Points so far:
- The tribulation has a number of functions: the pouring out of God’s wrath, the returning of God’s focus from the Gentile churches back to the Jews, the return of Christ as King, and the final defeat and punishment of Satan and the fallen angels
- God has never punished believers along with the wicked, but always taken the believers out of the picture before pouring out His wrath.
- the only exception was the Jews in Egypt during the ten plagues, and as a whole, the Jewish people were not saved until the last judgment, death of the firstborn, when the blood was applied to the doorposts.
- All the prophecies to Israel must still be fulfilled.
- Preterism is unBiblical
- “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” Mark 13:32 (KJV) If the Rapture occurs at any time except for before the Tribulation, then we pretty much would know the day and hour.
- Dispensationalism shows that God dealt with the Jewish people for 2,000 years and right now is dealing with the Gentiles in the Christian age of Grce.
- Matthew 24 is speaking to a Jewish audience, which is proved by the use of the words “The temple”, “The elect”, and “Sabbath day”
- Gentiles do not keep the Sabbath. Jews do.
- “The gathering from the four corners of heaven” is the return of Christ.
- The last few verses of Matthew 24 ARE referring to the rapture. So, then if there is pictured a “Gathering from the four corners of heaven” in Matthew 24, it stands to reason the Bible is teaching they all were previously brought to heaven.
I recently read a statistic that showed blog posts that were over a certain word length, more than 200 words, are read in their entirety by no less than 11% of the population.
That works, I suppose, for blog posts about how your cat knocked over a water pitcher, or how you went out for a thick, gooey pizza (which sounds really good right now).
But for Christian web sites, light blog posts lead to light doctrine. I can’t teach in depth Biblical truths in 200 words a day. If you’re a newcomer, and dismayed over the prospect of having to scroll down more than four times, my apologies. When I started this blog, I think I even made a comment that there was no way it could possibly deal with any kind of weighty Biblical doctrine, or deal with errors in doctrine, in just fourmouse scrolls or 200 words. So, statistically, only 11% of you finish these articles. so roughly, one in ten of you. The rest read a little and go away.
Well, phooey. I’m going to keep writing.
THe key to understanding Revelation is to follow Biblical rule of interpretation #1, Interpret the Bible literally unless it tells you not to. I was amazed to note that the wording of the King James Bible was deliberately done in such a way you could determine whether something was literal or not.
When you interpret the Bible literally, then you end up interpreting Revelation to show a pre-tribulational rapture. It’s funny, but so many people have read of John being caught up to heaven in Revelation 4:1, and immediately understood that to refer to a rapture. And they usually keep that belief, until they read some book, or hear some preacher, and suddenly Rev. 4:1 doesn’t mean a rapture anymore?
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. Revelation 3:22-4:2 (KJV)
John’s raptured. Right there! And so many of us read the same thing and immediately thought, “That’s when the Rapture is.”
Can I speculate perhaps that if so many of us thought the same thing, it might not have been us thinking that? That it may have been the Holy Spirit teaching you this?
Here’s a word to learn, and I know I’ve said this before, but I do get new visitors every day (welcome!). Apostasy. It comes from the Greek Histemi, to stand, and Apo, moving away. In other words, Apostasia is Greek for, “To walk away from where you stood, and take a stand elsewhere.”
Yup. A simple thing like changing your belief in when the Rapture takes place is how the Bible defines Apostasy. To further explain, let me talk about a fundamentalist, Jack Can Impe. He stood strong for the King James, separation from heresy, and all the other stands a fundamentalist takes. Then he suddenly changes his views on a simple thing like, “Are Catholics Christians?” out of worry he might possibly be offending another Christian. No worrys Jack – they’re not. You had nothing to worry about. In just a year or so of changing his stand on that, he dropped his stand on Separationism – and shortly after that, began selling a video on “Pope John Paul II – A True man of God.” Now Impe is a rabid Ecumenist.
Or Jerry Falwell. Strong fundamentalist beliefs. Dropped his position on hymns only, and began approving of CCM. Not a big thing. Shortly after that. dropped separationism. Then began to associate with Roman Catholics. And shortly after that, more of his long held and strongly fought convictions began to die. Now his study Bible (HIGHLY recommended, by the way) allows footnotes questioning the word of God. My recommendation is to get his Bible and a bottle of liquid paper, and white out the footnote to 1 John 5:7. There you go.
My point here is not to drag the names of two fundamentalists through the mud, but the change of a SINGLE doctrine begins the downhill slide. Capitulation leads to admiration which leads to emulation.
Now we have Independent Baptist churches where pastors question the Inspiration of the word of God. And where did that slide start from? The change of a single doctrine – very often, when you believe the timing of the Rapture takes place. It’s the coal miner’s canary. If the canarry suddenly fell over dead, the miners knew there was gases in the mines and had to leave immediately.
The pre-trib rapture stance is the doctrinal canary. If you begin to doubt it, you’re in dangerous doctrinal grounds, and on the verge of apostasy.
There! I wrote a short blog post. Well, almost 900 words. You can spend the rest of the time it would have taken you to read one of my wordy articles studying your Bible.