If you like the “Left Behind” end times teachings, you may not like this post

And by “may not” I mean “definitely not.”  I updated this because I saw a Facebook thread that advanced the pre-tribulation rapture with a lot of bad arguments.  I was about to write a new post, then did a search and realized I had already done one!  I’m not sure if that is good because the work was already done or bad that I have such a poor memory.

I think it is valuable to understand the different orthodox interpretations of the book of Revelation.  But the most important thing is to ensure that you have trusted in Jesus for you salvation.  If you get run over by a bus today that will be your own “personal rapture,” in that you’ll be facing Jesus with your eternity already determined, one way or the other.

An agnostic friend used to have a bumper sticker that said, “Come the rapture, can I have your car?”  We had few things in common theologically but we both weren’t keen on the likelihood of the pre-tribulation rapture (that is, the teaching that Jesus will bring all believers to him before 7 years of his final return, thus avoiding a period of mayhem and intense persecution).  This is a sadly serious issue these days, what with Harold Camping’s claims a while back that brought such embarrassment to the church.  Such foolishness is un-biblical and is a distraction and embarrassment to Christianity.  Atheists had a field day mocking it, and who can blame them?

While I think we should be charitable about non-essential Christian beliefs, this is a teaching that can be harmful to people.  What does it do to someone’s faith when they think they’ll escape worldly persecution via the rapture and then it doesn’t happen?

Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason gives two good reasons why the pre-tribulation rapture is not what the Bible teaches.

The first observation I made was that this doctrine, the disappearance of the church seven years prior to the return of Christ, is not a doctrine that anyone in the history of the church ever held to until about 150 years ago. That was the first red flag. There might be justifiable explanations for that and some people make those explanations. But my question is, if the Bible teaches this, why didn’t anybody see it for almost 2000 years? All of the church fathers expected to see the Antichrist which would leave at least a mid-trib rapture. My suspicion was, the reason the church didn’t see it for 2000 years is because it wasn’t there. The information about the rapture actually came from a prophecy that was external to the Scriptures, the Plymouth Brethren prophecy. With that prophecy in place, people went back to the Scriptures and then began to see what they saw as hints of this doctrine in different passages.

It is technically possible that the church just got it wrong for 1,850 years, but it seems that the burden of proof is on those introducing a new theology.

More importantly, what does the Bible say?  Greg explains that  1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15, the two most commonly cited passages, give a time frame, and it isn’t pre-tribulation.

Let’s try to pull this together. It is very important for us to start from a foundation of an explicit Biblical teaching on this issue so that we can build from there and take what is really clear and then answer the other objections based on what we know to be true from the clear text. We have two passages that give, by all counts, an explicit description of what has been called the rapture. Both accounts tell when it is going to happen. They say it is going to happen at the coming of the Lord. That is our explicit foundation. Both describe it, both tell when. Now the question becomes, which coming of the Lord does the author here, Paul, have in mind?

Here is my answer. The second coming. Not the third coming, not the one-and-a-half coming. The passages call it the coming of the Lord. Not a coming. They call it the coming of the Lord. I don’t know how it can be made more clear. It is very straight-forward. What some want to do is bring a lot of theology from the outside and twist the plain sense of those words. They say, “Well, he’s coming in the air.” What does that have to do with anything? In both cases, Paul calls it the coming of the Lord. And he says, right after that, then comes the end. That’s the order. The writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews 9 “In as much as Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin to those who eagerly await him.” My point is that there are only two comings. The coming when Jesus accomplished the work of the cross, and the second coming.

And here is a simple explanation about Matthew 24, often cited by pre-Trib folks as a proof-text.

We read about the second coming in Matthew 24. That is a visible, powerful and conclusive coming. He says everyone will be able to see Him, right? Paul says these events that are called the rapture happen at the coming of the Lord and the coming of the Lord, according to Jesus, is visible and there is only one second coming. This falls together so neatly, I don’t know why it isn’t more obvious to more people.

Read the whole thing.

 

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35 thoughts on “If you like the “Left Behind” end times teachings, you may not like this post”

  1. Thank God their are two comings! I am with you on that. I also thank God there will be not a coming, but a secret catching away of the church. Although I am committed to the doctrines of grace, I realize that the rapture will not fit with your reformed theology. That is ok, I just eat around the bones while eating fish. I don’t make wild, unsubstantiated, reckless, and untrue claims like Koukl did when he said the idea is only 150 years old.

    Thank God for the incarnation and the coming of our God when He splits the mountain as He returns to this earth. Thank God for you and your blog! I do enjoy reading it.

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    1. I’m with Greg’s every word. (Including the part about not reading Left Behind. Started the first book, put it down after ~25 pages because it was boring).

      My eyes cross at this obsessive campaign against Rapture-believers. You take the following passage anyway you like and allow me the same privilege:

      Revelation 3:9-10
      English Standard Version (ESV)
      9 “Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie [Hmm…. The only people I know who think the word “Israel” in the Bible refers to them are the Catholic & Reformed supersessionists, the “Replacement” crowd 🙂 ] —behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.”

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  2. Thanks for the post. I have lots of friends engulfed with end time theology. Personally, I have had little desire to go down deep mainly because the focus of what Jesus pointed us to time after time was to be aware of His coming and to be about the commission He left us to. People have a tendency, to hope for the easy way out. I’ve never seen abundant evidence for that in scipture. Usually, its the other way around… suffering …. being made perfect through suffering. This isn’t as enticing as the free pass out of here. Anyway, God give us the strength for what is to come.

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  3. The interesting thing about rapture theology is that those who professed it to begin with admitted that it was “new wine” so to speak and knew the church would reject it. In fact, John Nelson Darby became so convinced of his position that he would run off anyone who disagreed with him. Talk about a submissive spirit. The man was a tyrant, as well as C.I. Scoffield, who codified the view with the Scoffield Bible. Something that should have never been published given his moral nature and the fact that he ran off and left his wife and two daughters to fend for themselves so he could take a church in Dallas, where he later remarried. Not much of an elder if you ask me.

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  4. I became a Christian through the Navigators back in January 1974. They taught the pre-trib rapture, and everyone was reading Hal Lindsey’s books. I came to accept this teaching.

    As I matured in the faith and read my Bible over and over, I could never correlate that teaching with what I found in the Bible; what I found was a tribulation and then a “rapture.” As I came to be post-trib in my thinking, the Lutheran Church we attended really didn’t teach the rapture at all. Then we began going to non-denominational Bible Churches who always preached the pre-trib position. So I told my family what I believed the Bible said, but I wouldn’t fight over it, and told them they should be prepared to go through a tribulation without a “get out free” card. As I have studied the issue more over the years and reading early church fathers, I believe they also were looking at post-trib. Then, while worshiping at a Plymouth Brethren assembly I learned of the origin of this teaching and immediately said, “If it is new, it isn’t true; if it is true, it isn’t new.”

    I think the pre-trib position can be harmful because it gives Christians a complacency about possible tribulation to live through – they think nothing like that will ever happen because the rapture will save them. I think it’s best to be prepared for what the Scriptures tell us is coming.

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  5. I am a big fan of the Left Behind series. But as fiction. I enjoyed reading One Second After as well. But I would never plan my life around any of those books.

    As far as The Rapture goes, I really have no clue one way or another. It is not important to how I live my faith. I just figure God knows what he is doing and will let me know what I need to know when I need to know.

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  6. Glad to know that there are those who follow this on both sides of the Left Behind series. I read the first one and never could get into it. I’ve enjoyed other Christian Fiction (Peretti, Burkett), but just couldn’t get into Left Behind.

    I’ve not studied the end-times, other than what Jesus said – 1) He didn’t know when, 2) the angels didn’t know when, 3) we can’t know when and 4) watch and pray.

    When I’ve heard it preached, I’ve always heard pre-trib rapture. One question, if it’s post-trib, is there a noticeable start to the 7 year tribulation? Or do we get to the end and say “oh, that’s why things have been that way?”

    Will the anti-Christ be obvious to believers? So often I hear that xxx is the anti-Christ, or yyy.

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      1. Without going into too much detail and going way off track, what are the “false spiritual warfare teachings”?

        The Peretti novels actually scared me and what I read, I agreed with. If was of course fiction, but the thought that we are in a constant spiritual battle with demons is Biblical. I see that sometimes when I look at some of the evil in our society. It’s not cool to talk about someone being possessed anymore, but I think sometimes it happens (Jerry Buck Inman is a “local” example).

        That said, we can’t blame all our troubles on demons. A pastor told me once that we shouldn’t blame Satan all the time, we can get into enough trouble on our own.

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      2. I read the Peretti novels long ago when my discernment was admittedly lesser, but even then I realized he was taking some poetic license with the spiritual warfare. Still, I like the emphasis on the power of prayer.

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      3. The whole idea of strongholds and demons in charge of cities, etc. C.Peter Wagner’s “strategic level spiritual warfare” is totally unbiblical, and that is what Peritti was using in his stories. I read the first book and couldn’t hack it a second time.

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      4. I haven’t read either, but I believe there are spiritual strongholds that control and influence our institutions and the zones of this world. Daniel chapter 10 discusses the “prince of Persia”, who is not a flesh and blood entity.

        “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

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      5. Our struggle is indeed against the demonic realm, but we don’t do prayer walks, “power encounters,” etc. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:4-5

        The “strongholds” we fight are of the mind! Which is where our weapons outlined in Eph. 6 come into play.

        The context of the Daniel passage has nothing to do with our spiritual warfare, and this isn’t a good place to go into the theology behind it. But I can suggest some good books on the subject (which I have on my own bookshelf):
        Miracles, Demons, & Spiritual Warfare, by Edward N. Gross
        Power Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare, by David Powlison
        Making War in the Heavenlies, by Bill Randles
        Modern Myths About Satan and Spiritual Warfare, by David Kirkwood
        Territorial Spirits and World Evangelism?, by Chuck Lowe.

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      6. The “strongholds” we fight are of the mind! Which is where our weapons outlined in Eph. 6 come into play.

        The mind is just one battlefield. We are instructed to take on the “mind of Christ”. That gives us His vision and His servant heart. His Spirit gives us power over our flesh, another battlefield. The others are external as Ephesians 6 explicitly states.

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      7. WE do not do battle with the spiritual realm, and our prayers don’t give power to angels, etc. And that is the nonsense of Peretti.

        WE don’t pray against “strongmen” over cities (there are none), we don’t do prayer walks, etc. You will find no such thing in Scripture. What you will find is cautions against railing against demons: 2 Pet. 2:10b-12a; Jude 9-10

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  7. Two more thoughts: regarding the guy who wants your car after the rapture. I’d have no problem signing it over to him. Seems like a good witnessing opportunity. No dates (see #3 in my first comment).

    There’s an atheist who has set up contracts with several people to feed their cats/dogs after the rapture. Gotta give the guy credit for being a business man and seeing a real opportunity. But I won’t sign one of his contracts. I don’t think God wants us to worry about earthly things like animals.

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  8. I come as close as possible to “born and raised” pre-millenial, pre-Trib-Rapture, Dispensationalist. In the ’70’s and ’80’s it was all the rage. I read Hal Lindsey and ate up the other “big names”. Good stuff. And then I read “Last Days Madness” by Gary DeMar. Doggone it if he didn’t lay out the biblical and historical record in such a way that I could hardly refute it. Well, today it’s a non-issue with me. I’m not convinced. I won’t argue it. I plan to just “be ready” … you know, like Scripture tells us to.

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  9. I have studied end time scriptures read at least 5 books on Revelation. High School kids have lots of questions you know.

    I think it is likely that we misunderstand end times prophecy about as much as the Jews misunderstood messianic prophecy.

    My take is that when we find ourselves living in a “post-Christian” world and it appears that the religion of another god is going to replace Christianity, we should remember that God told us that this would happen and we know who wins in the end.

    As for everything else, we need to trust God. He is known for keeping his promises.

    Obviously I do have my own pet theory, but I don’t insist on it.

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  10. I enjoyed the Left Behind series for what it was: light reading, Christian based fiction.

    The writing is a bit corny (I mean “Tribulation Force” sounds like a name my 6 year old would find “cool”) and they stretched the heck out of the series with almost whole books dedicated to an obsession with both military and technology, but it was an easy read and had some nice, even touching, moments.

    As for the real world and waiting for a rapture, I think it’s perfectly fine to be spiritually prepared to go, and I don’t want to say it’s unimportant, but I also think the focus so many Christians have on it is dangerous.

    I know so many Christians who are obsessed with end times theology and the mystique of spiritual warfare and it’s endgame, that they forget that we are facing very real challenges as Christians in the current, physical world.

    Instead of worrying so much about when we’ll be taken away, maybe Christians should spend more time reading the WHOLE Word of God (not just Revelations, etc), sharing the gospel and being a living example of Christ, thereby winning more souls to be with Him.

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    1. You are exactly right.

      It is also important to note that the end is coming for each of us, one way or another, and we do need to be prepared.

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    2. I read the whole series except the last book. I just couldn’t take the bad writing any more. I started the series when a friend asked me to read it on a trip to Asia. I had lots of plane time so figured I would try it. They dragged it out way too long, though.

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  11. I have always been taught pre-trib teachings. I loved the Left Behind series when I was in high school and bought each book as it came out. The books started to become repetitive making half the book re-cap of previous books then adding a few chapters of new material. I still have the whole series but there are several books I never read.

    That being said, I usually have a major issue when I hear preaching on Revelation. It is a hard book to study. And while it should be read and studied as a part of God’s Word, we should be careful about how we interpret it. It takes place in the future. There is no way we can completely understand it until those days pass. I would much rather be taught the different views that just one particular view. And I do not want to hear bunny trails of opinion which confuse believers not to mention unbelievers.

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  12. I grew up believing in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture with the Pre-Millennial Kingdom. I want to Christian High School and Christian College, so I got an extra helping of that teaching. As I began to think about it, I couldn’t accept the reasoning given for a Pre-Trib Rapture, since nowhere in Scripture are we told we will avoid tribulation. In that teaching though, the 2nd half of the Tribulation is the pouring out of God’s wrath, so I could get behind a Mid-Trib Rapture, seeing as we are not vessels of wrath as Christians.

    I have since given up completely on even the Pre-Millennial Kingdom, so the whole thing is a big jumble to me. It doesn’t phase me because I know the important thing isn’t the end, but the means by which we live before the end.

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  13. Re original post (without having caught up on the discussion in the other comments):

    “It is technically possible that the church just got it wrong for 1,850 years, but it seems that the burden of proof is on those introducing a new theology.”

    Well put, so true. I think this argument is applicable to a lot of theological disagreements.

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  14. [Hi, Eternity Matters. I recently encountered the following on the web. Any reactions?]

    Pretrib Rapture Pride

    Pretrib rapture promoters like Thomas Ice give the impression they know more than the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the greatest Greek New Testament scholars including those who produced the KJV Bible, the founders of their favorite Bible schools, and even their own mentors!
    Ice’s mentor, Dallas Sem. president John Walvoord, couldn’t find anyone holding to pretrib before 1830 – and Walvoord called John Darby and his Brethren followers “the early pretribulationists” (RQ, pp. 160-62). Ice belittles Walvoord and claims that several pre-1830 persons, including “Pseudo-Ephraem” and a “Rev. Morgan Edwards,” taught a pretrib rapture. Even though the first one viewed Antichrist’s arrival as the only “imminent” event, Ice (and Grant Jeffrey) audaciously claim he expected an “imminent” pretrib rapture! And Ice (and John Bray) have covered up Edwards’ historicism which made a pretrib rapture impossible! Google “Morgan Edwards’ Rapture View” and journalist/historian Dave MacPherson’s “Deceiving and Being Deceived” for documentation on these and similar historical distortions.
    The same pretrib defenders, when combing ancient books, deviously read “pretrib” into phrases like “before Armageddon,” “before the final conflagration,” and “escape all these things”!
    BTW, the KJV translators’ other writings found in London’s famed British Library (where MacPherson has researched) don’t have even a hint of pretrib rapturism. Is it possible that Ice etc. have found pretrib “proof” in the KJV that its translators never found?
    Pretrib merchandisers like Ice claim that nothing is better pretrib proof than Rev. 3:10. They also cover up “Famous Rapture Watchers” (on Google) which shows how the greatest Greek NT scholars of all time interpreted it.
    Pretrib didn’t flourish in America much before the 1909 Scofield Bible which has pretribby “explanatory notes” in its margins. Not seen in the margins was jailed forger Scofield’s criminal record throughout his life that David Lutzweiler has documented in his recent book “The Praise of Folly” which is available online.
    Biola University’s doctrinal statement says Christ’s return is “premillennial” and “before the Tribulation.” Although universities stand for “academic freedom,” Biola has added these narrow, restrictive phrases – non-essentials the founders purposely didn’t include in their original doctrinal statement when Biola was just a small Bible institute! And other Christian schools have also belittled their founders.
    Ice, BTW, has a “Ph.D” issued by a tiny Texas school that wasn’t authorized to issue degrees! Ice now says that he’s working on another “Ph.D” via the University of Wales in Britain. For light on the degrees of Ice’s scholarliness, Google “Bogus degree scandal prompts calls to wind up University of Wales,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “be careful in polemics – Peripatetic Learning,” and “Walvoord Melts Ice.” Also Google “Thomas Ice (Hired Gun)” – featured by media luminary Joe Ortiz on his Jan. 30, 2013 “End Times Passover” blog.
    Other fascinating Google articles include “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “X-raying Margaret,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrets,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” and “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism” – most from the author of “The Rapture Plot,” the most accurate documentation on pretrib rapture history.
    Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?
    (Postscript: For another jolt or two Google “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”)

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  15. [Hello, EM. Me again. You might enjoy going over these quotes found on the amazing web.]

    FAMOUS RAPTURE WATCHERS !

    by Dave MacPherson

    (See if you can determine the rapture views held by these famous Christians of the past. Also note how the greatest Greek experts of all time interpreted Rev. 3:10.)

    Barnabas (40-100): “The final stumbling-block (or source of danger) approaches…for the whole [past] time of your faith will profit you nothing, unless now in this wicked time we also withstand coming sources of danger….That the Black One [Antichrist] may find no means of entrance…” (Epistle of Barnabas, 4).
    Clement of Rome (40-100): “…the Scripture also bears witness, saying, ‘Speedily will He come, and will not tarry’; and, ‘The Lord shall suddenly come [Matthew 24:30 coming] to His temple, even the Holy One, for whom ye look'” (I Clement, 23).
    Hermas (40-140): “Those, therefore, who continue steadfast, and are put through the fire [of the Great Tribulation that is yet to come], will be purified by means of it….Wherefore cease not speaking these things into the ears of the saints…” (The Pastor of Hermas, Vision 4).
    Polycarp (70-167): “He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead” (Epistle to the Philippians, II).
    Justin Martyr (100-168): “The man of apostasy [Antichrist], who speaks strange things against the Most High, shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against us the Christians…” (Dialogue With Trypho, 110).
    Melito (100-170): “For with all his strength did the adversary assail us, even then giving a foretaste of his activity among us [during the Great Tribulation] which is to be without restraint…” (Discourse on the Resurrection, i, 8).
    Irenaeus (140-202): “And they [the ten kings who shall arise] shall lay Babylon waste, and burn her with fire, and shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the church to flight” (Against Heresies, V, 26).
    Tertullian (150-220): “The souls of the martyrs are taught to wait [Rev. 6]…that the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the Church of God…” (On the Resurrection of the Flesh, 25).
    Hippolytus (160-240): “…the one thousand two hundred and three score days (the half of the week) during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church, which flees from city to city, and seeks concealment in the wilderness among the mountains” (Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, 61).
    Cyprian (200-258): “The day of affliction has begun to hang over our heads, and the end of the world and the time of the Antichrist to draw near, so that we must all stand prepared for the battle…” (Epistle, 55, 1).
    Victorinus (240-303): “…the times of Antichrist, when all shall be injured” (Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John, VI, 5).
    Lactantius (240-330): “And power will be given him [Antichrist] to desolate the whole earth for forty-two months….When these things shall so happen, then the righteous and the followers of truth shall separate themselves from the wicked, and flee into solitudes” (Divine Institutes, VII, 17).
    Athanasius (293-373): “…they have not spared Thy servants, but are preparing the way for Antichrist” (History of the Arians, VIII, 79).
    Ephraim the Syrian (306-373): “Nothing remains then, except that the coming of our enemy, Antichrist, appear…” (Sermo Asceticus, I).
    Pseudo-Ephraem (4th century?): “…there is not other which remains, except the advent of the wicked one [Antichrist]…” (On the Last Times, the Antichrist etc., 2).
    Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386): “The Church declares to thee the things concerning Antichrist before they arrive…it is well that, knowing these things, thou shouldest make thyself ready beforehand” (Catechetical Lectures, 15, 9).
    Jerome (340-420): “I told you that Christ would not come unless Antichrist had come before” (Epistle 21).
    Chrysostom (345-407): “…the time of Antichrist…will be a sign of the coming of Christ…” (Homilies on First Thessalonians, 9).
    Augustine (354-430): “But he who reads this passage [Daniel 12], even half asleep, cannot fail to see that the kingdom of Antichrist shall fiercely, though for a short time, assail the Church…” (The City of God, XX, 23).
    Venerable Bede (673-735): “[The Church’s triumph will] follow the reign of Antichrist” (The Explanation of the Apocalypse, II, 8).
    Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153): “There remains only one thing—-that the demon of noonday [Antichrist] should appear, to seduce those who remain still in Christ…” (Sermons on the Song of Songs, 33, 16).
    Roger Bacon (1214-1274): “…because of future perils [for the Church] in the times of Antichrist…” (Opus Majus, II, p. 634).
    John Wycliffe (1320-1384): “Wherefore let us pray to God that he keep us in the hour of temptation, which is coming upon all the world, Rev. iii” (Writings of the Reverend and Learned John Wickliff, D.D., p. 155).
    Martin Luther (1483-1546): “[The book of Revelation] is intended as a revelation of things that are to happen in the future, and especially of tribulations and disasters for the Church…” (Works of Martin Luther, VI, p. 481).
    William Tyndale (1492-1536): “…antichrist preacheth not Peter’s doctrine (which is Christ’s gospel)…he compelleth all men with violence of sword” (Greenslade’s The Work of William Tindale, p. 127).
    Menno Simons (1496-1561): “…He will appear as a triumphant prince and a victorious king to bring judgment. Then will those who persecute us look upon Him…” (Complete Writings…, p. 622).
    John Calvin (1509-1564): “…we ought to follow in our inquiries after Antichrist, especially where such pride proceeds to a public desolation of the church” (Institutes, Vol. 2, p. 411).
    John Knox (1515-1572): “…the great love of God towards his Church, whom he pleased to forewarn of dangers to come, so many years before they come to pass…to wit, The man of sin, The Antichrist, The Whore of Babylon” (The History of the Reformation…, I, p. 76).
    John Fox (1516-1587): “…that second beast prophesied to come in the later time of the Church…to disturb the whole Church of Christ…” (Acts and Monuments, I).
    Roger Williams (1603-1683): “Antichrist…hath his prisons, to keep Christ Jesus and his members fast…” (The Bloody Tenent, of Persecution, p. 153).
    John Bunyan (1628-1688): “He comes in flaming fire [as Judge] and…the trump of God sounds in the air, the dead to hear his voice…” (The Last Four Things: Of Judgment).
    Daniel Whitby (1638-1726): “…after the Fall of Antichrist, there shall be such a glorious State of the Church…so shall this be the Church of Martyrs, and of those who had not received the Mark of the Beast…” (A Paraphrase and Commentary, p. 696).
    Increase Mather (1639-1723): “That part of the world [Europe] was to be principally the Seat of the Church of Christ during the Reign of Antichrist” (Ichabod, p. 64).
    Matthew Henry (1662-1714): “Those who keep the gospel in a time of peace shall be kept by Christ in an hour of temptation [Revelation 3:10]” (Commentary, VI, p. 1134).
    Cotton Mather (1663-1728): “…that New Jerusalem, whereto the Church is to be advanced, when the Mystical Babylon shall be fallen” (The Wonders of the Invisible World, p. 3).
    Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758): “…continuance of Antichrist’s reign [when the Church is persecuted] did not commence before the year of Christ 479…” (A History of the Work of Redemption, p. 217).
    John Wesley (1703-1791): “‘The stars shall…fall from heaven,’ (Revelation, vi. 13)….And then shall be heard the universal shout…followed by the ‘voice of the archangel,’…’and the trumpet of God’…(I Thessalonians iv. 16).” (The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., Vol. V, p. 173).
    George Whitefield (1714-1770): “…’while the bridegroom tarried,’ in the space of time which passeth between our Lord’s ascension and his coming again to judgment…” (Gillies’ Memoirs of Rev. George Whitefield, p. 471).
    David Brainerd (1718-1747): “…and I could not but hope, that the time was at hand, when Babylon the great would fall and rise no more” (Memoirs…, p. 326).
    Morgan Edwards (1722-1795): “[Antichrist] has hitherto assumed no higher title than ‘the vicar general of Christ on earth’…” (Two Academical Exercises etc., p. 20).
    John Newton (1725-1807): “‘Fear not temptation’s fiery day, for I will be thy strength and stay. Thou hast my promise, hold it fast, the trying hour [Revelation 3:10] will soon be past'” (The Works of the Rev. John Newton, Vol. II, p. 152).
    Adam Clarke (1762-1832): “We which are alive, and remain…he [Paul] is speaking of the genuine Christians which shall be found on earth when Christ comes to judgment” (Commentary, Vol. VI, p. 550).
    Charles G. Finney (1792-1875): “Christ represents it as impossible to deceive the elect. Matt. 24:24. We have seen that the elect unto salvation includes all true christians.” (Lectures on Systematic Theology, p. 606).
    Charles Hodge (1797-1878): “…the fate of his Church here on earth…is the burden of the Apocalypse” (Systematic Theology, Vol. III, p. 827).
    Albert Barnes (1798-1870): “…he will keep them in the future trials that shall come upon the world [Revelation 3:10]” (Notes on the New Testament, p. 94).
    George Mueller (1805-1898): “The Scripture declares plainly that the Lord Jesus will not come until the Apostacy shall have taken place, and the man of sin…shall have been revealed…” (Mrs. Mueller’s Missionary Tours and Labours, p. 148).
    Benjamin W. Newton (1805-1898): “The Secret Rapture was bad enough, but this [John Darby’s equally novel idea that the book of Matthew is on ‘Jewish’ ground instead of ‘Church’ ground] was worse” (unpublished Fry MS. and F. Roy Coad’s Prophetic Developments, p. 29).
    R. C. Trench (1807-1886): “…the Philadelphian church…to be kept in temptation, not to be exempted from temptation…” (Seven Churches of Asia, pp. 183-184).
    Carl F. Keil (1807-1888): “…the persecution of the last enemy Antichrist against the church of the Lord…” (Biblical Commentary, Vol. XXXIV, p. 503).
    Henry Alford (1810-1871): “Christ is on His way to this earth [I Thessalonians 4:17]…” (The New Testament for English Readers, Vol. II, p. 491).
    John Lillie (1812-1867): “In his [Antichrist’s] days was to be the great—-the last—-tribulation of the Church” (Second Thessalonians, pp. 537-538).
    F. L. Godet (1812-1900): “The gathering of the elect [Matthew24:31]…is mentioned by St. Paul, 1 Thess. 4:16, 17, 2 Thess. 2:1…” (Commentary on Luke, p. 452).
    Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1842): “Christians must have ‘great tribulation’; but they come out of it” (Bonar’s Memoirs of McCheyne, p. 26).
    S. P. Tregelles (1813-1875): “The Scripture teaches the Church to wait for the manifestation of Christ. The secret theory bids us to expect a coming before any such manifestation” (The Hope of Christ’s Second Coming, p. 71).
    Franz Delitzsch (1813-1890): “…the approaching day is the day of Christ, who comes…for final judgment” (Commentary on Hebrews, Vol. II, p. 183).
    C. J. Ellicott (1819-1905): “[I Thessalonians 4:17] ‘to meet the Lord,’ as He is coming down to earth…” (Commentary on the Thessalonian Epistles, p. 66).
    Nathaniel West (1826-1906): “[The Pre-Trib Rapture] is built on a postulate, vicious in logic, violent in exegesis, contrary to experience, repudiated by the early Church, contradicted by the testimony of eighteen hundred years…and condemned by all the standard scholars of every age” (The Apostle Paul and the “Any Moment” Theory, p. 30).
    Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910): “He will keep us in the midst of, and also from, the hour of temptation [Revelation 3:10]” (The Epistles of John, Jude and the Book of Revelation, p. 266).
    J. H. Thayer (1828-1901): “To keep [Revelation 3:10]:…by guarding, to cause one to escape in safety out of” (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 622).
    Adolph Saphir (1831-1891): “…the advent of the Messiah…to which both the believing synagogue and the church of the Lord Jesus Christ are looking…” (The Epistle to the Hebrews, Vol. I, p. 96).
    M. R. Vincent (1834-1922): “The preposition [‘from’] implies, not a keeping from temptation, but a keeping in temptation [Revelation 3:10]…” (Word Studies…, p. 466).
    William J. Erdman (1834-1923): “…by the ‘saints’ seen as future by Daniel and by John are meant ‘the Church’…” (Notes on the Book of Revelation, p. 47).
    H. Grattan Guinness (1835-1910): “…the Church is on earth during the action of the Apocalypse…” (The Approaching End of the Age, p. 136).
    H. B. Swete (1835-1917): “The promise [of Revelation 3:10], as Bede says, is ‘not indeed of your being immune from adversity, but of not being overcome by it'” (The Apocalypse of St. John, p. 56).
    William G. Moorehead (1836-1914): “…the last days of the Church’s deepest humiliation when Antichrist is practicing and prospering (Dan. viii:12)…” (Outline Studies in the New Testament, p. 123).
    A. H. Strong (1836-1921): “The final coming of Christ is referred to in: Mat. 24:30…[and] I Thess. 4:16…” (Systematic Theology, p. 567).
    Theodor Zahn (1838-1933): “…He will preserve…at the time of the great temptation [Revelation 3:10]…” (Zahn-Kommentar, I, p. 305).
    I. T. Beckwith (1843-1936): “The Philadelphians…are promised that they shall be carried in safety through the great trial [Revelation 3:10], they shall not fall” (The Apocalypse of John, p. 484).
    Robert Cameron (1845-1922): “The Coming for, and the Coming with, the saints, still persists, although it involves a manifest contradiction, viz., two Second Comings which is an absurdity” (Scriptural Truth About the Lord’s Return, p. 16).
    B. B. Warfield (1851-1921): “…He shall come again to judgment…to close the dispensation of grace…” (Biblical Doctrines, p. 639).
    David Baron (1855-1926): “(Tit. ii. 13), for then the hope as regards the church, and Israel, and the world, will be fully realised” (Visions of Zechariah, p. 323).
    Philip Mauro (1859-1952): “…’dispensational teaching’ is modernistic in the strictest sense…it first came into existence within the memory of persons now living…” (The Gospel of the Kingdom, p. 8).
    A. T. Robertson (1863-1934): “In Rev. 3:10…we seem to have the picture of general temptation with the preservation of the saints” (A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, p. 596).
    R. C. H. Lenski (1864-1936): “…it [Philadelphia] shall be kept untouched and unharmed by the impending dangers [Revelation 3:10]” (The Interpretation of St. John’s Revelation, pp. 146-146).
    William E. Biederwolf (1867-1939): “Godet, like most pre-millennial expositors, makes no provision for any period between the Lord’s coming for His saints and His coming with them…” (The Second Coming Bible, p. 385).
    Alexander Reese (1881-1969): “…we quite deliberately reject the dispensational theories, propounded first about 1830…” (The Approaching Advent of Christ, p. 293).
    Norman S. MacPherson (1899-1980): “…the view that the Church will not pass into or through the Great Tribulation is based largely upon arbitrary interpretations of obscure passages” (Triumph Through Tribulation, p. 5).

    (If you would like to obtain Dave MacPherson’s bestselling nonfiction book “The Rapture Plot” – the world’s most accurate and highly endorsed book covering the pretrib rapture’s long-covered-up-but-now-revealed history – call 800.643.4645.)

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  16. PRETRIB RAPTURE STEALTH !

    Many evangelicals believe that Christ will “rapture” them to heaven years before the second coming and (most importantly) well BEFORE Antichrist and his “tribulation.” But Acts 2:34, 35 reveal that Jesus is at the Father’s right hand in heaven until He leaves to destroy His earthly foes at the second coming. And Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven 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 above verses! They were also too hot for John Darby – the so-called “father of dispensationalism” – to list in the scripture index in his “Letters”!)
    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 also 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 end of trib “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 Scofield views as Israel’s posttrib resurrection!) It’s amazing that the Olivet Discourse contains the “great commission” for the church but not even a hint of a pretrib rapture for the church!
    Many don’t know 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 an idolized separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which evangelical scholars overwhelmingly 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!). Google “Walvoord Melts Ice” for more on this.
    Other Google articles on the 183-year-old pretrib rapture view include “X-Raying Margaret,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “Catholics Did NOT Invent the Rapture,” “The Real Manuel Lacunza,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” and “Morgan Edwards’ Rapture View” – most by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” (the most accurate and documented book on pretrib rapture history which is obtainable by calling 800.643.4645).

    / Not long ago I spotted the preceding on the net which you may enjoy also. LB /

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