Thursday, October 8, 2020

End Times And The Pre-Tribulation Heresy

The doctrine of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of Christians prior to the appearance of the Antichrist and his reign of tribulation terror over the earth is not biblical and offers false hope. It is a devastating doctrine that had never been taught at any time during the first seventeen centuries of the Church and has been taken out of context from verses in Matthew chapter 24 along with 1st and 2nd Thessalonians that refers specifically to the second coming of Christ during the midst of Antichrist’s reign of terror and death perpetrated against the Church.

In terms of bible history this doctrine is a relatively new belief that may have originated in Scotland in 1830, when a woman named Mary MacDonald received a "revelation" that the Church would not go through the end-time Tribulation. 

Others attribute the Rapture doctrine to Edward Irving, the leading figure in forming the Catholic Apostolic Church in England in the 1830s and it spread in the early 19th century. The Irish Bible teacher John Nelson Darby believed that this new truth was from God, and during a conference in 1831-33 he began to share the new teaching among the Plymouth Brethren where he was an influential leader. It is no coincidence that McDonald, Irving and Darby all lived at the same time in Great Britain.The doctrine was widely promoted in America through C. I. Scofield's Study Bible (1909, 1917), and it became a central pillar of the Dispensational Movement. It is still taught in many Protestant evangelical Bible schools, seminaries and churches as part of their statements of faith. It is by far the dominant prophetic view in Christian media. 

Several Messianic Jewish organizations and congregations also teach it as part of their pro-Israel, prophetic Last Days scenario. 

In short, the pre-tribulation rapture theory is the delusional brain child of those wishing to persuade Christians who are mostly not well versed in eschatological scripture, it appeals to the idea of escaping any of the pain and deprivation that is inflicted on believers by the followers of Antichrist. One believing this heresy must ask themselves if they really think that for some reason they are special and of more value to God than were the Christians down through the ages that were murdered, sawn in two, eaten by lions, boiled in oil, burned at the stake, crucified, and more recently the tens of thousands in the Mid-East, Asia and Africa who are being murdered in droves every day. 

The “Great Tribulation” is a horrifying period inflicted upon the Church by the followers of Antichrist that precedes the return of Christ, there is evidence that it has already begun. At some point immediately following the tribulation God will empty the bowls of His wrath on Antichrist and those who follow. These are closely coupled but separate events recorded in chronological order, the first event is described by John on the Isle of Patmos as he was given a foreshadowing of the future in (Revelation 6:9-11) “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; they cried out with a loud voice, “Oh Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.”

The Great Tribulation of the church is not the wrath of God but the result of Satan’s diabolical hatred that is perpetrated against all believers. Satan’s destruction of the Church is then followed by the wrath of God against the Antichrist and all who refuse to repent and have turned their faces away from Jesus. (Revelation 6:12-17) 

“When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale; the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the generals and the rich and the strong, and every one, slave and free, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand before it?” 

Then as the angel opened the seventh seal a lengthy series of horrifying actions are levied against the Antichrist and his followers. It is written; “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)

Then in the immediate aftermath according to (Revelation 7:9-14).

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!’ And all the angels stood round the throne and round the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.’ Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘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.”

The Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine is a theory that sets people up for the catastrophic collapse of their faith, God does not do that to His people.This has happened countless times over the last two centuries since this Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine has been disseminated around the world by missionaries, through Christian literature, and satellite evangelists. Christians in several oppressive countries were taught that Jesus was coming soon to take them out of trouble and believing so, they did not flee or choose to fight their oppressors. Many perished, needlessly, clutching to misplaced hope thinking that since God loved them He would rescue them, but their faith was decimated, they believed that God had failed them and had lied to them. 

What value is the Rapture Message to true believers who are perishing daily in Communist and Islamic countries? Or to believers in Western Democracies who are seeing their nations being burned and destroyed by secular, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, racist, nihilist Leftists?

Those preaching this false doctrine are acting either out of their own drone-like acceptance of what was erroneously taught in seminary and lack of their own due diligence in searching the scripture, or out of the desire to grow a greater church following, get more tithes and offerings, and sell more books and videos to those having “itching ears.” They will be held accountable as they stand before the Lord at the end of the age for misleading many. 

Negative publicity about the false Rapture doctrine tends to create a defensive reaction similar to what we may refer to as "Demetrius Rage” as can be read about in (Acts 19:23-41). Demetrius was a silversmith who along with many others were profiting from making and selling statues of the pagan goddess Artemis. He became infuriated at the Apostle Paul’s proclamation that Artemis  was a false god and sought to prosecute him. Bible expositors preaching the pre-tribulation doctrine react the same way when this teaching is exposed as erroneous, as they know it puts them in league with false prophets and destroys their credibility and adversely affects their future income.

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