Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Seven Lies of the Pre-tribulation Rapture

By

Roger Jimenez


1. The lie that Christians will not go through the tribulation.

The pre-tribulation rapture teaches that Christians will not go through the tribulation. However, it is very clear from scripture that the “Son of man” does not come to gather together his elect until after the tribulation.

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.

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
-Matthew 24: 29-31


Who are the elect? We can see how the word "elect" is used in other verses:

“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.”

-Romans 8:33

“Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;”
-Titus 1:1

It is clear from the context of Matthew 24 and from other verses in the Bible that the elect are God’s chosen people (Christians). It is also clear that Matthew 24:29-31 is referring to the rapture. Therefore if the rapture does not happen until after the tribulation, Christians will go through the tribulation.

2. The lie that the tribulation is the wrath of God on this world.

The reason the pre-tribulation rapture teaches that Christians will not go through the tribulation is that it teaches a false definition of the word “tribulation." It teaches that “the tribulation” is when God pours out his wrath on the unsaved world. However, that is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible uses the word tribulation 22 different times. For sake of time we cannot look at all 22 times it appears but let’s look at a few examples of when the word is used:

“Yet hath he not root in himself, but endureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.”
-Matthew 13:21

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
-Romans 8:35

“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

-2 Corinthians 1:4

“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

-Revelation 1:9

Tribulation could not mean the wrath of God on the un-saved because in most of the verses that the word is used it is God’s people going through the tribulation. Tribulation is the state of being persecuted or afflicted. So, when you are persecuted you are in tribulation. Christians will go through the tribulation because the tribulation of the end-times is not the wrath of God on the world but the persecution of Satan and the Antichrist on believers.

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains:

Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.”
-Matthew 24:15-22

The Bible says that the elect will go through the tribulation; we already mentioned that the elect are saved believers.

When tribulation or persecution is being inflicted, it is generally done to a specific person or group of people. Even when the Bible speaks of God casting people into tribulation it is to a specific group of people.

“Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.”

-Revelation 2:20-22

When God pours out his wrath it will not be the “tribulation” because it will not be directed at any specific person or group; it will be poured out on the entire world. A group of people will be spared from his wrath and those are the believers. However, his wrath will not be directed at anyone in particular but rather at the whole world.

“And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.”
-Revelation 16:1

In the book of Luke, Jesus says that the day God pours out his wrath on this world will be as it was in the days of Noah. Sin will abound, and God’s people will be spared, but he will punish the whole world!

“And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.”
-Luke 17:26-27

Christians will not be on the earth when God pours out his wrath because the Bible says:

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” -1Thessalonians 5:9

The wrath of God does not come until after the rapture, and the rapture does not come until after the tribulation.

“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”

-Luke 17:28-30

Just like in the same day that Lot came out of Sodom the city was destroyed. That is how it will be in the day that the Lord Jesus Christ is revealed as soon as he takes the Christians out of the world he will begin to pour out his wrath.

3. The lie of the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

The pre-tribulation rapture teaches that the return of Christ is imminent, meaning it can happen at any moment. It says that there is nothing that needs to happen in order for Jesus Christ to return. Scripture proves that his imminent return is simply not true. The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot happen until first there come a falling away, and second the “man of sin, the son of perdition” (the Antichrist) be revealed.

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

-2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

So, what is “the day of Christ”? The Bible says:

“Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

-1 Corinthians 1:8

The day of Christ is in the “end” and on that day we will be blameless.

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

-Philippians 1:6

In the day of Christ, God will be done performing the work he has begun in us. So when will all this be?

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

- 1 John 3:2

The day that the Lord Jesus Christ returns is the same day that we will be like him. Then the work of sanctification that God is performing in us will be done. Therefore the day of Christ is the day that Jesus Christ returns. According to 2 Thessalonians, the day of Christ cannot come until two things happen first: a great falling away and the man of sin being revealed. This means that the day of Christ (i.e. the day that the Lord Jesus Christ returns) is not imminent.

4. The lie that there is no sign of the return of Jesus Christ.

Jesus was asked two questions by his disciples about the end times. The first question was, “when shall these things be?” and the second question was, “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” The Lord Jesus Christ answered both of these questions, which is why we have the Olivet Discourse.

Jesus’ answer to the first question: “when shall these things be?”

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.”

-Matthew 24:4

Notice that the Bible says that Jesus answered their question. The pre-tribulation rapture says that there are no signs, and that we cannot know when these things will be, but since Jesus answered their questions we obviously can know these things.

“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”

-Matthew 24:5-6

Jesus said when you hear many saying that they are the Christ, and when there are rumors of wars, the end is still not yet!

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

-Matthew 24:7-8

When there are many famines and pestilences and earthquakes, and when nature begins to do strange things, then you are at the beginning of the end.

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

-Matthew 24:9-14

When you begin to be persecuted and the gospel is preached in all the world, then you will know you are at the end. The very next thing that will happen is the revealing of the Anti-Christ.

Jesus just answered their first question. He told them it will not be when there are false Christs and rumors of wars. It will not be when there are famines and natural disasters. He told them the end will come when you are being persecuted and the Antichrist is revealed. He did not give them a date but he did tell them when these things will be.

Jesus’ answer to the second question: “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains:

Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

-Matthew 24:15-21

When you see the Antichrist, that is when the great tribulation will begin. Notice the rapture has not yet happened, so Christians will be living through this tribulation, which is the persecution of the believers by Satan and the Antichrist.

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.

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

-Matthew 24:29-31

After the tribulation the Sun shall be darkened, the moon shall not give her light, the stars shall fall from heaven and the powers of heaven shall be shaken. This will be our sign that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming. Luke gives us the same description.

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

-Luke 21:25-28

Luke says that when you see these signs, look up, and lift up your heads for your redemption draweth nigh. Jesus just answered their second question and told them what the signs of his coming will be.

After he was done answering their questions Jesus begins to teach them a parable:

“And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;

When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.

So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

-Luke 21:29-31

We are able to look at the signs of the weather and see when the seasons are changing and a new season is coming. So we can also look for the signs that he has told us of, and we can know that the time is near that he will be coming. Also, in regard to knowing the time of his coming Jesus said:

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

-Matthew 24:36

This is true; we do not know exactly what day, and we especially do not know what hour of the day he is coming back. We can see the signs of his coming and prepare for his appearing.

“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”

-1 Thessalonians 5:1-6

The pre-tribulation rapture teaches that the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is going to come on us with no announcement - that he will come as a thief in the night. Paul said that the day should not overtake us as a thief, but we are to watch and be sober! What are we watching for? The signs that Jesus told us to watch for!

5. The lie of the secret return of Jesus Christ.

The pre-tribulation rapture teaches that one day we will all be taken out of this world and those who will be left behind will wonder what happened to the rest of us. Did UFO’s take them? Where did they all go? This is the secret return of Christ and this is not taught in the Bible.

“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.”

-Mark 13:24-27

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”

-Revelation 1:7

“Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”

-1 Corinthians 15:51-54

The Bible makes it clear that when Jesus comes back to rapture the believers, the world will take notice. They will notice the sun and moon being darkened; they will notice the stars falling and the heavens being shaken. They will hear the last trump. Even more the Bible says that all kindreds of the earth will see him coming in the clouds with their own eyes! No, those who are left behind will not be scratching their heads wondering where we went. They will know exactly what happened, and they will wail because they will know that now after the tribulation which they inflicted on the Christians of the world, the wrath of God will be poured out upon them.

6. The lie of the Holy Spirit being taken out of the world.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” -2 Thessalonians 2:7

The pre-tribulation rapture uses 2 Thessalonians 2:7 to teach that the Holy Spirit is what is keeping the Anti-Christ from coming. It teaches that when the Holy Spirit is removed out of the world, we will be taken up (because God has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.) However there are some problems with this argument. There are a few reasons as to why this passage is not talking about the Holy Spirit:

(1) If you believe that the Holy Spirit is removed from the world at the rapture, but you also believe that people are still getting saved after the rapture (which the pre-tribulation rapture does teach), then you believe that people can get saved without the Holy Spirit.

“Now he which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;

Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”

-2 Corinthians 1:21-22

(2) The Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead. What people fail to realize is that just as much as God the Father is God, and just as much as the Lord Jesus Christ is God, the Holy Spirit of God is God! Now, God is omnipresent, so how can you remove God?

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” -1 John 5:7

(3) The pre-tribulation rapture says that 2 Thessalonians 2:7 is referring to the rapture because when the Holy Spirit leaves the earth, then Christians will also leave the earth. However, every time the rapture is mentioned in the Bible there is a reference made to the sun, the moon, and the stars, or to the clouds. The passage of 2 Thessalonians 2:7 and its context does not make a reference to any of these things.

(4) The best reason as to why this verse is not talking about the Holy Spirit is because verse 7 says, “he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” You cannot refer to someone as “he” without first mentioning who the “he” is. A pronoun must have an antecedent. The antecedent is a noun to which the pronoun is referring. In the context of this verse, the Holy Spirit is not mentioned. The Holy Spirit is not mentioned in the book of 2 Thessalonians anywhere before 2 Thessaluians 2:7. Therefore the Holy Spirit cannot be the antecedent of "he." The truth is that those who teach the pre-tribulation rapture have taken this verse out of context and twisted it to prove their ridiculous teaching.

So who is the “he” mentioned in verse 7?

Well the only person mentioned that “he” could be talking about is the Antichrist.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (Here we have the antecedent)

Who (referring to the Antichrist) opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he (referring to the Antichrist) as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he (referring to the Antichrist) is God.

Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

And now ye know what withholdeth that he (referring to the Antichrist) might be revealed in his time.

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he (referring to the man of sin) who now letteth will let, until he (referring to the man of sin) be taken out of the way.

And then shall that Wicked (referring to the Antichrist) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:”

-2 Thessalonians 2:3-8

Now that we know that verse 7 is referring to the "man of sin," we need to know a few things about the "man of sin" before we can understand what verse 7 is talking about.

Let’s look at a few things about the "man of sin:"

(1) The Bible says he was wounded as it were to death and his deadly wound was healed.

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. (This is the Antichrist)

And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, (This is the Devil) and his seat, and great authority.

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.”

-Revelation 13:1-3

(2) The Bible says he ascended out of the bottomless pit.

“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.” -Revelation 11:7

(3) The Bible says that he “was, and is not”

“The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.”

-Revelation 17:8-11

What does “is not” mean? Let’s look at examples of other times the words “is not” are used in the Bible.

“And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.”

-Genesis 42:36

“The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered: he openeth his eyes, and he is not.

- Job 27:19

“In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”

-Matthew 2:18

The words “is not” are used in the scripture to describe someone who is dead.

What we have learned is that the Anti-Christ was healed from a deadly wound, he came out of the bottomless pit (which is hell), and he is described as “is not” which means he is dead.

So, let’s go back to 2 Thessalonians 2:7:

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work (this means Satan has power and influence over the man of sin) only he who now letteth will let, (The man of sin,the Antichrist, is being used by Satan but he is still a hindrance in the way) until he be taken out of the way. (Referring to when the Antichrist receives his deadly wound and dies) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, (Satan has full control of this mans body and he ascends out of the bottomless pit) whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

-2 Thessalonians 2:7 -8

7. The result of the lie of the Pre-tribulation Rapture.

The Devil and the Anti-Christ would like nothing more than for people to be confused about the events of the end times. When Independent Fundamental Baptists agree with the doctrines of sinful books and movies like “Left Behind” and heretics like Tim Lahaye, they are doing a great disservice to the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ. Even worse, they are furthering the cause of the Antichrist. Christians will be looking for the rapture instead of the Antichrist and will not be ready for the things to come. We need to understand that the next prophetic event to take place is worldwide persecution of Christians. If Christians cannot live for God now, how will they live for God during great persecution (the tribulation). The Bible says:

“If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?”

- Jeremiah 12:5

Many churches believe that we do not have much time because Jesus Christ could return at any moment. For this reason they get sucked into the mentality of getting people saved at any cost. We must understand what the Bible says about the things to come. Then we will not only get people saved, we will also prepare ourselves spiritually. We would strengthen our families and churches in separation from the world and holiness. Instead we have independent Baptist churches getting people saved, but they are as worldly and liberal as any mega-church down the street! They are trying to save as many people as possible, even if it means having lower standards or not preaching all of the counsel of God in order not to offend or turn anyone away. However, if they have not already, they will soon stop giving the gospel and will only be concerned about keeping and entertaining people in their services. The pews may be filled, but they are liberal and spiritually dead. We must get the lost world saved, but we must also grow in grace and prepare ourselves for what could happen in the very near future.

The pre-tribulation rapture lets you believe you can live a perfect little life, buy all your fun toys, and wear all the stylish clothes. It allows you to believe that you can go on exciting vacations and have as much fun as you can imagine. Then one day with no warning you will be taken up into the presence of God almighty. The truth is, we might suffer more than we would like for the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ. We must be ready for what the Bible says will happen in the end times. Jesus said to watch! However if you believe that we cannot watch or that we have nothing to watch for, then you have believed the LIE of the pre-tribulation rapture.

“And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”

-Mark 13:37

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