We, and I refer to most people, have short memories and short attention spans, being conditioned by the half-hour television programs. With the advent of television back in the 1950's, people's interest spans began to drop off with the "tube". By the time the seventies began to roll around, most preachers in my day were puzzled as to the fidgeting among congregations. Few of you will know this, but back in the late 1970's, a study was commissioned to study this problem, and the conclusion was that the public have been conditioned by the television and half-hour programming. Churches wanted short sermon messages and shorter services.
The focus of this post will deal with the larger picture of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. In the previous segments my focus was to present evidence to the contrary that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture was created in the late 1800's. I thought I would break from the evidence phase of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine and deal with the "Faith-building" side of the "Blessed Hope". In later posts, I will come back and provide more historical background on specific great men of Christianity that taught the Pre-Tribulation doctrine.
We have all heard people say there's no verse in the Old Testament that clearly states that Jesus Christ will return in Two Phases. There are others that say there's no verse in the New Testament that clearly states that Jesus Christ will return in Two Phases. People point out that the same words are used for the Rapture and the Second Coming, so therefore there is no difference between these two events. In Greek it is referred to as the "Parousia". Citing 1st Thessalonians 4:15, it speaks of the Coming of the Lord in reference to the Rapture and Mark 13:36, it speaks of the Coming of the Lord in reference to His Second Coming. And yet, people will insist there is NO difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming. I heard this when I was in seminary back in 1970, and I heard it when I was in seminary as recent as the early 1990's. The problem is in the fact they err seriously in their logic. This is perhaps the greatest fault of the Bible reading public. We see it with all of the anti-Pre-Trib Rapture web sites, and there are a lot of them.
People who make these comparisons simply note the similarities but they ignore the many contextual differences that surround the passages in question. Such errors in logic can be compounded to absurdity. For example, the cliche that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. You get the point. It is a breech of logic. Skewed logic involves noting similarities, while ignoring dozens of differences, that yield the incorrect conclusion. Depending on what facet of prophecy people focus upon, many differing ideas emerge.
The focus of this post and those to follow is rooted in sound logic and reason. The Barna Research Group recently released a report that reflects this point. Just a few weeks ago they released a survey study that revealed 52% of Americans hold the belief that Jesus Christ sinned! In case any of you happen to hold that view then read 2nd Corinthians 5:21 and Hebrews 4:15 for openers. Jesus Christ took on our sin but He did not commit sin!
Folks generally fail to compare Scripture with Scripture. They either ignore sound Hermeneutic principles or they do not know them. We must be aware of the differences surrounding pertinent prophecies (be it Israel, the Church, the Rapture, the Millennium, etc.) and make the logical deductions. We have to ask questions, such as, "What's different? How is it different? Why is it different? And what does it mean? God never says one thing and then turn around to say something different in another location! Study God's Word, pray the Holy Spirit will open your heart and mind to its depth and meaning. Because we see through a glass darkly as Paul states, we need the Holy Spirit's guidance to shine the light upon it, in aiding our analysis to obtain correct deductions about why those differences are there and what they mean.
Some people insist that the Church should be prepared for trouble. Their argument is built around the concept that the Church better know how to survive in the Tribulation, in case we might find ourselves in the midst of the Tribulation. I, nor my fellow Pre-Trib friends, never assume that because we know Jesus that we will not see or experience tribulation. To the contrary, we see continuous troubles, trials, tragedies, and afflictions. Where I worship, the prayer list is made up of over 1/3rd of people facing cancer of one kind or another. It is also true that our faith should be strong enough in the Word of God, and His promises, so that we can rise above whatever situation we might face on any given day. However, it's not true that the Church should be focused on 'survival' skills the "doomsday preppers" advocate to weather "The" Tribulation. The true Church will not be in "The" Tribulation, not at all!
I don't buy for one minute the idea that Christians will grow lazy if we expect a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. To the contrary, my belief in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture keeps my eyes and mind clearly focused on my priorities. I'm retired, but I'm not thinking about taking a cruise to Alaska or to the Mediterranean, nor am I going to purchase a new Apple watch. That whole idea of growing lazy runs contradictory to Scripture. Jesus said we were to occupy till He comes in Luke 19:13. We are God's workmanship, made anew in Christ prepared to do good works in any way that we can. God ordained before hand that we should walk in them in Ephesians 2:9. You see, when we love Christ Jesus and are walking in the Spirit, and not in the flesh, our sincere desire is to be active in the things of the Lord, in the things the Lord has called us to be about. To operate otherwise is to be disobedient.
Another false assumption that people make, is to say God is love, and therefore He will not get angry or allow people to be hurt and killed. Such an excuse is the result of an unbalanced belief system. There is a tension in balancing our belief in the full compliment of God's attributes. Historically, the Church has went from one extreme to another in the spectrum of where it stood in relationship to teaching God's Love vs God's Holiness. That has been most evident in the past seventy years as we have misunderstood blessing to be a right or entitlement. You see this in the modern "word-faith" movement of the "name it and claim it" church heresy.
Scripture declares that God is a jealous God, hates certain things, and repels when we allow other things to become our idols. God hates sin and will judge, chasten, and take you to the woodshed if need be. It might not be a pleasant thought but many people today have missed being told that God does not change. God will lay His wrath at the the Church door for sure. Of that I have no doubt. But there is a side of blessing that God has provided by which sinful man can approach His holiness. He paid a dear price by sending His Only Begotten Son, Jesus of Nazareth, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life! The price of our salvation was a high price in order to save our souls.
There are many so confused as to their understanding that God has a plan to deliver His elect from the fast approaching Great Tribulation. Their hope in the "Blessed Hope" is but a flickering candle in their lives. Few people are so inclined to study the Bible to see precisely what it does say concerning the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. And for that reason, I will try to provide the reader a solid Biblical understanding of why you can trust the "Blessed Hope" and in spite of all the turmoil in the world, you can still have joy in the face of ominous clouds on the horizon. This post will contain a lot of Biblical references and because of the length, I will list these as well as insights that become significant in their validity. I will offer them over a series of posts. The evidence is there but it may not be so obvious to the reader. However, by the time I have covered all the points you will understand why no other view, not the mid-trib, pre-wrath, post-trib, pan-trib, none of them will even marginally refute the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
1. The Pre-Tribulation Rapture is the only position which maintains imminence. All other positions require that prerequisites of certain prophecies must be fulfilled first. I personally live by imminence, but because Jesus Christ fulfilled the first four feasts (spring feasts) of Leviticus 23, I have no reason to believe that He will not fulfill the last three feasts (fall feasts). For me there is no conflict between the two teachings of imminence and the meanings inferred in the fall feasts. The advocates of supersessionism or "Replacement" theology for centuries kept Christians from studying the depth of many passages, particularly Leviticus 23. Those advocates were all, in one way or another, connected to Roman Catholicism and the daughter "Covenant/Reformed" Protestant denominations. Nearly all former Catholics are anti-Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Remember the Jesuit doctrine, "Give me a child for the first seven years of his/her life and I will give you a Catholic for life". The folks at another well-known Anti-Pre-Tribulation site have on numerous times noted of their being former Roman Catholics. That little known fact explains everything; why they promote the Apocryphal books, why they push Old Testament "law", why they harp on "justice, punishment, etc." It explains the absence of "Grace" in their personal rants and posts denigrating the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine. It explains so much about their spirituality, they live in a sense of fear and trepidation. It explains why they have an inability to be logical and rational in their thinking. You watch and see, but given what I have shared about the Early Church Fathers, they will continued to harp on Darby and MacDonald being the originator of the Pre-Trib doctrine, even in spite of all the historical evidence. They may not be JW's or SDA's but they sound like them because of the need to follow a prescribed script. Jesuits are skilled at the art of propaganda and mind control. I quipped by referring to them as the Energizer Bunny, it just keeps on with its drum beat. And while they may talk anti-Catholic, they are still "mind-controlled" to specific Catholic beliefs from that early age as a Catholic child.
2. Instead of watching for Christ Jesus to come in the air, instead of anticipating His arrival with joy, people are fixated on watching for the appearance of the Antichrist, for signs, for wars, rumors of wars, and for the unfolding of many other prophecies first. The signs are all around us. Do you realize how this undermines imminence and distracts you from the One we are to be watching for. It dissipates and drains our energy. Satan has always had an "Antichrist" candidate in the wings waiting to step on the stage of the world to those waiting his arrival. God controls time! Jesus offered up the idea that when you see ALL these signs coming together simultaneously, we can know His coming is even closer.
3. Scripture declares that no one knows the day or the hour of Jesus' appearance. This has to mean the Rapture of His Church! If it meant for the time after the Tribulation, it ceases to make sense. The days and hours of the Tribulation can be counted and known, according to the prophecy of Daniel 9:27! First the statement that "no one knows the day or hour" of Jesus arrival is a Hebrew "idiom" and which the disciples would have known it referred to the Feast of Trumpets, the two-day event that falls this year on the calendar date of September15, 2015. Regarding Daniel 9:27 provides exact dates - years, months, and days are given, and anyone who sees the Antichrist make the "peace covenant" with Israel can begin to mark the count, that establishes the precise arrival date of the Messiah. We would be able to calculate the precise date when Jesus' feet would touch the earth. If the Church should be required to enter the Tribulation, we could calculate the day and the hour, which is exactly the opposite of not knowing! The Scriptures must show two different events.
4. We see many instances where Jesus exhorted His followers, including you and I, to be watching, an emphasis that they would not not know the day or the hour. In Matthew 24:42-47, it states that the Goodman of the house is to be watching. The theme of imminency is evident everywhere in the New Testament. It is found in the following passages of Scripture: Matt. 24:36; Mark 13:33-37; Luke 12:35, 36, 40; Acts 1:7; Phil. 3:20; 1st Thess. 1:9,10; 5:6; 4:15; 4:18; 2nd Thess. 2:1; 1st Timothy 6:14; Hebrews 9:28;10:37; Titus 2:13; Rev. 22:20. A point that is often overlooked by many is that imminence requires a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, otherwise it could not be considered an imminent event. I hope you can begin to see the logic of this point
5. In Mark 13:28-37, the parable of the fig tree, referring to the rebirth of Israel is given, showing a general time frame and season. Jesus, again, exhorted His followers to be ready and watching, because they do not know the day or the hour when He will come. Likewise, imminency is obvious. In all of the passages noted in point #4, we see a repetitive message driving home the point to be watching, waiting, and working. It communicates a sense of urgency for our being prepared.
6. In Luke 21:29-36, dealing with the parable of the fig tree is repeated, and with a parallel warning, to be ready and watching, because no one knows the day or hour, when Jesus will descend in the clouds to call His Church/Bride up in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Again, imminency is stressed.
7. In Matthew 24:48-51, the evil servant did not watch. He said, "My Lord delayeth His coming". Therefore thinking there is plenty of time before the Lord appears, the evil servant began beating his fellow servants, and fulfilling the lusts of his flesh, eating and drinking with the drunken. Jesus will come when that evil servant is not looking for him, not expecting His imminent arrival, in an hour when the servant is not aware, not watching! The Lord will cut that servant asunder, in judgment. People who do not expect the Lord's imminent coming grow lax in keeping guard over their lives, and are not ready, because they think there's still plenty of time.
8. The Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church/Bride is imminent, and it is an incentive for holy living! -(1st John 3:2-3). Imminency keeps me alert, awake, and at work. Even at my age, pushing 79, I don't plan to vegetate away watching the "tube".
9. The early Church believed in the imminence of Jesus' coming. Early writing have been noted which shows His coming was expected any moment. That fact was noted in previous segments where several theologians have confirmed that to be the case of the Church during the first three centuries. It is a fact of history and those that tell you otherwise do not know their history or they are intentional trying to deceive the rest of us. The essentials of the original Pre-Tribulation and Pre-Millennial Rapture are well-documented and in future posts we will look at even more of the long list of Church Fathers who believed in imminence.
10. Following the early Church councils, where attention was given to sound doctrine and teaching, there came a period of time of its decline. Many doctrines that mainline Protestant denominations support today are based on the heresies of Saint Augustine, and one of his heresies was that of Amillennialism (meaning there would be no 1,000-year reign of Christ Jesus). Augustine introduced into the Church the idea of spiritualization of Scripture and the allegorical means of interpretation. Imminence was lost with the Roman Catholic domination of the early Christian community. When a church looses the doctrine of imminence, where it is not expecting the Lord's soon return it grows cold and lax and looses the passion to share the Gospel, and drifts into areas of apostasy and heresy. This is most evident in what is known as "the emergent church" today, where the focus is to redefine Christianity. You see it in Southern Baptists, Assembly of God, and other churches praising people like Roma Downey, a Catholic, who calls Pope Francis as a "pope with hope" and who worships the virgin Mary. Roma Downey promotes the use of the rosary as a mediation practice by which she prays to Mary as the Queen of Heaven and the Mother of God, and a Catholic Mary is sinless and can hear and answer the prayers of every petitioner, thus having the divine attributes of mediatorship. Think on this seriously, because Roma Downey has been praised by the likes of Ronnie Floyd (President of SBC), Ed Stetzer (SBC's Lifeway Research), George Wood (Gen. Supt. AG Church), Catholic Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Andy Stanley, Max Lucado, Perry Noble, and Rick Warren. None of them has warned the Christian community of Roma Downey's 'New Age' apostasy. Roma Downey's heresies exceed those pertaining to the Papacy, sacramental gospel, and communion with a demon masquerading as Mary. She has a graduate degree in Spiritual Psychology, which can be summed up in two words "New Age".
11. The argument that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture isn't found in the Bible is totally false. In an earlier segment, I shared how through a series of errors, how the translators overlooked a basic existence of the Greek "definite" article in the Greek Textus-Receptus. The translators omitted the "definite' article and as a matter of religious or political correctness even changed the word from "departure" that had existed in six previous English translations of the Bible.
12. The word 'Rapture' is from the Latin "rapere" or "rapturo" which is indeed found in the Latin Vulgate Version of the Bible. It is from the Latin root that we get our English word "raptor". A raptor is a bird of prey such as an eagle, osprey, hawk or owl. Even the US Air Force has used the name for its fifth generation F35 jet fighter-bomber. A raptor like an eagle sweeps down from above to suddenly "snatch up", or "Harpazo" in Greek, its dinner. In the Rapture, Jesus will descend from the heavens and "catch up" His Bride/Church to Himself with the power of His voice, "Come up hither" as noted in Revelation 4:1.
13. The Greek word "Harpazo" for the Rapture means "to be caught up" is found in 1st Thessalonians 4:17 and a total of 18X in the New Testament, and appears in 11 different grammatical forms. Among its meanings is "to be plucked out" or "to be taken by force" or "snatched out by force".
14. While the word itself is not found in our English translations of the Bible, it is indeed there as "caught up" and in the action displayed in that event itself. So to deny that the word is not in the Bible, is like saying the "Trinity" is not in the Bible. We know that is not the case either because the Biblical word is "the Godhead". Humans often substitute words or expressions to get across their point to an audience. Making the claim the word "Rapture" is not in the Bible is merely a sign of ignorance [lack of knowledge] on the part of the person making such a statement.
15. The more popular passages of Scripture that speak of the Rapture are the promise of the Apostle John in John 14:1-4; Isaiah 26:19-20; Paul's teaching on it in 1st Corinthians 15:51-52; 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1st Thessalonians 5:1-11; 2nd Thessalonians 2:2-3; and 2nd Thessalonians 2:6-8.
16. The actions shown in Revelation 4:1 is a descriptive "type"of the Rapture, picturing an action and in the sequence of events occurring after the testimony of the seven Churches in Revelation 2:1-3:1-22. The word "after" is declared twice in Revelation 4:1 - "After these things" and "hereafter". After what things? After the ministry of the seven churches. When the "plain sense" makes "perfect sense", seek no other sense lest you get nonsense.
17. Israel, and His nemesis, the Jewish Pharisees, at the time of Jesus did not recognize their promised Messiah when Jesus presented Himself to them. Why? They did not differentiate between their own prophecies which show the two comings of Jesus. Even today, most Jews still do not accept Jesus as their Messiah because of their reliance on the Talmud rather than the Hebrew Bible. They have a veil over their eyes.
18. In Jesus' First Advent, He arrived on Earth as the Suffering Messiah (the Lamb), as Isaiah 53:2-10; Psalms 2:6-12; Zechariah 12:9, and Zechariah 9:16 tell us.
19. In Jesus' Second Advent, he will arrive on Earth as a conquering King, as the Lion of Judah, as Psalms 2:6-12; Zechariah 12:9; and Zechariah 9:16 differentiate.
20. Jews, who study the Scriptures miss this completely. When Jesus did not fit their idea of a king, they rejected Him. How could that be one might ask? How could they have missed it? Two reasons stand out in the history of the Jews.
First, they had a faulty preconceived idea or expectations. Secondly, they studied Scripture with natural understanding through the flesh, which is enmity against God as stated in Romans 8:7-8 and 2nd Corinthians 2:9-14. The religious leaders of Jesus' time tried to trap Jesus, and He rebuked them often, which further infuriated them. Matthew 12:1-50 is the classic example of their blindness. The religious people could not see who Jesus really was. When Jesus said "I AM" (the equivalence of God's name) in Luke 22:70, and said that they would see Him sitting at the right hand of God, the Father in Matthew 26:64, they tore their clothes and accused Him of blasphemy. This ultimately led to His crucifixion, exactly as the Scriptures prophesied. The "religious leaders" of Israel were facilitators or instrumental in helping to fulfill their own prophecies.
21. Today, people also study the Scriptures with their own natural understanding, or without the Divine Light of the Holy Spirit. They have preconceived ideas of how the prophecies will be fulfilled. Many do not see the Second Advent of Jesus happening in two stages. An interesting facet of Jewish worship, in their reading of the Torah, Isaiah 53 is not even included in the schedule of Sabbath readings. The book of Isaiah, chapters 1-52 are part of the 'Half Torah' read in worship on the Sabbath, and when the New Year begins, they return to Isaiah 1 and begin all over by reading a portion of Isaiah chapter 1, etc..
22. Stage one is the Rapture of the Bride/Church, when Jesus descends from the clouds to call His Bride/Church up to Himself. Stage two is the Second Coming, when the feet of Jesus actually touch the ground.
23. 1st Corinthians 15:22-25 clarifies the stages, by showing us the stages of the First Resurrection. This particular chapter is by far the greatest discussion on the promises, the blessings, and benefits of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine. To dismiss it as being unimportant, or anything other than what it is smacks of Satanic deception.
24. Jesus Christ is the First Fruits of those who rise from the dead. This happened on the Feast of First Fruits, three days following Jesus' death.
25. "Afterward, they that are in Christ's at His Coming". This is the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Bride/Church.
26. Then comes the end, in which the Kingdom of God will be established at the start of the Millennium. For He (Jesus Christ) must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet" during the Millennium. According to the structure of 1st Corinthians 15:22-25, after "the Tribulation" is done and over with, a third stage of the First Resurrection will occur so that some saints can enter the Millennium in their glorified flesh. These are the Tribulation saints of Revelation 19:25-26, and the Old Testament saints of Job 19:25-26.
27. The sequence of 1st Corinthians 15:22-25 clearly show a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Bride/Church! When the "plain tense" makes "perfect sense" seek "no other sense that is nonsense". One of the reasons there is so much confusion in most Protestant denominations is that the Apostle Paul himself, is ignored. Paul is not given his due when it comes to New Testament teaching. "Covenant/Reformed" theologians and the Protestant denominations holding the "Covenant/Reformed" beliefs tend to put Paul into the background of the New Testament. Paul does for "Dispensationalism" what Saint Augustine did for Roman Catholicism.
28. Details of the Rapture and the Second Coming are very different and cannot be the same event! 2nd Timothy 2:15 states that we have to rightly divide the Word of God!
29. The stumbling block for most has been the issue of Israel. "Covenant/Reformed" Theology has no place for Israel in the larger picture of God's Master Plan. At the Council of Nicea, the only attendees were the churches where only Gentile Christians were present. No Jewish Christians were in attendance at the Council of Nicea. From that point forward, Christianity disassociated itself from Jewish believers and Jews in general. From 135 AD, the divide between Jews and Christians became deeper and insurmountable than the Pacific Ocean Trench. With Origen and other Church Fathers, and definitely by the time of Augustine, the Church saw itself as the new "Spiritual Israel" replacing the Jews who had rejected their Messiah. I could write pages on this but suffice it to say, ONLY Dispensationalism has a clear differentiation between Israel and the Church. Read Acts 15:14-15 and Romans 11:25-27 for a correct Biblical hermeneutic on this issue. 90% of all Churches today hold to some form of "Replacement" Theology or "Supersessionalism". Churches that follow the "Dispensational" theological position rightly interpret the word and recognize that God is not done with the Jews. To teach otherwise is to virtually rip out a portion of the Bible, the book of the Bible that defines the Christian Church beliefs, Romans 9-12.
30. To suggest that the Church will remain on Earth for the Tribulation confuses the message of Daniel's 70th Week, and cause the Church to receive what was appointed to Israel and their Holy City. The purpose of the Tribulation is defined by Hosea 5:15, "I will go and return to my place, til they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early." The Tribulation (all of it is about Israel and a disbelieving and disobedient world)! It's God method of judgment for those that refuse to call Jesus Christ Lord!
31. The unity of Daniel's 70th Week is maintained by the Pre-Tribulation view. By contrast, the Mid-Tribulation, the Preterist, and Pre-Wrath views destroys that unity and confuses God's program for Israel with that of the Church. There are as many as a dozen reasons why these other views cannot be correct.
32. The Post-Tribulation view denies the clear teaching of the 70th Week of Daniel by subjecting the literal prophecy to one form or another as simply allegory. It gives Israel's destiny to the Church. It in essence calls God a liar when one recognizes there are numerous Old Testament prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled. Most of these will be found in the books of the Old Testament prophets and some elsewhere in Scripture.
33. In the 70th Week (during the "Tribulation") as prophesied in Zechariah 13:8-9, 2/3rds of Israel will NOT survive, but will perish. Only1/3rd of them will come through the fire at that time, refined like silver and gold, and will say that the Lord is their God. It's not the Church who will be refined by that terrible judgment! The Bride/Church has already been washed in the Blood and has been forgiven for its sins and made new creatures in Christ Jesus.
34. The prophecy for Israel, clearly says, "Seventy Weeks are Determined upon your people (Daniel's people, Israel) and upon your Holy City (Jerusalem)" There is no mention of the Church in Daniel 9:24, or elsewhere in Daniel. The reason there is no reference to the Church is that God has a different plan for those in Christ as the born-again Bride Church.
35. The Church Age fits into a "Gap" or ( Parenthesis ) period that happens between Daniel's 69th and 70th week. Last year I did a couple posts showing the concept of the "Gap" could be found in over twenty different places within the Bible. Don't let anyone fool you by saying the "Gap" doesn't exist like the Preterists want to believe. They ignore the Luke 4:19 and the continuation from the Isaiah 61:1-2 passage
36. God stopped Israel's clock in order for the Church Age to occur. Like a chess-clock, God will not restart Israel's clock until after the Church Age is finished. It is my belief that event is about to happen, perhaps within the year. Once the Bride/Church is snatched up at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, God will start Israel's clock! If things look ominous now, think about what it will be like on Earth during the Tribulation.
37. The Dispensation of Israel (under the Old Testament Law) was interrupted by the Dispensation of God's Grace through the Church. When the Dispensation of GRACE in the Church is complete, then God will resume and finish the interrupted Dispensation of His Law in Israel. This is clearly confirmed by the Gap between Daniel's 69th and 70th Weeks of Daniel 9:24-27. The word "Grace" is found throughout the King James Bible 170X in 159 verses. Interestingly, a study of the word or theme of "Grace", we find that ALL references, but except for 37X in the Old Testament, the bulk are found in the New Testament, 133X. Of these 133X, only 4 are found in the Gospels of Luke (1X), John (3X), Acts (10X). Paul's epistles contains the bulk of the references to "Grace", nearly 100x. Grace can be expressed as God's Riches At Christ's Expense" These are True words of comfort to us who believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine.
38. People fight this idea, but God has dealt with man differently through the 6,000 years. A Dispensation is defined as God's economy a manner of working in performing His administration, superintending various groups of people throughout Scripture. God has dealt with various groups in differing means of administration in God's economy. We can see it clearly by paying close attention to what is recorded in the Bible. Dispensations are clearly noted in 1st Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 3:2, and Colossians 1:25-26. Dispensationalism is Biblical and reconciles many perceived differences throughout the Bible.
39. The Tribulation (the entire seven years of it) is distinctly Jewish in nature. "Seven" is God's authenticating signature sign (finger print if you will) of authentication and validating His Divinity. "Seven" is more than a number of completion or spiritual perfection; it is the Creator's unique signature (finger print if you will), so that it can't be counterfeited. It is in all of life, natural, physical, spiritual, and as an example, every single one of us undergoes a "Sabbatical" rest once a week, when all of our vital signs go into a rest mode. By that I am saying that all medical vital signs decline or slow down for one day a week. Our body is subject to this "ciraseptan" cycle in many ways I cannot go into here.
40. In the Bride/Church, their is neither Jew or Gentile, but all are one in Christ's body. Ephesians 2:11-22 and Galatians 3:28 makes that point quite clear. The Bible differentiates between Jew, Gentile, and the Church.
41. The Bible makes a distinction during the Tribulation. Revelation 7:1-17 notes the sealing of 144,000 sealed servants from the twelve tribes of Israel. Jeremiah 30:7 notes that the Tribulation as "Jacob's trouble". Again, the focus is on Israel, not the Bride/Church.
42. The book of Revelation provides a lot, most of our information, of detail concerning the Tribulation, from chapters 6 through 18, and yet there is not as much as a verse suggesting that the Bride/Church will be a participant in the entire "Seven" year time. Once people get their theology straight on a differentiation of or the distinction between Israel and the Church, things fall into place quickly. I have held the view this issue is the "Veil" over the eyes of the Protestants and Catholics when it come to understanding the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine.
43. The Bride/Church is the major entity from the book of the Acts of the Apostles all the way to Jude, and its mission is that of spreading the Gospel to the world. The Apostle Paul synthesized the New Testament message (Gospel) as that of the Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Christ Jesus. The Old Testament provides us the historical understanding of why God had to reconcile the issue of the sins of Israel with God's Holiness. This typology of a sacrifice for sin, a propitiation/substitute was needed to make atonement for man's sin, and in this case, Israel.
44. The Bride/Church is the key entity in Revelation, from chapter 1 to chapter 5, on Earth and in Heaven. It does not re-appear again until the last chapters in Revelation 19 to 22. We have so many examples throughout the Word of God that differentiate the bifurcation between the nation of Israel and the Church.
45. There is also an absence of teaching about the Tribulation in the key Church-related Bible passages. This explains why there is no specific instructions given to the Church on how to live through the Tribulation. It simply is staring us in the face, there is no need for specific instructions because the Church is not in the Tribulation. The Bride/Church will not be in the Tribulation.
46. When Israel was central in the Old Testament, the Church was a mystery.
47. When Israel was the central focus in the Gospels, the Church was essentially unmentioned, until Jesus brought it up in Matthew 16:18 and 18:17. Almost all of Jesus' teachings were about the Kingdom of Heaven.
48. When the Bride/Church is the focus in the book of Acts through Jude, Israel is not mentioned, except but once, when the apostles said the church is not to consider themselves better than Israel. Israel was to be grafted back in plus there is neither Jew or Greek (Gentile) in the Church, but all are the body of Christ (the Bride/Church).
49. The Bride/Church is absolutely central in Revelation 1-3 (mentioned 19X) and is also seen in Revelation 4 and 5, in the description of the 24 elders. Notably absent in those five chapters is any mention of the nation of Israel.
50. When Israel is the focus in Revelation 6-18, there is not a single reference to the Bride/Church, not so much as a hint. When you see all the means by which the Word provides us this differentiation between Israel and the Church, you begin to recognize the theme or pattern by which God is stressing a key point.
This post has covered a lot of points, explanation, and is quite a lot to cover in a single post. I have no doubt that I missed a Scripture or two, but there is more than enoughhere to make my case in a court of law. I will pick up with another block of Biblical data points in "Pre-Tribulation Truth - 9". The collective content will take several segments to cover. The Word of God says what it means and means what it says. God is not a god of confusion. 2nd Corinthians assures us, "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints". Until we meet again, feast on this information as the evidence continues to accumulate in support of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture belief.
Blessings in Jesus Christ, King of kings, and Lord of lords.