"It Is Written!"
This is my focus in this post series about the fact that "Absence of Proof is Not Proof of Absence". If you have not caught on to this theme, it is for the purpose of encouragement to the believers in Christ Jesus as our personal savior. For me personally, "The Theme of the Bride" is, by far, the greatest study for our faith and confidence in the belief that Christ Jesus will come for the faithful just prior to or at the beginning of the "Seven" year Tribulation. I can also state unequivocally, that it is not the only "Theme" that gives us the great hope we can have in a "Pre-Tribulation Rapture"
The definitive response given by Jesus Christ, to Satan, was "It Is Written,......" And then He would go on to rebut the devil with "pure words of truth". We know that Jesus Christ identified the tactics of Satan in the temptation of man: 1. The lust of the eyes, 2. The lust of the flesh, 3. The pride of life. It is important that we keep that thought in the back of our minds at all times or on our radar screen. Spiritual warfare, an issue we all have to deal with, at one time or another, inhibits our ability to be as effective as we ought to be. I have noted that I have done several "thematic" studies of the Bible in my down time over the past thirty years.
I'm not going to spend a lot of time addressing the theme "It Is Written" other than to point out where this fits into the larger scope of understanding the teaching of the "Pre-Tribulation Rapture". Do you know the expression "It Is Written" is found 93 times in the Bible, 26 just in the New Testament? In this segment of "Absence of Proof is Not Proof of Absence" we take a look at how the Bible offers us many sound reasons showing why the Rapture is prior to the Tribulation.
I hope that I have been able to offer you substantive evidence for a verdict and that you will not be deceived by the "Pre-Wrath Rapture Delusion" crowd of fools and wags. They argue that there isn't a single verse in the Bible that specifically teaches the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. However, there is virtually no sound Biblical reasons to prove the Rapture will occur in the middle or after the Tribulation, either. Either position must have evidence, substantive proof, that supports, or infers, or corroborates the position being presented. It is at this point today, I would like to offer you a few things to think about. Consider the following points of evidence to the contrary.
1. The saints are commanded to watch. They are not commanded to watch for the Tribulation, but for the "Blessed Hope", which is the "Harpazao" or the Rapture, the "catching away". Scriptures proving this point are abundant, as I have shown, and will continue to present as evidence that demands a verdict for the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. If the believers were to go through the Tribulation, any portion of it, it would contradict and nullify God's Word.
2. Of the believers that get saved during the Tribulation, most will be persecuted and likely killed. The few that survive will go into the Millennium to repopulate the Earth. If the Rapture came after the Tribulation, there would be very few believers to go into the Millennium. This would make the fulfillment of God's Word on this subject, impossible.
3. The judgment of the nations, mentioned in Matthew 25, is held immediately after the Tribulation and Armageddon. If the Rapture had just happened, there would be no "sheep" at the judgment. As it is written, "And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left" -(Matthew 25:33). The "sheep" are those that are saved. The "goats" are the unsaved. Again, God's Word could not be fulfilled, if the Rapture came after the Tribulation.
4. If the Church were to go through the Tribulation, it would contradict many verses in the Bible. Most of the believers will be beheaded. The Bible clearly shows that Antichrist will prevail against the saints. Anyone who claims the Church will go through the Tribulation does not appear to understand what the Tribulation will really be like. Think about the Christians being driven from northern Iraq today as the radical "ISIS" threatens to behead them all, if they [the Christians] do not convert, or flee Iraq. Very few people will be left alive afterward. If Jesus did not come back exactly when He does, there should no flesh be left alive.
5. It is written, "Wherefore comfort one another with these words" -(1 Thessalonians 4:18). If we were watching for the horrible Tribulation period, we would not be comforted, rather, we would be terrified. This Scripture could not be fulfilled, if the believers/saints were to go into the Tribulation period.
6. It is written, "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh." -(Luke 21:28). In Luke 21, events of the Tribulation are described. Verse 28 shows that when these things begin to happen, after Israel's rebirth, then we are to know that the Rapture is about to take place. Note, it did not say, when they "have" happened, but when they "begin" to happen. They begin to happen as birth pangs of a woman about to give birth to a baby. Again, if a person was going to go through the Tribulation, the wording of this verse would be inaccurate.
7. It is written, "Blessed is that servant, whom His Lord when He cometh shall find so doing...." -(Luke 12:43). This passage denotes working for, or serving God. The Scriptures clearly shows that during the Tribulation, a time will come when the saints will not be able to work. As it is written, "I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh (which represents the Tribulation), when no man can work." -(John 9:4). This Scripture passage of the Lord appearing at the Rapture very clearly shows that it happens before the Tribulation. During the Tribulation, especially the second part, it will be nearly impossible to work; before the Rapture comes, the saints can be working. Verse 45 confirms it is the period prior to the Rapture when people are saying, "My Lord delayeth His coming." This same message is confirmed in Matthew 24:45-48. A further thought here is appropriate when addressing what happens when "fear" begins to dominates the landscape. Psychologically, when people are overtaken by the sense of "fear" the human mind shuts down in rational thinking. Panic sets in and all ability to function normally goes into a "shut down" mode. If you doubt that, just ask anyone that has served in combat in a theater of war. The US military trains the troops to deal with and deter the power of fear, to heighten their ability to function in situations where fear can render a person helpless. The level of their training increases in the special forces category such as Rangers, SEAL teams, Delta Force, etc., because of the nature of special operations. Likewise, the stock market is manipulated through two forces - greed and fear!
8. The "Seven" Feasts of God, given to Israel in Leviticus 23 gives us God's Timetable.
Why then does there seem to be so much confusion among some people on this subject? The answer is clear as day. "God is not the author of confusion" -(1st Corinthians 14:33). Satan is the author of confusion. Some people hold the incorrect position that the Rapture will take place in the midst of the Tribulation. Some hold the misguided position that the Rapture will come at the end of the Tribulation. There are some misguided people who do not believe there will be a Rapture. They do not believe that Jesus will actually return as King of kings, and Lord of lords, as the Scriptures clearly point out. They do not believe there will be a Tribulation. Others believe that the Lord returned 1,800 years ago, and still others believe that He returned 110 years ago.
A person that believes that the Rapture will come during or after the Tribulation, also may not even begin to fully understand what the Tribulation will really be like at all. There has never been in the history of the Earth a time, either before the flood or after the flood, that will be as bad as what is soon to come. Matthew 24:21,22 makes this crystal clear.
We are not to be looking for the Tribulation, but for the 'Blessed Hope' and the Glorious Appearing of the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. -(Titus 2:13). Regarding the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, it is written, "Wherefore comfort one another with these words" -(1 Thessalonians 4:18). There is no comfort in watching for the Tribulation.
By watching for the Tribulation, instead of the 'Blessed Hope', we nullify the Word of God. To watch for the Tribulation, is to watch for the most horrible time in the history of the world. To think that one would enter this utterly terrifying time would mean that a Christian would live a life of fear. During the Tribulation, those that turn to God would still not be comforted, if they have to go through the Tribulation. World events tell us that Tribulation is coming, so we need not be watching for the Tribulation.
Those that teach the Rapture will not come prior to the Tribulation are making God's Word of no effect (null and void). This is exactly what Satan wants us to do. That is what other sites are doing on behalf of the man of sin! They are instilling "fear" in the minds of their readers. You can clearly see this in the headlines of their daily posts. The sensationalism in their headline posts psychologically are directed to instill fear. If that wasn't enough, then on top of that, one site posts heresy teachings that head their site, every day, are from the "Pre-Wrath-Rapture-Delusion" of SDA Steven "Mark" Wolhberg. What did the Apostle Paul say in Ephesians 5:11? "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." I have pointed out before the meaning of "reprove" is to expose their unfruitful works for darkness. I think of the so-called prophecy sites that nullify their message by offering and selling to their readers, survival foods, or gold and silver, you know, the real currencies.
Folks, those people are in it for the money and they are playing upon people's fear. My point is that they are not exalting their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to deliver them from the wrath to come, by selling survival food buckets and survival gear, not if they believe Jesus Words as Truth. They use the Word of God for personal gain, to exploit the lambs and fleece them of their hard-earned incomes.
I used to watch Jim Bakker on television from his compound down in the Ozarks, huckstering his survival food buckets. While getting some morning laughs over his wacko teachings, I could not dismiss the thought of the hypocrisy and foolishness of this charlatan. Jim Bakker does not believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, he has said as much. In the meantime, he profits on people's "fear".
As I will continue in this series, "Absence of Proof is Not Proof of Absence", there is so much the believer fails to consider when it comes to our Faith.