Friday , 24 October 2014

Part Fourteen: The Counterfeit Rapture

Chapter Fourteen

Corrupting the Image: Angels, Aliens, and the Antichrist Revealed

Not only are demons (sons of God) manifesting in the heavenlies, but they are also sending messages to many on earth, which reveals their true character. In general the entities are communicating that the earth will soon go through a period of cataclysmic changes. The descriptions they give are what the Bible refers to as the Great Tribulation. However, these so called “aliens” are nothing more than demons pretending to be from some other galaxy. Their messages, as we will see, consist of some basic ideas that are the diabolical mirror to the Bible.

  • Cataclysmic events will come upon the earth
  • They will help us overcome those events
  • They will take those that can’t or won’t evolve to the next level
  • Those that remain get to evolve to the next level now
  • A man from among us will be raised up with special powers and knowledge

In historical studies, the strongest type of witness we can have is what is referred to as a hostile witness. A hostile witness is when someone’s enemies (or perhaps competition) are forced to admit certain things about that person that are not in their best interest to say. [i]

Satan, in a sense, has proven the rapture event by the messages that his horde have been giving over the years. Clearly, their messages, as they are given, are full of lies. Nevertheless, they do include some elements of truth, which is always the point of a deception. That there will be an “evacuation” of the earth is certain as we learn from Scripture: “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). The truth of that verse is proven by the lies that are being told by the “aliens”. In effect, they are getting the world ready for what is coming so that when it does happen people will not likely consider the biblical rapture as an option.

The enemy undoubtedly will have a counter explanation ready for when that happens; after all, he has read the Bible too. “Missiologist Ralph Winter estimated in early 2001 that there are 680 million ‘born again’ Christians in the world, and that they are growing at about 7% a year. This represents about 11% of the world’s population and 33% of the total number of Christians (based on the UN projected world population of 6.301 billion for mid-2003.)” [ii] In 2010 the population was 6.856 Billion and assuming (conservatively) that the percentages had stayed the same, then 754 million people were born again followers of Jesus. These followers will be taken from the earth in a flash.

While born again followers of the Lord Jesus Christ will not be here to see what follows, we can safely conclude that some time shortly after the rapture, the demons will most likely appear to the world as the saviors of the world and will provide an answer for the disappearance of over 700 million people worldwide. Many believe that the aliens/demons will say that they were the ones that seeded the planet (were the creators of man) and have returned to help in our hour of greatest need. The reason that most of the world will not immediately turn to the God of heaven and earth following the rapture is because the enemy has been conditioning people for just such an event. The rapture is certain in that God has clearly said it would come to pass; therefore, Satan (as the father of lies, cf. John 8:44), must have some type of event in place to deceive the world when the event actually occurs. Sometimes the message is that the people evacuated will be resettled to another planet. Sometimes the “aliens” tell us not worry about where the ones taken will go. And sometimes we see it is the bad aliens that have come to catch people up into their space ships and those brave enough to resist will survive as portrayed in the 2010 movie Skyline whose motto is “do not look up” because those that look at the light will be taken. Jesus told us to “look up” (Luke 21:28) when we see all these things beginning to come to pass.

Could it be that Satan has found a clever way to encourage people to do just the opposite?

Their Messages

The various messages were first compiled by researcher Brad Myers who did much of the research for the bestselling book Alien Encounters [iii] by Drs. Chuck Missler and Mark Eastman. The research in their book is impressive; however, rather than simply quote their book, I searched out the sources for myself and scrutinized the authenticity of each statement. In some cases I found other supporting evidence from the stated authors or from others not mentioned in their book.

Ruth Montgomery in her book Aliens Among Us writes of how the “aliens” have communicated: “We are coming in great numbers, not with any intention of harm, but to rescue the earth from pollution and nuclear explosions,”(emphasis mine). [iv] Some like Barbara Marciniak, a popular New Age author and channeller, in her book “Bringers of the Dawn,” writes of messages which she claims she received from extraterrestrials from the star system Pleiades. She discusses the disappearance that is coming upon the world:

The people who leave the planet during the time of Earth changes do not fit in here any longer, and they are stopping the harmony of Earth. When the time comes that perhaps 20 million people leave the planet at one time there will be a tremendous shift in consciousness for those who are remaining.

It should be clear that Satan and his legions are making great preparations to have a counter explanation once the rapture occurs. She also shares another “message” from the ETs regarding the rationale for why millions of people will be taken.

If human beings do not change – if they do not make the shift in values and realize that without Earth they could not be here – then Earth, in its love for its own initiation and its reaching for a higher frequency, will bring about a cleansing that will balance it once again. There is the potential for many people to leave the planet in an afternoon. Maybe then everyone else will begin to wake up to what is going on. [v]

After the explanation for the disappearance of millions, which the Bible truthfully calls the rapture, she goes on to speak of apocalyptic events that are extremely reminiscent of the words of Jesus some two thousand years ago when he spoke of wars and rumors of wars and nation rising against nation.

As we see it, as the probable worlds begin to form, there will be great shiftings within humanity on this planet. It will seem that great chaos and turmoil are forming, that nations are rising against each other in war, and that earthquakes are happening more frequently. It will seem as if everything is falling apart and cannot be put back together. Just as you sometimes have rum­blings and quakings in your lives as you change your old pat­terns and move into new energies, Earth is shaking itself free, and a certain realignment or adjustment period is to be ex­pected. It will also seem that the animals and fish are departing Earth. Those animals are now moving over to the new world as it is being formed. They are not ending their existence, they are merely slipping into the new world to await your joining them. Bringers of the Dawn” [vi]

Warnings from Ashtar

New Age writer Thelma Terrell claims to have received messages from Ashtar, the leader of an “alien confederation” concerning the evacuation of millions around the globe. Those familiar with the Bible immediately see that Ashtar is nothing more than the same demon from Bible times (Asherah/Ashtoreth) but with a message that modern man wants to hear. In former days Ashtar was considered a god, but now such talk is, for the most part, out of style. Therefore, Ashtar has come back as an “alien” to warn the citizens of earth of the impending rapture. However, the true reason for the evacuation of the planet is never given. When the rapture does occur, the demonic realm will be ready because they have been warning people of just such an event. Ashtar has communicated that “Earth changes will be the primary factor in mass evacuation of this planet. [vii] Therefore because of the impending events coming upon the earth, the “alien” ships will come in close enough to lift people off the earth “in the twinkling of an eye,” – even the terminology is borrowed from the Bible concerning the rapture.

Our rescue ships will be able to come in close enough in the twinkling of an eye to set the lifting beams in operation in a moment. And all over the globe where events warrant it, this will be the method of evacuation. Mankind will be lifted, levitated shall we say, by the beams from our smaller ships. These smaller craft will in turn taxi the persons to the larger ships overhead, higher in the atmosphere, where there is ample space and quarters and supplies for millions of people. [viii]

The demons who are posing as “aliens” will try to convince mankind that they in fact are the saviors. We have seen the conditioning in the movies and people’s minds will remember those stories when the event occurs. Ashtar states that great preparation and care has gone into the rescue of mankind: “There is method and great organization in a detailed plan already near completion for the purpose of removing souls from this planet, in the event of catastrophic events making a rescue necessary.” [ix] However, there will not be any advanced notice of the event and it will happen in a flash. “The Great Evacuation will come upon the world very suddenly. The flash of emergency events will be as a lightning that flashes in the sky. So suddenly and so quick in its happening that it is over almost before you are aware of its presence.” [x]

The demons/”aliens” need to reassure those left behind that they in fact are the ones getting the better deal since then the aliens will return for “the children of all ages and races. The implication is that those taken were not part of the “children of all ages and races”:

The Counterfeit Rapture

The Counterfeit Rapture

Phase I of the Great Exodus of souls from the planet will take place at a moment’s notice when it is determined that the inhabitants are in danger. Phase II: This second phase immediately following the first. The second phase is vital, as we return for the children of all ages and races. The child does not have the power of choice in understanding nor personal accountability. [xi]

However, some people might begin to wonder if such awful events are coming upon the world, then why were they not taken as well? Ashtar assures them to not take it personally as everyone will have a part to play:

Do not be concerned nor unduly upset if you do not participate in this first temporary lift-up of souls who serve with us. This merely means that your action in the plan is elsewhere, and you will be taken for your instructions or will receive them in some other manner. Do not take any personal affront if you are not alerted or are not a participant in this first phase of our plan. Your time will come later, and these instructions are not necessary for you at this time. [xii]

The Millennium Chronicles

Ashtar has communicated this message to others with the twist that those taken will have to remain in the third dimension whereas those that are left will then be free to evolve to the fourth dimension. The website Gateway to Oneness speaks of one named Cristah the light worker who receives messages from Ashtar. Cristah relays Ashtar’s message: “those who do not believe, will be left in the 3rd dimension,” and “those that are not of the light must stay and learn here in the 3rd dimension.” Cristah adds that Ashtar “says that the fate of earth’s inhabitants” will be handled on an individual basis.” [xiii] The idea is that the disappearance of millions around the globe will be due to them being left in the third dimension and those that then find themselves on the earth have transitioned to the fourth dimension.

Ashtar has been leaving messages with other channellers as well in order to make sure that his message is heard and spread. Johanna Michaelson is a former New Ager who is now a Christian. In her book Like Lambs to the Slaughter: Your Child and the Occult, she writes about the well-known New Age guru John Randolph Price who also receives messages from Asher (a variation of Ashtar). Michaelson relays that ,according to John Randolph Price, as many as two billion people could be wiped off the planet. This seemingly refers to the trials coming upon the earth versus the evacuation, nevertheless, the impact will be ‘we told you so’ once the events begin to occur.

Asher, the spirit guide of John Randolph Price, a moving force behind the New Agers’ ‘World Instant of Cooperation’ (on December 31, 1986, in which thousands of mediators worldwide simultaneously concentrated on world peace hoping to cause a critical mass launching into the New Age) told him that two billion people who didn’t go along with the New Age would be wiped off the face of the Earth during the coming cleansing.” [xiv]

New Age author Kay Wheeler and channeller, who goes by the name Ozmana, describes how Mother Earth is fighting for her life and is in critical condition, which she says, is “why you see the many crises in the world.” She states the Mother Earth must fight for her survival and we as light bearers can help her:

Mother is cleansing. It is all she knows to do at this time to clear herself of the pollution that exists within her body. But you as light bearers can help your Mother cleanse in such a way that does not destroy all life on this planet. [xv]

As part of the cleansing process, many people will be removed from the planet so that the planet can move into the fourth dimension. “Earth’s population needs to be decreased to bring forth the necessary changes upon this planet to move into the fourth dimension.” She states that the changes are coming and “those who plan to stay must be of this vibration.” The reason that many will leave the planet is because they are not able to go to the fourth dimension. She says that we should not feel sad for them but rather rejoice for them and also that now the beings on earth can move forward:

Many of these beings who are leaving this planet at this time have completed that which they came to do. It is a time of great rejoicing for them. Do not feel sad about their leaving. They are going home. Many are waiting to be with them again [...] Many beings must move on, for their thought patterns are of the past. They hold on to these thoughts that keep Earth held back. [xvi]

Summary and Conclusion

The messages from the “aliens” and the New Age is clear: major earth changes and cataclysms are coming upon the earth. As a result many will be removed from the earth in the twinkling of an eye by the “aliens” or will remain in the third dimension while everyone else moves into the fourth dimension. The rapture is certain and Satan has prepared for the event through the movies and through channellers receiving messages from “aliens” of the impending event. Unfortunately, for many the rapture will not be an event that makes them look up to God but to the “aliens” posing as man’s savior.


[i]For example, some people have asserted that the Lord Jesus did not even exist as a historical person. However, regardless of what concludes about him being God, the fact that he lived and walked on this earth is incontrovertible. The Talmud, which was written and compiled by Jews that did not receive Jesus as their messiah, confirmed that Jesus existed. Furthermore, they stated that he was crucified on the eve of Passover and that he was a doer of magic. Thus, they admit three crucial things about a man that they in fact wanted to forget: 1) he existed, 2) he was crucified and 3) he performed supernatural acts. Thus, the very ones that tried to ignore Him gave us three foundational facts concerning Him. Considering that they didn’t have any vested interest in Him, then we can rest assured that their testimony is certain.

[ii] Retrieved July 16, 2010 from: http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.htm

[iii] Chuck Missler, Mark Eastman, Alien Encounters, Koinonia House (1997).

[iv] http://thecomingepiphany.com/BookArticles/alien.htm#_ftn4.

[v] Barbara Marciniak, Bringers of the Dawn: Teachings from the Pleiadians, Bear and Co., 1992.

[vi] Ibid.

[vii] Tuella, Project World Evacuation, Inner Light Publications, 1993 edition.

The Millennium Chronicles
[viii] Ibid.

[ix] Ibid.

[x] Ibid.

[xi] Ibid.

[xii] Ibid.

[xiii] http://gator.naples.net/~nfn02191/10.28.96ch.htm

[xiv] Johanna Michaelson, Like Lambs to the Slaughter: Your Child and the Occult, Harvest House, Eugene, OR, 1989.

[xv] Retrieved December 2, 2010 from http://www.his-forever.com/the_rapture_according_to_new_age.htm

[xvi] Ibid.


1 thessalonians 4 aliens cataclysmic events demons great tribulation rapture sending messages Sons of God

About Doug Hamp

  • Pingback: Freemasons, the Third Temple, and the Antichrist

  • Pingback: Freemasons, the Third Temple, and the Antichrist

  • Ipsissimus

    Do not believe this deceiver. The aliens are our friends and will help us move forward. There is a concerted effort to make people believe the aliens are evil because they do not want things to change. They like the way the world is (some with, some without) and are blinded by their own ambition, greed, and archaic traditions. These will be the people that are truly left behind when the new Aeon begins.

    Chips/computers implanted in humans are not the ‘mark of the beast’ but a gift, created by mankind for mankind. Computers will augment our bodies and allow us to do things once thought of as ‘magic’ (telepathy, telekinesis, etc.).

    The NWO will leave behind the earthly distinctions once thought of as -isms, and we will finally live together as one. E. Pluribus Unum. We will break free of the bonds of religions that teach hate, and embrace a new light. We will be accepted among other races in the galaxy because we will finally be ‘mature’ enough to take our place beside them. We will no longer worry about energy, food, medicine, water, money, or any earthly possessions because we will finally be fulfilled. Our ‘wants’ will be ‘haves.’ We will finally be free to pursue happiness.

    I ask you to make the choice for yourself. Embrace the light, evolve, and move forward with us. Learn to open your third eye and you will see the wonder of the new Aeon.

    ^
    / (o)

  • Pingback: The Antichrist, Freemasons, and the Third temple Rumor or not? | watcher times

  • Pingback: The Counterfeit Rapture | Tribulation-Now

  • Fleur Lewis809

    Hi. A sincere believer  ( it’s a free will ) is any one whom asks Jesus in to their life, believing that He died, paid the greatest price for  man’s sins, your sins..then having been born again, as Christ say’s we must do to inherit eternal life, we are now born of the spirit. We are all born in a sinfull state. All mankind before receiving Jesus in to their lfe and heart, are of the fallen sinful nature.  Only the blood of Jesus, God’s only begotten son, can make us new again, washed clean, made righteous by His blood that He shed on the cross.Having said that, the new sincere believer then fellowships daily with their Lord, through reading the word,(bible), sincere prayer and living as Christ told us to, with of course the help of the Holy  Spiit, also known as the Comforter, that Jesus said would come to every new believer, because Christ is now with the Father and the Comforter/Holy Spirit will lead the new believer into all truth, but some believers, after a while Don’t communicate with the Lord and become distant, even though Jesus is always there, just longing for His child to come back, close to Him.
    Some believers backslide a term used for those who still believe in Jesus, even obstaining from major sins, but they have left Jesus.
    They are back being a part of the world, doing things, listening to things, etc, that are contrary to Christs instructions.
    Basicly a sincere believer is one whom loves the Lord so much that they want nothing more, they know their home, life is in eternity with Christ.
    The sincere beliver, walks every day in the spirit, producing the fruit of the spirit in it’s fullness, always living in love,(God’s love ) which is unselfish, does not seek it’s own , is kind, sincere, peacable, gentle, longsuffering, patient, not rude,always forgivng, even one’s worst enemies, infact asking God to bless their enemies.
    A sincere believer does not hate or show the seeds of hate in any form, our sinful nature that we were born with naturally, hates, is easily angered, is rude, impatient, envious, mean,etc we can’t be what we should be on our own.
    Salvation is a free gift, and walking as we should is only done with the Holy spirit’s help.
    What I am telling you is the absolute truth, it’s all in God’s Word,(bible).
    I hope and pray that the seed of truth and conviction will touch your inner most being and you too, will see.
    All anyone has to do is be honest before God, pour out your heart, questions to Him, This is what He wants you to do.
    You…were made in His, ( God’s ) image and He loves you like know one else ever could or would, He sent His son to die for you, His son was innocent, pure, but, came to save humanity…..yes you, that’s how much He loves you.
    Just tell God…” I don’t know !, I want to know the truth about you, eternity, my existance… about Jesus.Go now some where alone and give the silent , heart wrenching cry to Him , he is waiting right now I promise you that.
    The peace He will give you is not of this world. Ask Jesus into your heart Today…..(  :

     

  • James

    I was under the impression that the whole rapture movement was started by a young Scotish girl in the 19th century and a preacher got wind of it and started preaching on it and was accepted as Doctrine According to pastors I have listened to the passages in Thesalonians was a warning to not believe this false beilf and as Pastor Arnold Murray of Sheperds Chapel stated we Christains should be ready to take on the forces of the anti-christ  and fight his forces as would a guerilla army because many christains will be a Meggido along with Isreal to fight back as Christ stated I come not to bring peace but the sword.

  • Gary

    The word rapture is not in the word of God, it is true we are in the last days as in the last dispensation which we have been living in for 2 thousand years which is as long as the Church has been established. The Church the bride of Christ which is made up of living stones, Christians, will be in existance here on Earth until that day that the Father,God, tells his son Jesus to go and get his bride ,THE CHURCH, It is true that when Christ returns he will not set foot upon the Earth, but rather we will meet him in the air the dead in Christ first and then those that are alive at his return. Where we definately differ is that the Bible teaches that at this time our fates are sealed. Those that were not in the Church, the bride of Christ are lost, We all face judgment at this time. There will be no 4th dispensation where we are to live in the last days and decide whether to have the mark of the beast and such things. There is no physical mark, it is simply refering to one who belongs to the Beast, the Devil, just as one can and must have the mark of Christ which is the blood of Christ which washes us daily and can only be contacted by baptism in water, submersion, a burial putting away the old man of sin and being added to the Church, The Bride of Christ which is the only thing Christ is returning for. The very idea that man can fight a physical fight with God or Satan is ridiculous, for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, our battle , our Armaggadon so many like to conjer up is simply the battle that rages within us as to whom will be our master, God or self, mammon, the Devil. I can totally believe that the alien culture could possibly have some bad results if you actually belief that aliens existed thus taking away from a belief that we were created by the one and only true god Jehovah. As far as making an exciting movie, just keep  in perspective and keep this in mind. I read that if we could build a ship that could travel the speed of light, that it would take 100 years to reach our nearest star. Any planet in our solar system any closer to the Sun is to hot for life any planet further to cold. We are alone. God is our creator our alpha and omega, all we need.

  • David

    Just a thought, but, Harold Camping and his deceived followers are a prime example of what happens when we depart from the clear teaching of Scripture. Camping is not a “sincere believer” who was “sincerely wrong”, he is a false prophet, and this fact is not revealed by his false prophecy of May 21, 2011, or even by his false prophecy of 1994. His falsehood is revealed by the fact that he made these ‘predictions’ in direct contradiction of the Word of God. Jesus said, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Matthew 24:36), and later, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 25:13). The only guide to truth in these “perilous times” is the Word of God, “rightly divided” and firmly believed. 

    • Emmanuel Goldstein

      What does this have to do with the article?
       

    • Christine Gavin

      The Bible also says, that God does nothing except that He revealeth it to the Prophets. Daniel 11v33 says’And they that understand among the people will instruct many; yet the will fall by the sword, flame,spoil and plunder many days…and some of the wise will fall to try them and refine them and make them white.
      ‘seal up the book untll the time of the end: many shall run to & fro & knowledge shall increase.’  Remember we wait not for the number of saved but for the full harvest of the mockers & many were added to that number on the 21st, but like the first disciples who saw nothing but Christs failure, the sadness was eventualy turned to Joy!

    • Contemplative

      What is a “sincere believer”?  Who is a sincere believer?  Are you one?  What makes you one if you claim you are?

  • Rb

    Seems like a bunch of baloney, who really believes this junk ?

    • Contemplative

      Not me.  I agree with you.  A bunch of baloney.

      • Me

        safe to assume the ressurection is hard to accept as well?

  • Lori

    I’ve never commented on a blog before, but I simply must jump in! 1st & foremost, thank you Douglas for a wonderful & informative article. I am enjoying your entire site & look forward to your upcoming book release. Thank you so much for your steadfast devotion. 
    Your site articles, as well as interesting comments challenge me as a believer to as look more closely at my own beliefs.

    Until reading this article, quite honestly I viewed the subject of the rapture as a springboard for witnessing to the unsaved & a topic to be shared amongst believers where we can encourage one another. I am of the pre Trib camp, & encouragement has never been a question of ‘will we be here for the final 7 years’ but rather ‘how much will we see & will we (as spoiled & sadly somewhat weak westerners) be adequate witnesses, perhaps even unto death’.  Never a question of our salvation… but this article & the comments – specifically by Daniel, bring to mind a Salvation conundrum issue.

    Obviously, we all stand in agreement that our redemption is solely the work of Christ & once redeemed, we cannot lose that salvation. There is no sin we can commit, no wavering of faith or confidence can detract from Christs’ redemptive work. Daniel, you seem to feel that a recognition of a pre Trib rapture could be a means to shipwreck believers faith. What does this mean, that they will be ineffective witnesses for the Gospel (unfruitful) or perhaps the redeemed might somehow ‘fall from grace’ to a place where they are no longer saved at all? 
    The reason I ponder this question is not only recognizing the concerns of believers today… but the actions of believers throughout history. Foxes Book of Martyrs is filled with the histories of believers that… when faced with promise of torture & death (& often the torture & murder of their loved ones) they denied their faith. But, so many of these individuals couldn’t live with their conscience… & subsequently recanted their original denouncement of Christ… unto death 

    What of those that didn’t come forward to recant, did they lose their salvation? Further, were the ones which came forward Redeemed because they came forward, or because they were purchased by Christ ? I feel the Bible clearly shows they were redeemed by the redemptive work of Christ & afterward were called during their walk to be witnesses of the Truth, NOT that their testimony was the redemptive act.  

    The ‘Time of Jacob’s Trouble’  is a unique time in history in as much that the Antichrist will introduce ‘the mark of the beast’. The Bible is very explicit, NO ONE who accepts this mark will be redeemed. Hence the conundrum… we who are Truly saved can’t lose our salvation, and yet… within your scenario, an immature or weak believer (but redeemed) contemplates not only their own death, but perhaps the death of their children (or having them taken & raised by ‘the state’ & being spoonfed hatred of the Gospel as well as the creator) – this believer KNOWS they can’t lose their salvation & accepts the mark. After all, they can raise their children in the Love & Knowledge of Christ & lead them to Him, maybe touch the lives of others they care deeply about who are lost???  Surely we have all wavered at some point in our walk & realize that when we look more closely at a problem than on our Deliverer, compromise is easier – even when the stakes are much less weighing than death. 

    So, what of those (quite possibly the majority of believers) that ‘have weak flesh’. Even recanting wouldn’t change their ‘Eternal position & condemnation’.  Thus, you are actually saying that an untold number of born again believers, bought by the blood of Christ… can & will lose their Eternal Salvation. I stand in total agreement with Scripture as pointed out by Douglas, David & Tim… This train of thought was a ‘new concept’, at least for me,  that I pondered after reading these comments & wanted to share. Looking forward to meeting you all face to face in Christs’ glorious presence Before Nimrod (Appolyon) signs that 7 year treaty… quite soon  <3 

    • http://douglashamp.com Douglas Hamp

      Hi, no true believer will take the mark.

  • David

     Daniel, in response to your most recent comments;

    I have no desire to dispute the issue (pre-trib; mid-trib-post-trib), but I am compelled to respond: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is within you with meekness and fear…” (I Peter 3:15)

    As to the charge that I (and others who hold a ‘Pre-Trib’ viewpoint) are somehow convinced that we are above being subject to persecution, you seem to have missed my point, the ‘body of Christ’ has suffered persecution and death throughout its’ history, no one who has read the New Testament, or who knows anything about World History would deny the possibility that, at any time or place they could be called upon to suffer for the Testimony of Christ, the point is that the ’70th Week of Daniel’ and Reign of Antichrist is, specifically, Gods’ ‘Wrath’ on an unbelieving world. What may come upon the world prior to that 7 year period is in Gods’ hands. It is a matter of semantics to attempt to seperate the activity of Satan during the Tribulation from Gods’ ‘wrath’, for, when God delivers this world- fully -over to Satan (the “Restrainer” is removed), that is most certainly the ‘Day of Gods’ Wrath’. 
    The NT has much to say about persecution and suffering within the “church”, e.g.; “And fear not them which are able to kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to kill both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28). And; “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Hebrews 13:16). 

    The real question those of us ask is ‘How far will it go, in this country, before the rapture, and the Final 7 years begin? We have been greatly blessed in the U.S.A., and most of the ‘Western World’, but, few would presume that these blessings are ‘unconditional’. The book “Ancient Empires of the New Age”, 1989, by Mark Hitchcock and Mary Pride addresses the issue of Christian martyrdom, thus;
    “Sentimentalists like to quote Tertullians’ phrase, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church”, as an explanation for how the ragtag band of Christians managed to grow, thrive, and take over the Empire. This is absolutely incorrect. The blood of the martyrs is not and has never been the seed of the church. More often, it is the death of the church. The Christian church in Japan was effectively wiped out for four centuries by the massacre of Japanese Christians starting in 1597. The Protestant church in Spain was successfully destroyed by the Spanish Inquisition. The St. Bartholomews’ Day Massacre in pre-revolutionary France was the beginning of the end for French Protestantism (and some say for French Catholicism as well) (sic).
    The massacre of Christians is not guaranteed to produce more Christians. In fact, to call the martyrs’ blood “the seed of the church”, as if there were some cause -and-effect relationship between martyrdoms and church growth, actually dishonors God by detracting from the miracle of church growth ‘in spite of’ martyrdoms…”

    Now, Jesus Himself identified “the seed of the church” in Matthew 16:15-18. And that seed is the Apostle Peters’ confession “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”. For a closer look at the history of Christian Martyrdom I would suggest the book “Foxs’ Book of Martyrs”, available at Clarion Books, which gives an account of the ‘Early Christian’ and ‘Protestant Christian’ martyrs. This account, when placed alongside of the Islamic and Communist persecutions (e.g., the Genocide of Armenian Christians by the Ottoman Turks in the early 20th century) will begin to show the that the ‘Body of Christ’ has been viciously attacked throughout most of its’ history. 

    I have heard the saying, “It is harder to live for Christ than to die for Christ”, but, as I have not been called upon to lay down my life for my faith in Jesus, and knowing the emptiness of an ‘Armchair General’ attitude, as to what I would or would not do in that circumstance, I cannot comment on the ‘literal’ truth of that saying. But, having been a Christian (saved by grace thru faith) for approx. 37 years, I can absolutely vouch for the ‘sense’ of that saying. And it is my experience that ‘persevering in the faith’ that the Blood of Christ has made me ‘white as snow’ (Isaiah 1:18), may indeed, be as hard as dying in defense of that saving truth. It is this ‘perseverance of the saints’ that the writer of the book of Hebrews addresses;

    “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To-day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end…” (Hebrews 3:12-14). 

    What constitutes “the beginning of our confidence” ? It is the Gospel or Good News, which says that we cannot ever hope to ‘earn’ our salvation, which we have been taught by our “schoolmaster” – the Law, but, that our God has come to this earth in human flesh and provided that salvation as a Free Gift;

     “But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ…For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; Not of yourselves, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:4-9).
    Paul again states (as in many places) that we are saved by grace;

    “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit we wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”  (Galatians 5:4-5).

    So, the beginning of our confidence is defined as; We are saved by the unearned and unmerited grace of Jesus Christ, and even the faith that is required to obtain that grace is “not of yourselves…it is the gift of God.”

    And, “the deceitfulness of sin” that would cause us to “depart ( ‘fall away’) from the living God”?
    Every Christian knows about having their ‘sin nature’ used upon them as a weapon, certainly,  the Apostle Paul understood this ‘spiritual warfare’;

    “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin, for that which I do I allow not: for what I would do, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me…O wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 7:14-8:1).

    These Scriptures address the battle that rages between the “law of sin” and the “law of the Spirit”. And the “deceitfulness of sin is always there to tell us “You cannot possibly be saved, you sin every day in thought, word, and deed.” Who is it that relentlessly accuses us ?:

    “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world…Now is come the salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for THE ACCUSER OF OUR BRETHREN IS CAST DOWN, WHICH ACCUSETH THEM BEFORE OUR GOD DAY AND NIGHT.” (Revelation 12:9-10).

    This is a WAR, and it won’t end until we are, finally, once and for all, “delivered from the body of this death”, and we are told repeatedly that we must hold on to “the beginning of our confidence stedfast until the end.” Which is why we are instructed to, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (i.e., deceitfulness) of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11), in fact, the very definition of the word “Perseverance” includes to “hold on” and “to stand”. Until this warfare ends we are admonished to Endure,
     Peresvere, and be Stedfast; “But he that shall endure until the end, the same shall be saved.”
     (Matthew 24:13). As far as the doctrine of the ‘Pre-Tribulation Rapture’ being a “stumbling block” to those who hold that view, I can only say this,  in the book of John chapter 6, Jesus taught His disciples that he is the ‘Bread of life’, saying, “he that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him…When Jesus knew in Himself that the disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you ?…From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then Jesus said unto the twelve, Will ye also go away ? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go ? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:56-66).

    In conclusion, I think it is plain that, even if we are never confronted with the prospect of death by martyrdom for the Testimony of Christ, we have need of endurance and perseverance in the present world of ‘Spiritual Warfare’, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (II Timothy 2:3; I Timothy 1:18), but if we are called, our God is faithful and will equip us. As to the possibility of having our faith destroyed by the “hope that is within us”, just as  Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go ? thou hast the words of eternal life.”   

    • Anonymous

      PRETRIB rapture – HIDDEN FACTS !

          How can the “rapture” be
      “imminent”? Acts 3:21 says that Jesus
      “must” stay in heaven (He’s now there with the Father) “until the
      times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the
      restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t
      begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. (“The Rapture Question,” by
      the long time No. 1 pretrib authority John Walvoord, didn’t dare to even
      list, in its scripture index, the too-hot-to-handle Acts 3:21!) Since
      Jesus can’t even leave heaven before
      the tribulation ends (Acts 2:34,35 echo this), the rapture therefore
      can’t take place before
      the end of the trib!       
          Paul explains the “times and the
      seasons” (I
      Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord”
      (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29;
      Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The
      “rest” for “all them that believe” is tied to such destruction in II
      Thess. 1:6-10! (If
      the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who’d be left
      alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the
      change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the posttrib end of
      “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of
      course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which is Israel’s
      posttrib resurrection!)
         Many are unaware that before
      1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an
      integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 this “rapture” was
      stretched forward and turned into a separate coming of Christ. To
      further strengthen their novel view, which the mass of evangelical
      scholars rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early
      1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and
      Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their
      already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars
      still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so pretrib teachers then began
      teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib
      rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen
      before the “rapture” ["gathering"] in 2:1 can happen – the height of
      desperation!).
         Other Google articles on the 181-year-old pretrib
      rapture view include “Famous
      Rapture Watchers,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” “X-Raying Margaret,”
      “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Walvoord Melts
      Ice,” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index
      (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of
      (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib
      Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Deceiving and Being
      Deceived,” and “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” – all by the author of the
      bestselling book “The Rapture
      Plot” (see Armageddon Books).

      • Oldduffer

        Geee, to bad all those Christians suffering and dying today for their faith in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia missed the “rapture“.

        America, your day of persecution and martyrdom is coming. Do you love Christ?  We will see.

      • Denise Hawes

        Everything is clear in the Lords prayer, which Jesus himself taught his followers how and what to pray for. If we look at it closer, we see that we must pray to the Father, who is in the heavens and that His name Yahweh should be restored and venerated, be made holy again. We must pray that the promised kingdom should come to pass, and that God’s will must be done on this earth, as it is already perfected in heaven.We must pray that we have our daily bread, sufficient for the day physically, but also the necessary spiritual bread which has to be taken in daily through his word.
        Now what was his meaning, when he said: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil One?” The word temptation here actually means, trial. That we should pray not to be led into trial or persecution, by the evil one, but be found worthy enough to be delivered or spared having to go through those trials.Concealed in the day of wrath.Zephaniah 2:3 ” seek YHWH, all you meek ones of the earth, who have practiced His own judicial decision. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. PROBABLY you may be concealed in the day of Yahweh’s anger.”
        A judgement there will be a pronouncing of curses.For those who have no truth, nor loving kindness, not the knowledge of God in the land.Hosea 4:3 That is why the land will mourn and every inhabitant in it will have to fade away with the wild beast of the field and with the flying creature of the heavens, and even the fishes of the sea themselves will be gathered (in death)”

      • Yeshua’s student

        Acts 3:21 states that Yeshua will abide in heaven until His Millenial reign on earth. The pre-trib scriptures plainly say in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 , Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
        Why would we need to meet Him in the air if He was coming down to earth to reign? He comes down into the clouds, not onto the earth, the bride meets Him in the air, hence the scripture:

        Luke 21:28

        King James Version (KJV)

        28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
        Why would we be raptured at the end when He is returning??? No need for the rapture then because He will be in charge on the earth. The pre-trib rapture is for His bride whom resides with Him in heaven. She is special and close to Him as a bride is to her bridegroom, close and intimate. The “bride” returns to earth in their glorified state WITH HIM at the end of the tribulation. Scripture is the word of God and God cannot lie. Not all Christians will be considered the bride of Christ. That status is held for the faithful followers of Christ. Let’s face it, not all Christians who believe truly follow Him on the deep spiritual level of intimacy that He requests of His bride. Some Christians are the bride and some are the guests of the wedding

    • Contemplative

      Gee, you should write and publish your own book.

  • David

     Daniel,

    Both this, and my earlier comment are directed at the issues you raised in your comment:
    The passage in II Thessalonians 2 that you refer to;”Now we beseech you brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 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.Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 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. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what with-holdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming…” (II Thessalonians 2:3-8).To my understanding, there are 2 ways that this ‘restrainer of the man of sin’ has been identified; #1) “he” is identified as the Indwelling Holy Spirit, in the body of Christ/ believers.And #2) “he” is human government. As for #1: The New Testament teaches that ALL believers are indwelt by the Spirit of Christ; “But ye are not in the flesh, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his…” (Romans 8:9); and, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are…” (I Corinthians 3:16-17). Now it is well known that salt is a preservative, as well as a flavor enhancer; “Ye are the salt of the earth…” (Matthew 5:13); the ‘preservative’, restraining the decay and destruction of the world, through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Jesus also made it clear that the Holy Spirit is completely in control, in Matthew 16: “He sayeth unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it…” (Matthew 16:15-17), it is, of course, understood that the “rock” upon which Christ will build His church is the profession of faith-”Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”- not Peter himself. And, again; “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit…” (Ephesians 2:19-22). The “Ryrie Study Bible” has this to say about the identity of the restrainer; “…he who now restrains will do so until. Antichrist is now being held back by a restrainer. Some understand this to be God indwelling His church by the Holy Spirit, while others see human government as the restraint. According to the former view, the removal will be at the rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18); according to the latter, at the overthrow of human government by Antichrist.” As for #2) This is the view held by, for example, “Matthew Pooles’  Commentary On The Holy Bible.” Today, ‘Human Government’ in all nations is being weakened, and ‘One World Government’ seems to be a foregone conclusion. In fact, upon the final judgement of Lucifer, Isaiah says: ” How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!…Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof…” (Isaiah 14:4-20).  These verses are obviously addressed to a supernatural being. Far from “restraining” this final government of the “son of perdition”, the governments of the world seem to be ready to embrace it. As to the “rebellion” which must take place before “that man of sin be revealed”, there is a general agreement that this “rebellion” is, specifically, a ‘great  apostasy’, it is called “a falling away” in the KJV, and “the apostacy” in the NASB, and simply a “general apsotasy” in “Matthew Henrys’ Commentary On The Whole Bible”, and in “Matthew Pooles’ Commentary” it is “a falling away”, which he explains as; “…it is not a civil, but a spiritual apostasy…”  This Great Apostasy appears to be well under way.Finally, it is interesting that after Revelation chapter 3, the “church” is not mentioned again, but, the 144,000 Jewish “servants of our God” are “sealed in their foreheads” in Revelation 7:3-8. The ‘great multitude which came out of tribulation, as well as the “saints” mentioned in Revelation 13:7 & 10, would appear to be those who are saved after the Rapture of the “church”, perhaps by the preaching of the 144,000. If the Holy Spirit has been “taken out of the way”, it would make perfect sense that the Lord would “seal” these 144,000 Jews, since the ’70th Week’ of Daniel pertains to the nation of Israel, and not to the Body of Christ.If this is an accurate assessment, it would appear that the scenario in II Thessalonians 2:1-12, would be that- FIRST -there will be a ‘General Apostasy’ in the Christian “church”, and- SECOND -the ‘Restrainer’ will be taken out of the way, by the Rapture of  the remnant of believers. And then, “And now you know what with-holdeth that he might be revealed in his time…And then shall that wicked be revealed…” (II Thessalonians 2). The ‘Olivet Discourse’ does not appear to be a ‘blow by blow’ chronology of events, but a general description of the conditions at the ‘end of the age’. As Henry Morris stated in his book, “The Revelation Record”; “…Nevertheless there was still much that was uncertain. The Lord Jesus Christ had clarified many of these questions, especially in His great prophetic discourse on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24; Mark 16;Luke 21), but even these contained many minglings of near fulfillments (such as the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70) with end-of-the-age fulfillments. The Church Age was only partially explained by Christ during His pre-Calvary ministry…But there was still a great need for another final prophecy, which would enable the church to sort out all the remaining unfulfilled prophecies of the Old Testament, those given by Christ while He was on earth, and those given through the apostles…”The further revelation comes in the book of the “Revelation To John”. Actually, the Olivet Discourse does not contain any Real reference point to ‘end time’ chronology, except maybe that of the “abomination of desolation”, which would mark the mid-point of the tribulation, but without any other specific frame of reference, it is not very helpful. Matthew 24:8 says “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Remember, the Pre-Trib Rapture does not promise that all Christians prior to the ‘antichrists’ rise to power will escape unscathed by these “perilous times”, only that we will not be here for the reign of the “son of perdition”, and the “70th Week” of Daniel. The “beginning of sorrows” may actually date back to WWI and WWII, and the Russian and Chinese ‘revolutions’, which have killed hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and the persecution of Christians continues around the globe. In fact, the Bible does not ever promise us a trouble free life as a Christian; “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you…” (I Peter 4:12).We are Promised; “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.” (Revelation 3:10).Come Quickly, Lord Jesus  

  • David

     Doug,
    Absolutely excellent article!! The “rapture” is certainly,’our blessed hope’; “Looking for that blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ…” (Titus 2:13). 
    It is my understanding that the ‘doctrine’ of the ‘seven year tribulation’, which consists of the final seven years, or “week”,  allotted to Israel in Daniels’ prophecy of the “70 weeks”, is a time set aside by God to deal specifically with the nation of Israel. The “tribulation” appears to be referred to in the Old Testament as the “indignation”, Isaiah 26:19-21;  “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be past”, the context both before and after this verse definitely appears to be speaking of the ‘day of the Lord’ (e.g. verse 19 deals with the resurrection of believers, verse 20 with the preservation of believers, and verse 21 with the judgement/punishment of  “the inhabitants of the earth”). 
     
    In human terms, it may seem hard to understand that God would remove ‘His people’ (i.e. all those saved by grace) before bringing this awful judgement upon an unbelieving world, but, if you think about it, it is basically unfathomable, in human terms, that God would come to this earth as our ‘kinsman redeemer’ and suffer and die at the hands of ungodly men to save a wretch like me, but, nevertheless, He did; “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). 

    There are many variations on the doctrine of the ‘catching away’ of believers, prior to or during the tribulation period. Many hold that the first 3 1/2 years are NOT “wrath”, but, the world being turned over to Satan and his ‘antichrist’ strikes me as ‘wrath’ no matter how you slice it. And God has assured us that “we are not set aside to wrath”; “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him: (I Thessalonians 5:9-10). Another recent favorite variation on the ‘Rapture’ is the “Partial Rapture” scenario, which basically says that only those ‘worthy’ will be raptured, and the rest will be left to ‘make themselves worthy by suffering’, which amounts to a “Protestant Purgatory”; “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast…”  (Ephesians 2:8). 

    As to the possible harm that can be done by Biblical doctrines, the Apostle Paul addressed this very issue; “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another…” (Galatians 5:13). If Paul had allowed his concern about the possible reaction of believers to the doctrine of ‘salvation by grace through faith’ to keep him from preaching about the ‘free gift’, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    There certainly is a “trumpet” mentioned in the ‘rapture scenario’, in I Thessalonians 4:13-18; “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (v. 16). This “voice” and “trump of God” are also referred to in Revelation 4:1-2, the voice and the trumpet being somehow blended together; “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 you the things which must be HEREAFTER (my emphasis). And immediately I was in the spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven…”

    Now, Revelation chapters 1 thru 3, deal with the unfolding of “church” history in the ‘Age of Grace’, and it is immediately after describing the seven “churches” that John is called up to heaven through the open door. There is also an “open door” spoken of in Revelation 3:7-12; “And to the angel in the church of Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth,  and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name…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. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown…” 
    I think most Christians would agree that in this age of Apostacy’, we have but “a little strength”, and, of course, the ‘word of his patience’ is our testimony about His grace and mercy toward us; “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance…” (II Peter 3:9).
      
    It is also apparent that by the time “one of the elders” asks John if he knows who the great multitude before the throne are, and where they came from, it is well into the judgements of the ‘tribulation’. It is also AFTER the ‘sealing’ of the 144,000 Jewish “servants of our God” or ‘evangelists’ (12,000 from each of the 12 tribes). Now, these Jewish evangelists are  “sealed”, not by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but , they are “sealed in their foreheads”, which seems to indicate a new program, since God knows us by the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ; “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (I John 4:15-16). And then the narrative immediately describes the ‘great multitiude which came out of the tribulation’. Remember, the last week of Daniels’ ’70 Weeks’ is a time in which God has shifted the focus from the “church” to the nation of Israel, to complete the ’70 Weeks’. 

    Just a couple of final thoughts: Jesus said that the ‘end’ would be horrific: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved…” (Matthew 24:21-22). If you know anything about history, and the horrors which men have perpetrated upon one another, this is a frightening statement. This highlights what the Apostle Paul says in I Thessalonians 4:18, concerning the ‘rapture’: “Wherfore comfort one another with these words”. If we are to go through any portion of the ’70th Week’, I just don’t think it would be very ‘comforting’ to talk about the ‘end times’. But, since we ‘are not appointed to wrath’ it is VERY comforting.

    It is also comforting to know that God preserves ‘His own’ from wrath, such as Noah and his family, and Lot and his family. 
    As to the idea that Christians have not suffered persecution in recent years, we have only to look at the millions murdered in the Russian ‘revolution’, or the Chinese Communist ‘revolution’, and in the ‘revolutions’ in Africa. Christians have always been at the top of the list. 

  • Daniel

    Hello Douglas, heard you on Marzulli’s program recently and was so encouraged by how many parallel things God has been revealing to both of you, even though you two had never spoken before! What a testimony to the Spirit’s work…

    One thing though… I must admit I am rather surprised that you view all these approaching events (New Age “cleansing”, E.T. “disclosure”, etc.) through the paradigm of a pre-Trib rapture event…

    I once held a similar view of the “rapture”, since it was what I was basically raised to believe growing up in church… But as an adult, that perspective was radically altered once I started to really look at what the scripture actually has to say about it…

    When I came across II Thessalonians 2, it pretty much “closed the case” for me, where it says:

    ” Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly
    from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting
    that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.
    He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called
    God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple,
    proclaiming himself to be God.” (verses 1-4)

    When we look at all the other “rapture” verses as well, we can see that while it certainly is described as occuring “in the twinkling of an eye”, there is really NOTHING which says that this will happen before the revealing of the Anti-Christ, or the “tribulation”…

    Scripture is clear that we will be “caught up” with the Lord and so escape the wrath of God, but God’s wrath on the earth is a very different thing than Satan’s “wrath”, the persecution of those who put faith in Jesus…

    I guess I’m just curious, since you have such a solid grasp of Biblical languages, and clearly you understand that the “extra-terrestrial” phenomenon fits into the broader Satanic deception of the world, and yet I wonder what you do with verses like II Thess. 2…?

    Have you ever stopped to consider the possibilities of how a false belief in a pre-Trib rapture could play into the “grand delusion” scenario? Think about it… How many Christians would recognize the “man of lawlessness” if he were revealed, if they have already been thoroughly convinced that they will not be around to see him…?

    I’m not saying there isn’t something to be gleaned from all the New Age “chatter” about the coming “cleansing” and such, I’m just saying, I think we being presumptious again if we assume that this must be a way of preparing for a “secret” rapture. In contrast, I would say that all such demonic “prophecies” are actually laying the groundwork for a “cleansing” which will actually occur through the persecution and slaying of millions of Christians…

    “Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
    I answered, “Sir, you know.”
    And
    he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation;
    they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the
    Lamb” (Revelation 7:13-15)


    “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.

    At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,

    and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

    Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,

    but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

    And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:9-14)The scripture says we will be raised “at the last trumpet”…”
    Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—
    52

    ” The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
    “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)

    Notice that the “beast that comes out of the Abyss” is already on the earth before the 7th trumpet is sounded… (verse 7)

    All in all, I’m not trying to quibble over something that some would argue is not “salvifically significant”, but I sincerely believe that the whole “pre-Trib rapture” paradigm (basically the whole perspective represented in the “Left Behind” series…), is not supported by scripture, and we must acknowledge that if that perspective is indeed innacurate, it actually would totally serve the purposes of the Deception you are writing about! So in that sense, if people falsely believe they won’t be around to have to endure any of these deceptions, or any persecution, then just vulnerable to being led astray might they be?

    The fact is, there are no “left behind” saints, because there are not “two raptures”… There is only one. Either every Christian is caught up before the Anti-Christ rises to power, or we are caught up after he is revealed… I believe II Thessalonians makes it clear which side of that event Christ’s return will take place…

    Curious to hear your thoughts…

    • Tim

      The pre-trib rapture is certainly supported by Scripture.  While there are a number a false assumptions you have made (the idea to “two raptures” etc) shows a lack of serious study of the original Greek.

      You seem to argue that Paul said in 2
      Thessalonians 2:1-3 that the coming of the Lord and our being gathered to him
      would not happen until after the “man of lawlessness” was revealed. 
      That disqualifies the verse to mean a pre-tribulation rapture, so the passage
      must be about the Second Coming.  Did Paul really say that?  Not according to
      the text.  Remember, there are already many believers in heaven from times
      past, since we know to be absent from the body is to be present with the
      Lord.  We need to take a look at the passages immediately following
      so we don’t take the intended meaning out of context, which is what you appear to have done.For example, take a look at the word rebellion
      in the verses you quote above, “…until the rebellion occurs.”   The word
      rebellion (or “falling away”) is an English translation of the Greek word
      apostasia. 
      What if the word “rebellion” was not the most correct English translation
      of that word?  The Greek translation of the word
      apostasia here is a reference to a physical departure or removal, not a falling away
      or rebellion.  Let’s look at the word apostasia as departure
      in the entire context of verses 3-8 that now make sense together:

      “3 Let
      no one deceive you in any way.  For that day will not arrive until
      the departure comes first and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, the son
      of destruction.  4 He
      opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship,
      and as a result he takes his seat in God’s temple, displaying himself as
      God.  5 Surely
      you recall that I used to tell you these things while I was still with
      you.  6And so
      you know what holds him back, so that he will be revealed in his own time.
      7For
      the hidden power of lawlessness is already at work.  However, the
      one who holds him back will do so until he is taken out of the way,
      8and
      then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will destroy by the
      breath of his mouth and wipe out by the manifestation of his arrival.”

      Verses 3-5 above provide a description of the
      order of events:

      1.  The departure (removal) of the Church

      2.  The revealing of the Antichrist

      3.  The Antichrist presents himself
      as God

      And then again in verses 6-8:
      1.  The Church (via the Holy Spirit) is holding the Antichrist
      back, though he is still at work now
      2.  He is to be revealed in the right
      time
      3.  The One who holds him back (the Holy Spirit/Church)
      is taken out of the way (departure)
      4.  The lawless one (Antichrist) is
      revealed
      5.  The Lord returns to destroy the
      Antichrist (Second Coming)

      When using the word “departure” or “removal”
      in verse 3 above, the subsequent verses coincide and restate the same events. 
      We have three similar statements on the removal of the Church first, and
      then the revealing of the Antichrist.  Even so, we can turn to modern
      Greek scholars who can give us a clearer understanding as new advances
      in language and etymology studies often reveal:

      We should be intrigued by those Greek
      scholars who have looked at the etymology of the word apostasia as it relates
      to the Greeks and the Jews.  The recent English translation of the word has generally
      been accepted as a “falling away.”  Apostasia is most theologically
      debated when referring to 2 Thess 2:3, specifically noting events that must precede the Day
      of the Lord (Second Coming).
      Dr. Allan A. MacRae, Ph.D., a noted Greek scholar and
      translator, and former president of theology schools, speaks of the striking parallel
      between verse 3 of 2 Thess 2, and verses 7-8.  Verse 3 mentions the
      departure of the Church as coming first, and then tells of the revealing
      of the man of lawlessness.  In verses 7 and 8 we find the identical
      sequence.  Verse 7 tells of the removal of the Church; verse 8 says: 
      “And then shall that lawless one be revealed.”  Thus close examination
      of the passage shows an inner unity and coherence, if we take the word
      apostasia
      in its general sense of “departure,” while a superficial examination would
      easily lead to an erroneous interpretation as “falling away” because of
      the proximity of the mention of the “man of sin.”Dr. Kenneth S. Wuest, LL. D., (Doctor of Laws),
      also a noted Greek scholar, New Testament translator, Greek word-study author
      and professor, adds further contextual support for taking apostasia
      as a physical departure.  He notes apostasia of which Paul
      is speaking (verse 3), precedes the revelation of Antichrist in
      his true identity, and that which holds him back (verse 6) also
      precedes
      his revelation.  The apostasia, therefore, cannot be either
      a general apostasy in Christendom, nor can it be the particular apostasy
      which is the result of his activities in making himself the alone object
      of worship.  Furthermore, that which holds back his revelation (verse
      3) is vitally connected with verse 7, He who holds back the same event. 
      Dr. Wuest is driven to the inescapable conclusion that the
      apostasia
      in verse 3 refers to the removal of the Church which precedes the Day of
      the Lord (Second Coming), and holds back the revelation of the Man of Sin
      who ushers in the world-aspect of that period.The expression or meaning of the word was
      more than a “falling away”; rather it was a removal or complete departure.  That meaning is correctly given in the first
      seven English translations of the Bible where apostasia is translated
      as either “departure” or “departing”.  They are as follows: 
      Wycliffe Bible (1384); Tyndale Bible (1526); Coverdale Bible (1535); Cranmer
      Bible (1539); Breeches Bible (1576); Beza Bible (1583); Geneva Bible (1608).
      The English word departure certainly
      fits the context (or coherency) of 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8.  Most
      post-tribulation authors refuse to address the entire context as it is given,
      and thus insist the lexical evidence does not suggest a physical departure.  But that
      is exactly what the lexical evidence does suggest.  Dismissing the obvious coherence
      in those passages would be simple ignorance or a stubborn refusal to consider the Scriptural
      evidence.  Remember, if we take a word out of context and apply a dissimilar meaning, we
      have then created a new pre-text.  Likely that happened in the translation in the
      King James and later versions.

      • Daniel

         I will just respond here to all three comments, since they all basically touch on the same things…
        I have already heard all of the explanations and appeals you both have made, and I have spent a great deal of time in prayer and thought over them…
        I have heard many times this attempt to “properly understand” II Thessalonians 2 through the microscopic examination of the greek word “apostasia”.  Unfortunately, that explanation really turns on itself in the end and renders the whole verse rather meaningless…
        Think about what you are really saying the verse means then…
        Essentially, you are trying to convince me that it is saying, “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for “that day” (the rapture“) will not come, until the rapture happens, (if we equate “apostasia” with the rapture), and then the man of lawlessness will be revealed…” (???)
        The rapture won’t happen until the rapture happens…?
        Wow, thanks Paul for clarifying that!
        Come on guys…  You’re ignoring the plain and obvious meaning of the text! 

        How in the world can we really believe that Paul would be saying, “Don’t be deceived”, if he is only going on to say that “it won’t happen until it happens…”???

        How does that help anyone to not be deceived…?  Your whole interpretation of the verse would actually make Paul’s statement completely pointless in the first place…

        @34aaee2e129077da48e6a462c6e778d5:disqus
         - I have also heard this appeal to “our comfort” many times in regards to not having to undergo the Tribulation…  Again, I must say that such thinking is actually not based on anything in scripture but is really just an appeal to our own flesh…  (I mean, who actually likes the idea of suffering persecution?)

        But if you hold to your position, (that to undergo persecution is a form of suffering God’s wrath…), then we find ourselves in the awkward position of having to say that when the apostles suffered persection and death, they were suffering God’s wrath! (?)  Has everyone who has been martyred for Jesus over the last 2,000 years suffered God’s wrath, or the “wrath” of wicked men and the Enemy?

        Go back and read Matthew 24 again…  Read for yourselves what Jesus says about suffering persecution!  (although I suppose you explain that away by saying that that only pertains to Israel…?)

        Yet it says, ”    “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,  and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,  but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

        Overall, my point is this…  Our “blessed hope” is CHRIST, and being resurrected with Him!  We get to spend eternity with God!  Free from sin!  Free from suffering!  Free from guilt and crying and shame!  There will be no more death, there will be no more night!  THAT is our hope!  

        And in the end, even if we are to still have differing perspectives on exactly what all these verses mean about the timing of the rapture, please consider this:

        The wisest and safest position is to at least hold yourself to the possibility of a “pre-wrath” rapture, even if it is still not your first inclination…  Why?  Because even though I have been convinced that the Church will have to endure persecution, and not be “raptured out” before it all gets too hairy, that doesn’t mean I don’t completely rule it out as a possibility.  And what if I was wrong?  Would it cause any problem for me?  Nope!  I fully admit that would be a nice surprise!  But what about the reverse?  What if someone who is counting on the “pre-Trib” rapture, and it turns out they are going to have to have faith through persecution under the Anti-Christ after all?  Can you not at least recognize what a potentially huge stumbling block that could be to people’s faith?  When for years they were “putting their hope” in not having to make the choice between faith in Christ, or death?   

        I just pray that people would at least prepare themselves for the possibility of having to endure hardship and persecution for the name of Jesus, because like you said, millions of Christians have already suffered persecution, a lot of them being in the last century alone…  I think the difficult question you have to ask yourself is, why do you accept the fact that other Christians could be called to endure persecution in places like Communist China or Russia or the Middle East, but yet for some reason don’t believe that God would dare call you or I to have enough faith to endure the same thing for His name…????

        • SPIRITBLADE

           Last Trump = First Fruits

          (don’t die stupid…that’s a pagan’s job)

          • Emmanuel Goldstein

            Let’s not degenerate this into name-calling…alot more humility ought to be exercised in this area of pre-mid-post, since convincing cases can be made. Doug has written in a right spirit about this even though he is firm about his position…so have most of the responders. Let’s keep it higher than name-calling. 

        • lizard

           Well spoken!  I’ve very recently come to these same conclusions via study and the Holy Spirit’s guiding.  I don’t know Greek, but have started walking in Sabbath and the Feast Days and am getting a glimpse of the puzzle.  Thanks for taking the time to lovingly explain this. 
          Thankfully, all true worshippers will worship Him in spirit and truth.  The day is coming (in the millenium) where we’ll get the truth straight from our source, our Messiah, and soon coming King.

          • Contemplative

            Christ is already here.  Never left.  Said he’d always be with us till the end.

    • http://douglashamp.com Douglas Hamp

      I see a time of chaos preceeding the great tribulation which we believers will be here for – I agree with another post where you write that it is better for us to be ready just in case, however, I do believe that Scripture does speak of a pre-trib rapture. However, that is not to say that we believers we will escape all of the trials associated with the last days (just look at WWII or at modern day China, for example).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: