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Printed News Letter

May 2009 Issue

15 Reasons Why We Believe in the Pre - Tribulation, Pre-millennial Rapture of the Church
May 1st, 2009
Art Sadlier
Uncategorized

Reason #1 The Rapture and the Second Coming are two separate events

At the Rapture

At the Second Coming

Saints go up and the unsaved are left behind. John 14:2, 3, 1 Thess 4:16, 17

Unbelievers are caught away to judgment. Rev. 19: 11-15, Jude 14 & 15, Mt. 25:34, 41

Saints meet Christ in the air and go to heaven. 1 Thess. 4:17

Christ returns with the Church.  Rev. 19:14, Jude 14

The world remains un-judged for sin. Rev. 9: 20,21

The world is judged for sin.   Matthew 25:31-33, 41

Concerns only the saved (in Christ).   

1 Thess. 4:16

Concerns saved and unsaved. Matthew 25:31-34,41

All hindrances to Satan are removed. 2 Thess.  2: 6, 7

Satan is bound for 1,000 years. Rev. 20: 2, 3

 

 Reason #2 There must be an interval between the Rapture and the Second Coming

After the rapture the believers must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ to make ready for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb which takes place on earth.  In Rev. 19:7-9 we see the church in heaven prepared for the marriage supper and ready to come with Christ to the earth.

If the tribulation saints and the church saints were translated at the Second Coming, there would not be any believers left in their natural bodies to populate the earth during the Millennial kingdom, as promised so many times in the O.T. Therefore there is no rapture at the Second Coming; the rapture cannot be after the tribulation.

Reason #3 The contrast of the beginning signs of the Rapture and the signs of the Second Coming

The Second Coming cannot take place until the signs are 'all fulfilled'. Luke 21:27 is refering to the signs in the preceding verses. This verse tells us that Christ's second coming will take place after all of the signs are completely fulfilled.

The Rapture will take place as the "signs begin to appear" on the scene. In Luke 21:28 we see the rapture as in Heb. 10:25 and 1 Thess. 5:4. These verses tell us that there will be a generation of believers who recognize the beginning signs and know that the rapture is near at hand, even at the doors. Conclusion: The rapture and the second are two separate events.


Reason #4 The purpose of the Tribulation period excludes the presence of the Church

  • Purpose # 1 The restoration of Israel to the Lord.  Zech. 13: 8, 9;  Dan. 9: 24,27; Rom. 11: 26, 27;  Zech. 12:10; Zech 13:1, 8, 9;  Jer. 31:31-34;  Mt. 24: 15, 21 
  • Purpose # 2 To judge the gentile nations and the world system which has been in rebellion against God over the long centuries. Isa. 13:9, 11, 13;  Joel 3:2
  • Purpose # 3 To judge and destroy apostate religion.  Rev. 17:15,16,17 
  • Purpose # 4 To unveil Christ to an unbelieving world.  The world has no idea of the true character of Christ. Throughout the book of Revelation Christ is revealed in the fierceness of His anger in bringing judgment on a rebellious world. (Rev. 1:1a; Rev. 6: 15-17)
  • Purpose #5 The church is not involved in any of these things. God's purpose for Israel has never been fulfilled. Israel has never lived in unbroken fellowship with the Lord.  Israel has never fully enjoyed salvation as a people or a nation, scripture promises that they will some day (Jer. 31:31-34).   God has a program to bring that about.  In Daniel 9:24 we see God's program, notice the things He will accomplish.
  • "To make an end to sins"
  • "To make reconciliation for iniquity"
  • "To bring everlasting righteousness"
  • "To seal up the vision and prophecy"
  • "To anoint the most Holy (Christ) as Israel's eternal King"

Seventy weeks of years are appointed to finish this purpose, sixty nine weeks of years are already past (see Daniel 9:25). One week still remains to be fulfilled (7 years).  That week will be the tribulation period.

During that time the Lord will finish His purposes for Israel, (Rom. 11:2, 26).   At Pentecost the Lord's purposes for the Church began, at that time Israel was set aside as far as God's dealing with her as a nation. The Church and Israel do not exist side by side in the world, at least as concerning God's dealings with them. Before God resumes His dealing with Israel, the church will be removed from the world. God is today preparing to work upon Israel again, before that begins  the church will be raptured.

 

Reason #5 The Church is not revealed on Earth but in Heaven during the Tribulation period

The Church is shown to be on earth in Revelation 2-3 prior to the tribulation period.

The Church is seen to be raptured in Rev. 4:1.  John, as a member of the church, sees into the future and sees himself taking part in the rapture.

The Church is shown to be in heaven from Revelation 4 to 19:10.  Although the Church is mentioned 25 times in the book of Revelation, it is not mentioned from Revelation 4 to 18.

The Church is seen returning to the earth in Revelation 19:11-14. The Church is to be delivered from the tribulation period, Revelation 3:10, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Contrast this with the apostate church of Thyatira in Revelation 2:22 where it is threatened with being cast into the tribulation period.  Revelation 3:10 is therefore talking about the promise of deliverance from the wrath of God during the tribulation period. The key verse is Revelation 7:4 where Israel is seen on the earth during the tribulation period. "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."


Reason #6 The Twenty-four Elders in Heaven Represent the Church in Heaven during the Tribulation

Revelation 4:4 says "And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold."  This verse is proof that the 24 elders represent the Church.  "Clothed in white raiment," this is a reference to the Church; see Rev. 19: 7 & 8.  This is a term and a concept used only of the Church, never of Israel.     

"They had on their heads crowns of gold", again this is a promise given only to the Church saints, in Revelation 2:10 and Revelation 3:11.
"Four and twenty elders," in the Old Testament the twenty-four courses of the priesthood represented the complete priesthood or the whole nation of Israel.  The twenty-four elders speak of the complete church.  The elders cannot represent Israel because the Old Testament saints are not raised from the dead until the close of the tribulation period.  The timing in Daniel 12:11 is the end of the days, the end of the tribulation period.  In verse 13, the Lord is speaking to Daniel as an Israelite. He clearly states that Daniel will be raised from the dead at the end of the tribulation period, "at the end of the days".

Therefore the elders cannot represent Israel because the Old Testament saints are not in heaven; they are not raised until after the tribulation period. 

 The church is then found to be in heaven while the tribulation period is taking place on the earth.


Reason #7 The Day of the Lord (Tribulation period) will not begin until Anti-Christ is revealed and he will not be revealed until the Church is Raptured

"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" (2 Thess. 2: 3).  In verse 1, the Rapture is the subject and is referred to in verse 3. The "falling away" refers to the Rapture; the catching away is a proper translation. "The son of perdition," is clearly the antichrist. Before the anti-christ can come the church must be raptured, therefore the rapture is pre-tribulation. We believe that the "falling away" refers to both the rapture and the last days apostasy, however in this verse, the  interpretation does not depend on the meaning of the term, "falling away". The interpretation of verse 3 is predicated on verse 1, where the subject is the rapture.   


Reason #8 Post-Tribulation Rapture has no proof texts

One of the purposes of the book of Revelation is to describe the events of the last seven years of the age in which we live. If the post tribulation rapture is correct, why is there no mention of it in the book of Revelation as it describes the events of the close of the tribulation period? This is because it is not the correct Biblical teaching.


Reason #9 Paul teaches the Thessalonians that Post-Tribulation theology is not Biblical

"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. and by our gathering together unto him," 2 Thess. 2:1. Paul says about the rapture of the church, I want to set you straight about it. . Verse 2, "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." The Thessalonians were troubled about the rapture. They were more than troubled about it; they were shaken in their minds. 

Some one had put words in Paul's mouth!  Paul had been misrepresented!  Not only had he been verbally misrepresented but someone had sent a letter and forged Paul's signature on it. What were these misrepresentations about?  What were these false teachers saying?  They were saying that the tribulation period had begun and the church was going to go through the tribulation period. Even back in Paul's day there were false teachers who said that the church would go through the tribulation period.  Notice Paul's answer to this false teaching. Verse 3, "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;"   Deceive = To thoroughly delude.  Paul says, don't be deluded!  Don't be confused!  The statements attributed to me are not true. The letter supposedly from me does not contain the truth. We are not in the tribulation period!  And he goes on to show that the church will not go through the tribulation period. "For that day shall not come," until the rapture takes place.  The rapture is referred to in verse one.   Remember that the subject of the rest of the chapter is the tribulation period and the subject of verses 1-3 is the rapture.

Before the tribulation period can come two significant things must take place.

  • One: "The falling away," in Greek is "Apostasia" meaning the departure or rebellion. This refers to both the  last days apostasy of the false church and the rapture of the true church.
  • Two: "And that man of sin be revealed," Before the tribulation period begins the anti-christ must be revealed. Therefore the rapture cannot be post tribulation period.


Reason #10 The Pre-Tribulation Rapture is a comfort to the Saints.

 
1 Thess. 4:16 "Wherefore comfort one another with these words."   If we, the church, are looking for the tribulation period and the coming of antichrist then this would not be a message of comfort but one of fear trepidation. We would mostly all be martyred and there would be no comfort until the tribulation was over. The message would be faith and trust and endurance, but not comfort.


Reason #11 The Church is not appointed to wrath, but to be delivered from wrath 

"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth"  (Rev. 3:10). This refers to the tribulation period; compare this with the apostate church of Thyatira which is threatened with being cast into the tribulation period, Rev. 2:22, "Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds." We see that the true body of Christ is delivered from the tribulation while the false church is cast into the tribulation.

We have the same thing taught in 1 Thess. 5:9, here the subject is again clearly the tribulation period.

 

“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience,
I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation” Rev. 3:10

 


Reason #12 The wrath of God begins to be poured out upon the earth at the beginning of the Tribulation period, not the mid-point.

We have the promise of deliverance from the wrath of God prior fo the tribulation period, as found in Rev. 3:10 and 1 Thess. 5:9.   The wrath of God begins to be poured out at the beginning of the tribulation period, not at the midpoint.  The first 4 seals of Rev. 6 involve the outpouring of God's wrath very early in the tribulation period. Therefore the rapture must occur prior to the beginning of the tribulation. The rapture is therefore pre-tribulation and not midtribulation.        .

 

Reason #13 The Seventy-Week prophecy of Daniel 

Read Daniel 9:24, God told Daniel that He had determined 70 weeks of  years to finish His purposes for Israel.  A careful study of these verses reveals that up until the death of Christ, 69 weeks had been fulfilled and that one week of years remained to be fulfilled. That week of years will begin after the rapture and the appearance of anti-christ, as he signs the 7 year peace treaty. During the time gap between the 69th and 70th week, the church is being called out of the world as the body of Christ.  When God begins to deal with Israel again, the church will have been completed (Rom. 11:25) and removed from the earth.  God does not intend the church to be present as He returns to dealing with Israel again. God began His work with the church 50 days after the 69th week ended. We believe that it logically follows that God will return to dealing with Israel after the church is removed to heaven.


Reason #14 The references to the Church and to Israel.

Although the church is referred to 25 times in the book of Revelation, not one reference is made to the church in chapters 4-18.  These are the chapters which cover the tribulation period. By contrast, during that period Israel is mentioned 26 times

 

Reason #15 The circumstances prior to the Rapture in contrast to the circumstances prior to the Second Coming

We are told that prior to the coming of Christ they will be marrying and partying. We are also given a picture of war and terrific chaos with men's hearts being filled with fear prior to Christ's coming.  Which is it?  We have two different scenarios because we have two separate comings of Christ. One is the rapture and the other is the second coming. 

We are told that no man knows the day or the hour of Christ's coming. We are also informed that the Second coming of Christ will be the most recognizable date in history; it will be 2520 days after the peace treaty is signed. We are also told that it will be 1260 days after the abomination of desolations at the mid-tribulation point. You can't know -  you can know, which is it? The answer is that scripture is referring to two separate comings, the rapture and the second coming.     

In the Old Testament we have the same scenario. Nowhere is it stated in the O.T. that there will be two separate comings of Messiah, it is just taught, so we need not be surprised that the same situation occurs in the N.T.  We simply have in one verse, in the O.T. the teaching that there will be two separate comings of Christ, with both comings foretold in the same verse without any commentary. We see in Isaiah 61: 2, both comings without commentary. "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, (First Coming) and the day of vengeance of our God; (Second Coming).  It teaches that Messiah will come to die, and it teaches that Messiah comes to rule on the throne of David. Which is it? The answer is again there are two separate comings of Christ.

The religious leaders of Christ's day failed to recognize that the O.T. taught two comings of Christ; one coming to die and one coming rule and reign. This failure on their part brought disaster to them. Today there yet remain two comings of Christ, the Rapture and the Second Coming to the earth. Those today who do not understand this will be confused as to what God is doing in this hour.    













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Betrayed By Time
May 1st, 2009
A.W. Tozer
Uncategorized

Churches get in ruts only because individuals get in ruts. It is impossible that the church should do anything that individuals do not do. It is impossible that we should make any progress except as made by individuals. It is impossible there should be any regress unless individual Christians go backward. Think about people who find themselves in religious ruts. They discover a number of things about themselves. They will find that they are getting older but not getting any holier. Time is their enemy, not their friend. The time they trusted and looked to is betraying them, for they often said to themselves, "The passing of time will help me. I know some good old saints, so as I get older I'll get holier and better. Time will help me, purify me and revive me." They said that the year before last, but they were not helped any last year. Time betrayed them. They were not any better last year than they had been the year before. . . . I say to you that the people in the religious rut are getting older, but they are not getting any holier. Time, which they have trusted to be their friend, is betraying them and proving to be their enemy. Time is doing something else to them: it is increasing their indifference to spiritual things. The signal that God used to be able to get through to them easily is now getting fainter and fading away. Once in a while on good days they can still hear it.

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The Pre-Tribulation, Pre-millennial Rapture of the Church
May 1st, 2009
Art Sadlier
Uncategorized

Some people say we should not be concerned about Bible prophecy. The fact is that more than 25% of the Bible is predictive prophecy. If we are not interested in Bible prophecy we are not interested in the Bible.  God thinks prophecy is important. We see that in Genesis 18:17, "And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do." How can we say we are not interested in what God desires to reveal to us about what He intends to do?     

About 50% of Bible prophecy has been fulfilled and that 50% has been fulfilled literally. We can logically conclude that the remaining 50% will be fulfilled.  We also conclude that the remaining prophecies will be fulfilled literally.

Logically, it  follows that the predictive prophecies concerning, the Rapture; The Tribulation Period; The Second Coming; and The Millennial Kingdom will all be fulfilled literally just as the First Coming of Christ was fulfilled literally.

You cannot understand what the scriptures teach unless you interpret them correctly. There are two basic methods of interpretation, Literal and Allegorical. Only one can be right.

Literal Interpretation:

Literal interpretation involves the Grammatical, the Historical and the Literal aspects of interpretation.                                         .
In the Grammatical interpretation we understand that God communicated through human language. Therefore the meaning of the message is to be understood in the normal sense and use of the language. We must understand the language to understand the message.                                             .
In the Historical interpretation we must understand that God communicated in a historical setting. Therefore the historical setting gives meaning to the communication.
In the Literal interpretation we are to understand the message as it is literally given to us. There are figures of speech, there are allegories and there are types. We must understand that the text will make it obvious when these figures and types and allegories are to be applied, as is the case in any normal language. You cannot take the scripture and arbitrarily give meanings to the words, meanings that are not there.

Allegorical  Interpretation

Allegorical interpretation destroys the scripture. Anyone can give a text any meaning they choose to give it. The meaning then is determined by the reader rather than the giver of the scriptures. Allegory is a literary device in which each object, character or event is given a symbolic meaning. The meaning of scripture is then determined by the one doing the interpreting rather than the author.

Allegorical interpretation is the basic method of Amillennialists.  Literal interpretation is the basic method of Premillennialists.

The PREMILLENIAL, with regard to eschatology, through a literal interpretation of scripture, sees some of the basic future events as follows:

  1. The Rapture of the Church is always imminent.  It is the blessed hope of the Church.
  2. The Tribulation Period is seven years of catastrophe for the earth and its citizens.  It follows the Rapture.
  3. The Second Coming of Christ is at the end of the tribulation period with His Bride, the Church.  He comes to bring judgment on the gentile nations.
  4. The Earthly Millennial Kingdom follows after the Second Coming of Christ.  The curse on the earth is lifted as Christ comes to reign in righteousness and justice (Luke 1:32, 33).   Isaiah 11 will be fulfilled at that time.
  5. The White Throne Judgment comes at the end of Christ's thousand year reign.
  6. The Eternal Age is ushered in with the transition between the millennial kingdom and the eternal age.

The Amillennial by way of contrast, through an allegorical interpretation of scripture, sees a different scenario:

  1. The Tribulation Period is past; supposedly it took place in 70 A.D.
  2. The Kingdom of God on Earth is now! The State Churches and the Catholic Church claim to be administrators of this kingdom. Notice that Isaiah 11, and Luke 1:32, 33 have not yet been fulfilled.  The imagination of the post-tribulationalist knows no bounds at this point.
  3. Christ will return and all will be caught up.
  4. The Earth will be destroyed and that will be the end of the earth (see Psalm 104:5). The promises to Israel will not be fulfilled. (The whole thrust of the O.T. is the redemption of Israel and her return to the promised land with the Son of David reigning on the throne of David.)
  5. The Beginning of Eternity will happen at the same time as items 3 and 4, either simultaneously or in rapid succession.
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The Rapture
May 1st, 2009
Art Sadlier
Uncategorized

The word of God tells us that there will come a generation of believers who will not die!  The first revelation of this came from Christ himself.  In John 14:2, Christ said, "I go to prepare a place for you," and we know He went back to heaven, therefore the prepared place is in heaven.  Jesus went on to say, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also."  The promise is that Jesus will take His disciples to the prepared place in heaven. That is the rapture!

In 1 Corinthians 15:51 Paul said, "Behold I show you a mystery", I am going to show you something that was kept hidden all down through the O.T. ages.  "We shall not all sleep", we shall not all die.  "We shall all be changed", Paul is talking about the living and the dead; this is the rapture.  It is all laid out in detail in 1 Thess. 4: 13-17

In Revelation 2 & 3 there is a record of the 7 churches of Asia Minor. These two chapters are a prophecy about the entire church age as represented by the 7 churches. How do we know that chapters 2 & 3 are a prophecy?  Revelation 1:3 tells us so.

We are now living somewhere near the end of the church age. We can now look back over 2000 years of church history and we can see the remarkable fulfilment of these prophecies in the record of the 7 churches.

As we look at the church in this day and hour, in the last era of the church age, we see an astounding similarity to the last church, Laodicea.  Look at Laodicea in Rev. 3:16 where it says, "So, then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth." Never in all the history of the church has there been a church which held the truth and yet was so characterized by lukewarmness as the Evangelical church of this present hour.

"Because thou sayest I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing..."  This has not been true of any other church era in history and this could be true of no other church but the Evangelical church of the present hour.

Laodicea is the last of the 7 churches. She represents the closing days of the church age. She represents the Evangelical church of today. Understand that when chapter 3 ends, the church age ends. The church is never seen on earth again in Revelation until it is seen in chapter 19, where it is seen coming with Christ from heaven back to the earth.

THE QUESTION IS
“how and when did
the church get to heaven?”

Rev. 19:7 says, "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready,"  Christ is the Lamb and the bride, who is about to become the wife of the Lamb, is the Church. The preparation for the wedding takes place in heaven. The church is in heaven with Christ as He promised in John 14.

After Revelation 3, the Church is never seen or pictured on earth until chapter 19 when she is seen coming out of heaven with Christ.  From chapter 4:1 to 19:10, the Church is not seen on earth but is seen in heaven.

In Revelation 4:4 we see the Church in heaven, around the throne of God; the elders represent the church. Elder is the major office in the church, it is not an office in Israel.  This group have crowns and white raiment; these are rewards promised only to the Church.

To summarize, in Revelation 2 & 3 we see the church on earth during the entire Church age.  In Revelation 19 we see the Church coming from heaven to earth with Christ at the end of the Tribulation period.  In Revelation 4 to 19 we see the Church in heaven with Christ.

The question is "how and when did the church get to heaven?"  The answer is found in Revelation 4: 1 & 2.  "After this I looked, and, behold a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.   And immediately I was in the spirit; and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne."

John was beholding future events. All of the events John recorded in Revelation were future events to him, when he recorded them.  In verse 1, we see the future rapture of the Church. In verse 2, we see John caught up to heaven in the rapture.  Why - because he was part of the church and he was viewing the rapture as a part of the church.  "A door was opened in heaven," we have a perfect description of the rapture.

"The first voice which I heard was as it were, of a trumpet talking with me; which said, come up hither,"  what a parallel with 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 & 17.  Notice the parallel terms, "Voice" - "Trumpet".   Note also, one says, "Come up here", the other says "shall be caught up...to meet the Lord in the air".  You do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that these two are one and the same event.

The rapture, therefore, is prior to the tribulation period and of course, prior to the millennium.

The apostate church will not be a part of the rapture, but will go into the tribulation period to enter into a union with antichrist and his kingdom, see Rev. 2:22.

The true bride of Christ will be caught away and be kept from the tribulation period. "I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world," Revelation 3:10.                                                            


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