Friday, March 8, 2019
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Num. 23:19). The evidence is clear that while God cannot lie, man is indeed prone to it! And that is the case in the pre-trib rapture lie foisted upon the Church by those who entertain deceiving spirits.
Will you by faith believe God or man, because “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12 and 16:25). When God repeats Himself we do well to pay very close attention. In this context, prayerfully consider the following.
Let’s begin with the most clear rapture verses: “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up [raptured] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess. 4:16–17). Note that, in order for the rapture to occur “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven”. [emphasis added] Now hold that thought.
In these “caught up” rapture verses we see that the resurrection of the righteous dead occurs first, followed instantaneously by the rapture. These events are inseparable. Thus, we are “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13), at the resurrection rapture. And beginning with Peter’s sermon at Acts 3:19–21, the Holy Spirit tells us when “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven”, by identifying how long Christ “must remain in heaven”. All we have to do is believe God.
(Incidentally, the resurrection of the righteous dead at 1 Thess. 4:16 is “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4–6), which occurs “at the last day” (John 6:40, 44, 54) as taught by the Lord Jesus.)
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that [looking for our blessed hope] He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19–21). [bold emphasis added] Remembering 1 Thess. 4:16–17 wherein Christ “will descend from heaven”, Acts 3:21 plainly reveals in the NIV and other translations, that Christ “must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything”.
So, when does “the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” occur? Is it before the tribulation, or after? Any student of Bible prophecy who has overcome the traditions of men knows that God restores all things after the tribulation, and not before! If God restored all things before the tribulation, there’d be no seven-year tribulation. God restores everything after the tribulation, when Christ “descends from heaven” (1 Thess. 4:16), “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:8).
Acts 3:21 agrees wholly with Jesus Christ that He gathers His elect “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31). And all the prophets and apostles of God bore witness to these same truths, else God’s Word becomes contradictory. But we who believe the testimony of Jesus Christ know that there is no contradiction in God’s Word whatsoever, for “You [God] have magnified Your word above all Your name” (Psa. 138:2).
Since “it is impossible for God to lie” (Heb. 6:18), Who said that Jesus Christ “must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything” (Acts 3:21 NIV), which doesn’t occur until the last day of this age when “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ” (Rev. 11:15), it is impossible, then, for Christ to “descend from heaven” (1 Thess. 4:16) seven years earlier in a pre-tribulation rapture, and before earthly kingdoms “become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ”.
There are few who believe the testimony of Jesus Christ, that He gathers His elect saints “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31), and have prepared to endure to the end like the wise virgins (Matt. 25:1–13), but many who are not concerned with Jesus’ testimony of gathering His elect “Immediately after the tribulation” because they’ve been deceived to believe that Jesus’ Olivet Discourse doesn’t apply to them, but to a much less fortunate group they call “tribulation saints”, namely, unbelieving Jews, and have therein not prepared to endure to the end, believing that God, in partiality, (which He is not, Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11) will spare them the tribulation.
Many years ago God’s Spirit compelled me to separate from the traditions of men to learn the truth, and I discovered the deceptions and outright lies of man’s pre-trib rapture, among other things, and God gave me boldness to teach His Word concerning the testimony of Jesus which infuriated Satan and his agents of false doctrines and traditions of men. I also learned there’s little to no tolerance in the Church for the testimony of Jesus that exposes the deceptive, anti-Christ pre-trib rapture tradition, but I must believe God rather than traditions of men. And the spiritual vitriol against me has not gone unnoticed at the Throne of Almighty God.
Please consider that what you believe about the end-time matters greatly! What you believe will either prepare you to endure to the end as Jesus taught, or you will be unprepared to endure to the end. The choice is yours. There is only one Truth, and His Name is Jesus Christ. I implore you in the love of Christ Jesus, believe Him, and prepare in His testimony. To ignore it, is to set yourself up for the greatest disappointment and offense ever, (Matt. 24:10).
Do you believe and participate in Christ’s great commission to believers, to “make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19–20)? Well, Jesus commanded the post-trib resurrection rapture of His elect, and also said that “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matt. 12:30; Luke 11:23). If God said it, we better listen, lest we’re proven a liar (Prov. 30:6). Are you with Jesus, or against Him?
Marlin J. Yoder