"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pre-trib Rapture Assaulted Again

In John 17:15 Jesus was praying for His disciples. He prayed, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.”

My view on the rapture is not pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib. If there is a rapture, it will occur either when Jesus returns or there may be a very limited pre-wrath rapture. Pre-tribbers believe that the entire Great Tribulation is the day of God’s wrath and so pre-wrath must be pre-trib. 

One in the field will be taken and one left
But there is very good reason to believe that the testing that the letter to the church at Philadelphia refers to is, in fact, at the end of the Tribulation not the entirety of it. How so?

In Rev 6: 16,17 after the 6th seal has been opened, the great kings and leaders of the earth are found hiding in caves and calling on the mountains to fall on them tohide us from the Presence of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand.

So those who had been through the majority of the Tribulation did not see it as God’s wrath until nearly the end of the period. That calls into question the interpretation of the timing of Revelation and there are several differing viewpoints. 

It makes no sense, however, to read it as a linear time-series, that is, chronological. But rather, it makes the most sense to read it as a series of view-points. 

Pastor Daymor Moses equates it with watching replays of a football game. You have a camera on the quarterback, another on the running back, one on each of the wide receivers, one on the lines, etc., and each shows a different perspective of the same brief time-span. 

This is more or less how I have come to understand the timing as well, although it is not necessarily understandable at all.

With that in mind, the 6th seal and the great day of the wrath of God and the Lamb comes very late in the Tribulation period. Let’s look at another perspective:
1 Cor 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. These things refers to the Exodus story of the Israelites. “Upon whom the ends of the ages have come,” is us. 

Therefore, those of us in the last days are to study the Exodus story for wisdom and revelation. And what do we find there?

We find the wrath of God coming upon Egypt (a type of the world), as Moses seeks permission to lead his people out of bondage. We see ten plagues that God inflicts upon the land of Egypt, many of which are quite devastating. 

What happens to the Israelites (a type of us) during this time? They are protected through most of the plagues.

When Aaron turned the Nile into blood, Moses had advance notice and may have warned the Israelites to store up drinking water. They may have suffered through the frogs and the gnat infestation, but then God separated them from the Egyptians for the rest of the plagues - I will put a division between My people and your people. Ex 8:23. 

They did not suffer the swarms of insects, their livestock were not afflicted, they did not get the boils the Egyptians suffered, nor the hail storms.

It is not obvious that the Israelites escaped from the plague of locusts, but I think it likely. However, I think it unlikely that they missed the plague of darkness that covered the land for 3 days. 

And, of course, they were saved from the final plague, the death of the first-born, by the covering of the blood on their houses. This is a foreshadowing of the covering of the blood of Christ on Christians. And yet, they were still in the land!
It was only after this most terrible judgment that Moses (the type of Christ) led the Israelites out of Egypt. And then what happened? God’s final judgment on Egypt occurred at the Red Sea. 

The Israelites miraculously crossed the Red Sea just before the Egyptian army is destroyed in it. If that isn’t a clear picture of the Great Tribulation, I don’t know what is?

People, we need to prepare ourselves to go through the Great Tribulation. Putting our hope on the fairytale of a pre-trib rapture will not get you ready. 

I believe most Christians will escape a lot of the judgments that will come upon the earth during those horrific 7 years, but I also believe that most Christians alive during the Great Tribulation will be martyred. 

Are you ready to be martyred? Or are you hoping for a fairytale ending?
(see also: The Rapture – Hope or Hype)