered
but press on toward the prize are left behind to go directly into the Millennial reign of Christ Jesus).  Consider this specific passage:  Matthew 13:28-30.

I would refer you back to my post "Compare and Contrast the Rapture and the Second Coming" of August 17, 2014 on Five Doves, where I noted 28 distinctions between the Rapture and the Second Coming, with the definitive proof passages supporting each point on that lengthy comparison.  I remind you that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine was not offered up by weak men seeking an escape "get out of jail" card.  Not at all.  The Apostle Paul who experienced far more than any of us can imagine.  The list of Paul's sufferings is noted in 2nd Corinthians 11:23-28.  Wrath and tribulation comes in many ways and methods, overt and covert; however, The Lord has stated that He will not leave His Bride here on Earth to undergo His own wrath.  Dr. Chuck Missler puts it along this way of expression, "The groom is not going to subject His Bride to a beating by the groom and then say, let's get married and go on our honeymoon"   No groom would subject his bride to such treatment, that is, if he truly loved her.  A loving groom would take a bullet for the love of his life.  Is that not the essence of what Jesus Christ did on our behalf?  This is precisely the definition of "propitiation", see Romans 3:25; 1st John 2:2; and 1st John 4:10. 

Paul was inflicted five times for a total of 200 stripes, with 195 of them being delivered to his flesh, on behalf of his faith in Christ Jesus.  Paul bore the marks of his devotion and faithfulness.  It would take several pages to list all of the Apostle Paul's sufferings.  There are at least 24 historically noted in the book of Acts alone concerning Paul's sufferings.  Perhaps he saw it as retribution and just punishment for what he himself had imposed on followers of the Lord.  In Acts 9:15-16, God said to Ananais concerning Paul's suffering.  We have Paul's epistles to confirm the fulfillment of God's statement in Acts 9:15-16.  Never forget that not a one of the disciples knowingly died for a lie.  As first hand witnesses to the Resurrection, they had no fear of death once they were able to see Christ Jesus in the days following the Resurrection.  To see the physical wounds of their Lord and Savior was to them more than just a comforting moment.  It propelled them in their witnessing.  Keep mindful that Christ Jesus and Paul bore our stripes.

You may not believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, and one can understand that.  But don't call it a lie, or that it is dead.  You can't prove that and it is nothing more than simply an arrogant statement unfounded.  I know that if you are a Christian, a "born-again" believer washed in the blood, sanctified and set apart, you will be pleasantly surprised one day if it occurs in our lifetime, which I am inclined the supporting evidence grows exponentially that is what we will experience.  May I suggest that if you are not a "born-again" believer, then you do have something to fear when you consider the events that remain to be fulfilled, mostly in the "Seven" year Tribulation of Daniel's 70th Week of Daniel 9:24-27.  Remember, Jesus Christ will be either your best friend or your worst nightmare!

When I was a pastor, I officiated at just over 150 funerals.  Most of that time, at least my twenty-five years, as a pastor I was foolish to have once believed the Allegorical interpretation of the Bible and the view of Amillennialism.   That view is taught by most Protestant seminaries, because they trace their roots back to the "Mother of Harlots" in Rome.  The Allegorical and Amillennial interpretation became codified with Saint Augustine, because by spiritualizing Scripture anyone could interpret the Bible any way they wanted, or to make it say what they wanted it to say.  

My pastor's funeral handbook of Scripture passages always started off with John 14:1-4.  "Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.   And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.  And whither I go ye know, and the way you go." 

Mainline Protestant denominations, just short of dictating that their pastors and churches, should order their denominational literature and that pastors buy from the denominational book stores.  The denominational leaders remind churches their purchases at the denominational bookstores help fund their pastors' pensions.  After all, what congregation wants to deny their pastor's future retirement pension by ordering from David C. Cook or Union Gospel Press or from a number of other non-denominational religious publishing houses?   We were admonished to not purchase non-denominational study materials from other than the UMC's Cokesbury Press.  The problem I found was that most of the books published and sold at our UMC Cokesbury stores were liberal in theology, allegorical in interpretation and most of the time incoherent in their basic understandings.   

Once I came to an understanding of the Dispensational beliefs, that passage of Scripture [John 14:1-4] took on an entirely new meaning for me.  My transformation from the typical mainline Protestant denomination of an Amillennial eschatology which was so full of flaws and inconsistencies that it was utterly bewildering.  I discovered for myself on my own, the Dispensational understanding resolved the gross incoherence of the Amillennial view.  I underwent a transformation, a metamorphosis in my theological beliefs as to how I regained a new trust in the Word of God as only Dispensationalism can do.  When I came to the realization that John 14:1-4 is a "Rapture" passage, even my funeral services were transformed.  All I can say is that for me is 1st Corinthians 14:33 became alive, "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."   I have stated last year in my posts that I never had or owned a copy of a Scofield Bible, let alone have a copy ever in my hands.  I came to my own Dispensational understanding by using the Hermentical skills that I learned in seminary and over the past twenty-five years.

I offer you an observation that I made and concluded over my 50+years in ministry.  Turnover, of men leaving ministry is much higher among those mainline Protestant denominations where the Scriptures are interpreted allegorically or by being spiritualized.  The exact opposite is what you find with those that study the Scriptures from a Dispensationalism framework. The Hermeneutic of Dispensationalism makes sense and it has coherence.  The Covenant/Reformed Hermeneutic that originated with Augustine and the 'Mother of Harlots' church delude themselves and others. 

What first got my initial attention and started me on the quest for Biblical Truth was the fact that the RCC and most mainline Protestant churches see the Bible as having only two covenants, i.e., the Old Testament and the New Testament.  That is an infantile simplistic approach and a gross misrepresentation with the Covenants made by the Creator with His creation.  It required me to face the evidence and to re-learn how to rightly divide the Word of God.  Remembering that the evidence does not lie, there can be only one verdict in a quest for Biblical Truth.

The past week the Internet has seen a flood of articles by the 'doomsday preppers' and survival sites.  I have seen no less than ten reports on the effects of an EMP attack.  EMP is an acronym for an "Electro-Magnetic Pulse" attack.  We first learned about the effects of EMP when the US government was conducting nuclear tests at the Johnson Islands in the Pacific Ocean back in the 1960's and '70's.  The EMP can occur as a result of solar flares or the detonation of a high-yield nuclear device.  Scientific experts point out that such a weapon detonated a couple hundred miles directly over Kansas or Iowa would fry anything and everything electrical or electronic within CONUS.  As it turns out, the Amish are the only folks in this country that live without the convenience of electricity but even they would be hard pressed to survived in a gamma ray burst that could wipe out everything around them.  Think about the crushing blow that would result by having to face being without the personal cell phone!

We can be paralyzed by "Fear" or be "Comforted by His Words".  The ultimate test will be our Faith.  Like in the movie 'The Matrix', the choice was between the red pill or the blue pill.  Hitler once said, "Terrorism is the best political weapon, for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death".  If you have read the back of the Book, you know that we win.   We win because God planned for what is coming.  God declared the end from the beginning.  Read Isaiah 46:10.  We win because we can do nothing.  Its all about God's GRACE and our FAITH! 
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man boast."  -(Ephesians 2:8-9).

We are nearing crunch time.  Do not let anyone steal your joy or eat your lunch.  God has you in His hands!
Keep alert, awake, and at work.  We are just five months away from the Rosh HaShanah date of September 15th on the official Torah Calendar web site.  Interestingly it falls on a Wednesday, the traditional day of Jewish weddings in Biblical times!

Blessings in Jesus,

Pastor Bob