My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational(5)

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational(5)

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational(5)

(h) The Timing Of The Removal Of The Restainer

The restrainer has been variously identified by pretribs as the Holy Spirit who hitch-hikes with the Church when she is raptured pretribulationally, the Church herself, and human government which of course is functional throughout the 70th week, and cannot be removed until destroyed by Christ at Armageddon(Rev.19:17-21). How ridiculous? Dan.12:1 identifies the restrainer as archangel Michael who stands for the people of God. His identity has been known amongst Jewish scholars in antiquity. The identity of the restrainer is not germane to the validation or invalidation of any rapture view. The issue here is the timing of his removal. The pretribs do not make bones of this issue because it undermines their teaching that he hitch-hikes with the Church when she is raptured pretribulationally. The Scriptures make it clear that until the restrainer is taken out of the way, there shall be no Great Tribulation. Archangel Michael is the restrainer of evil on the Earth. He is the angel that stands for the people of God. He wrestled with Satan over the body of Moses(Jude 9). At the midpoint of the 70th week, he shall wrestle down Satan and his fallen evil angels from the Dark Void and Starry Heavens to the Earth, after which he shall “amad” or stand still. He will not restrain Satan any more.

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.”(Rev.12:7-9, 12-13‬‭).

Then evil shall run riot on Earth. Satan shall possess the antiChrist, invest Him with his power and authority. He will declare himself God, demand worship of all mortals, and kill anyone who refuses to give him allegiance. Thus will begin the Great Tribulation.

“And now ye know what withholdeth 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: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”(2 Thess.2:6-12‬‭).

The revelation of the antiChrist occurs after the removal of the restrainer. Up to now, the restrainer keeps evil at bay until removed at the midpoint of the 70th week, then shall evil run riot on Earth. There is a confluence of factors here. First, Satan and his immediate subordinates, the principalities, powers, and wicked spirits in the heavenlies shall be cast down to the Earth. Second, the restraining influence of Michael the archangel of God in charge of war shall be removed. Third, Satan angered by denial of his right and place of abode in the heavenly shall have great wrath knowing that it would be a short time before he is cast into the abyss. From the midpoint of the 70th week, one can calculate the exact day Satan Shall be cast into the abyss. It will be there and one-half years plus 30 days which is the end of Armageddon. All these events occur at the midpoint of the 70th week. The cumulative effect is synergistic, resulting in the escalation of all forms of evil on Earth.

(i) The Tribulation Saints

The phrase tribulation saints is coined by pretribs to describe believers who according to them missed the first round up, and have to make it up by the skin of their teeth. First, this teaching is contradicted by the parable of the Ten Virgins which teaches that there is no secondary entry once the bridegroom has entered and the door shut. Second, pretribs teach that all those who missed the first round up are weak believers who have to make it by paying with their lives. This is as it were, salvation by works through martyrdom. Thus they teach that the innumerable multitude in Rev.7:9-17, including the fifth seal martyrs are tribulation saints martyred by the antiChrist and his security apparatus. That they will be raised to reign with Christ for a thousand years in the Millennium. But not all the innumerable multitude in Rev.7:9-17 are martyrs. The angel described them as those who came out of the Great Tribulation. There is no evidence they were all martyrs. Some were martyred and others certainly not martyred.

In contrast, the fifth seal martyrs were all killed for the word of God and the testimony they upheld. On the other hand all the saints that were raised and reigned with Christ in Rev.20:4 were beheaded. There is no biblical justification to assume that all the Fifth Seal martyrs were beheaded. Some may have been headed, and others may not. The beheaded saints were those who were a torn in the flesh of the antiChrist. They not only refused the mark of the Beast, but went about persuading others not to take the the mark of the Beast. This infuriated the antiChrist who ordered their execution by beheading to serve as a deterrent to others.

We contend that the innumerable multitude in Rev.7:9-17 are the saints, both living and dead, raptured at the interlude between the end of the sixth seal and the breaking of the seventh seal, and the that fifth seal martyrs are part of this group. We contend that the fifth seal is concurrent with the fourth, and does not advance the chronology of events in the 70th week. There is no distance in the realm of the spirit. They disembodied spirits and souls of these saints arrive in heaven as soon as they are killed, and are quartered under the golden altar of incense till the complement of believers to be killed during the Great Tribulation is reached, thereafter, the killing of the saints shall be interrupted with the breaking of the sixth seal. They are subsequently raptured and are part of the innumerable multitude in Rev.7:9-17. On the other hand, the beheaded saints are raised to reign with Christ for a thousand years on the first day of the Millennium. This view expounded by Robert Gundry is shared by Marvin J. Rosenthal. However, Alan E. kurschner demurs, advocating that they were raptured prewrath together with all the saints at the appearance of the Shekinah in the Heaavens.

The Pretrib notion that all the so called Tribulation Saints have to be killed in order to make heaven is absurd and unbiblical. The Scriptures make it clear that the Great Tribulation will be cut short in order to preserve some saints alive for translation at the rapture. If the Great Tribulation were to be permitted to run its full course to the end of the three and half years allotted to the antiChrist, no believing flesh or anyone without the mark of the beast shall survive the Great Tribulation. But there are survivors of the Great Tribulation. Apart from the living saints who are translated at the rapture at the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens, there are the 144,000 who are sealed for protection, and the surviving remnants of Israel who go through the first six trumpets and are reconciled to God on the third day of the 30-day Reclamation Period. Besides, those Gentile survivors of the Great Tribulation, who appeared at the Sheep And Goat Judgment do not have the mark of the Beast(Matt.25:31-46). If they had, they would have been killed at Armageddon or else executed instanta. The essence of the amputation of the Great Tribulation, in addition to preserving some saints alive for translation at the rapture is to save some Gentiles alive in order that they may repopulate the Earth in the Millennium alongside their Jewish counterparts who survived both the Great Tribulation and the first six trumpet judgments of the wrath of God. To teach therefore that every true believer is murdered during the Great Tribulation, thus obtaining salvation by martyrdom has no biblical merit. Or that all Gentiles were wiped out during the wrath of God, leaving the surviving Jewish remnants to repopulate the Earth in the Millennium.

(j) The Mark Of The Beast

The mark of the Beast is the number of the Beast. It is the number of a man. It is described by John the revelator as 666. “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”(Rev.13:16-18‬‭). It is described in conjunction with the carrier of the enforcer of the Beast, the false prophet. It is a computer chip with an 18-digit bar code with other biometric data specific to the individual which shall be implanted in the right hand or forehead as a mark of allegiance to the antiChrist, the First Beast. It shall be implemented worldwide because power shall be given to the antiChrist over all peoples, tongues, and nations. “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”( Rev.13:7‬‭). Anyone without this mark shall not be able to buy or sell or engage in other transactions under the reign of the antiChrist.

Biometric implants have been used in animal husbandry for decades. Cattles are branded to indicate ownership and determine age, etc. They are now being used in humans. Branding has been in practice for hundreds of years. Slaves have been branded even in ancient times. Branding indicates ownership, authenticity, protection, security, preservation. Over 50,000 people have been chipped worldwide with RFID. Good things can be put to bad use. Those in government have responsibility to protect the citizenry. RFID can be used to identify criminals and felons, track the whereabouts of those with dementia and mental illness. It will make cashlessnes possible which has a number of uses. Therefore it is most probable this practice shall have been accepted worldwide before the emergence of the antiChrist. The antiChrist will legalize it and also make it compulsory. It shall be strictly enforced. Satan is not dumb. No one will be chipped by force. He knows it will not count. But people can be coerced into accepting the mark of the Beast. Those who do not have this mark shall be denied food stamps. Those who have it will have plenty to eat and drink. The antiMessiah shall put chicken in their pots. Those who take the mark of the Beast shall have fiat money credited to their accounts.

Besides, those who do not have this mark shall be ferreted out, coerced to take the mark or be killed on refusal to coöperate. There will be robotic images of the Beast, equipped with artificial Intelligence(AI) and Near Field Communication(NFC) to identify those who do not have the mark of the Beast, coerce them to accept it, or be killed on refusal of the mark of the beast. The Scripture makes it clear that anyone who takes the mark of the Beast is doomed for eternity; the wrath of God abides on him. This is the message of the third angel made at the midpoint of the 70th week at the commencement of the Great Tribulation.

“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”(Rev.14:9-12‬‭).

Apart from teaching for nearly two centuries that the rapture will take place before the commencement of the 70th week, thus making believers unprepared and vulnerable to face the horrors of the Great Tribulation, some pretrib teachers like Brannon Howse, Jimmy De Young, and John MacArthur have of late been propagating the teaching that it is possible to take the mark of the Beast, and repent later on. This teaching flies in the face of the Scripture that clearly indicates that anyone who takes the mark of the Beast is doomed for eternity because the wrath of God abideth on him. This development is very dangerous, and must be denounced with utmost vehemence. It is to make believers utterly vulnerable. The Pretrib teaching that the Church will be raptured before the commencement of the 70th week makes believers unprepared for the horrors of the Great Tribulation, but the teaching that believers can take the mark of the Beast and repent afterwards makes them think they can eat their cake hot and have it all the time. It makes believers think they can be part of the antiChrist system of government, enjoy the benefits, and afterwards stroll into the kingdom of God. This is unthinkable and must be refuted because it is a very big lie. It is true that God will forgive them if they repent. It is also true they are unwilling to repent. They have sinned beyond repentance. It is therefore very dangerous to tinker with the notion that anyone who takes the mark of the Beast will repent later on.

Avraham Shallom

The Parousia

The Parousia

The Parousia

The pretribs make a distinction between the Rapture and the Second Advent of Christ. According to them, the Rapture occurs before the start of the 70th week of Daniel, and the Second Coming of Christ occurs, at least, seven years later at the end of the Tribulation Period. But the Scriptures do not make such distinction. The Greek word parousia rendered Coming is a compound word consisting of “para”and “ousia.” Para means arrival, and ousia presence. Therefore parousia means arrival and consequent presence with. Like His first advent, the Second Coming is one whole unit.

The First Advent consisted of a series of events like the annunciation, the birth of Christ, the presentation in the Temple, His temptation, His three year Ministry, arrest, trial and condemnation, crucifixion, burial, resurrection, appearances to His disciples, ascension and session and intercessary ministry at the right hand of the Throne Of The Father at the Throne Room in the Temple in Heaven ( Heb.7:25 ). Like the First advent, the Second Advent will also consist of a series of events. The Second Advent begins with the breaking of the 6th seal which begins with a massive worldwide earthquake or series of massive worldwide earthquakes, followed by cosmic and celestial disturbances that darken the heavens and freeze the Earth.

“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.” ( Rev.6:12,13 ). This shall be followed by the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens, which is the sign of the coming of the Son of Man in the heavens.

“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: 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.” ( Matt.24:29,30 ).

When the Shekinah appears in the heavens, the saints are advised to look up, for their redemption draweth nigh. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” ( Luk.21:28 ).

If the rapture had already taken place, what is their redemption at this time? The Shekinah is the visible manifestation of the Yahweh of Israel. Every eye shall see Him when He appears in the darkened heavens with an entourage of angels who will blow the trumpet and gather His elect from one end of the heavens to the other to meet the Lord in the air. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” ( 1 Thess.4:14-17 ). So the Rapture cannot be silent, quiet or secret as pretribs teach. Quite the opposite, the heavens shall blaze it forth.

The trumpet will be blown. Christ will dispatch His angels to gather His elect from the fours corners of the Earth. But before then, the 144,000 must be reconciled to God and sealed for protection with the name of God. “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.” ( Rev.7:1-8, cp., 14:1 ). God will not leave Himself without a witness. It is like the handing over of a baton in a relay race. The Church will be taken away in the Rapture, and the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel will become God’s witnesses on Earth. Then the 7th seal shall be broken and the wrath of God begins. After the wrath of God which ends at Armageddon at the end of the 30-day Reclamation Period, the whole Earth will be renovated during the 45-day Restoration Period, and Christ coronated by the Father in Heaven to reign over the Earth in the Millenium. These series of events constitute the Second Coming Of The Lord. There is no silent or secret rapture anywhere in the Scriptures. That is a pretrib concoction and fabrication. The people of the Earth who see His appearance like lightning in the heavens shall mourn because He is about to punish them for their evils. “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” ( Rev.6:15-17‬, cp., Matt.24:29-31; Rev.1:7, ). The Rapture is a part of this whole.

When Christ appears in the heavens, He remains in the air. He does not touch down on Earth. He dispatches His angels to gather together the saints, resurrected and translated, to meet Him in the air. So shall we ever be with the Lord. The descent of Christ from the heavens to rapture the Church occurs at the parousia.

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” ( 1 Thess.4:13-18‬ ‭). The gathering together is done by the angelic reapers, the “aetoi.” “For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” ( Matt.24:28‬ ‭).

Jesus makes it clear in the parable of the Wheat and the tares that the Harvest occurs at the end of the ages, and that the reapers are the angels. And again, there is no way the angels can separate the Wheat from the tares until they are mature and are clearly distinguishable from each other. The separation occurs during the Great Tribulation when the tares are marked for destruction. “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” ( Rev.14:9-13‬ ‭). The acceptance of the mark of the Beast is a sign of maturation; it is irreversible. Maturation once attained is an irreversible process. It is therefore futile to tinker with the idea of repented once the mark of the Beast has been accepted.

After the Third angelic announcement warning of eternal damnation for those who take the mark of the Beast and participate in the worship of his person or image, what follows is the harvest. Rev.14:14-16 depicts the rapture of the saints. Rev.14:17-20 is the final wrath of God that ends in a bloodbath at the battle of Armageddon.

The fundamental error of Pretribulational Rapture Position is the separation of the Rapture from the parousia. There is no verse of the Scriptures that explicitly teaches or implicitly permits such separation. The rapture occurs at the parousia. The Harvest occurs at the parousia. The Harvest occurs at the end of the ages. Therefore the parousia occurs at the end of the ages. Jesus told His disciples He shall be with them till the end of the ages. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” ( Matt.28:18-20‬ ‭).

The parousia occurs after the Tribulation of those days. Therefore the rapture occurs after the Tribulation of those days. Those who endure to the end ( of the ages ) shall be saved. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” ( Matt.10:22‬ ).

As we have pointed out, the parousia is initiated by the cosmic and celestial disturbances that amputate the Great Tribulation. This is followed by the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens. The 144,000 are brought into saving relationship with the God of Israel and sealed for protection from the wrath of God which is about to follow. The Church is raptured, removed from the scene of persecution. The very same day the Church is raptured, the seventh Seal is broken and the wrath of God begins. Christ does not touch down on Earth until the first day of the 30-day reclamation period. He comes to the 144,000 and some remnants of Israel hiding in the Edomite wilderness. On day 3 of the 30-day Reclamation Period, He appears with them on Mount Zion where they are reconciled with the God of Israel.

“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” ( Rev.14:1-4‬ ‭).

The song sang by the mass choir in even is the song of the redeemed. It is sung by the newly raptured Church in heaven. The 144,000 are the only ones on Earth who could learn and sing this song because they are redeemed also and sealed with seal of God which is the name of God on their forehead. The rest of the remnants of Israel could not learn and sing this song because they were not yet reconciled to the God of Israel.

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.” ( Zech.12:10-14‬ ‭).

On day 3, the mystery of God is finished, thusly completely the spiritual kingdom of God. On day 4, the two witnesses who were murdered by the antiChrist on the last day of the 70th week resurrect. On day 5, the seventh trumpet is blown, and God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth. On day 6, Christ cleaves the Mount Of Olives into two creating a roadway that leads to Azel where He hides the 144,000, and the newly saved remnants of Israel for protection from the final seven bowl judgments. On day 7, the final wrath of God contained in the seven bowls begin to be poured out on the beast-marked worshippers. The unbranded Gentiles are neither specifically targeted nor offered any protection. They may suffer some collateral damages. Those of them who survive the final wrath of God shall appear at the sheep and goat judgment which occurs shortly before the commencement of the millennial reign of Christ.

Avraham Shallom.

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 6 )

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 6 )

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 6 )

( l ) The 144,000: Are They Evangelists?

The 144,000 are Jews, 12,000 chosen from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. The Scripture is clearly explicit on that. They are suddenly introduced in Rev.7 in the interlude between the sixth and the seventh seals prior to the outpouring of the wrath of God in the Day Of The Lord which begins in Rev.8. They are called the servants of God ( 3 ). They are sealed with the seal of God in their foreheads ( 3 ). In Rev.14:1, we are told the seal is the name of God written on their foreheads. We are not told what that name is. It may be the HEBREW Tetragrammaton YHWH. That is the name of the God of the Hebrews revealed to Moses, the I AM WHAT I AM hath sent me unto you (Exod.3:14). They are sealed prior to the rapture of the saints (Rev.7:9-17). They passed through the Great Tribulation just as did the raptured saints. Rather than being raptured after the amputation of the Great Tribulation with terrestrial and celestial disturbances, they were sealed for protection from the wrath of God. They would pass through the wrath of God but with divine protection unlike their fellow Israelites who would pass through the first six trumpet judgments without divine protection in order to purge, purify, and cleanse them from the defilement of sin. Why? They rejected the mark of the Beast, but are not born again like the saints who are raptured. In other words, they were not washed by the blood of the Lamb. No man will enter heaven without purification by the blood of the Lamb. And no man will be purified with the blood of Jesus by the Holy Spirit without acknowledging Jesus as Lord and Saviour. They will finally accept Jesus as their Messiah when He rescues them from Petra in the Edomite wilderness. They will see that their Messiah has nail-pierced hands ( Zech.12:10 ).

These Jews believe in the Messiah of Israel. They do not believe that He is Jesus. They also rejected the claim of the antiChrist to be the Messiah of Israel ( Jon.5:43 ). So, they were not Beast-marked. How they survived the Great Tribulation is a wonder inasmuch as they were sealed after the Great Tribulation. They survived by hiding I presume. The Scriptures do not say they were evangelists. What they did during the first three and one-half years and the Great Tribulation, the Scriptures are silent. It is therefore presumptuous and preposterous to assume they were evangelists. In all probability, they were observant Jews. How then could they be preaching the message of salvation in Christ Jesus if they do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah? If at all they preached to anyone, the content of their message would not be the apostolic kerugma. They could have warned their fellow Jews and anyone else not to believe in the antiChrist as the Messiah and to reject his mark even under the pain of death. There are some unbelieving Gentiles, free thinkers and nonconformists that will do the same. They could also have warned that the wrath of God would come on anyone who gave allegiance to the Beast by accepting his mark. They could have urged their fellow countrymen and women, and anyone else within their immediate audience to only worship Yahweh of Judah, the Lord God of Israel. That the false humanistic religion of the antiChrist, spearheaded by the false prophet, and epitomized in Babylon would be committed to the flames together with their adherents ( Rev.14:6-11 ). The true believers in Jesus Christ will also be saying the same thing but with a caveat that Jesus is the only true Messiah of Israel. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and have the faith of Jesus Christ.” ( Rev.14:12‬ ).

They are the only ones offered protection from the first six trumpet judgments. The unbelieving Jews who do not have the mark of the Beast shall go through the first six trumpet judgments unprotected, so also the unbelieving Gentiles who do not have the mark of the Beast. The 144,000 are called virgins, a very strange term indeed to describe men. Obviously they are celibates. The Scripture also says they are not defiled with women. This may mean either that they never had sexual intercourse with women, or and also they never participated in the mass idolatry characteristic of the worship of the Beast-antiChrist and the Dragon ( Rev.13:4,14:9 ). Religionists like these are usually reclusive. They lived like hermits like the Qumran community. They followed the Lamb wherever He went. They are His human entourage in all His earthly journeys from the moment Christ rescued them from the Edomite wilderness ( Amos 3:15 ). They matched with Him on foot from Petra in the Edomite wilderness to the summit of Mount Zion in Jerusalem joined along the way by the remnant of Israel from the Judaean wilderness, Jerusalem and its environs, and the survivors from the remote areas of Assyria and Egypt ( Mic.2:13; Rev.14:1 ). We must also bear in mind that Jesus is never alone. God the Father is always with Him. He is also always surrounded by an innumerable company of angels ( Heb.12:22-24 ). But they are invisible to the unaided human eye. So, the 144,000 are the ones with Him that men would see. They would not see the Father, nor the Holy Spirit, nor the innumerable company of angels.

Whilst with Christ on the earthly Mount Zion, the redeemed of humanity in heaven, on the heavenly Mount Zion sing a song. The song is heard on Earth, but no one on Earth could learn that song but the 144,000. Why? Because it is the song of the redeemed; they are redeemed also. If they were not redeemed, they could not be sealed. They were sealed because they were reconciled to God shortly before the rapture of the saints. On the same earthly Mount Zion, the Jewish remnants who survived the first six trumpet judgments were reconciled to God to finish the mystery of God and to complete His spiritual kingdom ( Zech.12:10-13 ). This was before the sounding of the seventh trumpet. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” ( Rev.10:7‬ ‭).

But they are not part of the Church, the bride of Christ. They are the firstfruits unto God and the Lamb ( Rev.14:4 ). This term is also used of the initial disciples of Jesus or the first to receive Jesus in a city in any evangelistic mission, and of those who were the first to be filled with the Holy Spirit ; and of Christ as the first to rise from the dead ( Rom.8:23, 16:5; Jam.1:18; 1 Cor.15:20,23 , 16:15 ). This designation clearly indicates they belong to a new dispensation; the New Millennium. They are not part of the Church. They will not be translated. They will not receive glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies like the saints in the Millennium. They will live here on Earth in their mortal bodies, still prone to sin, sickness and disease and physical death. They will be the firstfruits of those that will repopulate the Earth in the New Millennium alongside the redeemed Jews and Gentiles that survive the wrath of God ( cp. Matt.25:31-46 ). Whether they will marry like some others in the Millennium, or remain celibates throughout the Millennium, the scriptures are silent.

After the rapture of the saints, apart from the two witnesses whose ministry would last throughout the entire length of the second half of the 70th week, the God of Israel would have no witnesses on Earth. God will not leave Himself without witnesses. It is like the handing over of a baton in relay race. They will represent the God of Israel on Earth while the believers are in heaven, in the interim between the rapture and Armageddon. If the 144,000 were not reconciled to the God, the God of Israel would have not witnesses on Earth after the demise of the two witnesses on the last day of the 70th week. There is a 3-day interval between the death of the two witnesses and the salvation of the remnant of Israel on day 3 of the 30-day Reclamation Period.

( m ) Will There Be A Worldwide Christian Revival In The 70th Week?

Pretribs teach that the rapture will occur prior to the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel. To account for the huge number of believers that will be here during the Great Tribulation, they propound an unbiblically supported theory that there will be a worldwide revival during the 70th week that will make other revivals this Earth has ever witnessed pale in comparison. That there would be more conversions to the Faith than at any other time in the annals of history. They also hold the unbiblical view that these so called “Tribulation Saints” shall gain heaven by being martyred, all of them, by the antiChrist and his acolytes ( Rev.6: 9-11, 7:9-17 ). This phenomenal success in missions and evangelism will occur when all the good pastors, teachers, and Christians have been taken to heaven prior to the beginning of the 70th week. Incredulous!

Who will conduct these revival meetings that will see innumerable multitude come to the Faith in so short a period, at a time when there is a preponderance of false prophets, false christs, and false teachers, all vying for the believers attention and faith, and Christianity is proscribed, and there is no formal worship; the so called “Tribulation Saints” are in hiding and have little or no food to eat, and are being hounded and ferreted out to be killed by the antiChrist and his gang?

In the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal, the prophets of Baal failed to conjure fire from heaven to consume their sacrifice ( 1 King.18:20-40 ). But the false prophet and his gang will excel where the prophets of Baal failed. They will command fire to come down from heaven in the sight of men, and make the image of the Beast to speak, and to cause as many as would not worship the image of the Beast to be killed ( Rev.13:15 ). Elijah ordered the massacre of the prophets of Baal after their failure to conjure fire from heaven. During the 70th week, the reverse will be the case. The servants of God shall be massacred by the prophets of Baal. The coming of the antiChrist is with signs and wonders. “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: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” ( 2 Thess.2:7-10‬ ‭).

The antiChrist will be empowered by Satan to perform outstanding miracles, signs and wonders which will be very difficult to refute in order to authenticate his claim to be the Messiash just as Jesus did. But it will all be false, intended only to deceive if it were possible the very elect. Certainly, there will be revival in the 70th week of Daniel, but it will be satanic in nature with all manners of signs and wonders, to deceive if it were possible the very elect. “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.” ( Matt.24:24-25‬ ). Why would Jesus warn His disciples if they would not be here? There will be role reversal here. The antiChrist and his gang will perform outstanding miracles, signs, and wonders, but the saints will not. On Mount Carmel, the God of Israel was present but Baal was absent. This time around the opposite will happen. It would be as through the God of Israel were absent and Baal present. Why? Because it is the hour of darkness.

These miracles, signs and wonders will be intended to lure the believers out of hiding in order to coax and coerce them to receive the mark of the Beast or to be killed outright on refusal to accept the mark of allegiance to the Beast. The antiChrist will make war with saints and overcome them ( Rev.13:7 ). So, in all probability, the number of the saints will depreciate very rapidly due to mass executions of believers who refuse to bow to the image of the Beast during this period of the reign of terror by the antiChrist. That the world marveled at the Beast does indicate that the so called evangelists of the Faith do not command their attention ( Rev.17:8 ). Rather than a revival of Christianity, there will be a mass exodus of false believers to worship the Beast. When the antiChrist signs the 7-year peace treaty with Israel, these ignorant believers will conclude the rapture has taken place, that they have been left behind: and that the next thing will be a worldwide revival of sort of the Christian faith, the rapture having taken place secretly and silently as it were. But what do they get? A huge number of false christs, false prophets, and false teachers performing outstanding and notables miracles to authenticate their claims. They will tell them, “The Messiah has come: we know where He is: in the secret chambers and in the deserts.” ( Matt.24:23-28 ). Thusly the unsuspecting  believers are lured into a trap where they are either coaxed or coerced, and hoodwinked into receiving the mark of allegiance to the Beast or be taken into captivity and tortured or be killed outright on refusal to accept the mark of allegiance to the anitMessiah. 

This is the Apostasy which will take place after the unveiling of the Man Of Sin in the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem at the midpoint of the 70th week ( 2 Thess.2:3,4 ). But the Pretribs have cancelled it out saying that “apostasia” means physical departure, thus denoting rapture. What a theological legerdemain! There is not a single instance in koine Greek where apostasia was used to denote physical departure. That usage was only apparent almost 500 years later.

The Scriptures do not tell us there would be worldwide revival at this time. Obviously, the two witnesses will perform outstanding miracles, and command fire from heaven to consume those who would hurt them ( Rev.11:5,6 ). Their ministry covers the second half of the 70th week, but is essentially restricted to the land of Israel, especially the Holy City, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Will their ministry be duplicated in other parts of the world? There is no biblical evidence there are any others like them in other parts of the world. Admittedly, some faithful and uncompromising believers will damn the consequences and go about persuading others not to take the make of the Beast, but they will pay with their heads. Cephalizomai; they will be decapitated ( Rev.20:4 ). Assuming the pretrib rapture view is correct, believers who miss the rapture, who have been taught there will be a worldwide revival during the 70th week will be easy prey to the antiMessiah, the false prophet, and their army of charlatans and mountebanks. The Pretrib doctrine is designed by its originators to sell the saints short to the antiChrist, to render them unprepared to face the horrors of the Great Tribulation. Unfortunately sincere believers and biblical scholars and theologians are ignorantly proclaiming it.

( n ) The 70th Week: The Period Of God’s Judgment

Dr Thomas Ice believes and teaches that the 70th week is a period of God’s Judgment, and I concur. Who decides when the 70th week begins? God. Who has the seven-sealed Scroll, the Title Deed Of The Earth, and breaks the seven seals that determine the unfolding of the end time events? Jesus the Son Of God. Who announce and supervise the breaking of the seals? The cherubim, the angels of God. Who casts down Satan to the Earth from the heavenlies? Archangel Michael, the warrior angel of God. Who removes the restrainer in order that Satan’s wrath may be executed ( Dan.12:1 )? God. Satan can do nothing without permission from God. He could not tempt Job without divine permission ( Job 1:6-12, 2:1-6 ). He could not tempt Peter to sift him as wheat until Christ permitted him ( Luk.22:31,32 ). The 70th week is indeed a period of God’s Judgment. But God is not responsible for the activities of wicked men. God permits evil, but does not sanction it. God does not approve of man’s inhumanity to man. God used Assyria, “the rod of my anger” to judge the Northern Kingdom of Israel ( Isa.10:5 ). Assyria was an evil nation notorious for its cruel treatment of war captives. The prophet Habakkuk was perplexed that God could use Babylon, a nation more wicked than the Southern Kingdon of Judah to punish Judah ( Hab.1:6-13 ). God’s ways are past finding ( Rom.11:33 ). The people of the world have to be tested and fail in an ultimate sense before they can face the wrath of God. In like manner also, even the saints must be tested and pass ultimately in order to be counted worthy to escape the wrath of God. There is an on-going Judgment Of God. When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord that we may not be condemned with the unrighteous wicked. “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” ( 1 Corinthians‬ ‭11:31-32‬ ‭).

The first four seals of the Scroll Of Revelation are a test for saints and sinners alike to determine eligibility for exemption from the wrath of God. But Dr. Thomas Ice has equated the Judgment of God which is a much broader term, more encompassing, with the wrath of God which is more narrower, and involves the outpouring of His indignation on the unrighteous and impenitent wicked. I demure. If we judge ourselves we will not be judged. When a believer is judged of God, the ultimate goal is exemption from condemnation with the wicked. When God judges us, and He does, is He pouring out His wrath upon us because we are irreversibly and irredeemably impenitent? No. His judgment is corrective. But His Final eschatological Wrath is damnation. When a juvenile breaks the law, he is sent to the penitentiary, unlike an adult who commits a capital offense receives capital punishment. There is no correction in a death sentence except as a warning and deterrent to would-be offenders. The aim is to protect the living and damn the murderer. The final eschatological wrath of God, the bowl judgments are not corrective at all. Their targets are the Beast marked wicked earth-dwellers who are unwilling to repent even in the face of God’s severe punishment for their evils ( Rev.9:20,21, 16:9,11 ). Their goal is first physical destruction, and finally eternal damnation of the unrighteous wicked in the Lake Of Fire And Sulphur.

Abraham Shallom.

COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE

COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE

COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE
 
 This article stems from the pretribulation claim that the Church is no longer mentioned after Revelation chapter 3 until Revelation chapter 19, notwithstanding the continued presence of believers, saints, martyrs, and those who continue to bear witness to Jesus during the persecution and the tribulation of the revealed beast. What could account for the narration in the book of Revelation shifting from the Churches to individual believers at the time of the End? Could it be for these reasons?

(1) A splintered Church. We have the Roman Catholic Church, Greek Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church, Protestant Church, Anglican Church, African Church, and several others including Evangelicals. How will Jesus relate with a divided Church ?

(2) The Church today has become part of the Establishment World that is in emnity with God. Even, we that are called born again Evangelicals are now part of the United States Establishment helping to swing elections and frame policy. Any wonder the word Church takes a back seat in the middle chapters of the book of Revelation when the Beasts are on the world stage. Some of the Churches have become part of the popular culture engaging in worldly music and entertainment. It is beneficial for the Church to have political, cultural, and social influences: we are the salt of the Earth, but we Evangelicals, especially in the US, should know when to cease the romance lest we lose our savor ( Matt.513 ).

(3) In these latter days Church has come to mean various other things other than the body of Christ. It means a building, a religious service; I am going to church, it means a sect, which church do you attend? A denomination and a religion, I am a church goer.

(4) To rub it in we have a church of satan established sometime in 1971. Yes Satan is doing what it does best copying God’s finished works . All these reasons point to a loss of a reverence for the mystic word Church. Any wonder it is downplayed until the recongregation in heaven in Revelation 19 verse 7 at the marriage with Jesus. World religions including establishment christianity would be part of those preparing ground for the beast system. They will lead people to error by coercing the whole congregation along the path of apostasy. A hallmark of these churches is their disdain for eschatology and the teaching that the Church will go through the Great Tribulation. Any wonder that in these days our lord Jesus deals with individuals in church and not “church.”

Revelation 18 verse 4 seems to confirm this. Our Lord of lords speaks out and ask his peoples to come out of the Harlot system that consist of the great harlot and the daughters she spawned even though the true church is no longer here on Earth at this time and the Jewish remnants who have not taken the mark of the Beast are in protective custody in Azel. He is most probably referring to Gentiles who have not become part of the world religious system by refusal of the mark of the Beast and belief in the Messiah. The Bible uses her to describe an institution that has deep links and connection to politics and commerce. It holds great sway over peoples, nations, and tongues, and is in accord with kings, statesmen and kings of commerce, merchants of the wares of the apostate church called Babylon. What and who is this institution ? Better I leave this for more knowledgeable people like brother Avraham to discuss for another day. Suffice to say it seems to be a worldwide religious system that might have its roots in the very early mother and child religion that spawned many other religions and probably is still influential in modern day religions. Knowledge of these dynamics is helpful in the end times so we do not remain ignorant of spiritual forces that are linked to politics, commerce, and religion.

I am not writing to diminish the body of Christ the true Church. God forbid. I am writing to sensitize believers towards last days dynamics that might shift from establishment churches to individuals in the body of Christ, the true Church. The Church in these times will be buffeted from within and without and we must know when to heed the call to come out of her. Letters to the seven churches also contain admonitions to individuals and some very serious warnings.

Olugbenga Jaiyesimi.

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 5 )

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 5 )

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 5 )

( i ) Incapacitaion Of The antiChrist.

It is biblically unjustified for anyone to teach that after the rapture, the antiChrist will arise to persecute those left behind. Shortly before the rapture, the antiChrist will be paralyzed, masterly inactivated by the cosmic disturbances and the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens. The only two things he will be permitted to do will be to kill the two witnesses at the expiry of their ministry at the end of the 70th week and to gather his armies for destruction 30 days later at the battle of Armageddon.

“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.  And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.  And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.  The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly” ( Rev.11:7-14 ). ” And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” ( Rev.16:16 ).” 

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;  That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.  And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.  And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” ( Rev.19:17‭-‬21 ).

Up until now, the restrainer is the one that hinders the antiChrist from manifesting. And the restrainer is archangel Michael according Dan.12: 1,2. “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

“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: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” ( 2 Thess.2:7-12‬ ‭). 

After the removal of the restrainer, the antiChrist will manifest and persecute the saints during the Great Tribulation. But as soon as the Lord appears in the heavens, he is masterły incapacitated. What follows is the Day Of The Lord. The antiChrist cannot persecute the saints in the Day Of The Lord because they are no longer here, and again he is incapacitated by the terrestrial and celestial disturbances. In that Day, only the Lord is exalted. In that Day the haughtiness of men and the loftiness man shall be bowed down. In that Day, men shall throw away their idols, the demonized images of the Beast which they have made for themselves to worship in their homes, offices and cars, being instructed by the enforcer, the second Beast, also called the false prophet ( Rev.13:14 ), to the moles and the bats to hide in the rocks and mountains from the glory of the Lord and his majesty when He arises to shake terribly the Earth ( Is.2:8-18 ).

( j ) The antiChrist Cannot Persecute The Believers After The Rapture

The reason why the antiChrist cannot persecuted the saints after the rapture is two fold. Firstly, there are no saints to persecute. The believers have been raptured, taken to heaven. Anyone in the Church who is unbranded with the Mark Of The Beast and left behind is not a true believer in Jesus Christ. The one has been a false believer all along. The 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel are sealed for protection and hidden in the modern day red rose city of Petra which is biblical Sela, a very difficult terrain to access. In New Testament times, it was called Pella. It is in the Edomite wilderness which is in modern day Jordan ( Rev.7:1-8 ). Even during the outpouring of the bowls, the newly saved remnant of Israel are hidden in Azel ( Zech.14:5 ). No one knows the location of Azel. It is an undisclosed location being unmentioned in biblical times either in the land of Israel or anywhere else in biblical history and geography.

Secondly, the antiChrist will be masterly inactivated by the cosmic and celestial disturbances ( Rev.6:12-14; Matt.24:39-30 ), and by the  brightness of Christ’s Coming ( 2 Thess.2:8 ). The only two groups of people left on Earth unprotected at that time will be branded followers of the antiChrist, both Jews and Gentiles who will be the majority, and unbranded Gentiles and Jews, the minority. We come to this understanding through the process of elimination. Remember that during the first part of the wrath of God, the trumpet judgments ( Rev.8,9 ), all the inhabitants of the Earth are targeted including the surviving unbranded remnants of Israel. This is to purify them. Only one-third of the Jewish population which enter the 70th week of Daniel will survive ( Zech.13:8 ). Every Jew who survived the 70th week unbranded will be automatically saved because Israel have been purged, purified, and cleansed by the Great Tribulation,  the Time of Jacob’s trouble ( Jer.30:7 ), and her  sin atoned for. Because by the end of the 70th week, her transgression is finished, her sin ended, and reconciliation made for her iniquity ( Dan.9:24 ). And then they will look upon Him whom they pierced and mournful Him as one mourneth for his only son when they see that their Messiah has nail pierced hands.

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.  In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo.  And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart;  All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.” ( Zech.12:10‭-‬14 ).

The only ones exempted from the trumpet judgment are the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel ( Rev.7:1-8 ). The branded followers of the antiChrist will be the object of God’s wrath in the bowls, being specifically targeted ( Rev.16,17,18,19 ). The unbranded Gentile unbelievers will not be specifically targeted in the bowl judgments. Any hurt they incur will be collateral damage. By the way, it is the unbranded Gentiles who survive the wrath of God that will appear at the sheep and goat judgment ( Matt.35:31-46 ).  The sheep will be justified to repopulate the Earth in the Millennium alongside the saved remnant of Israel ( Rom.11:25 26 ). The goats will be executed and banished to Hell. We can see the enormity of the teaching that some believers will be left behind after the rapture to face the antiChrist. There are no two Great Tribulations, but one which occurs beginning from the midpoint of the 70th week before the rapture of the Church. After the rapture is the wrath of God which is contained in the seventh seal. The breaking of the seventh seal which occurs on the same day the Church is raptured opens into the wrath of God consisting of the 7 trumpets and 7 bowls. 

( k ) Pretrib Rapture: Harvest before Maturation

In the parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus is the Master who showed the good seed ( Matt.13:37 ). The good seed are the children of the kingdom ( 38a ). The tares are the children of the wicked one ( 38b ). The wicked one is the Devil ( 39a ). Because in the early stages of growth, the tares look like the real wheat, it will be virtually impossible for the angelic reapers to separate the tares from the wheat ( 29 ). Therefore they must be allowed to grow together until maturation when the tares are clearly distinguishable from the real wheat ( 30 ). When they are ripe, the farmer harvests the tares first, bundles them into heaps at the edges of the farm to be burned later after the harvest of the real wheat ( 42 ). Jesus makes it clear the harvest is the end of the ages, and the reapers are the angels ( 39b ). As we have shown, the end of the ages occurs after the Great Tribulation and the terrestrial and celestial disturbances which interrupt the Great Tribulation. The wheat and the tares come to maturation during the Great Tribulation when the tares are marked for destruction with the mark of the Beast during the day of the Lord. Without the Great Tribulation, the angelic reapers cannot distinguish the tares from the wheat. The tares will be burned in the day of the Lord which occurs at the end of the ages. This is the message of the third angel: “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” ( Rev.14:9-12‬ ‭).

There is no separation before the Great Tribulation. As a matter of fact, the purpose of the Great Tribulation is to separate the wheat from the tares in order to enable the angelic reapers to conduct the harvest of the real wheat. When the marking of the tares is complete during the Great Tribulation, and the full complement of the saints to be martyred is reached, God cuts short the Great Tribulation with the sign given in the Sun, Moon, and Stars. Then the Shekinah appears in the heavens as Jesus descends to the sky from the Heaven with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. The angelic reapers can now do their job of reaping the real wheat, the true believers who not only believe in Jesus but have not the mark of the Beast. This is the Prewrath Rapture Of The Church. Thereafter, the wrath of God begins in the Day Of The Lord at The End Of The Ages which corresponds with the breaking of the seventh seal. This same sequence of events occurs in Rev.14. The third angel announces the wrath of God on those with the mark of the Beast. This is followed by the final harvest in two stages. First the real wheat are harvested into the barn ( Rev.14:14-16 ). This is followed by the second harvest which is the wrath of God on the unrighteous wicked ( Rev.14:17-20 ). It ends in a bloodbath at Armageddon. The height of blood reaches up to the horse bridle, about 1.5 meters, and covers a distance of about 188 kilometers. The Armageddon Campaign begins in the vicinity of Jerusalem with the remnants of the armies of the nations surrounding Israel who are part of the Eight Beast Empire involved in the Jehoshaphat Campaign which occurs shortly before the amputation of the Great Tribulation, and ends in a final bloodbath involving the armies of all the nations of the Earth on Mount Megiddo in the valley of Esdraelon approximately 188 km north of Israel.

The Pretrib Rapture Position teaches harvest before maturation which Jesus says is impossible in both the parables of the ten virgins and the wheat and the tares. The Prewrath Rapture Of The Church is in consonance with the clear unforced interpretation of the parable of the Ten Virgins And The Wheat And The Tares. Jesus interpreted these parables Himself. We have added nothing to His interpretations of the parables. We have simply analyzed His interpretations and applied it to the eschatological timeline. The result is obvious to any honest exegete of the word of God. For further clarification see my article on the parable of the wheat and the tares, https://mtzionheritage.com/the-parable-of-the-wheat-and-the-tares/.

Avraham Shallom.

Reaction To The Debate Between Dr. Tommy Ice And Alan Kurschner Titled: The Church Will Face The AntiChrist Before The Rapture ( 2 )

Reaction To The Debate Between Dr. Tommy Ice And Alan Kurschner Titled: The Church Will Face The AntiChrist Before The Rapture ( 2 )

Reaction To The Debate Between Dr. Tommy Ice And Alan Kurschner Titled: The Church Will Face The AntiChrist Before The Rapture ( 2 )

In my earlier response to the debate as to whether the Church will face the Antichrist ( AC ), I reacted to only two positions of the Pretribs ( PT ) as championed by Dr. Tomas Ice. Link: https://mtzionheritage.com/reaction-to-the-debate-between-dr-tommy-Ice-and-alan-kurschner-titled-the-church-will-face-the-antichrist-before-the-rapture/.

Our brother Dr. Avraham Shallom has on many occasions discussed many PT assertions on this blogsite. I will give a number of interpretations of scriptures that emanate from Dr. Tommy Ice’s nonscriptural interpretations but classical dispensational construct as seen in the debate.

( 1 ) Keeping Us From The Hour Of Testing ( Rev.3:10 )

Dr. Tommy Ice and other PTs have taken non-eschatological scriptures and used them to position the rapture before the AC appears on the world stage. An example is the letter to the Philadelphian Church in Rev.3:10 which says believers shall be kept from the hour of testing that will come upon all earth-dwellers. But Jesus our Lord specifically said in John 17:15 that He is not going to take belivers out of the world in order for them to escape Satan’s persecution, but that He will keep us from the evil one while we remain in the world. This promise is reiterated in Rev.3:10. Their insistence on their position that “keep from” infers rapture leads to a contradiction of scriptures.

Also in saying that the Olivet Discourse is for the left behind Jews, they negate Jesus’ saying to Peter ( cephas ), “….upon this revelation to Peter- the Rock, will I build My Church.” The Olivet Discourse is revelation for the Church as much as observing the Last Supper is for the Church. No dichotomy in audience as introduced by Pretribbers’ dispensational interpretation.

( 2 ) A 3-Stage Return Of Jesus

Again, the return of Christ as narrated by the scriptures is one continuous event. But the Pretribs say there are two stages. If we follow their line of argument, there will be indeed three stages.

The first is their unreported rapture of the saints somewhere before Matt.24:31. Then, in Matt.24:31, He is coming for the Jews and gathering them from the four winds in the sky. This is their second coming.

Then touch down as narrated in Matt.25:31. So, we have a 3-stage return of Christ, a consequence of the Pretrib position for rejecting Matt.24:31 as the rapture of the Church.

( 3 ) The Elect

Another interesting misinterpretation of the scripture concerns the word elect used by our Lord in Matt.24:22. Here our Lord promised the abortion of the Great Tribulation for the sake and survival of the elect facing persecution by the AC. This scripture from the Master Himself answers the debate question- will the Church face the Antichrist before the rapture? Need we say anymore? Dr. Tommy Ice says by “elect” Jesus was referring to the Jews and not the Church. To defend this interesting view, he deploys Rom.11:7. Unfortunately for his position this verse confirms that the “elect” are those saved by grace, the very Church itself.

True, the word elect was used for Israel in Isa.45:4, but on Israel’s national rejection of Jesus, the word is now used to describe those who accept Jesus as there Lord and Saviour, both Jews and gentiles. The word now stands for those chosen by grace-that is the Church.

( 4 ) Apostasy

Dr. Tommy Ice wants us to change the meaning of the word apostasy as used in 2 Thess.2 so as to fit into the PT positioning of the rapture. It now means departure into heaven-a spatial departure, not a departure from the faith, the great falling away. With this new interpretation the whole of 2 Thess.2:3-10 reads something like this “…… our gathering together ( rapture ) will not happen until two events take place; “The spatial departure ( rapture ), and the appearing of the son of perdition in the temple….” Thus saying “The rapture will not take place until the rapture takes place…” What incoherence! All to prop up a lie and deception.

( 5 ) Tribulation saints ( TS )

This is a phrase coined and introduced by Pretribs to address Rev.7:11, a description not used by the Apostles including John the revelator. The consequence of using this new appellation is that there are now two sets of saints.

( 1 ) The raptured saints ( 1st class );

( 2 ) The Tribulation saints ( 2nd class ), who did not make the PT perceived rapture being unworthy believers, and had to overcome the Great Tribulation.

Unfortunately, the answer to the question the angel posed to John Rev.7: is NOT “these are Tribulation Saints,” but “… these are the ONES who came out of the Great Tribulation.

A word of advice for the Pretribs. Please read Rev.22. It says we are not to add to or deduct words from what was revealed to John. The phrase Tribulation saints does not appear in the Book of Revelation nor anywhere else in the Bible for that matter. Stop using it.

( 6 ) Sea Of Glass As Raptured Saints

These absurdities continue. A new one, not from Dr. Tommy Ice, in response to why the raptured Church is not seen in the heavenly Throne Room in the heavenly scene in Rev.4,5 when Apostle John the revelator was called up to heaven where he saw the 24 elders ( some say they represent the Church ), and the 4 winged creatures, if the rapture took place in Rev.4:1. Some pretribs say the sea of glass before the throne in heaven is the raptured Church. From these assumptions, we see the inconsistency of the proponents of the Pretrib rapture position having to borrow scriptures and twists their meaning to suit their Pretrib rapture position. Note, we all agree there is going to be rapture, but the question is WHEN? Before or after the Great Tribulation, meaning also, before or after the appearance of the Antichrist on the world stage.

This is unlike the Prewrath rapture position espoused by Alan E. Kurschner which rests on the sayings of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, in Matt.24:29, and 2 Thess.2:1-3 respectively. In support of these two scriptures, we are able to draw from the following scriptures in the Book of Revelation that says the Antichrist and his false prophet tortured and martyred the saints who were alive during the Great Tribulation ( Rev.6:9, 7:14, 13:7, 15:2, 17:6 ). They were never described as “Tribulation saints”to distinguish them from the “Raptured Saints” of the Pretribs.

Prewrathers never go out of the scriptures to say the Church will still be very much around to face the Antichrist and endure to the end, be it death or rapture, the final onslaught of Satan against the Church of God. This is unlike Pretribs who have to allegorize scripture verses and use both dispensational theology and convoluted reasoning to support their submission that the Church would have been raptured before the Antichrist’s Great Tribulation.

Consequences

We see that believers are largely entrenched in their Pretrib position. This is foretold by our Lord Jesus the Christ that at the end of times, a spirit of deception will be in the air. Four times in the Olivet Discourse, He warned, “…. do not be deceived….” so also did the Holy Spirit warn us in 2 Thessalonians that we should not be deceived. The apostasia confirms that some believers will depart from the faith in Christ Jesus. This means that there is hardly room for sitting on the fence for the last generation of the saints.

How do confused believers or all believers deal with this? Interestingly, the Lord Jesus our God anticipated this scenario and gave us the parable of the ten virgins- Matt.25, placed right between Matt.24:31 and 25:31. Which of the two positions represent wise virgins? This I leave to each one of us to meditate through and determine how they prepare with the help of the Holy Spirit for our Lord’s return.

Dr. Olugbenga Jaiyesimi.