Friday, October 22, 2021
In biblical matters of differences among believers that do not inure to the possibility of falling away, with such issues I will not contend. But with differences having the possibility of causing one to fall away from the faith, with such differences I will make an unrelenting defense for the glory of God in Christ, hoping in prayer that the truth of Christ and His authority in heaven and on earth, Matt. 28:18, would be sufficient to lead another to turn from unbelief and traditions of men to the testimony of Jesus Christ. In this case it’s the truth about the resurrection rapture.
When anyone inquires about the truth of when Christ gathers His elect saints, a teacher must be prepared with a truthful answer, ready to teach what Christ taught and not the traditions of men. If the teacher is unprepared, let him be silent and defer to another. But if he answers by pointing to the pre-trib, mid-trib, post trib, or humorously, the pan-trib rapture as all being viable beliefs, beware, because he speaks from fear, ignorance and Christ-dishonoring foolishness. If he does not instruct in the testimony of Jesus he is not a teacher approved by God, for we’ve not been given a multiple choice of differing options from which to cherry pick Christ’s return for His elect. God delivered just one position for the resurrection rapture of His elect, and that event occurs “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31), “at the last day” (John 6:40, 44).
Consider: “He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked—but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth” (Isa. 53:3–9). That was Christ’s first Advent.
Scripture very clearly teaches that there remains only one more Advent of Christ, and “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen” (Rev. 1:7). And the Holy Spirit said “so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, [not multiple] apart from sin, for salvation” (Heb. 9:28). [Emphasis mine] Yet, false pre-trib rapture teachers lead many to believe Christ returns multiple times in the gathering His elect saints, but they teach a lie which dishonors and contradicts Jesus Christ, the Messiah whom they say they love. True love defends Christ’s testimony for the gathering of His elect, not contradict it. True love for Messiah defends His testimony for the resurrection and rapture “at the last day”, rejecting the traditions of men. True love for Jesus teaches and defends Him as “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and apostolic writers agree with Him.
Though sinless, Christ suffered beyond comprehension for our salvation. In this regard, how dare anyone change, ignore or replace His testimony for the gathering of His elect! Only a fool would dare oppose Him who has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. But the evangelical Christian world is filled with many who flatly ignore, avoid, change or replace His testimony for that of corrupt traditions of men, with the certainty of leading multitudes in offense when Christ does not return for His elect before the tribulation as false teachers promise. They’ll be called to account for exchanging Truth for traditions, leading many astray by their flesh-driven teachings and desire to appease the people, to free them from concern of the 7-year tribulation, for which many Christians are unprepared. They’re like the foolish virgins of Matt. 25:1–13. By reason of false teachers many have zero spiritual discernment or knowledge of the signs of the end-times. Lack of knowledge, Hos. 4:6, will destroy many and lead them to falling away from the faith in offense just as Christ warned at Matt. 24:10. There’s still time, however, to prepare in the truths of Jesus’ end-time Words. I pray that you believe Christ’s teachings of the resurrection rapture “at the last day” (John 6:40, 44), “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31), and then prepare accordingly, for we all have His written Word, and so we are entirely without excuse.
Biblically, Christ is the true believers’ Bridegroom, and we are His Bride, Rev. 21:9 and 22:17. We’re married to Christ and He to us, Rom. 7:4, unlike backslidden and rebellious ancient Israel whom God gave a “certificate of divorce” (Jer. 3:8) for her unbelief, adultery and idolatry. Then to us comes this warning: “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; [that is, national Israel] but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off” (Rom. 11:22). [My emphasis added] In an earthly marriage of a man and a woman “the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3). If that order becomes corrupted, divorce often results. And to the shame of the church, marital divorce occurs as often in it as in the unbelieving world. It shows not only the faithlessness of husband to wife and vice versa, but demonstrates an unreconciled faithlessness to our eternal Bridegroom. However, believers may not ignore, avoid or replace the Words of our Bridegroom and His authoritative Word for the gathering of His elect in order to pacify people with a false hope certain to destroy. Love for the Bridegroom does not reverse the gathering of His elect “Immediately after the tribulation” for a pre-tribulation gathering as is the case with the dispensational pre-trib rapture heresy. It’s ungodly rebellion against the Truth that handles the Word of the Bridegroom with contempt, departing from the Words of our Redeemer.
The pre-trib rapture teaching is rebellion; it will cause many to be offended when the tribulation is obviously here, and many who had put their hope in it will hate and betray, Matt. 24:10. Jesus said “whoever causes one of these little ones [we’re all little ones] who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea” (Mark 9:42). The role of Godly headship is to prepare believers to endure to the end, Matt. 24:13, for Jesus said they will be saved. And we know the Lord’s return is near, for which God said “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:3–4). With whom are you in marital covenant, the Messiah who suffered for our redemption, or the traditions of men that oppose Jesus Christ? The Holy Spirit made clear that “he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36b). Believing in the Son, means to actually believe the Son.
Marlin J. Yoder