the TOUGH ISSUES
FACING CHRISTIANS TODAY!
(Fifth Update – Massively
Expanded Issue: through March 22, 2008)
TIMING AND DISPENSATIONALISM”
published as: “Rapture Timing is Important!”)
VERY IMPORTANT COMMENT: If
you read only one thing in this newsletter, then PLEASE read the Bible verses
in Section II. The sequence of events leading up to the “Rapture” of
“end-time” Christians is clearly spelled out in the first four Bible
passages listed in that section.
NOTE #1: All emphasis in this newsletter, unless otherwise noted, is by the editor of “Examining the Tough Issues (ETI)” and “Tackling the Tough Topics (TTT)” newsletters. All of my new, as well as updated, articles and newsletters are posted on these three websites: www.toughissues.org, www.pastorbutch.com, and www.gordoncomstock.com. (On the second website, please “click” on the “Tackling the Tough Topics” box in the left-hand column of their homepage. On the third website, at the top of their homepage, please “double click” on the “RESOURCES” box, and then “double click” on the “Tackling the Tough Topics” box. If you would like to print off copies of any of my newsletters and articles, then I would suggest that you print them off from the third website – since they should “print out” best from it.)
NOTE #2: All Bible verses quoted by this editor are taken from the Authorized King James Version (KJV). I have used “italics” for ALL the quotations that I have placed in this newsletter, including those from the Bible. When a KJV Bible verse is quoted in which “italics” were used in the original ONLY for those words supplied by the translators to clarify meanings, such words will still appear in “italics”; however, I have also placed such “KJV translator-supplied words” in BRACKETS, e.g., [the sins of]. Amplifying data that I personally am adding within or before the Bible verse will also be in BRACKETS; however, my amplifying data will NOT be in “italics”, and will be preceded by the abbreviation “Ed.” [for “editor”], e.g., [Ed.: i.e., Jesus Christ]. The reason: Sometimes in sending data electronically [e.g., via E-Mail], the “italics” is lost. In such a case, my added amplifying data [in brackets] could be distinguished from those original KJV italicized words [added by the translators to clarify meanings] by the “Ed.”
NOTE #3: The following abbreviations will be used throughout the text:
(1) “Pre-Trib” = The Pre-Tribulation (Rapture)
(2) “Post-Trib” = The Post-Tribulation (Rapture)
(3) “Pre-Trib’ers” = Individuals who believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture
(4) “Post-Trib’ers” = Individuals who believe in the Post-Tribulation Rapture.
NOTE #4: The “Pre-Trib Rapture” is but one piece of a larger “prophetic pie” called “Dispensationalism”. According to Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World” (2004; Page 129), Dispensationalism “is the theory that God deals with mankind in distinct periods or ages.” Wohlberg adds, “According to [Ed.: John Nelson] Darby, we’re now in the ‘Church Age’, which will conclude with the [Ed.: Pre-Trib] Rapture.” (More information on “Dispensationalism” is given in the “Definitions” section of this newsletter.)
ED. COMMENT added on September 30, 2007: I used to believe in the Pre-Tribulation (Pre-Trib) Rapture for many years. I had read a number of books supporting the Pre-Trib prophetic viewpoint by men like Hal Lindsay and John Walvoord. However, as I began my study through the entire Holy Bible, I discovered more and more Bible passages that clearly contradicted the Pre-Trib prophetic viewpoint! I also noticed that the teaching of the Pre-Trib Rapture had neutralized MANY Bible-believing Christians whom I had personally met. It “neutralized” them because they used it as an “excuse” for NOT fighting evil! Thus, I decided in 2003 that this was a “tough issue” that needed to be “examined” – even if doing so would disturb some folks’ comfort zones. After all, TRUTH is far more important than any of our “comfort zones”.
ED. COMMENT added on October 14, 2007: Some people will criticize me for being “divisive” because I have written about what they perceive to be a “minor” issue of doctrine – one that they would say is not a “salvation” issue. However, ALL doctrine is important – and if someone is teaching a doctrine that is contradicted by the Holy Bible (as I believe that the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine is), and which also neutralizes Christians, then I MUST expose that doctrine.
Ed. Comment added on December 6, 2007: If you believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture, then I would ask that you please read this newsletter with an open mind. (Please keep in mind that at one time I too believed in the Pre-Trib Rapture.) Whatever the current prevailing view on any topic is, it may not be correct. Please remember that at one time most people thought that the world was flat! Most of us have, at one time or another, been victims of misinformation and disinformation. We must never forget that one key element of the Jesuit-led Counter-Reformation is to INFILTRATE Protestant and independent, Bible-believing circles in order to “sow” false doctrine and false ideas in order to NEUTRALIZE true Christianity! Please consider the following quotes from the book of Proverbs:
(1) “He that answereth a matter before he heareth [it], it [is] folly and shame unto him.” (Proverbs 18:13)
(2) “[He that is] first in his own cause [seemeth] just [Ed.: i.e., right; correct; true]; but his neighbor cometh and searcheth him.” (Proverbs 18:17)
(3) “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge…” (Proverbs 15:14 a.)
DEFINITIONS (Hopefully in
NOTE #1: Please carefully read these “definitions” BEFORE reading the rest of this newsletter, since the “definitions” are critical to understanding (a.) the “players” who were involved in concocting and popularizing the Pre-Trib Rapture and, (b.) some of the “terms” that are used within the “dispensationalist camp”.
NOTE #2: I may not necessarily agree totally with every word of every “definition” given by some of the dictionaries and authors quoted within this section; however, what they have stated is given so that the reader of this newsletter can examine two or more “definitions” for some of the “key terms”.
NOTE #3: Bible prophecy is sometimes “layered” (i.e., it may have more than one application). Also, there are clearly “types” shown in the Bible (such as Moses being a “type” of Christ). Therefore, I may not necessarily agree with everything exactly as stated by some of these authors concerning their prophetic viewpoints as found within some of their definitions in this section. I would encourage the readers of this newsletter to prayerfully and carefully study through the entire Bible, and then form their own conclusions about Bible prophecy!
(Per “Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language”):
“A preposition signifying ‘against’, ‘opposite’, ‘contrary’, or
‘IN PLACE OF’; used in many English words.”
Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: One should carefully consider the particular meaning “in [the] place of” for the prefix “anti-” as concerns the term “anti-Christ” – i.e., one who sits “in [the] place of” Christ.
“Antichrist” (Per “VINE’S Complete
Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words”; 1985): “Antichrist
[Greek: antichristos]…can mean either ‘against Christ’ or
‘instead of Christ’, or perhaps, combining the two, ‘one who, assuming the
guise of Christ, opposes Christ’…”
(Per “Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language”):
“A great adversary of Christ; the man of sin; described [in] I John
2:18; II Thessalonians [Chapter] 2; [and] Revelation [Chapter]
9. Protestants generally suppose this adversary to be the Papal power;
and some divines [Ed.: i.e., clergymen] believe that, in a more general
sense, the word extends to any persons who deny Christ or oppose the fundamental
doctrines of Christianity.”
“Antichrist” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 89): “The word ‘antichrist’ literally means ‘opposed to’ or ‘IN THE PLACE OF’ Christ, and in its most subtle and diabolical manifestation it concerns something which [Ed.: or someone who] claims loyalty to Jesus [Christ] while really leading away from Him.”
Ed. Comment to the preceding three definitions: Leading Protestant Reformers (e.g., Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, etc.) agreed that the Roman Pontiff [i.e., the pope of Rome] was clearly identified in Scripture as the “Antichrist”. (Please see my newsletter, “The Real Antichrist”, which can be viewed on the three Internet websites listed at the beginning of this newsletter.)
“Daniel’s 70th Week” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 96): “Prophecy teachers in our generation definitely apply the day-for-a-year principle to the famous 70th week of Daniel 9:27, which says, ‘And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice…to cease’ (Daniel 9:27 KJV). Based on the day-year truth, this ‘one week’ is really seven years. …Many prophecy scholars today – following the lead of J.N. Darby – have decided to sever this 70th week [of Daniel 9:27] from the first 69 weeks (creating an almost 2000 year gap or parenthesis), slide it down to the end times, and call it ‘the seven years of tribulation’. We have already analyzed the problems with this view, and have proven [that] it was really Jesus Christ who brought an end to the Jewish sacrificial system through His death on the cross. Net conclusion: [Ed.: There is] no seven-year tribulation.” (See also “Seven-Year Period of Tribulation” in this section.)
Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: Incredibly, Pre-Trib
Rapture teachers and writers take this prophecy in Daniel 9:27, which points to Jesus
Christ, and apply it to a “future Antichrist”! As Steve Wohlberg
states on page 46 of his book “End Time DELUSIONS” (2004): “After
exactly three and a half years of holy ministry, Jesus Christ died on the cross,
‘in the midst of the week [in the middle of the seven years].’ At the exact
moment of His death, ‘the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to
bottom…’ (Matthew 27:51) This act of God signified that all animal
sacrifices at that moment ceased to be of value. Why? Because the Perfect
Sacrifice had been offered!”
“Darby, John Nelson” (Per Dr. James M. Dunn, Baptist Joint Committee, Washington, D.C. – his quote is taken from page 35 of the book, “Forcing God’s Hand”, by Grace Halsell; Darby was the founder of the “Plymouth Brethren”:
men largely were responsible for giving a new interpretation to Scripture,
called ‘Dispensationalism’. They said that saved Christians will be Raptured
before the Tribulation.
[Nelson] Darby [Ed.: 1800-1882], a former minister in the Church
of England, became an ‘apostle and missionary’ for this dispensationalist
belief. After traveling extensively in Europe, he began missionary journeys in
the United States. He met with and influenced leaders of the New Bible and
Prophecy Conference movement, which set the tone for the evangelical and
fundamentalist movements in North America between 1875 and 1920.
had direct contact with and considerable influence on such evangelical leaders
as the Presbyterian James Brookes of Philadelphia; Dwight L. Moody of Chicago;
the early evangelical author William E. Blackstone; as well as Cyrus Scofield,
who published the ‘Scofield Reference Bible’.
the mid-1800s and the preaching of Darby and Scofield, no one, whether
Catholic or Protestant, had dreamed of an end-time escapism.”
“Darby, John Nelson” (Per
Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist,
Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Pages 127, 128): “John
Nelson Darby (1800-1882)…[was] a brilliant lawyer, pastor, and
theologian. …Darby’s contribution to the development of evangelical
theology has been so great [that] he has been called ‘The Father of
Modern Dispensationalism’. Yet John Nelson Darby, like [Ed.: Scottish
Presbyterian minister] Edward Irving, not only became a champion for the pre-tribulation
rapture idea…but also of a future antichrist who appears
only after we [Ed.: Christians] disappear [Ed.: in the Pre-Trib
Rapture]. Both teachings – a secret [Ed.: Pre-Trib] rapture
and a future Mr. Ghastly [Ed.: i.e., the exclusively future,
end-time, single Antichrist] – are now dispensational pillars.”
Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: According to author Dave Macpherson, Darby took his ideas for the “Pre-Trib Rapture” from Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving, who had taken at least some of his ideas concerning the “Pre-Trib Rapture” from Scottish lassie Margaret Macdonald.
(Per Grace Halsell, author of “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for
a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth”; 1999; Page 118): “[Ed.:
A dispensation is] a time period or epoch, whereby people are judged
according to their personal relationship with God.”
(Per Grace Halsell, author of “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for
a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth”; 1999; Page 118): “[Ed.:
Dispensationalism is] a belief system that holds, among other things, that
the signs of the Second Coming of Christ are clearly spelled out in Scripture
and can be identified with current international events. This theology, less
than 200 years old, was popularized by [Ed.: British evangelist] John
[Nelson] Darby of England and in America by Cyrus Scofield, whose
‘Scofield Reference Bible’ explains that God has special interest in only
two peoples: Jews, said to be on an ‘earthly’ track, and Christians on a
(Per Barbara R. Rossing, author of “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of
Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page 23): “…He [Ed.:
i.e., British evangelist John Nelson Darby] invented ‘dispensations’ –
that is, intervals of time ordering God’s grand timetable for world events.
From this expression came ‘Dispensationalism’, a particular system or school
of thinking about the end-times reflecting Darby’s premise. According to
Darby’s view, God has divided all of human history into seven distinct
dispensations, or ages, and during each time God has dealt with people according
to a different set of rules. Dispensationalism thus lays out a rigid
master plan for all of history.”
(Per James Lloyd, author of “The Reckoning”; 2007; Page 7): “Although
the [Ed.: pre-tribulational] rapturist system teaches the error [that]
the ‘Church’ will be ‘raptured’ before the tribulation, leaving the
Jews to face the Antichrist in the last ‘dispensation’, the systemic error
that is Dispensationalism is far broader than just the pre-tribulational
rapture. At its most basic level, Dispensationalism divides the ages into
contrived time periods, dubbed ‘dispensations’, in which God separates how
He deals with Jews and Gentiles.”
Grace Halsell, author of “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a
Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth”; 1999; Page 118): “[A
dispensationalist is] one who adheres to the belief in seven epochs
(dispensations) that must transpire to usher in the Second Coming of Christ.”
“Futurism” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End
Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”;
2004; Page 116): “Futurism is what [Ed.: Spanish JESUIT]
Francisco Ribera [1537-1591] taught. In contrast to Preterism, Futurism
usually sees the majority of Revelation’s prophecies (from Chapter 4 onward)
as yet on the horizon. Concerning the Antichrist…Futurism generally
applies the prophecies of ‘the little horn’, ‘the man of sin’, and
‘the beast’ to a single, yet-future Mr. Serpent [Ed.: i.e., the exclusively
future, end-time, single Antichrist]…
with Preterism, Futurism’s net result is that it also significantly wipes
away ‘the beast’ [Ed.: i.e., the Antichrist] stain from the papacy.”
(Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “‘Great Tribulation’ is
a term found in Matthew 24:21 and in Revelation 2:22 and 7:14. Some writers of
prophecy books refer to the end-times’ tribulation period, which occurs
just prior to the Second Coming of Christ, as ‘the Great Tribulation’.”
(Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the
Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 127): “…Scottish
Presbyterian minister Edward Irving (1792-1834)…pastored the large
Chalcedonian Chapel in London [England] with over 1000 members. Cofounder
of ‘The Society for the Investigation of Prophecy’, Irving eventually
accepted the one-man antichrist idea of [John Henry] Newman
[Ed.: who later became a Roman Catholic cardinal], Burgh, Todd,
Maitland, Bellarmine, and [Ed.: Spanish Jesuit Francisco] Ribera,
yet he went a step further. Somewhere around 1830, Edward Irving began to teach
the novel idea of a two-phase return of Christ, the first phase being
‘a secret rapture before the rise of antichrist’.”
Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: According to author Dave Macpherson, British evangelist John Nelson Darby took his Pre-Trib ideas from Edward Irving, who took some of his Pre-Trib ideas from Margaret Macdonald! Irving had earlier “supervised” the translation into English of Jesuit Emmanuel Lacunza’s book, “The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty”. This English translation of Lacunza’s book was published in 1827. Did Irving supervise the translation of Lacunza’s book into English knowing that Lacunza was a Jesuit?
“Jesuit Order” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI
& TTT): “The Jesuit Order is a religious order of the Roman Catholic
Church, officially approved by Pope Paul III in 1540. The primary goals of this
order are (1) to roll back the Protestant Reformation and the freedoms
that it brought to many of the inhabitants of this planet; (2) to enhance the
power and prestige of the Papacy (and its ‘White Pope’); and (3) to rule
despotically over the governments of the world through the Papacy. The
head of the Jesuit Order is the Jesuit Superior General – the ‘Black Pope’
– the real power behind the Papal throne. The Jesuit Order is infamous
for fomenting revolutions and wars, assassinating heads of State, and subverting
nations. I believe that it is almost impossible to understand European history
and Church history without a good understanding of the Protestant Reformation
and the Jesuit-led Counter-Reformation.”
Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: I included the “Jesuit Order” in this “Definitions” section because the Jesuit Order not only choreographed brutal Inquisition of Bible-believing Christians, but also has infiltrated Protestant denominations and independent, Bible-believing groups, societies, associations, organizations, and institutes. This infiltration program (part of the Jesuit-led “Counter-Reformation”) has included: (1) putting undercover Jesuits and Jesuit “temporal coadjutors” in key positions in such groups, associations, etc. (e.g., John Henry Newman of the Oxford movement); and, (2) introducing theological “viruses” through Jesuit-concocted and/or supported doctrines. I believe that one can make a pretty good “case” that the Jesuits had at least a “major assist” on the development of certain aspects of “Dispensationalism”, such as a “future seven-year tribulation period” and an “exclusively future, end-time, single Antichrist” (the latter viewpoint conveniently taking the “SPOTLIGHT” off of the Papacy)!
“Lacunza, Emmanuel” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “Emmanuel Lacunza [1731-1801] was a Chilean JESUIT who wrote the four-volume book ‘The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty’. Lacunza used the pseudonym of Rabbi Juan Josafat Ben Ezra for his book in order to deceive Protestants into thinking that it had been written by a Messianic [i.e., “Converted”] Jew, thus for a time concealing its JESUIT origins! Lacunza’s book provided at least some of the ingredients for the largely fictional prophetic concoction that is today called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture – a doctrine that is one of the pillars of ‘Dispensationalism’. Author and researcher Dave MacPherson admits that Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving may have been influenced on some details of futurist views by [Jesuit] Emmanuel Lacunza. MacPherson tells us that while ‘Lacunza saw a future tribulation and hinted that the [two] witnesses could represent at least part of the church, he didn’t see them raptured before the tribulation’. Manuscripts of Jesuit Lacunza’s book ‘The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty’ were in circulation as early as the 1790s. The first complete Spanish edition of Emmanuel Lacunza’s book was published in London in 1816, and an English translation (supervised by Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving) was published in 1827.”
“‘Left Behind’ series” (Per Lisa Ruby, author of “GOD’S WRATH on ‘Left Behind’: Exposing the Antichrist Agenda of the ‘Left Behind’ Series”; 2002; Pages 1, 29, 61, 64, 94, 102, 133, 160, and 191):
‘Left Behind’ series presents a false grace through ‘Christian’
characters that give in to ungodliness and worldly lusts that war against their
souls. The storyline has the characters sinning to survive and rationalizing
their service to sin because they are living during the tribulation.
‘Left Behind’ series was written in such a way as to pervert major
biblical truths, but because this is not easily seen, these perversions enter
into the reader’s mind without him even realizing it.
more disturbing is that the [‘Left Behind’ series] authors’
depiction of the happenings at the outset of the tribulation parallel what is
actually planned [Ed.: emphasis in original] by the New World
Order elitists. …There will be mass disappearances around the world
that might be reported by the media as occurring simultaneously, but they will
NOT occur because Jesus Christ has taken His people from the earth in a secret,
pre-tribulation rapture that He NEVER promised. The horrific happenings
[that] the [‘Left Behind’ series] authors portrayed as
being caused by Jesus rapturing His people from the earth before the
tribulation is WITHOUT any scriptural foundation. …The ‘Left
Behind’ series sends the message that if you hear of mass disappearances [Ed.:
during the “tribulation”] you should not suspect that any foul play
…The ‘Left Behind’ series presents many false teachings about the mark of the beast. [Ed. Note: You will need to read Lisa Ruby’s book for the details!]
‘mark of the believer’ deception [i.e., cross-shaped smudge marks on
their foreheads], repeated many times in the ‘Left Behind’ series, is one
such teaching they can and will use against Christians during the
tribulation if they can get away with it. …[The] visible ‘mark
of the believer’ is not in the Bible.
[‘Left Behind’ series] authors have treated the sacred subject
of sex in an unholy manner in the ‘Left Behind’ series.
the way, the [‘Left Behind’ series] authors want the reader to
think [that] the president of the United States of America will go
against the regime of the New World Order. This is totally inaccurate because
the government of the United States of America is leading the world into
the New World Order.
‘Left Behind’ series gives the reader a false hope right out of the
pit of hell, that you can serve sin today and then decide to serve Jesus when
that Wicked is revealed.”
series” (Per Barbara R. Rossing, author of “The Rapture Exposed:
The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page xi): “‘Left
Behind’ theology is sheer fiction – indeed, a most dangerous
(Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “James Lloyd of
‘Christian Media’ is one of the champions in the fight to expose the
Pre-Tribulation Rapture as a false, unbiblical doctrine. (Another such champion
is author Dave MacPherson.) James Lloyd has authored the following books about
Pre-Tribulation Rapturism: ‘The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty in Dispensationalism’,
‘Lying in Laodicea’, ‘The Reckoning’, and ‘Invisible Scripture’. He
has also exposed the Pre-Trib Rapture on his radio broadcast and in printed
springtime in 1830, an end-time vision [Ed. Note: of a two-stage
Second Coming of Jesus Christ with a secret Pre-Trib Rapture] sprang
into Margaret Macdonald’s mind. Privately, she sent handwritten copies of her
Scripture-riddled revelation to some leading clergymen including Irving.
early as June 2, 1830, Edward Irving confessed in a private letter that the
‘substance of…Margaret Macdonald’s visions or revelations…carry
to me a spiritual conviction and a spiritual reproof which I cannot express’.
early as the September 1830 issue of ‘The Morning Watch’, a writer using the
pen name of ‘Fidus’ clearly expressed her [Ed.: i.e., Margaret
Macdonald’s] novel idea – the earliest moment I’ve found anyone publicly
teaching the pretrib rapturescape.
generally hasn’t been known about Margaret [Macdonald] is the extent to
which she was open to the world of the ‘occult’.
Margaret [Macdonald] wasn’t a rapture date-setter, she was an
Antichrist-setter. On the same evening that found her arriving at her pretrib
rapture construction, she predicted that 19th century socialist
Robert Owen…would eventually become the Antichrist. But Owen failed to
do his part and died in 1858!”
Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: Scottish lassie Margaret Macdonald was about 15 years old when, in the springtime of 1830, she got her “end-time vision” of a “two-stage” Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
“MacPherson, Dave” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “Author Dave MacPherson is one of the champions in the fight to expose the Pre-Tribulation Rapture as a false, unbiblical doctrine of fairly recent origin (i.e., making its public debut in the early 1830s). (Another such champion is author James Lloyd.) Dave MacPherson has authored the following books about Pre-Tribulation Rapturism: ‘The Incredible Cover-Up: Exposing the Origins of Rapture Theories’, ‘The Rapture Plot’, and ‘The Three R’s: Rapture, Revisionism, Robbery: Pretribulation Rapturism from 1830 to Hal Lindsey’. Dave MacPherson traveled to both England and Scotland to do much of his research on the ‘origins’ of Pre-Tribulation Rapturism.”
“Newman, John Henry” (Per David W. Daniels, author of “Did The Catholic Church Give Us The Bible?: The True History of God’s Words”; 2005; Pages 116 and 117): “A ‘Judas Iscariot’ was firmly planted in England. His name was John [Henry] Newman (1801-90). John was a deep ‘mole’ who served the Vatican by controlling the Tractarian society. John’s brainwashing tactics were so effective that they actually shifted the thinking of the English Protestants and drew them closer to [Ed.: Papal] Rome. [Ed.: Emphasis is in the original.] …Finally in 1845 he [Ed.: Newman] revealed the truth [Ed.: of his loyalty to Papal Rome]. With his disguise off Newman took almost 250 ministers and theologians, and near 625 professors, Parliament members, etc., to serve the ‘great whore’. Newman delivered England to [Ed.: Papal] Rome! Just one year after he dumped his Christian faith, John [Henry Newman] was made a [Roman Catholic] priest.”
“Newman, John Henry”
(Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the
Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 127): “John
Henry Newman (1801-1890) [was] a member of the Church of England and a
leader of the famous Oxford movement (1833-1845). In 1850, Newman wrote his
‘Letter on Anglican Difficulties’ blatantly revealing that one of the goals
of the [Ed.: Oxford] movement was to lead ‘the various English
denominations and parties’ back to [Ed.: Papal] Rome. The ‘Oxford
Tracts’ gave fresh weight to ‘anti-Protestant opinions’, gave
‘assistance [to] the laborers of the futurist school’, worked to
‘unprotestantize the Church of England’ and ‘set aside all application to
the Roman Papacy of the fearful prophecies respecting Antichrist.’ After
publishing his own pamphlet about a future Mr. Sinister [Ed.: i.e., the exclusively
future, end-time, single Antichrist], Newman himself became a [Roman]
Catholic, and later a highly honored cardinal…”
Ed. Comment to the preceding two definitions: Why are so many Roman Catholics, Jesuits, and a Roman Catholic sympathizer (who later became a Roman Catholic priest and cardinal) involved with some of the “futurist” elements of Dispensationalism, such as a “future seven-year tribulation period” and/or an “exclusively future, end-time, single Antichrist” (which effectively takes the SPOTLIGHT off of the Papacy as being the Antichrist)?
“Oxford movement” (Per “Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition”; 2006): “[Ed: The Oxford movement was] a High-Church, anti-liberal movement within the Church of England, begun at Oxford University in 1833: see TRACTARIANISM.” [Ed. NOTE: I have seen both “Oxford movement” and “Oxford Movement” in various books and dictionaries.]
“Oxford movement” (Per John W. Kennedy of India, author of “The Torch of the Testimony”; 1965; Pages 205-207):
these champions of the established Church a number were associated with Oxford
[England], hence the name Oxford Movement which was given to their society.
[Ed.: The movement was begun officially in 1833.] The most well known
[Ed.: member of the Oxford movement] was John Henry Newman, later to become a
cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. …These men sought to establish
the unbroken succession of the Church of England from the ancient [Roman] Catholic
Church, and advertised their views in a series of papers which they called
‘Tracts for the Times’. From these [tracts] the name
‘Tractarians’ has been derived. They made much of the glorious tradition of
the past, and held to a doctrine of Apostolic Succession whereby the authority
of the apostles was transmitted to bishops down through the centuries by the
laying on of hands. …Only those, they said, who are in the apostolic
succession can validly administer the sacraments which are a means of saving
grace. [Ed.: Of course, that is clearly 100% Roman Catholic doctrine!] The
doctrine of transubstantiation was held, and there was a return to many Romish
practices – truths, they believed, which the Reformers had wrongly repudiated.
Anglo-Catholic Tractarians gained a large following among the clergy.
1839 [John Henry] Newman issued Tract XC [i.e., #90]. It roused
tremendous controversy, and resulted in further tracts being forbidden. In Tract
XC Newman dealt with the question of interpreting the thirty-nine articles which
outlined the definitely Protestant faith of the Church of England. These, he
said, could be conscientiously signed, but interpreted from the standpoint of
the [Roman] Catholic Church, not interpreted only as their authors
originally intended. The furious outcry which resulted charged the Tractarians
with evasion and Jesuitry… A few years later, in 1845, [John
Henry] Newman was formally received into the Roman Catholic Church. Some hundreds
of clergymen and laymen followed him.
departure of Newman and his followers did not mean the break up of the
Anglo-Catholic party. It was seriously weakened, but, under the able leadership
of Edward Pusey [Ed. Note: from which we get the term “Puseyism”] was,
within a few years, stronger than it had ever been, and was continuing to grow.
Up to the present day it has exercised a powerful influence in a large section
of the Anglican Church, and has wrought almost unbelievable changes to restore
ideas of the Middle Ages which great men like [Nicholas] Ridley and [Hugh]
Latimer opposed to the point of giving their lives at the stake.”
Ed. Comments to the preceding two definitions:
(1) “The Oxford movement” was clearly controlled in the 1830s and in the 1840s by undercover Roman Catholics and Roman Catholic sympathizers within the Church of England. One of the leaders of “the Oxford movement” was John Henry Newman (1801-1890), who later left the movement to become a Roman Catholic priest – and still later, a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church! “The Oxford movement” was doing all it could in the 1830s and 1840s to push the Church of England back into the arms of the Papacy!
(2) Something for all of us to consider: Were there any links between this pro-Roman Catholic “Oxford movement” and either Edward Irving or John Nelson Darby, both of whom taught the Pre-Trib Rapture? Although the Oxford movement officially began in 1833, the Anglo-Catholic party had been working very hard within the Church of England PRIOR to that time to bring the Church of England back more in line with Roman Catholicism! Remember also that the Jesuits had been very active in England from the time of the late 1500s!
(3) Though there may not be any connection, I find it interesting that my copy of the “Scofield Study Bible” (whose notes strongly promote “Dispensationalism” and the “Pre-Trib Rapture”) was published by the “OXFORD University Press”. Geoffrey Thomas of “The Banner of Truth” tells us that the Oxford University Press is “no friend to gospel Christianity”, and that it paid Cyrus I. Scofield “enormous royalties” [for his work on the “Scofield Study Bible”].
(4) Please also see “Tractarianism” in this section.
“Pre-Tribulation Rapture” (Per Barbara R. Rossing, author of “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page 22):
Pre-Tribulation] Rapture has its origins in the nineteenth century –
beginning, according to one critic [Ed.: i.e., author Dave MacPherson],
with a young girl’s vision. In 1830, in Port Glasgow, Scotland,
fifteen-year-old Margaret MacDonald attended a healing service. There, she was
said to have seen a vision of a two-stage return of Jesus Christ. The
story of her vision was adopted and amplified by John Nelson Darby, a British
evangelical preacher and founder of the Plymouth Brethren.
the time, the belief that Jesus [Christ] will come back again was not
new. Christians have always taught that Jesus [Christ] will return to
earth and that believers should live in the urgent and hopeful anticipation of
His second coming. This teaching is central to ancient Christian creeds and is
taught by all churches. But Darby’s new teaching was the claim that
Christ would return twice. The first return would be in secret, to
‘Rapture’ His church out of the world and up to heaven. Christ would return
a second time after seven years of global tribulation to establish a
Jerusalem-based kingdom on earth (which they call the ‘Glorious Appearing’,
a phrase from Titus 2:13). For Darby and his sympathizers, the search was on for
Bible verses to support this two-stage version of Christ’s return.”
Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: According to author and researcher Dave Macpherson, British evangelist John Nelson Darby took a lot of his Pre-Trib views from Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving, who had taken a “large slice” of his Pre-Trib views (e.g., the two-stage [second] coming of Christ) from a Scottish lassie named Margaret Macdonald.
“Pre-Wrath Rapture” (See Mid-Tribulation Rapture in this section.)
Grace Halsell, author of “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a
Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth”; 1999; Page 119): “A
belief that Born Again Christians will be lifted up into heaven. Traditionally,
Christians believed that, like the hero of ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’, they must
endure suffering and hardships to reach heaven’s pearly gates. However,
dispensationalists are taught that they need not suffer for one moment,
that they will experience an instant [Ed.: Pre-Trib] Rapture – thus
escaping all various holocausts that precede the destruction of Planet Earth.”
(Per “Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition”;
2006): “In some Christian theologies, the bodily ascent into heaven just
before Armageddon of those who are saved.”
Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: The above “term” in Webster’s 2006 edition should have been labeled “The PRE-TRIBULATION Rapture”.
“Ribera, Francisco” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 114, 116):
the Council of Trent [Ed.:
1545-1563], papal leaders and JESUITS brainstormed about how to counteract
Protestantism and bring defectors back to the mother church. Behind
closed doors, they decided this was to be done, not only through the Inquisition
and torture, but also through THEOLOGY. What kind of theology?
Here’s the answer: By reinterpreting the prophecies about ‘the man of
sin’, ‘the little horn’, and ‘the beast’!
Two very intelligent Spanish JESUITS rose to the challenge: Luis de
Alcasar (1554-1613) of Seville and FRANCISCO RIBERA (1537-1591) of Salamanca.
Their strategy was, in a nutshell, one of reapplication and diversion,
yet they went in opposite directions. After reading the Bible by candlelight
like Martin Luther did, [JESUIT
Luis de] Alcasar decided to apply
the Bible’s antichrist prophecies to the ancient past while [JESUIT
Francisco] Ribera applied them to
the distant future. ‘Smart move!’ was the response from
[Papal] Rome. By reapplying
these prophecies to the past and to the future instead of to the present,
these two tricky JESUIT scholars sought to divert the prophetic finger
light years away from the VATICAN. Their views quickly became official
positions within the Roman [Catholic]
Church – even though these two
views contradicted each other!
As with Preterism, Futurism’s net result is that it also significantly wipes away ‘the beast’ [Ed.: i.e., the Antichrist] stain from the PAPACY.”
“Scofield, C. I.”
(Per Barbara R. Rossing, author of “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of
Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page 23): “…Cyrus I.
Scofield was a dubious character who embezzled money, served six months in jail
for forgery even after his conversion to Christianity, and abandoned his wife
and daughters, according to critics. Scofield hit the jackpot with his annotated
‘Scofield Reference Bible’, a version of the King James Bible in which he
added dispensationalist headings and notes in the margin commenting on each
prophetic passage in light of [John Nelson] Darby’s [dispensationalist]
system. With sales in the millions, it became the version of the Bible
through which Americans read their scriptures throughout much of the twentieth
century. Scofield’s notes and headings were woven in with the biblical text
itself, elevating Dispensationalism to a level of biblical authority that no
previous writing had.”
“Scofield, C. I.”
(Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “Cyrus Ingerson (C.I.)
Scofield was born in 1843, and he died in 1921. Scofield is best known in
fundamentalist Christian circles for the ‘Scofield Study Bible’ (a.k.a. the
‘Scofield Reference Bible’), which was published by the Oxford
University Press. Geoffrey Thomas of ‘The Banner of Truth’ tells us that the
Oxford University Press is ‘no friend to gospel Christianity’, and that it
paid Scofield ‘enormous royalties’. Some of the notes found in the Scofield
Study Bible strongly promote ‘Dispensationalism’. Many
‘dispensationalists’ of the past – and many today – promote a
dispensationalist doctrine called the ‘Pretribulation Rapture’. Author
Joseph M. Canfield, in his book ‘The Incredible Scofield and His Book’
(1988), covers Scofield’s sordid history of abandoning his Roman Catholic wife
(and then failing to support her and their children – which ultimately led to
divorce), forgery, and his sudden resignation under a cloud as United States
District Attorney for Kansas. Author Loraine Boettner, commenting on
Canfield’s book, says: ‘This is one of the most powerful books that has ever
been written against the dispensationalist system…because it shows how
the book that had the most to do with promotion of that system, ‘The Scofield
Reference Bible’, originated’.”
Ed. Comment to the preceding two definitions: Please read “The Incredible Scofield and His Book” (1988) by Joseph M. Canfield for “the rest of the story” on Cyrus I. Scofield. (Note: The publisher of this book is Ross House Books, Vallecito, California.)
Bible, The” (or, “Scofield Study Bible, The”) (Per
Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist,
Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 129): “In 1909, [Cyrus
Ingerson] Scofield published the first edition of his famous ‘Scofield
Reference Bible’. In the early 1900s, this Bible became so popular in American
Protestant Bible schools that literally millions of copies were printed. What
made Scofield’s Bible so energizing was not so much the Scripture itself, but
his footnotes. Yet those footnotes contained the [Ed.: Jesuit]
‘virus’. Anti-Reformation interpretations were inserted that pointed the
finger away from papal Rome [Ed.: as the Antichrist of Scripture] and
toward a future antichrist.”
“Temple of God, The”
(Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the
Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Pages 73 and 74): “The
original Greek word [Ed.: that the Apostle] Paul used in II Thessalonians
2:4 for ‘temple’ is ‘naos’. …Did Paul use the same [Greek]
word [Ed.: i.e., “naos”] anywhere else in his writings? Yes. In his
letter to the early Corinthians, Paul wrote to ‘the church of God which is at
Corinth’ (I Corinthians 1:2). Then he inquired, ‘Do you not know that you
are the temple [naos] of God and that the spirit of God dwells in you?’ (I
Corinthians 3:16) Here [the Apostle] Paul clearly applied the word
‘naos’ to the Christian Church – not a physical temple in
Jerusalem. …In fact, in all of his writings, every time Paul used the
word ‘naos’, he always applied [Ed.: emphasis is in original] it
to the Christian Church and never to a rebuilt Israeli [Ed.: i.e.,
“Tractarianism” (Per “Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition”; 2006): “The principles of the Oxford movement, favoring a return to early [Ed.: Roman] Catholic doctrines in the Church of England: from the ninety ‘Tracts for the Times’, pamphlets issued at Oxford from 1833 to 1841.” (Please also see “Oxford movement” in this section.)
“Tribulation” (Per Grace Halsell, author of “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth”; 1999; Page 119): “Generally understood [Ed.: especially by dispensationalists and those in the “Pre-Trib camp”] to be a seven-year period of great upheaval never before experienced on earth. Dispensationalists insist that God will punish the Jews in particular during this period because of their disbelief in Christ.” [Ed.: Some writers describe the end-times’ tribulation period as the “Great Tribulation”.]
“Most people, sometime in their lives, stumble across the TRUTH. Most jump up, brush themselves off, and hurry on about their business AS IF NOTHING HAD HAPPENED.” – Winston Churchill (1874-1965; British statesman and writer)
“Any story – or a particular side of a story – can sound pretty good and quite believable – and can even sound perfectly true, UNTIL someone else comes along and gives you the OTHER side (i.e., the REST) of the story.” – Darryl Eberhart (Editor of ETI & TTT newsletters; December 13, 2007)
“We are told to love one another as Christ has loved us. Pop psychology trivializes that command by equating it with a ‘positive’ attitude. Forgotten is the first duty of love: to speak the truth (Ephesians 4:15). Real love does not flatter or soothe when correction is needed but [rather] points out the error which is blinding and harming the loved one. Christ said, ‘As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent’ (Revelation 3:19). Instead, the idea is now current that love excludes rebuke, ignores the truth, and seeks unity at any price. Only disaster can result.” – Dave Hunt (“A Woman Rides the Beast”; 1994; Page 403)
“…Piety requires us to
honor truth above our friends.”
– Aristotle (384-322 B.C.; Greek philosopher)
Is it really important what position Christians hold on the timing of the “Rapture”? Some folks think that the timing of the “Rapture” is doctrinally unimportant. Others believe that the Rapture “timing issue” is very important!
For those unfamiliar with the “Rapture debate”, Pre-Trib’ers believe that Jesus Christ will “rapture” His church OFF OF planet Earth BEFORE the start of the “end-times’ tribulation” [which they believe is 7 years long]. Post-Trib’ers believe that “the Church” is here on planet Earth DURING the “end-times’ tribulation”, and will be facing the Antichrist system and its murderous hordes. Post-Trib’ers also believe that Jesus Christ will return at the END of the “end-times’ tribulation” (referred to by some as “the Great Tribulation”). Many Post-Trib’ers do not subscribe to a 7-year timeframe for the “end-times’ tribulation”.
I USED to believe in the Pre-Trib prophetic viewpoint. That was, of course, BEFORE I began reading through the entire Holy Bible (KJV) from cover to cover each year! The Pre-Trib viewpoint is admittedly the prophetic viewpoint that sells the most prophecy books! In fact, the Pre-Trib Rapture has been a fantastically big “cash cow” for a number of well-known “prophecy writers”.
I also believe that “the Antichrist” (as a geopolitical-religious entity) was revealed centuries ago. And “NO!” – I do not believe in the “Preterist View”, nor do I believe that “the Antichrist” was Roman Emperor Nero or any other particular individual in history. I believe that “the [historical] Antichrist” is the Papacy, and that this assertion can be strongly backed up with both Scriptural and historical evidence! (Please read my newsletter, “The Real Antichrist”, which is posted on the three websites listed at the beginning of this newsletter.) I also believe that “the Church” will go through the entire end-times’ tribulation period (i.e., the “Post-Trib” prophetic viewpoint). And that is the prophetic viewpoint that most Bible scholars held for centuries! That is, of course, until the “Pre-Trib” Rapture, with Dispensationalism’s future 7-year end-times’ tribulation period and exclusively future, single, end-times’ Antichrist, began to be publicly taught in Great Britain in the 1830s! (Please review the term “Dispensationalism” in the “Definitions” section if you are unsure of its meaning.)
Some people will criticize me for writing on this “tough issue” – saying that I am being “divisive” at a critical time in the fight against the “New World Order”. Yet we are told in Jude 3 to “earnestly contend for the faith”. I do not believe we are given an “option” of which particular aspects of “the faith” we will “choose” to defend! Earnestly contending for the faith would certainly include the admonition given to Christians in Ephesians 5:11 to reprove “the unfruitful works of darkness” – which would certainly include FALSE doctrines masquerading as “truth” inside the “Church”! And if “Dispensationalism” and its popular “Pre-Trib Rapture” are indeed FALSE – and not supported by Scripture, but rather REFUTED by it, then they must be exposed! And if the “Pre-Trib Rapture” is causing some Christians to sit back, and to be lazy, apathetic, and complacent about fighting evil because “they [allegedly] won’t be here” during the “end-times’ tribulation”, then it absolutely needs to be exposed!
None of us was able to prearrange into which denomination or Christian fellowship we were born. We ALL should have the courage to examine any denominational or fundamentalist doctrine – no matter how old it may be or how precious and sweet-sounding it is to us – if someone tells us that Scripture does NOT support it – or that Scripture actually REFUTES it! It takes “guts” to admit that we have been “hoodwinked” by “false apostles” and/or Biblically-ignorant preachers – but that is something that we ALL must do if we find that the Holy Bible actually REFUTES any long-held, cherished doctrine of ours!
NOTE: This newsletter will NOT discuss “Preterism”. It also will not discuss the subject of “Premillennialism” versus “Postmillennialism”. Rather, it will deal primarily with the TIMING of the “Rapture”.
II. THE BIBLICAL RECORD
Obviously, the Holy Bible is the most critical record – for God’s Word must always be the standard by which we measure all things! John Walvoord, author of several books promoting the Pre-Trib Rapture, has admitted that there is NO SINGLE Bible verse that by itself teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture!
It was my daily studies of the Holy Bible (reading through the entire Bible each year) that convinced me that the Holy Bible clearly does NOT teach the Pre-Trib Rapture. Here are some of the Bible passages that really spoke to my heart:
1) I Thessalonians 4:15-17:
[Ed.: The Apostle Paul wrote]: “For
this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and]
remain unto the coming of the Lord shall NOT
prevent [Ed.: i.e., precede] them which are asleep. (Verse 16): For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the
voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall
rise FIRST: (Verse 17): THEN
we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds,
to meet the Lord in the air:
and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
Do the above verses really need explanation? Aren’t they perfectly clear? The Holy Bible is saying that those Christians still alive at Jesus Christ’s [Second] Coming do NOT PRECEDE the “dead in Christ”, who are raised [i.e., resurrected] FIRST! And it is only THEN [i.e., after the “dead in Christ” are resurrected] that those Christians “still living” are caught up “to meet the Lord in the air”! Since the Holy Bible teaches only TWO resurrections [i.e., one for the “just” and one for the “unjust”]; and since the Bible clearly teaches that the resurrection of the just is the FIRST RESURRECTION (see Revelation 20:4-6); and since the Lord Jesus Christ Himself said four times that He would raise up Christians on the “LAST DAY” (see John 6:39, 40, 44, and 54) – well then, how can anyone say that there is some “special group” of Christians that are getting “air evacuated” off of planet Earth BEFORE the first resurrection? And just HOW MANY “LAST DAYS” are there? Is there a “LAST DAY” BEFORE the alleged “7-year tribulation” begins? Is there a “LAST DAY” 3½ years into the alleged “7-year tribulation”, just prior to God’s Wrath falling on a sinful world?
Again, it is worth repeating: The Lord Jesus Christ said four times that He would raise up Christians on the “LAST DAY” (see John 6:39, 40, 44, and 54)!
It might be interesting to note here, that as a great person in Biblical times (in the Middle East) approached a city, a large entourage of folks from that city would then come out to meet that great person at some distance from the city. They would all THEN turn RIGHT AROUND and escort that great person into their city. Doesn’t that sound just like what we read in I Thessalonians 4:16, 17?
I Thessalonians 4:15-17 alone should be enough to “sink”
the “Pre-Trib Rapture ship”. After all, those Christians
remaining alive at the 2nd Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ CANNOT
precede those Christians “which
are asleep” (and who will
be raised in the resurrection at the “last
2) Matthew 24:26-33: [Ed.: The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “Wherefore
if they shall say unto you, ‘Behold,
He is in the desert’; go not forth: ‘Behold, [He is] in the secret
chambers’; believe [it] not. (Verse 27): For as the
lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also
the coming of the Son of man be. (Verse 28): For wheresoever the carcass
is, there will the eagles be gathered together. (Verse 29): Immediately
after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and
the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the
powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (Verse 30): And then
shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall
all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in
the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Verse 31): And He shall
send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together
His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Verse
32): Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and
putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer [is] nigh [Ed.: i.e., near]: (Verse
33): So likewise ye, when ye shall see
ALL these things, know that it
is near, [even] at the doors.”
The Lord Jesus Christ is talking about His “Second Coming”. He mentions such things as “after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken.” To whom would this warning be given except to believers on planet Earth who would be susceptible to folks trying to trick them into believing that Christ had come before He had actually returned? And how can believers on Earth see all these signs if they’ve already been “raptured” OUT BEFORE the start of the alleged “7-year tribulation”? (Pre-Trib’ers might say that believers who see these signs must be the “Christians who get saved during the 7-year tribulation” – but nowhere in Scripture does it say that! Here is yet another ASSUMPTION on the part of the Pre-Trib’ers.)
And while we are on the subject of these many “Christians who get saved during the 7-year tribulation” (according to Pre-Trib’ers), HOW is it that so many people “get saved” during this “7-year tribulation” when the Holy Spirit and the “Church” have been “removed” from Earth (according to Pre-Trib’ers)?
3) Mark 13:24-27: [Ed.: The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “But in those days, AFTER that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, (Verse 25): And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. (Verse 26): And THEN shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. (Verse 27): And THEN shall He send His angels, and shall GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the EARTH to the uttermost part of heaven.”
If those Christians who were “raptured” before the start of the alleged “7-year end-times’ tribulation” (as Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME) were already gathered to the Lord, did they get LOST, so that the Lord has to send His angels out to gather them a second time? If there is only ONE “gathering together”, and we Christians who are alive at Christ’s return cannot PRECEDE those who are raised in the “resurrection of the just” (at the END of the “end-times’ tribulation”), it sure looks like the above Scripture passage is placing the “gathering together” of Christians AFTER the “end-times’ tribulation”!
4) Matthew 13:24-30; and 37-42:
“Another parable put He [Ed.: i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] forth
unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good
seed in his field: (Verse 25): But
while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat,
and went his way. (Verse 26): But when
the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares
also. (Verse 27): So the servants of
the householder came and said unto him, ‘Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in
thy field? From whence then hath it tares?’ (Verse 28): He said unto them, ‘An enemy hath done this.’ The servants said unto
him, ‘Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?’ (Verse 29): But
he said, ‘Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up
also the wheat with them. (Verse: 30) Let
both grow together UNTIL THE HARVEST: and in the time of harvest I will say to
the reapers, Gather ye together FIRST
the tares, and bind them in
bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.’” [Ed.:
A few verses later His disciples ask Him to explain the above parable.] “…(Verse
37): He [Ed.: i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] answered and said unto
them, ‘He that soweth the good seed
is the Son of man; (Verse 38): The
field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares
are the children of the wicked [one]; (Verse 39): The
enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest
is the end of the world; and
the reapers are the angels.
(Verse 40): As therefore the tares
are gathered and burned in the fire; SO
shall it be in the end of this world.
(Verse 41): The Son of man shall send
forth His angels, and they shall
gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
(Verse 42): And shall cast them into a
furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.’”
This parable of the Lord Jesus Christ clearly shows that the “tares” are the “bad guys” – and that the “bad guys” are the ones who are gathered up FIRST at the “harvest” that occurs at the end of the world! Here we have the Lord Jesus Christ teaching just the opposite of what Pre-Trib’ers say! (Pre-Trib’ers say that the “good guys” are gathered up FIRST in the alleged Pre-Trib Rapture.)
5) John 17:15, 20: [Ed.
Note: The following are “red letter” words quoted directly from the mouth
of the Lord Jesus Christ in a prayer to His Heavenly Father.]: (Verse 15): “I pray NOT that
Thou shouldest take them [Ed.: i.e., His disciples] OUT OF
the world, but that Thou shouldest keep
them from the evil.
20): Neither pray I for these [Ed.:
i.e., His original disciples] ALONE, but
for them ALSO which shall believe on Me through their word;”
Jesus Christ in verse 20 says that He is praying this prayer for all future believers as well as for His original disciples! The Son of God is praying to His Father asking Him NOT to evacuate His followers OUT OF the world.
The two words “keep from” (in verse 15 above) appear in this form only twice in the entire New Testament: here in John 17:15, and in Revelation 3:10. And isn’t it interesting that the Pre-Trib’ers TRY to use Revelation 3:10 to “prove” the Pre-Trib Rapture? Revelation 3:10 reads: “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.” It is also quite interesting that the Pre-Trib’ers NEVER mention the “one other” use of the Greek for “keep from” that appears in John 17:15, where Jesus Christ prays NOT to have believers removed from planet Earth! Wow! It certainly appears that John 17:15 has the Son of God praying AGAINST the Pre-Trib Rapture!
And it is certainly worth mentioning here that this is where much of the Pre-Trib argument falls apart, because Pre-Trib’ers WRONGLY ASSUME that God MUST take those Christians living in the “end times” OUT OF the world in order to keep them safe during the “Tribulation”. (The Pre-Trib position, sadly, is built solely upon assumptions, and not upon any solid Scriptural ground!) Anyway, such an ASSUMPTION “assumes” that God is NOT able to keep any true Christians safe here on planet Earth DURING [i.e., in the MIDST of] the “tribulation” period. (Yes, some Christians will be beheaded!) Yet the Bible is full of examples where God kept His children safe IN THE MIDST OF tribulation. In fact, that seems indeed to be a great theme of the Holy Bible, i.e., “preservation IN THE MIDST OF tribulation”. Here are just a few examples:
(a.) When God’s judgments fell on the Egyptians during the time of the Hebrews’ captivity in Egypt, God did NOT “air evacuate” the Hebrews OUT OF Egypt (or OFF OF planet Earth). No! While God’s judgments were falling on the Egyptians in those areas where they resided, God preserved His children in Goshen IN THE MIDST OF those horrible judgments! (Isn’t it interesting that God’s “judgments and plagues” that fell on the Egyptians in the book of Exodus look very similar to God’s “judgments and plagues” that we see falling on the Earth’s inhabitants in the book of Revelation?) And could not this great and Almighty God, who preserved the Hebrew children IN THE MIDST OF those horrible plagues that befell the Egyptians, ALSO preserve His obedient children ON planet Earth DURING the “end-times’ tribulation”?
(b.) When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the book of Daniel, Chapter 3, ran afoul of King Nebuchadnezzar [i.e., the three young men disobeyed the king to his face!], did God “air evacuate” them OFF OF planet Earth in order to save them? When the king had these three young Jewish men tossed into the fiery furnace, did God “air evacuate” them OUT OF the furnace in order to save them? NO! God preserved them IN THE MIDST OF the fiery furnace!
(c.) When Daniel was tossed in the lions’ den for disobeying the king’s command (see Chapter 6 in the book of Daniel), did God “air evacuate” Daniel OFF OF planet Earth in order to save him? NO! God preserved Daniel IN THE MIDST OF the lions’ den! (Can’t we see a beautiful picture and pattern developing here of an all-powerful God who delights in delivering His obedient children who STAND AGAINST tyranny and injustice – even when they are IN THE MIDST OF horrible situations of danger, persecution, and tribulation?)
(d.) What about Rahab in the book of Joshua, Chapter 6, who had lied to her government’s officials to protect the Hebrew spies? When the Hebrew soldiers destroyed the city of Jericho where Rahab resided, did God “air evacuate” Rahab and her family OFF OF planet Earth in order to save them? NO! God preserved Rahab and her family IN THE MIDST OF the destruction of the city!
(e.) What lesson can we learn from Noah? When God brought His judgment through a great flood upon the inhabitants of the Earth, did He “air evacuate” Noah and his family OFF OF planet Earth in order to save them? NO! Noah and his family did NOT go airborne, but rather they were seaborne! God preserved Noah and his family IN THE MIDST OF horrible judgment [i.e., the great flood that He brought upon the whole Earth] without taking them off of the planet!
The above examples remind me of a beautiful Bible verse: “When thou passest THROUGH the waters, I [Ed.: i.e., the Lord God Almighty] [will be] with thee; and THROUGH the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest THROUGH the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” (Isaiah 43:2)
Again, preservation IN THE MIDST OF danger, persecution, and tribulation is a great theme that we can clearly see in the Bible – and NOT “aerial evacuation” OFF OF planet Earth to avoid danger, persecution, and tribulation. We must keep in mind that there are times when Almighty God chooses not to deliver His servants, such as Stephen, who was stoned to death. Additionally, after Judas Iscariot perished, all of the apostles except John were murdered!
6) Luke 17:34-37: “I
[Ed.: i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] tell
you, in that night there shall be two [men] in one bed; the one shall be taken,
and the other shall be left. (Verse 35): Two [women] shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the
other left. (Verse 36): Two [men]
shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Verse
37): And they answered and said unto Him,
‘Where, Lord?’ And He said unto them, ‘Wheresoever the body [is], thither will the eagles
be gathered together.’”
(Compare Matthew 24:28.)
Some Pre-Trib writers use Luke 17:34-36 (or, Matthew 24:40, 41) as an alleged “proof text” for the Pre-Trib Rapture! But they IGNORE Luke 17:37, where the Lord Jesus Christ tells His disciples that these people, who are “taken away”, have eagles gathering around their bodies! That sounds like those who were taken away were NOT “raptured” (an ASSUMPTION made by Pre-Trib’ers), but rather that these individuals were taken away in judgment and killed. (Why else would eagles be gathering around their bodies?) Please remember that in Matthew 13:30 and 39-42 that Jesus Christ said that the “tares” (i.e., the “bad guys”) are gathered FIRST (Matthew 13:30) and then burned!
7) Luke 17:26-30: [Ed.:
The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “And as it was in the
days of Noah, so shall it be also
in the days of the Son of man. (Verse 27): They
did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the
day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. (Verse
also as it was in the days of Lot;
they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; (Verse
29): But the same
day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and
destroyed [them] all. (Verse 30): Even
thus shall it be in the day
when the Son of man is revealed.”
The Lord Jesus Christ is comparing His “Second Coming” to the time of the flood in Noah’s day, and also to the time of Lot (when fire rained down on Sodom). In Noah’s day the flood came and “took away” the “bad guys”. And, as was pointed out earlier, Noah and his family were not “air evacuated” off of planet Earth BEFORE the flood. Also, on the very same day that Lot went out of Sodom, fire rained down upon that city. And again, it was the “bad guys” who were “removed” in that judgment of Almighty GOD! Interestingly, Lot also was NOT “air evacuated” off of planet Earth BEFORE Sodom was destroyed! Thus neither Noah nor Lot can serve as “examples” of Pre-Tribulation-Rapture-type deliverance. Both were preserved IN THE MIDST of God’s judgment on evildoers, who were “removed” by God’s judgment!
8) Mark 13:20: [Ed.: The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “And
except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for
the elect’s sake, whom He hath chosen, He hath shortened the
I believe that most Bible scholars would agree that here we find the Lord Jesus Christ talking about the “Tribulation”. If the “elect” (i.e., believers) have been “raptured” out BEFORE the “Tribulation”, then why does God have to shorten “those days” for their sakes? (The Pre-Trib’ers might say that the “elect” here must be those “who are saved during the 7-year tribulation”. This is another ASSUMPTION made by Pre-Trib’ers with no Scriptural backing!)
9) Revelation 13:4-7: “And
they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped
the beast, saying, ‘Who [is] like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with
him?’ (Verse 5): And there was given
unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto
him to continue forty [and] two months. (Verse 6): And
he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His
tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. (Verse 7): And
it was given unto him to make war with
the SAINTS, and to overcome them: and power was given him
over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”
Most Bible scholars agree that the “him” and “he” found in verses 5, 6, and 7 refer to the Antichrist. In verse 7 we see that he [the Antichrist, according to most Bible scholars] was given [power] “to make war with the SAINTS, and to overcome them”. Many Bible scholars believe that these events are taking place during the end-times’ “Tribulation”. Well, if believers have been raptured out before the end-times’ “Tribulation”, then upon which “saints” is the Antichrist making war? Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME that these “saints” must be those persons who are saved during the “7-year tribulation”, after the Pre-Trib believers had been “air evacuated” in their Pre-Trib Rapture. But the Bible does NOT say this! Again, it is another dangerous ASSUMPTION, because if this assumption, and the many other assumptions the Pre-Trib’ers make (some of which have been noted in this newsletter) are WRONG, then many Christians may be quite shocked to find that they are the ones upon whom the Antichrist is making war, and that they are here on planet Earth DURING the end-times’ “Tribulation”! (The historical Antichrist – the Papacy – has long waged war on God’s saints!)
And while we are here in the book of Revelation, let us address an argument that Pre-Trib’ers put forth, i.e., that from Revelation 3:22 through Revelation 22:16 the word “church” does not appear, thus the “church” must have been “raptured” out, and is not on planet Earth during the “end-times’ 7-year tribulation” (per Pre-Trib’ers). Well, using such “logic”, the word “synagogue” is not mentioned either in those same verses, so there must not be any Jews being saved either during the “Tribulation” (i.e., no 144,000 Jewish “Billy Grahams” as some Pre-Trib’ers speculate). If folks are “getting saved” during the “Tribulation”, then why wouldn’t they have the same title of “the church” as have believers of any other period since Christ’s time here on Earth?
10) Revelation 20:4-6: “And I [Ed.: i.e., the
Apostle John] 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. (Verse
5): But the rest of the dead lived not
again until the thousand years were finished. THIS [IS] THE FIRST RESURRECTION. (Verse 6): Blessed
and holy [is] he that hath part in the FIRST
RESURRECTION: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be
priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
Nearly all Bible scholars agree that there has never been a time when large numbers of Christians were BEHEADED, and that this occurs during the “end-times’ Tribulation”. Again, if the “church” has been “air evacuated” off of planet Earth, then who are these folks getting beheaded for “the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God”? Well, again, Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME that “those being beheaded” must be people who are “saved during the end-times’ tribulation”. But again, the Bible does NOT state such a thing anywhere, and such ASSUMPTIONS may prove quite dangerous to those who embrace them!
11) Revelation 7:9, 13 and 14: (Verse 9): “After
this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could
number, of ALL nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood
before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in
their hands; …(Verse 13): And
one of the elders answered, saying unto me, ‘What are these which are arrayed
in white robes? And whence came they?’ (Verse 14): And I said unto him, ‘Sir, thou knowest.’ And he said to me,
‘These are they which came out of GREAT
TRIBULATION, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the
blood of the Lamb’.”
Here we see large numbers of people of ALL nations who have come out of “great tribulation”. Again we ask: “HOW were large numbers of people getting saved during ‘great tribulation’ if the ‘church’ and the Holy Spirit of God had been previously removed [as Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME and ALLEGE]?”
12) II Thessalonians 2:1-4:
[Ed.: The Apostle Paul wrote]: “Now
we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our
gathering together unto Him, (Verse 2): 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
[Ed.: i.e., near in time; not distant]. (Verse 3): Let no man
deceive you by any means: for [that day [Ed.: i.e., the day of Christ] shall
not come], EXCEPT there come a falling away [Ed.: Greek: apostasia] FIRST,
and that man of sin be
revealed, the son of perdition; (Verse 4): 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.”
1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines the term “at
hand” thusly: “near; either present or within reach, or not far
distant”. It then lists as an example “the
day of Christ is at hand” from
the above Bible passage, stating that “at
hand” in this context means “near
in time; not distant”.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I am listing the above Bible passage only because it refutes the Pre-Trib’ers’ own “air evacuation” Rapture timing (i.e., as occurring prior to THEIR exclusively future, single, “Mr. Nasty Antichrist” appearing in the end times, with a pig under his arm, who enters into a “rebuilt Jewish Temple” to sacrifice that pig). I believe that the Antichrist has clearly been identified in Holy Scripture as the Papacy. This does NOT mean that I do not believe that there will be an “end time” leader of the Antichrist system, for there surely must be. However, I believe that this “end-time” leader will either be the top man in the Jesuit-controlled Vatican, or a titular sovereign that this end-time leader will put forward as his “front man”. (Please see my newsletter, “The Real Antichrist”, on website www.toughissues.org.)
Paul wrote II Thessalonians 2:1-4 to specifically warn folks NOT to allow themselves to become deceived about Christ’s second coming being “right around the corner” (i.e., imminent), or as Webster’s 1828 Dictionary puts it: “near in time; not distant”. Again, I believe that the key Bible passage dealing with the timing of the “rapture” is I Thessalonians 4:15-17. Indeed, the “key” to understanding the timing of the “rapture” is an understanding of the “resurrection”. I highly recommend that the reader of this newsletter check all occurrences of the word “resurrection” in a good concordance, and then carefully read all the Bible verses and passages that contain this important word.
Most folks agree this “man of sin – the son of perdition” is the Antichrist. This “day [of Christ]” (that the Apostle Paul is talking about in verse 3) is shown in verse 1 to be the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”, and “our gathering together to Him”. The plain teaching of verse 3 is that NONE of those events take place until there first occurs both a “falling away” [i.e., an APOSTASY] and the revealing of “that man of sin – the son of perdition”! And so, IF one does subscribe to the Pre-Trib theory that “the Antichrist” is an exclusively future, “Mr. Nasty-to-the-extreme” individual who is to come on the scene in the very “end times”, then the above passage would clearly refute the idea that “the Church” is “air evacuated” prior to this “Mr. Nasty” person being revealed.
At least one Pre-Trib Rapture writer has tried to “explain away” the words “first, and” in verse 3 above, saying that they don’t really mean what they say. At least one Pre-Trib writer has tried to say that the “falling away” [Greek: apostasia] is really the “Pre-Trib Rapture” (such twisting of both Scripture and the meanings of Greek and English words, sadly, occurs far too often among Pre-Trib authors). The Greek word “apostasia” is used in such contexts as a “falling away” from, for example, the “truth” – never in the context of “falling away from the earth up to heaven”. (NOTE: Webster’s New World Dictionary, Second College Edition (1974) defines the word “apostasy” as “an abandoning of what one believed in, as a faith, political party, principles, etc.”)
The clear meaning of verse 3 is that Christ’s return to gather His saints cannot occur until AFTER “the Antichrist” has been revealed. Yet Pre-Trib writers state that the Church is evacuated out before THEIR exclusively future, single, “Mr. Nasty Antichrist” person is revealed!
By now some Pre-Trib’ers may be saying, “The poor writer of this newsletter just doesn’t understand that Christ’s Second Coming is in TWO phases: the ‘Rapture’ and the ‘Revelation’, with the ‘Rapture’ coming BEFORE the tribulation, and the ‘Revelation’ coming AFTER the tribulation.” Well, let’s address such an argument now: Let me ask Pre-Trib’ers who advocate a “two-phased” Second Coming of Christ this: “Was Christ’s First Coming in TWO phases?” The answer is “No!” And there are absolutely no Scripture verses to be found that support the idea of a “two-phased” Second Coming of Jesus Christ! As Jesus Christ left this earth after His resurrection, and as He was ascending up to heaven, His watching disciples were told: “…This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in LIKE MANNER AS ye have seen Him go into heaven.” (See Acts 1:11) Well, did Jesus Christ have a “TWO-phased” departure from earth into heaven after His “first coming”? Did He go up part of the way, turn around and come back down, and then go back up all the way on a “SECOND” departure? NO! Jesus Christ simply ascended up (in ONE phase) into heaven! And the Bible says that He is coming back in LIKE MANNER!
III. THE HISTORICAL RECORD
Actually, the historical record of some of the “futurist” elements found in “Dispensationalism”, a system of Biblical interpretation that has been used to mightily promote both the Pre-Trib Rapture and the “exclusively future” antichrist, goes all the way back to the Counter-Reformation movement launched by the JESUITS around the time of the Council of Trent (1545-1563). (Note: The Counter-Reformation was launched to first slow down, and then eventually to destroy, the Protestant Reformation – and the “fruit” that it had produced.)
Since the top Protestant Reformers had all identified “Papal Rome” – and more specifically, the Papacy – as the Antichrist found in the pages of Holy Scripture, the Jesuits had to find a way to take the “SPOTLIGHT” off of the Papacy. Steve Wohlberg, on page 114 of his book, “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”, tells us:
“At the Council of Trent [Ed.:
1545-1563], papal leaders and JESUITS
brainstormed about how to counteract Protestantism and bring defectors
back to the mother church. Behind closed doors, they decided this was to be
done, not only through the Inquisition and torture, but also
through THEOLOGY. What kind of theology? Here’s the answer: By reinterpreting
the prophecies about ‘the man of sin’, ‘the little horn’, and ‘the
Two very intelligent Spanish JESUITS rose to the challenge: Luis de Alcasar (1554-1613) of Seville and Francisco Ribera (1537-1591) of Salamanca. Their strategy was, in a nutshell, one of reapplication and diversion, yet they went in opposite directions. After reading the Bible by candlelight like Martin Luther did, [Jesuit Luis de] Alcasar decided to apply the Bible’s antichrist prophecies to the ancient past while [Jesuit Francisco] Ribera applied them to the distant future. ‘Smart move!’ was the response from [Papal] Rome. By reapplying these prophecies to the past and to the future instead of to the present, these two tricky JESUIT scholars sought to divert the prophetic finger light years away from the Vatican. Their views quickly became official positions within the Roman [Catholic] Church – even though these two views contradicted each other!”
Isn’t it interesting that we find a “JESUIT” hand involved in concocting at least some of the “futurist” elements found in Dispensationalism and its Pre-Trib Rapture? First we find the “hand” of Spanish Jesuit Francisco Ribera. And then we find the “hand” of Chilean Jesuit Emmanuel Lacunza. As stated in the “Definitions” section under the term “Lacunza, Emmanuel”:
“Emmanuel Lacunza was a Chilean JESUIT who wrote the four-volume book ‘The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty’. He was born in 1731, and he died in 1801. Lacunza had used the pseudonym of Rabbi Juan Josafat Ben Ezra for his book in order to deceive Protestants into thinking that it had been written by a Messianic [i.e., “Converted”] Jew, thus for a time concealing its JESUIT origins! Lacunza’s book provided at least some of the ingredients for the largely fictional prophetic concoction that is today called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture – a doctrine that is one of the pillars of ‘Dispensationalism’.” Please remember that Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving “supervised” the translation of Jesuit Lacunza’s book into English!
It is also worth repeating in this section a paragraph from the “Definitions” section concerning the history of the Pre-Trib Rapture:
“The [Ed.: Pre-Trib] Rapture has its origins in the nineteenth century – beginning, according to one critic [Ed.: i.e., author Dave MacPherson], with a young girl’s vision. In 1830, in Port Glasgow, Scotland, fifteen-year-old Margaret MacDonald attended a healing service. There, she was said to have seen a vision of a two-stage return of Jesus Christ. The story of her vision was adopted and amplified by John Nelson Darby, a British evangelical preacher and founder of the Plymouth Brethren.” – Barbara R. Rossing (“The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page 22)
It seems that the Pre-Trib Rapture prophetic viewpoint did not really catch on anywhere until at least the 1830s. It seems to have made its “official debut” in England, and then made its way across the Atlantic Ocean to the USA with the help of John Nelson Darby. Until that time, the prevailing prophetic viewpoint among Christians in the USA was the Post-Trib Rapture view. Dave MacPherson, in his book, “The Incredible Cover-Up”, traces the origins of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine back to the British Isles, where we find such characters as a Scottish lassie named Margaret MacDonald, Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving, and John Nelson Darby. Dave MacPherson does a great job of showing the “British” origins of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine; however, certain “futurist” elements used in Dispensationalism and Pre-Trib actually go back slightly farther in history, to Jesuits Francisco Ribera and Emmanuel Lacunza.
This British “creation” of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine was later popularized in the USA by the “Scofield Study Bible”. It is not within the scope (i.e., limited space) of this newsletter to go more deeply into the historical side of the “Rapture debate”. If the reader wishes to do more research on the history of the Pre-Trib Rapture, then contact “Christian Media” at 1-541-899-8888 for information on the Dave MacPherson books that they offer through their ministry. It is important to keep in mind that Spanish Jesuit Francisco Ribera helped to promote the “futurist” view of the “exclusively future, end-time, single antichrist” in order to take the “SPOTLIGHT” off of the Papacy, which had been fingered as the “Antichrist” seen in Scripture by the Protestant Reformers!
(The “notes” in the Scofield Study Bible strongly promote “dispensational” viewpoints, including the Pre-Trib Rapture. Scofield’s notes were largely responsible for some of these new “futuristic” prophetic viewpoints (portions of which were developed by several Roman Catholic Jesuits), along with the Pre-Trib Rapture, “taking off” here in the USA! The 314-page hardback book, “The Incredible Scofield and His Book” by Joseph M. Canfield, reveals much about both Cyrus I. Scofield and his dispensational belief system. As author Loraine Boettner states concerning this book: “This is one of the most powerful books that has ever been written against the dispensational system.”)
IV. SOME MORE RELEVANT QUOTATIONS:
“The [Ed.: Pre-Tribulation] Rapture has become embedded in American Christian culture today, but the idea of the [Ed.: Pre-Tribulation] Rapture is less than two hundred years old.” – Barbara R. Rossing, author of “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page 21)
passage anywhere in the New Testament explicitly puts before the
tribulation a single one of the constituent elements: coming of Christ,
resurrection, translation, gathering, catching up, and reception of saints.
…Yet the New Testament does tell us explicitly that Christ will come again after the tribulation, that saints will rise from the dead after the tribulation, and that the elect will be gathered after the tribulation – and [the Apostle] Paul uses their being gathered synonymously with their being caught up (compare 1 Thess. 4:16-17 with 2 Thess. 2:1) and puts the translation of some together with the resurrection of others (1 Cor. 15:15-52).” – [Dr. Robert] “Bob” Gundry (“First the Antichrist”; 1997; Pages 72, 73)
“The Lord Jesus Christ did NOT say [that] He would return twice; He said [that] He would return IMMEDIATELY AFTER the tribulation. (See Matthew 24:29)” – Lisa Ruby (“GOD’S WRATH on ‘Left Behind’: Exposing the Antichrist Agenda of the ‘Left Behind’ Series”; 2002; Page 62)
“…I am compelled to warn all Christians trusting in the [Ed.: Pre-Tribulation] rapture of the foolishness of such a course.” – James Lloyd (“The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty in Dispensationalism”; 1999; Page 3)
“Furthermore, many, many Christians simply don’t want to be told [Ed: emphasis in original] that they might be forced to endure ‘The Great Tribulation’ described in The Bible” – James Lloyd (“The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty in Dispensationalism”; 1999; Page 3)
been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution. In
China the Christians were told, ‘Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes,
you will be translated – raptured.’ Then came a terrible persecution.
Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a bishop from China
say, sadly, ‘We have failed. We should have made the people strong
for persecution rather than telling them Jesus would come first.’
feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is
possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the
I have gone already through prison for Jesus’ sake, and since I met that
bishop from China, now every time I
read a good Bible text I think ‘Hey, I can use that in the time of
tribulation.’ Then I write it down and learn it by heart.”
– Corrie ten Boom (a wonderful Christian lady)
“…The leaders of the underground church [Ed.: in Red China] said they didn’t want American missionaries to come and preach the ‘foolish doctrine of the rapture’.” – Brother Andrew (author of “God’s Smuggler”; missionary to Red China and Russia; quote taken from page 35 of the book, “I WANT To Be Left Behind”, by Pastor Ron Poch)
the mid-1800s and the preaching of [John Nelson] Darby and [Cyrus I.]
Scofield, no one, whether Catholic or Protestant, had dreamed of an end-time
Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Jack Van Impe and other dispensationalists appeal to those who long for a certitude that they need not suffer one hour, not one moment of a long period of hardships.” – Dr. James M. Dunn (Baptist Joint Committee, Washington, D.C. – quote taken from page 35 of the book, “Forcing God’s Hand”, by Grace Halsell)
“In what may very well be the greatest tragedy of the last two centuries, the dispensational theorists have seized the reins of leadership in the ‘Church’, and as they have consolidated their power, they have widely programmed millions of church attendees into believing in something called the [Ed.: Pre-Tribulation] ‘rapture’.” – James Lloyd (“The Reckoning”; 2007; Page 1)
“Modern pre-tribbers who claim [that] the [Ed.: Pre-Trib] doctrine was taught throughout the last two millennia make a mockery of massive historical data and basic scholarship.” – James Lloyd (“The Reckoning”; 2007; Page 22)
“Sadly, the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine has become the great evangelical escape clause for the avoidance of the end times.” – Steve Wohlberg (“End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 36)
“…To believe a false teaching such as ‘an any moment rapture’ is to belittle the sacrifice by those who have given their all.” – Pastor Ron Poch (“I WANT To Be Left Behind”; 2002; Page 36)
I personally do NOT KNOW of, nor have heard of, any individuals who held the Post-Trib viewpoint for many years, and then subsequently CHANGED to the Pre-Trib viewpoint after much Bible study of that topic and/or after much prayer. NOR have I READ about any Post-Trib’ers doing that. However, I personally do know a fair number of individuals who had held the Pre-Trib viewpoint for many years, and then who later SWITCHED to the Post-Trib viewpoint after much Bible study of that topic and/or after much prayer.
Examples of some men (who SWITCHED from the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint to the Post-Trib Rapture viewpoint after heavy-duty Bible study on that prophetic topic, and/or after much prayer, and in at least one case, after a long fast) include (names are listed, hopefully, in alphabetical order):
(1) Pastor Dwight Kinman, author of the excellent book “The World’s Last Dictator”, had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for almost 40 years. After carefully searching the Scriptures to discern the timing of the “Rapture”, he CHANGED his view to Post-Trib (and began to publicly teach Post-Trib). His above-mentioned book promotes the Post-Trib Rapture viewpoint.
(2) Pastor David W. Lankford (author and broadcast host) also had believed in and had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for many years. As the back cover of his excellent book, “The Second Coming: A Second Look”, states: “After weeks of fasting and prayer and diligent study of Scripture, Pastor Lankford’s long-held beliefs about The Second Coming were changed.”
(3) James Lloyd (author; publisher of two periodicals; broadcast host of “The Apocalypse Chronicles”) had believed in the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for years. Study of the Bible convinced James that the Post-Trib viewpoint was the correct one! James has written four books dealing with the topic of Pre-Trib Rapturism! His website is www.ChristianMediaNetwork.com.
(4) G. Campbell Morgan, who was considered by some of his time as the greatest Christian scholar of his era, had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for many years. After in-depth study of the Holy Bible to discern the timing of the “Rapture”, he CHANGED his view to Post-Trib. He felt so badly about having previously taught the Pre-Trib viewpoint, and about having written a book supporting Pre-Trib, that he purchased the plates to the book and destroyed them!
(5) Pastor Butch Paugh (author; and host of the “Call to Decision” broadcast) had believed in and had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for years. Yet it was Bible study that convinced him that the Pre-Trib prophetic viewpoint is a FALSE doctrine. He now teaches the Post-Trib Rapture prophetic viewpoint over the “airwaves”, as well as to his two local congregations in West Virginia. His excellent Internet website is: www.calltodecision.com (the shorter title: www.pastorbutch.com). Pastor Butch Paugh has produced several audiocassette tape sets that deal with the “rapture” timing issue, and they are currently available through his ministry. You can call his ministry toll-free at 1-800-777-4403 for information on how to order those items via credit card.
(6) Pastor Ron Poch (author of the book “I WANT To Be Left Behind”) once believed in the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint, because that is what he had been taught at Bible College! He had the courage to admit that he had been wrong to believe the Pre-Trib Rapture, and that his teachers had been wrong to teach it!
(7) Jim Spillman (author, pastor, evangelist, and Bible scholar), who at one time pastored a very large church in California, had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for many years. After going into his prayer closet for several days, where he studied ONLY the Holy Bible in order to discern the timing of the “Rapture”, he came to the conclusion that the Holy Bible clearly teaches the Post-Trib viewpoint. He then had the courage to go before his large congregation and ADMIT to them that he had been teaching them FALSE doctrine (i.e., the Pre-Trib viewpoint) for all those previous years! (That takes a lot of GUTS!)
Although I’ve already mentioned a number of books that REFUTE the Pre-Trib Rapture, this would be a good place to list all the books (which I personally possess) that provide good, sound arguments AGAINST the Pre-Tribulation Rapture prophetic viewpoint. (My recommendation of these books does not necessarily mean that I agree with everything that is written in each of them. I will try to list the books alphabetically by title.)
NOTE: You may have to do a search on the Internet or visit a good library to find some of these books. Some of them can be purchased at larger bookstore chains. Some of them are out of print, and may no longer be available, and/or prices may have changed. (Order information is provided only if I have such in my records.)
(1) “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World” by Steve Wohlberg; 2004; 220-page paperback book; Publisher: Treasure House; $18.45 postage paid. (To order this book via credit card, please call toll-free 1-800-78-BIBLE.)
(2) “First the Antichrist” by Dr. Robert H. (“Bob”) Gundry; 1997; 200-page paperback book; Publisher: Baker Books. (This book is currently out of print. I would suggest that you do a search on the Internet for used copies.)
(3) “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth” by Grace Halsell; 1999; 132-page paperback book; Publisher: Crossroads International Publishing, Washington, D.C.
(4) “Invisible Scripture” by James Lloyd; 2006; 27-page paperback book; Publisher: Christian Media; $7 postage paid: To obtain a copy, please make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.
(5) “I WANT To Be Left Behind” by Pastor Ron Poch; 2002; 130-page paperback book; Publisher: Proclaim Liberty Ministries; $12 postage paid: To order a copy via credit card, please call toll-free 1-888-820-2126.
(6) “Lying in Laodicea: Rapturism Unmasked” by James Lloyd; Publisher: Christian Media; $7 postage paid: To obtain a copy, please make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.
(7) “The Incredible Cover-Up: Exposing the Origins of Rapture Theories” by Dave MacPherson; 1975; 166-page paperback book (1980 & 1991) published by Omega Publications, Medford, Oregon. (This book is currently out of print. I would suggest that you do a search on the Internet for used copies.)
(8) “The Rapture Book: Victory in the End Times” by Dr. James McKeever; 1987; 225-page paperback book; Publisher: Omega Publications, Medford, Oregon. (This book is probably out of print. Search the Internet for used copies.)
(9) “The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty in Dispensationalism” by James Lloyd; 1999; 66-page book; Publisher: Christian Media; $7 postage paid: To obtain a copy, please make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.
(10) “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation” by Barbara R. Rossing; 2004; 222-page paperback book; Publisher: Basic Books. (I purchased my copy at a local Barnes & Noble bookstore.)
(11) “The Rapture Plot” by Dave MacPherson; 1994; 290-page paperback book; my edition was published in 1995 by MILLENNIUM III PUBLISHERS. (A newer, 300-page edition of this book is available through Christian Media for $22.25 postage paid. Make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.)
(12) “The Reckoning” by James Lloyd; 2007; 45-page paperback book; Publisher: Christian Media; $7 postage paid: To obtain a copy, please make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.
(13) “The Second Coming: A Second Look” by Pastor David W. Lankford; 1996; 95-page paperback book; Publisher: Wolf Publishing: Pastor Lankford’s book, along with a two-audiocassette tape set on the topic of the Second Coming, was available several years ago for $20 postage paid by calling phone number 704-263-1945, or by making check or money order in that amount payable to “The Voice of Evangelism”, and mailing it to: The Voice of Evangelism // P.O. Box 669 // Alexis, NC 28006. (NOTE: The price may have changed; I suggest that you call to find out the current price if you are interested in this book and tape set.)
(14) “The Three R’s: Rapture, Revisionism, Robbery: Pretribulation Rapturism from 1830 to Hal Lindsey” by Dave MacPherson; 1998; 149-page paperback book; Publisher: P.O.S.T., Inc.; $15 postage paid. Please make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.
(15) “The World’s Last Dictator” by Dwight L. Kinman; Second Edition: 1995; 322-page paperback book; Publisher: Solid Rock Books, Inc., Woodburn, Oregon. (This book is probably out of print. I would suggest you do a search on the Internet for used copies.)
And while we are talking about good books, here is an excellent book that exposes a number of the unscriptural teachings in the “Left Behind” series (a series of books and tapes that promote the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint):
“GOD’S WRATH on Left Behind: Exposing the Antichrist Agenda of the Left Behind Series” by Lisa Ruby; 216-page paperback; 2002; ISBN 0-9721264-0-6: Months ago she was giving her book away – you simply had to pay shipping and handling: For information on how to order this book, please visit her Internet website: www.libertytothecaptives.net.
Interestingly, many famous Christian men in the past believed in and taught Post-Trib [that is, that the “Church” goes through the Tribulation period], including Charles H. Spurgeon, John Bunyan (author of “Pilgrim’s Progress”), John Calvin, Charles Finney, John Knox, Martin Luther, and George Whitefield.
Interestingly, NONE of these following learned Christians ever made any reference to the Pre-Trib Rapture: John Wycliffe, or John or Charles Wesley.
Interestingly, there seem to be NO records of the great pastors of the American Revolution (such as Jonas Clark, John Peter Gabriel Muhlenburg, James Caldwell, etc.) ever making ANY reference to the Pre-Trib Rapture.
Most interestingly, NONE of the following ever made ANY mention in the Holy Bible to the Pre-Trib evacuation of Christians BEFORE the alleged “future 7-year tribulation” and appearance of the end-time antichrist: (1) the Lord Jesus Christ, (2) the Apostle Paul, (3) the Apostle Peter, and (4) the Apostle John! Nor did they make ANY mention of the Mid-Trib/Pre-Wrath Rapture! Doesn’t it seem strange that there is NOT ONE SINGLE verse of Scripture that declares something like the following HYPOTHETICAL “statements”?
(1) “Verily, immediately prior to the start of the seven-year period of the ‘Great Tribulation’, the end-time Christians will be miraculously air evacuated [i.e., “raptured”] off of Planet Earth.”
(2) “Verily, seven years before the Revelation of Jesus Christ [the alleged 2nd part of His alleged two-stage 2nd Coming], the end-time Christians will be miraculously air evacuated [i.e., “raptured”] off of Planet Earth.”
(3) “Verily, three and one half years into the ‘Great Tribulation’, the end-time Christians will be miraculously air evacuated [i.e., “raptured”] off of Planet Earth – just prior to the beginning of God’s Wrath!”
No, there is NOT
EVEN ONE such Bible verse, or even one verse that
closely resembles those hypothetical statements, to be found in the Holy
Interestingly, John F. Walvoord, a leader in the Pre-Trib Rapture movement and author of a number of books promoting the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint, admitted that there was NOT ONE SINGLE Bible verse that by itself clearly teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture!
I would like to ask a question here that Pre-Trib’ers never seem to ask themselves – because I have never seen it addressed in their writings.
Why would any end-time believers in Jesus Christ be taken off the planet in the alleged Pre-Trib Rapture (so that they would not have to face the horrors that occur during the “end-times’ tribulation”), when so many other Christians have faced horrible persecution and tribulation throughout Church history? The horrors of Papal Rome’s monstrous Inquisition come to mind. The horrible persecution of the Scottish Covenanters comes to mind. The horrible persecution of the Albigenses, Waldenses, and French Huguenots by Papal Rome comes to mind. The horrible persecution of early Christians by several of the Roman emperors comes to mind. Why in blazes would there be a “special class” of Christians in the “end times” that is exempt from horrible persecution?
Yes, I do know the arguments of the Pre-Trib’ers:
1. “God would not allow
His bride (the Church) to go through the horrible end-times’ tribulation
period, where ‘she’ would be bloodied.”
2. “God has not appointed
us to wrath, so we Christians living in the ‘end times’ will
NOT have to go through the end-times’ tribulation period.”
The Pre-Trib’ers apply such good things only to themselves – i.e., they won’t have to go through the “end-times’ tribulation” because they haven’t been “appointed to wrath”, and because they are the “bride of Christ”. However, these same Pre-Trib’ers believe that those people who get saved during the “end-times’ tribulation” (under more stressful conditions than many of those “air evacuated” Christians ever had to face) – well, those “saved-during-the-end-times’-tribulation” believers do NOT get to be spared from “God’s wrath”, because they are evidently NOT as much a part of “Christ’s bride” as those Christians who were “raptured” prior to the start of the “end-times’ tribulation”! What is wrong with this “picture”? I Thessalonians 5:9 lets us know that God has not appointed any believers (including those who go through the “end-times’ tribulation”) to [His] wrath, but rather “to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”. The Pre-Trib’ers surely are getting the “Antichrist’s wrath” MIXED UP with “God’s wrath” during the “end-times’ tribulation”, and ASSUME they won’t be facing the “Antichrist’s wrath” during that period. All that “nasty stuff” is reserved for those “other” Christians who get saved during the “end-times’ tribulation” (according to the Pre-Trib’ers). Again, HOW IN BLAZES can this group of Pre-Trib’ers think that they are going to get a massive “break” from horrible persecution and evil during the “end-times’ tribulation” when MILLIONS of Christians in other centuries faced the most horrible persecution, and quite likely MILLIONS of Christians will be martyred by the Antichrist system in the future? I personally cannot figure out this Pre-Trib “logic” – but I do think that the Pre-Trib Rapture is “illogical ESCAPISM to the maximum degree”, thrown in with a lot of ignorance of key Bible verses – along with some fantastic twisting and “torturing” of other Bible verses!
The following quotation from Steve Wohlberg’s book, “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”, is quite revealing. Steve Wohlberg states: “Could it be that the idea of escaping tribulation is really only catering to our lukewarm American tendencies? We like comfort; hate to go through trials; and can hardly bear it when our TV-dinner lifestyle is threatened. Yet historically, God’s people have gone through intense suffering. All the disciples of Jesus [Christ], except John, were brutally murdered. Thousands of early Christians were torn to shreds by wild dogs inside the Coliseum. Millions of others were horribly tortured by the Inquisition and burnt to ashes during the Dark Ages. …Believers in Russia and [Red] China have suffered terribly under communism, and yet American Christians say, ‘God wouldn’t allow us to go through the tribulation!’”
I have heard Pre-Trib’ers say that the “imminent” [i.e., “at any moment”] return of the Lord Jesus Christ makes them serve the Lord more fervently. That may be true for some Pre-Trib’ers, as I do personally know one Pre-Trib Rapture pastor who is really fighting hard against corruption and tyranny.
However, many of the Pre-Trib’ers (whom I personally know) use the Pre-Trib Rapture as an excuse to sit back, and to do absolutely nothing to fight against corruption and tyranny. I’ve heard: “Why should I care about the evil movement towards one-world government, etc., that we see today – don’t you know, I’m going to be out of here in the ‘rapture’ BEFORE things really get bad.” I’ve heard that, and similar statements, from many Pre-Trib’ers who are just sitting around, NOT opposing corruption and tyranny, waiting for the Lord Jesus Christ to “air evacuate” them out BEFORE things get really “hairy” [i.e., dangerous]. Another statement I’ve heard is this: “Don’t resist the New World Order, because, don’t you know, it’s all been prophesied.” Such thinking on the part of many Pre-Trib’ers does not “square” with numerous Biblical admonitions to expose evil and to fight against it! (For example, please see Ephesians 5:11.)
1. As Pre-Trib writer and leader John Walvoord admits, there is NO SINGLE verse of Scripture that by itself clearly teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture.
2. Pre-Trib’ers FORCE ASSUMPTIONS on many key Bible verses – especially assuming that all references to “saints” and to the “elect” (who are being persecuted and martyred during the “end-times’ tribulation”) must refer to “those individuals who are saved” AFTER the Pre-Trib Rapture has taken place. (Again, how are all these folks getting saved during the “end-times’ tribulation” if the “Church” and the “restrainer” [i.e., the Holy Spirit according to Pre-Trib’ers] have been removed?)
3. We are NOT able to find one single instance in the New Testament where the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Peter, or the Apostle John made any statement to the effect that “the church is to be evacuated off of planet Earth seven years PRIOR to the beginning of the end-times’ tribulation period”. Isn’t that a bit strange if the Pre-Trib Rapture prophetic viewpoint is the correct one?
4. Despite taking several texts OUT OF CONTEXT from a few early church fathers’ writings, the Pre-Trib’ers really CANNOT find any predominant, popular teaching that supports the Pre-Trib Rapture prophetic viewpoint in any era of Church history prior to the 1830s.
5. Many learned men of the Christian faith, such as John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Finney, John Knox, John Calvin, Martin Luther, George Whitefield, etc., were all solid Post-Trib believers!
6. The Pre-Trib Rapture is a very big “cash cow” for Pre-Trib writers. Yet, there are some Pre-Trib’ers who will admit that the Pre-Trib Rapture prophetic viewpoint is still a minority viewpoint among Bible scholars. How can that be, you may ask, since so many prophecy books favor the “Pre-Trib” viewpoint? That is because so many of the major “Christian” publishing houses are, for the most part, CONTROLLED by “liberal Christians”. Post-Trib writers often find it extremely hard to get their books published by these publishing houses, because Pre-Trib “sells”. (Could that be because the Pre-Trib Rapture appeals to an “escapist” mentality? It’s that mentality of “I sure don’t want to be here when the Antichrist takes over!” The Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint appeals to our “flesh” – after all, who wants to face persecution?) Also, Dr. Robert “Bob” Gundry says that most of the professors [at Bible colleges] that he knows hold the Post-Trib Rapture viewpoint. He adds that even some of the professors at Bible colleges of the “Pre-Trib Rapture persuasion” hold the Post-Trib viewpoint, but cannot say so publicly for fear of losing their positions! Students who openly advocate Post-Trib at these “Pre-Trib Bible colleges” might not be allowed to graduate!
7. Despite the fact that many Pre-Trib’ers dislike author Dave MacPherson, they have NOT been able to disprove his well-documented findings that show that the Pre-Trib Rapture’s origins (as far as any public teaching) date back to the 1830s – and not earlier than that era! Nor have the Pre-Trib’ers been able to disprove MacPherson’s findings that the vast majority of the early church fathers taught that the church would go THROUGH the “end-times’ tribulation” – and lots of tribulation along the way to the “end-times’ tribulation”.
8. Public teaching of the Pre-Trib Rapture originated in the British Isles during the 1830s. (The Jesuits did some “futurist creativity” in the prophetic arena many years prior to that time.) The Pre-Trib “theory” was then “transported” to America a little bit later, and was popularized by the “Scofield Study Bible”.
9. To believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture, one must ignore several key Bible verses that speak directly against the Pre-Trib Rapture, such as John 17:15 where the Lord Jesus Christ Himself prays that the Father NOT take believers OUT OF the world – and I Thessalonians 4:16, 17 (which says that the Christians living at the time of Jesus Christ’s return are not caught up UNTIL AFTER the “dead in Christ” are raised “FIRST”)!
10. Believing in the Pre-Trib Rapture, it seems to me, goes AGAINST the prevalent theme of those portions of the Bible that deal with tribulation and persecution. That prevalent theme is “preservation IN THE MIDST OF tribulation”. (Please recall the accounts of Daniel in the lions’ den, and of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the fiery furnace!)
11. To believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture, you have to ASSUME that you will be among a very “select group” of Christians who will not have to suffer horrible things during the “end-times’ tribulation”. Your “select group” excludes those MILLIONS of Christians from past centuries who were NOT “air evacuated” out of their tribulation and suffering, and the many individuals who get “saved” (i.e., are “born again”) during the “end-times’ tribulation”, and who will suffer martyrdom!
12. The Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint, for the most part, seems to produce very BAD FRUIT – that is, it seems to have “neutralized” many Christians living today, causing them to sit back and to NOT fight evil. (And that’s, because, don’t you know, they won’t be here when things get really bad.) Could this “doctrine” have been specifically designed to “neutralize” Christians?
The Scripture verses alone that I have placed in this newsletter ought to be sufficient to show any individual with an “open mind” that the Pre-Trib Rapture is NOT taught in the Holy Bible.
The historical record that I have presented in this newsletter ought to raise some serious questions among those who preach and teach the Pre-Trib Rapture that there is something seriously wrong here. The Jesuit Order has for years tried to undermine the Protestant Reformation, with the ultimate goal of DESTROYING it. They have used a number of “tools” to accomplish their goal – and two of their best “tools” have been:
(1) INFILTRATION of Protestant, independent Baptist, and independent fundamentalist schools, seminaries, societies, associations, organizations, and fellowships; and,
(2) AUTHORING and INSERTING portions of “futurist” doctrines (such as a “future seven-year tribulation period” and an “exclusively future ‘Mr. Nasty’ Antichrist”), via the Pre-Trib Rapture, into Protestant, independent Baptist, and independent fundamentalist “circles” that NEUTRALIZE many Bible-believing Christians, causing them to feel “warm, fuzzy, safe, and secure” when, in fact, they are in great danger, and therefore ought to be fighting evil! (Please see Ephesians 5:11, Psalm 94:16, and Ezekiel 22:30, 31.)
Let me ask you pastors and preachers, who have been teaching and preaching the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint to your “flocks”, a couple of very “tough” questions:
(1)“How does it make you
feel to know that you have been deceived by some Jesuits,
such as Francisco Ribera and Emmanuel Lacunza, into believing a lot of
‘futurist’ doctrine found within ‘Dispensationalism’, to include a
‘future seven-year tribulation period’ and an ‘exclusively future
single Antichrist’ (that wonderfully succeeded in taking the ‘SPOTLIGHT’
off of the Papacy as the historical Antichrist found on the pages of Holy
Scripture) – beliefs that are pillars of Dispensationalism and its Pre-Trib
(2) “What are you going to
do now that you know the TRUTH?”
Here is something else for those who teach or preach the Pre-Trib Rapture to think about: Your promotion of this doctrine could cause some Christians (who are taught it) to believe that they are in no danger from an Antichrist system that will be targeting Protestants and independent, Bible-believing Christians for DESTRUCTION. How would you feel if you met these folks in heaven – folks who had not taken appropriate measures to defend themselves and their families, and had to watch as murderous thugs raped, tortured, and murdered their family members in front of their very eyes – all because they thought they “wouldn’t be here” when that end-time tribulation occurs – based upon what you taught?
Throughout almost 2000 years of Christian history, MILLIONS of Christians have suffered through horrible persecution and tribulation! MILLIONS of these same Christians were martyred for their steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, and for their refusal to deny their true King! MILLIONS of these Christians were also martyred because they refused to bow to Papal Rome and her false claims of total authority over all Christians in the world! TWO QUESTIONS: (1) Is it not the “height of arrogance” for you believers in the Pre-Trib Rapture to think that you will be part of a relatively small, “special class” of Christians (i.e., those who are living during the “end times”) who alone of all generations of Christians are to be spared horrible persecution and tribulation? (2) What makes YOU so special and so much more worthy to be “protected” than earlier generations of Christians?
One more “final thought”: I would like to repeat a portion of
author Lisa Ruby’s comments concerning the “Left
Behind” series (which appeared
earlier in the “Definitions” section of this newsletter), along with a few
“…Even more disturbing is that the [‘Left Behind’ series] authors’ depiction of the happenings at the outset of the tribulation parallel what is actually planned [Ed.: emphasis in original] by the New World Order elitists. …There will be mass disappearances around the world that might be reported by the media as occurring simultaneously, but they will NOT occur because Jesus Christ has taken His people from the earth in a secret, pre-tribulation rapture that He NEVER promised. The horrific happenings [that] the [‘Left Behind’ series] authors portrayed as being caused by Jesus rapturing His people from the earth before the tribulation is WITHOUT any scriptural foundation. …The ‘Left Behind’ series sends the message that if you hear of mass disappearances [Ed.: during the “tribulation”] you should not suspect that any foul play occurred.” (From Lisa Ruby’s book “GOD’S WRATH on ‘Left Behind’: Exposing the Antichrist Agenda of the ‘Left Behind’ Series”; 2002; Pages 61 and 64)
My comments concerning the above quotation:
(1) Could it just be that the “Left Behind” series of books and movies – along with a multitude of other books promoting the Pre-Trib Rapture – have “programmed” MILLIONS of Americans to sit back and not be concerned when the “enforcers” of the Jesuit-controlled, tyrannical, “one-world government” begin causing the “disappearances” of thousands upon thousands of Bible-believing Christians and patriots (who had showed signs of opposing their one-world government and one-world religion)? Will many of these “programmed” Americans ASSUME that the mass “disappearances” are due to the Pre-Trib Rapture? Will some of these “programmed” Americans ASSUME that they have missed the Pre-Trib Rapture, and then fall into great despair?
(2) Many of these Pre-Trib-Rapture-“programmed” Americans currently are totally unprepared for those end-time events that will be orchestrated by the Antichrist system of one-world government and one-world religion!
P.S. (Added on September 28, 2007): The Pre-Trib Rapture is a prominent feature of “Dispensationalism” – which became popular in America in the mid 1800s. One of the books most responsible for the advancement of Dispensationalism in America was the “Scofield Reference Bible” (a.k.a. the “Scofield Study Bible”), whose notes were prepared by Cyrus I. Scofield. If you would like to learn more about the life of Cyrus I. Scofield, and about his famous “Study Bible”, then please get a copy of the book, “The Incredible Scofield and His Book”, by Joseph M. Canfield (1988; Ross House Books, Vallecito, California). Dr. Loraine Boettner describes this book as “one of the most powerful books that has ever been written against the dispensational system.” Boettner also states concerning Canfield’s book: “…If dispensationalists would read it carefully, perhaps half of them would turn from that system.” (You should be able to do a “google-style” search on the Internet to find a copy of this book.)
P.P.S. (Added on February 23, 2008): Some people, especially those who are ignorant of “Church” history and European history, will scoff at the idea that the Jesuits could have had anything to do with certain “futurist” elements in the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine. In my definition of the “Jesuit Order”, I stated that one of the Jesuits’ primary goals was “to roll back the Protestant Reformation”. In order to accomplish this objective, the Jesuits decided to use several key “tools”:
(1) Attempt to gain control of the political leadership of Protestant countries (e.g., through such means as “regime change”, bribery, extortion, placing their lackeys in key positions within the government, etc. – i.e., ruling the country from “behind the scenes”) – or by assassinating the head of State and replacing him or her with someone loyal to the Papacy);
(2) Attempt to violently overthrow the governments of some of these Protestant countries (e.g., through fomenting revolution and/or by actually invading the targeted country with military forces loyal to the Papacy);
NOTE: A good example of #2 was
the attempted invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1588. The Spanish
Armada had wanted to land Spanish troops on British soil, and these troops were
to be assisted by armed Roman Catholics in the British Isles in overthrowing the
government – and in the process placing England once again under Papal
control! In fact, Pope Sixtus V [pope: 1585-90] promised Spanish King
Philip II that the Papacy would provide financial support for this
invasion. (If you doubt this, then please read the book “Jesuit Plots from
Elizabethan to Modern Times” by Albert Close. This 194-page paperback book
is only $8.95 postage paid. To order a copy, please make check or postal money
order payable to “The
and mail it to: The Conversion Center // P.O. Box 265 // Carthage, NC
(3) Attempt to gain control of the religious leadership of Protestant countries (e.g., through such means as bribery, extortion, placing their lackeys in key positions within Protestant churches, seminaries, religious societies and associations, etc.)
NOTE: A good example of this Jesuit INFILTRATION of religious associations and societies was the Oxford movement. Begun officially in 1833, the Oxford movement, led by John Henry Newman (who later became a Roman Catholic cardinal), issued 90 pamphlets/tracts that were intended to draw the Anglican Church much closer to Papal Rome’s doctrines. (The ultimate goal was to make Roman Catholicism once again the State religion in England.)
(4) Attempt to INSERT theological “viruses” (designed to neutralize true Christianity) into the doctrines of Protestant denominations and independent Bible-believing groups by having their undercover agents (i.e., “moles”) suggest various doctrinal views, such as in the realm of Bible prophecy.
NOTE: Some examples of #4 occurred in the realm of the exclusively “futurist” view of prophecy, where two Jesuits (i.e., Francisco Ribera and Emmanuel Lacunza) and a papal undercover agent (i.e., John Henry Newman) helped provide certain key elements in the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine (e.g., a “future 7-year tribulation period” and a “single, exclusively future, end-time Antichrist” that took the “SPOTLIGHT” off of the Papacy). Please consider the following quote by Pastor Ron Poch, taken from pages 121 and 122 of his book, “I WANT To Be Left Behind”, concerning numerous Reformers and scholars who subscribed to the “historicist” [or, historical] view of Bible prophecy:
[Ed.: historicist or historical] view [Ed.: of Bible prophecy] postulates
that the Book of Revelation predicts events occurring from the 1st
century up to our present day. This view, according to many theologians and
reformers of the past, offers a freedom in the interpretation of the text in
applying the prophecies to actual historical events that have taken place from
the 1st century. The historical position [Ed.: of Bible prophecy]
looks at Church history from the time of John the revelator to the
culmination of all prophetic events, some even yet future.
is very important to note that many reformers, men of God, teachers and Bible
translators and scholars taught this [Ed.: historicist or historical] position
concerning Bible prophecy. Many of the men on the following list did not agree
on certain doctrinal beliefs, but they were all in general agreement
concerning the interpretation of Daniel’s seventy weeks identifying the beast
system as religious papal Rome and the ‘man of sin’ being none
other than the Roman popes who had taken the name Vicar of Christ.
a partial list of those who subscribed to the ‘historicist view’ of [Bible]
[1.] John Wycliffe, 1329-1383
– English ‘Morning star of the Reformation’
[2.] John Knox, 1514-1572 –
Scottish Presbyterian reformer
[3.] William Tyndale,
1494-1536 – English reformer, translator, martyr
[4.] John Calvin, 1509-1564
– French reformer and theologian
[5.] Martin Luther, 1483-1546
– German theologian and reformer
[6.] Ulrich Zwingli,
1484-1531 – Swiss reformer
[7.] Philip Melanchthon,
1497-1560 – [Ed.: German Protestant Reformer] Composed the Augustine
[8.] Sir Isaac Newton,
1642-1727 – English scientist and Bible scholar
[9.] John Huss, 1373-1415 – Bohemian reformer [Ed.: and martyr – he was burned as a heretic]
[10.] John Foxe, 1516-1587
– English author of ‘Foxe’s Book of Martyrs’
[11.] Charles Wesley, 1708-1788 – English hymn writer [Ed.: and clergyman]
[12.] John Wesley, 1703-1791
– [Ed.: English clergyman and evangelist]; Founder of Methodism
[13.] Jonathan Edwards,
1703-1758 – American theologian
[14.] George Whitfield,
1714-1770 – English evangelist
[15.] Charles Finney,
1792-1875 – American evangelist
[16.] Charles H. Spurgeon,
1834-1892 – English Baptist pastor
[17.] Adam Clarke, 1762-1832
– Methodist theologian
[18.] Matthew Henry,
1662-1714 – Welch Bible scholar
[19.] John Bunyan, 1628-1688 – [Ed.: English writer and preacher]; Puritan author of ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’
[20.] Hudson Taylor,
1832-1905 – English founder of China Inland Mission
[21.] F.B. Meyer, 1847-1929
– English Baptist preacher
the names of these notable God-fearing men should cause us to search out why
they believed this [Ed.: historicist] prophetic viewpoint. We cannot
casually dismiss their approach to [Bible] prophecy while embracing the
position of Reformed theology that they propounded, which has stood the test of
NOTE: If you would like to learn more about the Jesuit Order, then please order the book “The Secret History of the Jesuits” by Edmond Paris. This 206-page paperback book is only $11.35 postage paid. To order a copy by credit card, call “Chick Publications” at 1-909-987-0771. Also, you can visit the following websites (hopefully listed alphabetically) that have a lot of information on various topics concerning the “Vatican-Papacy-Jesuit-Knights of Malta Cabal” and/or concerning the doctrines, practices, and history of the Roman Catholic Church:
www.arcticbeacon.com (Greg Szymanski of the “Investigative Journal”): This website has numerous articles about Papal Rome and the Jesuit Order, including articles that deal with recent lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church. Greg Szymanski is a journalist who worked in Rome, and who has carefully researched the operations of the Vatican. Many of the articles on this website were written by him. Various resources dealing with Papal Rome and the Jesuit Order are available through this website.
www.bereanbeacon.org (Richard Bennett, author of “Catholicism East of Eden”): This website has articles and DVDs dealing with Roman Catholicism, to include an outstanding DVD entitled “The Inquisition” (that deals with the Roman Catholic Church’s torture and mass murder of Bible-believing Christians). Books are also available through this website on a wide range of topics dealing with Roman Catholic doctrine and practices – including two books containing the testimonies of former Roman Catholic priests and nuns.
www.chick.com (“Chick Publications”): This website offers many great resources that deal with the topic of Roman Catholicism, including several outstanding books (e.g., “The Secret History of the Jesuits” by Edmond Paris).
www.ChristianMediaNetwork.com (James Lloyd of “Christian Media”): This website will give you details on James Lloyd’s excellent book dealing with “Mary worship”, entitled “The Queen of Heaven”. (It will also give you information on how to obtain numerous resources that refute the “Pre-Trib Rapture”. Please “click on” the “catalog” marker on his homepage.)
www.ctwilcox.com (C.T. Wilcox, professional actor and author of “The Transformation of the Republic”): This website has a number of articles dealing with Papal Rome and her Jesuit Order. The 345-page paperback book, “The Transformation of the Republic” (2005), by C.T. Wilcox, can be ordered on this website. (This book deals with Papal Rome’s involvement in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the manhunt for arch conspirator John Harrison Surratt, and the trials of the conspirators in the aftermath of the assassination.)
www.gordoncomstock.com (“Gordon Comstock”): This website contains many articles and podcasts dealing with Papal Rome and her Jesuit Order, as well as recommended resources for additional research.
www.SpirituallySmart.com (Thomas Richards): This website contains numerous articles and videos dealing with Papal Rome and the Jesuit Order. It also contains many photographs showing Papal Rome’s great power and influence in the world.
www.toughissues.org (Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT newsletters): This website contains numerous articles dealing with Papal Rome’s bloody history, the sinister activities of the Jesuit Order, and various Roman Catholic doctrines and practices (such as “mandatory celibacy for priests”, papal infallibility, auricular confession to an authorized priest, etc.).
www.vaticanassassins.org (Eric Jon Phelps, author of “Vatican Assassins”): This website contains many articles on the Jesuit Order. You can order Phelps’ “Vatican Assassins” CD-ROM on this website. Eric Jon Phelps is the preeminent researcher in America today on the Jesuit Order and the Knights of Malta religious-military order (both of which are controlled by the Jesuit Superior General).
www.vaticandesignexposed.com (John Daniel, author of “The Grand Design Exposed”): Information on how to order John Daniel’s 411-page paperback book, “The Grand Design Exposed”, can be found on this website. (This book provides important information on how the Jesuit Order took over both British and French Freemasonry, as well as showing Jesuit and other Roman Catholic involvement in fomenting and directing the French Revolution of 1789-1799.)
www.vyzygoth.com (“Vyzygoth”): This website contains some articles and recorded broadcasts that deal with Papal Rome and the Jesuit Order.
“…Many of the Chinese Christians did not expect to have to give their lives during the ‘great purge’ by the Communist [Ed.: Chinese] insurgency. He [Ed.: i.e., Brother Andrew] said [that] while being tortured those [Ed.: Chinese Christian] saints were crying for the ‘rapture’ during their martyrdom. …What makes us better than those Chinese Christians? Don’t you think [that] they felt like they were going through ‘the great tribulation’?” – Pastor Ron Poch (“I WANT To Be Left Behind”; 2002; Page 35)
“We may not be asked or required to die a martyr’s death, but to believe a false teaching such as ‘an any moment rapture’ is to belittle the sacrifice by those who have given their all. Read ‘Foxe’s Book of Martyrs’ or ‘Jesus Freaks’ by DC Talk and ‘Voice of the Martyrs’ [that can be] found at your local Christian bookstore.” – Pastor Ron Poch (“I WANT To Be Left Behind”; 2002; Page 36)
“If we continue believing in a wrong doctrine, we will effectively
erect a stronghold in our mind that cannot be penetrated by truth.” – Pastor Ron Poch (“I
WANT To Be Left Behind”; 2002;
“Who will rise up for me against the evildoers, or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” (Psalm 96:16)