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Busting the Pre-tribulation Rapture Myth! April 18, 2010

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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As I read the scriptures the more I find evidence which completely destroys the pre-tribulation rapture “theory”. Though I would not call myself a student of eschatology nor have I conducted much study on the subject, my excursions into this area has opened me up to certain truths that have been missed by students who have been studying this subject area for years. One of those simple truth is that if there were going to be a pre-tribulation rapture or even a mid-tribulation rapture then the disciples doesn’t seem to have been aware of it. The Apostle Peter for example, who was with Jesus from the time of His early ministry doesn’t seem to have any knowledge of a pre-tribulation rapture when he wrote the following passage:

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:10-16)

What do we learn from this passage then? From verse 10 we learn that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night (Matt 24:43, 1 Thess 5:20). It should be noted here that pre-tribulation supporters are agreed that “the Lord coming as a thief in the night” is the same day of the rapture which the unsaved will not be aware of due to the fact that Jesus comes hidden in the clouds and only those that are caught up with Him will see Him. As a result everyone else that are “Left Behind” will be here to face the tribulation during the anti-christ’s reign. However we also learn from verse 10 of the above passage that at the day when the Lord comes as a thief in the night, “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” John describes the same event though in slightly different language in Revelations 6:12-17. This picture therefore does not fit with the pre-tribulation rapture theory then because every one on earth will be able to see that the heavens have dissolved and departed. So then it is either this day which Peter speaks of is the day when Jesus visibly returns to earth or there is another separate day in which Jesus comes to perform the pre-tribulation rapture then comes visibly to earth. However, there is no such day that can be found in scripture anywhere. From the prophets of old through to the present the day of the Lord has been spoken of as a single day and not two days. Here is the clincher. Peter says in verse 12 that “we” should be “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God”.

Question: If the rapture takes place before the day of God, a day in which the heavens are dissolved or depart as a scroll why is Peter admonishing “us” to look for and haste unto the coming of this day? This of course would be irrelevant if the church would not be around (on earth) to witness this day. So what he should have said then is that “we” should be looking for and hasting unto the coming of the rapture – but he did not say that.

Question: If “we” (the church) are looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, will this day happen before the tribulation or after the tribulation spoken by Jesus in Matt 24:21? The answer can be found here in the following scripture:

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: 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. 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. (Matt 24:29-31)

In conclusion, we have therefore learn that the day of the Lord, which comes as a thief in the night will occur “immediately after the tribulation of those days”. This is the same day spoken of by Paul in I Thess 5:2. So in spite of Peter being privy to all the epistles which Paul had written to the church (see verses 15-16); privy to the Olivet Discourse prophesies since he was there in person; privy to the scriptures of Daniel; he seems to demonstrate a distinct lack of knowledge concerning a pre-tribulation rapture. The implication then is that neither Paul’s epistles nor the scriptures in Luke or even Daniel can be used to support the pre-tribulation rapture position. Where then is the evidence for the pre-tribulation or even mid-tribulation position?

The “Mystery” of the Four Horsemen March 2, 2010

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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In my previous post on “The Pre-tribulation Rapture Revisited: The Seven Seals” I deliberately neglected to address the four horsemen which begins from the opening of the first seal in Rev 6:1 so as not to overcomplicate the issue. In this rather brief outline therefore I will attempt to present the scriptures so that they speak for themselves in unraveling the mystery of these four horsemen which no doubt strikes many people with fear and dread. This is particularly so because these horsemen are not understood. I believe the key to unlocking the whole mystery however resides in Matthew 24 where Jesus outlined the signs which precedes His coming. I also believe that this discussion also lends itself to the pre-tribulation rapture debate as well and for all intents and purposes we are possibly already witnessing the rise of the four horsemen. But would this not mean that the pre-tribulation believers as well as the rest of “missed the boat” since they claim that the rapture had to occur before the opening of the first seal? Nevertheless these issues will be explored in the following outline.

Firstly, we should recall that the Disciples asked Jesus in Matt 24:3, “when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Jesus then began to outline the signs that preceded His coming in the verses following, which some refers to as the so-called Olivet Discourse. This should be borne in mind then as we examine the mystery of the four horsemen and note also that it is Jesus Himself who opens the seals.

To begin with we look at the characteristics of the four horsemen in turn which proceeded from the opening of the first four seals:

First Horseman

2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

Second Horseman

4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

Third Horseman

And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

Fourth Horseman

8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

I have highlighted the main characteristics of these horsemen but to summarize we see the first going out to conquering and to conquer; the second was given a sword and he takes peace from the earth, causing people to kill one another; the third had a pair of balances in his hand and this signifies judgment (not to be confused with the final judgement); and the last horseman was given power over the fourth part of the earth (the earth is described in scripture as having four corners), to kill with sword, hunger, death and with the beasts of the earth.

Thus these four horsemen precedes the return of Jesus Christ, which occurs at the opening of the 6th seal. So how does these four horsemen relate to the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24? We read from verse 6:

6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars (horseman 1): see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (horseman 1): and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places (horseman 4). 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake (relates to horseman 3 – judging the saints and horseman 4). 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another (horseman 2). 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Looking at the underlined portions here in Matt 24 and conflating them with the characteristics of the four horsemen of Rev 6, we can ascertain that these events are the same, which precedes Jesus’ coming. This is the mystery of the four horsemen. But aren’t some of these things already happening even in our day or perhaps we are not able to discern the signs of the times? What then, has the pre-tribulation rapture taken place already? Noting that the scripture left us in no doubt that these were the signs that the disciples and consequently the church should look for in order to know that Christ’s return was near.

“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”! Amen

The Date of Christ’s Return February 18, 2010

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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Following on from my previous article entitled, “ The Pre-tribulation Rapture: Fact or Fiction?” I want to explore in this brief expose whether it is possible to know the date of Christ’s return. According to Jesus’ own words, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32). Yet there are numerous individuals/organisations purporting to be able to work out the precise date of Jesus’ return and even the date of the end of the world. The recent 2012 film for example is the source of much speculation and propaganda concerning the end of the world. Some individuals use numerology, some read the stars (astrology and star gazing) and some even claim they have discovered a Bible code using mathematical permutations which they use to ascertain the precise date of Jesus’ return. The methods are numerous and some of the claims even sound convincing if you are not clued up on scripture. Even the mid-tribulation rapture proponents are no exception here either as they attempt to place Jesus return in the middle of the 7 year tribulation reign of the anti-christ. This conclusion they based on Daniel’s 70 weeks in Daniel 9:24-27.

If Jesus himself claims not to know the date how can we know the date of His return? It is interesting to note that Jesus fully knew the scriptures including the Book of Daniel which He made reference to when He mentioned the “abomination of desolation” in Matt 24:15. If Daniel 9 could have been used to work out the date of His return Jesus of all Persons would have known that when He said no one knew, neither the Son but the Father. So those of us who use this Book to work out the date of His return (mid-tribbers), are we saying we are smarter than Jesus Christ, the Immanuel, God with us? Can you still claim to know the date of His return? I would love to hear your views.