Friday, January 24, 2020
First, I say “Amen!” to John Burton’s words in this 01/22/2020 Charisma article, entitled “The Eternal Danger of a Casual View of the End Times”. I’ve said for many years that the end-times have crept upon the church in a deceptively normal way. But one would only know that if one knows and believes God’s Word and discerns the signs of the times. And if your pastor is not regularly teaching and preparing you for the tribulation, he is not Spirit-led, is without knowledge and discernment, and/or, loves the praise of man more than God.
Secondly, I’ve taught for many years that gene-editing and DNA manipulation are participant with the irreversible “mark of the beast” (Rev. 13:16–17). As you may know organizations like the UN, the WHO, and the CDC are increasingly mandating vaccines. It’s an Antichrist agenda that will ultimately and forever change a person’s genetics. A present-day example of an event that could mandate a permanent gene-editing vaccine, the Wuhan Coronavirus in China has now placed multiple cities in quarantine. With no remedy in sight this could prove globally disastrous.
Most Western Christians yet believe the pre-trib rapture tradition of men, but it’s a lie that demonstrates the power of tradition “making the word of God of no effect” (Mark 7:13). On that basis, I appeal to you, if you are in Christ and know the truth, to help spread the truth of Christ’s post-tribulation rapture. It may mean coming out of your comfort zone, and out of the lukewarm organized church, but if we don’t have a greater love for Christ than fellowman, then Jesus said we are not worthy of Him, Matt. 10:37. We must decide now whom we will love and honor.
Nothing in a Christian’s life is as important as God’s Word, the truths of which are discerned and revealed by the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, Jesus said that “when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13). Thus, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16–17).
God said “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19); “and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God” (Eph. 4:30). Yet, the Holy Spirit is both quenched and grieved when we dismiss out of hand the testimony of Jesus for our safe passage through the tribulation to “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4–6), “at the last day” (John 6:40, 44), when “the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven” (1 Thess 4:16). Quenching the Spirit will have terrible consequences of collateral damage.
The post-tribulation rapture as taught by Christ and His apostles is widely rejected by many Christians because false hope sells better than harsh reality! The pre-trib rapture believer’s default position is nearly always that “God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:9). Their second default position is that Jesus spoke only to Jews of Israel and not the church when He delivered His Matt. 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 Olivet Discourse. Today, by the Holy Spirit, and in love for Christ, let’s consider both positions.
Addressing the second default first: it’s a convenient, but entirely misguided and erroneous approach to the testimony of Christ who declared Himself “the truth” (John 14:6). Concluding the Olivet teaching, Christ said to His disciples “what I say to you, I say to all” (Mark 13:37). Well, “all” includes the church; just like it included what He said to Nicodemus, who himself was a Jew and “a ruler of the Jews” (John 3:1), that “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3), to which the church today holds firm. Therefore, the requirement that one “must be born again”, which was spoken only to a Jew of Israel, but is yet believed by the church, demands that the truths of Christ’s Olivet Discourse be equally applicable.
As for the pre-tribber’s first default that “God did not appoint us to wrath” (1 Thess. 5:9), we must discern the word appoint which means “to fix or set officially”. Source: Webster’s Tenth. God’s Word is true, He did not appoint, fix or set officially, that saints should be subject to His wrath. But consider: what occurs when so-called believers do not believe Christ, nor have they prepared in His truths, as didn’t ancient Israel? Will God protect the unfaithful and unbelieving from His punishment and wrath? No. A discerning read through the Old Testament proves that point all too well. And God does not change.
Rhetorically: when a child is born, does a parent appoint them to punishment before they’ve been disobedient? In education, does a teacher or professor appoint one to fail before they’ve failed? When obtaining a driver’s license, does the state highway patrol appoint one to a traffic citation before such a violation occurs? When one goes into business, do the courts appoint one to bankruptcy before substantive reasons for the same? Likewise, neither does God appoint so-called believers to wrath before they’ve proven their unbelief and faithlessness.
Consider the Jews of ancient Israel. There was a time when they were conditionally “a special treasure to Me [God] above all people” (Exo. 19:5). God delivered them out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, gave them His Law, and led them to Canaan, their Promised Land. And there the Jews proved their unbelief and faithlessness. And there God destroyed that generation! And He will do it again in the end-times for those claiming to be “His own special people” (1 Pet. 2:9), but prove their unbelief and faithlessness. God does not change, He is the same yesterday, and today and forever, (Mal. 3:6, Heb. 13:8). And “there is no partiality with God” (Rom. 2:11).
Consider: “For 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. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16–17). Nothing in these two verses identify a pre, mid, or post trib rapture, or even its season. These verses only indicate that Christ will descend from heaven at the resurrection rapture – that’s when Christ leaves heaven.
Since Christ leaves heaven for the resurrection rapture, the question is, when? The Holy Spirit in Acts 3 tells us the season of the resurrection rapture, and that’s very important, because it agrees with the testimony of Jesus’ Olivet Discourse. Quoting from the NIV for clarity: “He [Christ] must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything” (Acts 3:21). We know God doesn’t restore everything pre-tribulation, but post-tribulation, after Antichrist’s 7-year rule, else there would be no tribulation. God’s Spirit, therefore, agrees with Christ that He gathers His elect “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31), at which time everything is restored.
Due to the pre-trib rapture tradition, there will be great collateral damage. God did not appoint any true Christian to suffer wrath, but if professing Christians prove unfaithful and unbelieving, as did ancient Israel, they will suffer God’s wrath, not having believed Him, nor found the Rev. 12:6, 14 safety and provision of God during the last 3 1/2 years of great tribulation when God’s wrath is poured out on the ungodly and those having the mark of the beast.
There will be collateral damage as many professing Christians have chosen to quench and grieve the Holy Spirit because they believed tradition rather than Christ, who otherwise would have led them safely through the great tribulation, with the promise confirmed that “Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked” (Psa. 91:8). My hope and prayer for you and your loved ones is that you will be among the few who believe Christ and prepare accordingly.
Marlin J. Yoder