Alpha-Omega-Outreach
The Great Commission
 
   Home      End Times Are Here!


 
 
 
   
Click image above to go to site
 
 
Pat Marvenko Smith is a free-lance commercial illustrator and designer whose career has spanned over 25 years. She has done various types of artwork for publishers, businesses, ad agencies and ministries in the United States and Canada. Pat's work has been commissioned for books, newspapers, magazines, brochures, video covers, CD covers, posters, t-shirts, catalog covers and television.
 
God's word in picture form is now being sent around the world helping people to visualize and better understand the mysteries of the Book of Revelation. People can now study the book in the way God revealed it -- visually.
 
The Alpha-Omega-Outreach Motorhome is covered in Pat's Rapture Artwork.  Make sure you come to where we are preaching just to see the artwork!
 
 
 

WHEN IS THE RAPTURE?

IS IT A PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE?
OR IS IT A POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE?
Among evangelicals in the West the question is asked? When is the rapture?
Will it be a Pre-Tribulation Rapture? Or will it be a Post-Tribulation Rapture?


The vast majority of Bible believing evangelicals believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Only about 5% of Bible believing Christians see a Post-Tribulation Rapture. There is no surprise as to why this is so. Throughout North America the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is what the Christians in the pews and watching Christian television are being taught. This is a very popular doctrine and has been very well received. It is presented as the "Gospel truth". But is the doctrine Biblically sound?

We shall be getting to that later on in this article. Many Christians are astounded when they open their Bibles and seek the face of God on this matter. They begin to make their own discoveries for themselves. It is not what we have been told.

At first they are shocked.
Then they begin to scratch their head in amazement.

The Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine is the politically and ecclesiastically approved one. And the other is not. The Post-Tribulation Rapture position is the "Cinderella" of Biblical eschatology. Post-Trib has been "blackballed" and censored out by the evangelical establishment since the latter part of the 19th century. When the internet came along a new age of letters and a new era of Bible study began. But Post Trib Christians discovered that despite their sound Biblical interpretation they were even barred from today's post-modern era End Time Bible Prophecy Discussion Forums. This was astounding to us at the time. I know. I was there.


WE ARE SAVED. WE HAVE OUR TICKET TO HEAVEN.
IS THAT ALL THERE IS TO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH?


Western Christians are indulged in the merchant world and under the merchant church. We are saved and born again. Many of us have been persuaded that "Jesus did it all" and so there is nothing further in the eternal covenant that needs to be addressed by the Church before Jesus returns. This, (they have been led to believe), will happen seven years before the end of this age.

Oh yes, we are contented as we attend church on Sunday and pursue our own personal happiness the rest of the time. We have our ticket to heaven. It is right there in our pocket. Our bags are packed. And we have been told that the Glory Train could pick us up at "any time". Nothing further needs to be attended to. We believe what we have been told. And that is, our departure by rapture is 'imminent'. When the last trumpet sounds we are, (as the saying goes), "outta here!"

This sounds pretty good. But what if we have been called to attend to some further Kingdom business before we go? Is there an epic "final witness" of the saints in the 5th seal? And is this being called for before the opening of the 6th seal when the son of Man appears in the heavens?

The book of Revelation is an unveiling of future holy history as it unfolds at the climax of this age. John was taken up into heaven and into a locus in eternity known as "the Day of the Lord". There before him he saw an astounding sight. He saw a heavenly court case with the Ancient of Days presiding. He is the Sovereign Ruler over our cosmos. John saw the four horsemen and four earthly political systems finish their run. Then, at the 5th seal, the Ancient of Days was calling for His witnesses.

Will saints belonging to the Church, (the wider Congregation of
Israel), be called upon to bring some important testimony at this time? Or is all this to be done by 144,000 brand new Jewish Christians as our popular Bible teachers tell us?

Jesus Himself told His trusted disciples what to expect.
He laid it out for us in the Olivet Discourse.

Here is another important matter.
Just when does our Commission in Christ's service actually expire?
Do we need to take the 'Great Commission' document to our lawyer?
Do we need to ask him to tell us when our commission expires?

Then there is this matter.
What if there are some earlier trumps before the 'last trump'?
Is this something we might need to look into?

So are we sure that the Bible teaches a special early rapture for the Church before and separate from God's 70th week covenant dealings with
Israel? What if holy history rolls forward and in the fall season of some future year we find ourselves waking up one morning to the sound of trumpets. How shall we react if we discover that we have gone on beyond the current protective umbrella of the Pax Americana? What if that seven year "covenant with many" brings us into a New World Order? We look around. We pinch ourselves and say "ouch". We have not been raptured.

What then?

Are we prepared for this? Do we have the oil for our lamps against the coming night? Have we prepared ourselves in the devotion and in the Holy Spirit for a late time Post-Tribulation Rapture if that should prove to be the case? Have we even been given a heads up on this other strong possibility? Have our ministers given us any inkling at all about these things? Have we been told that we might do well to prepare our hearts for witness under some duress at some future time?


 
THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE.
IT IS THE OFFICIAL POSITION OF THE
AMERICAN MERCHANT CHURCH.
BUT IS THE DOCTRINE BIBLICALLY SOUND?


Most evangelicals have been taught the Pre-Tribulation Rapture scenario as established fact. Few have ever had a chance to hear the Post-Tribulation Rapture position expounded. They have been programmed to believe that the Pre-Trib Rapture is the final and correct biblically correct truth concerning the closing dramas of this age.

But are they correct about this early special edition secret Rapture?
Is there any sound scriptural proof of this?
Do they have any solid Biblical evidence for it at all?

The short answer is "No. They do not".

The fact is there is not one single passage of scripture that gives sound and convincing proof of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Not one! The doctrine sounds nice and it goes down well with the middle of the road Christian crowds. And it sells well in the religious marketplaces. Indeed the Pre-Tribulation doctrine has become entertainment for the masses. It is a huge multi billion dollar a year religi-business.

But here is the question. Can the idea of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture stand up to faithful Berean scrutiny? Or is the doctrine emotionally driven by wishful thinking? Quite obviously it is a soothing melodramatic eschatology.
Has it been crafted by men to keep the masses amused, - and "quiet".

The fact that this is now a popular amusement is reason for us to be concerned. Karl Marx was a very evil man, the father of humanistic state communism. And he once quite cynically said that "religion was the opiate of the people". If by "reli gion" he means an attenuated somewhat twisted Christianity founded on the traditions of men then was he right? Do our fancies, even as Christian believers, ride roughshod over a plain and faithful reading of the Holy Scriptures? Are we as submitted to the Bible as we suppose we are?

 
THE BIBLE SPEAKS OF A COMBINED RESURRECTION-RAPTURE.
So let us go back to the Bible. Here is question number one. Just how does the Rapture fit in with the sure and blessed hope of the Resurrection of those dear saints who have passed on?

Here is what our Apostle Paul had to say.

1Thessalonians 4:15-17
4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.

4:16 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.

4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Here in this passage of scripture we see Paul clearly showing us a combined Resurrection-Rapture.
The Rapture will "by no means precede" the Resurrection, Paul says.
So if we are going to have a Pre-Trib Rapture then it must be accompanied by a Pre-Trib Resurrection.
Does such an animal exist in Holy Scripture?

Of course such an idea is extremely problematical. There is no scripture laying out a special early Resurrection coming seven years before the end of the age. The Bible, as we shall discover in the paragraphs below, clearly shows us a Post-Tribulation Resurrection.

A COMBINED RESURRECTION-RAPTURE IS LAID OUT IN THE BIBLE.
THEN WE SEE THE MYSTERIOUS SMOKESCREEN OVER THE TIMING
OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE RIGHTEOUS DEAD.
SO HERE IS THE QUESTION THAT IS RARELY ASKED.

- - - - - - WHEN IS THE RESURRECTION OF THE RIGHTEOUS DEAD?
As we have seen, the timing of the Rapture is linked to the timing of the Resurrection. So here in this article, and I pray in our churches as well, let us dare to stand up and ask the question. Mysteriously, this is a question that we are apparently hypnotized or intimidated by religious spirits into not asking. But ask the question we must. And we must answer it truthfully from the Holy Scriptures.

So here is our question again.

When is the Resurrection of the righteous dead?

THE 70th WEEK OF DANIEL

(The Final Seven Years Of This Age) (Dan.
9:27)

* Is it here?

Or is it here? *
The Harlot Rides (Rev.17)

666 Beast/Great Tribulation (Rev.13)

It is like the game "pin the tail on the donkey".
Only here we seek to "pin the Resurrection on the final seven years of this age."
Can we do it?
REVELATION 20 SHOWS US THE TRIBULATION SAINTS COMING TO THEIR REWARD.
CLEARLY THEY HAD TO BE RESURRECTED AFTER THE GREAT TRIBULATION.
In Revelation 20 John saw the Resurrection of the Tribulation saints. These saints had rejected the mark of the beast during the Great Tribulation. They had died for the faith in the 666 regime. The 666 economic identification system will be instituted by the Antichrist in his beast role during the final 3.5. years of the 70th Week. Now we see the Tribulation saints. They have come through the Tribulation period victoriously. In Revelation 20 John sees the Tribulation martyrs being raised up after the tribulation in the "first resurrection". This is the resurrection of the righteous. And the Tribulation saints are there. In fact they lead the procession. They are at the head of the Resurrection party!

Quite clearly there is no early Pre-Tribulation Resurrection of the Elect coming seven years before this "First Resurrection" we see in Revelation 20. It simply is not to be found in the Bible. The Resurrection and the Rapture are a combined event. Quite clearly a combined Pre-Tribulation Resurrection and a Pre-Tribulation Rapture cannot be found anywhere in our Bible.

Here it is again. Revelation 20 describes the resurrection of the end time heroes of the faith. These are the saints that finish the race on behalf of all the saints who have run before. The Bible in Rev.20:5 says that these Tribulation martyrs are in the "first Resurrection". They head up the Resurrection of the righteous. And the procession of the saints go in at the end of this age, not seven years before! Now the Rapture, according to our Apostle Paul in 1Thes.4:15-17, cannot precede the Resurrection of the righteous dead. It cannot precede this 'First Resurrection' which John tells us includes the Tribulation Martyrs. All the saints are raised up together in a combined Resurrection-Rapture to enter the glory together as one big happy party at the end of the age.

Dear saints, we must face the Holy Scriptures honestly here.
This First Resurrection John mentions involves the Tribulation martyrs.
Quite clearly this Resurrection is at the end of the tribulation.
It is at the end of this age.
John the Beloved calls it the 'First Resurrection".
So let us make no mistake about this.
This "First Resurrection" in which the Tribulation Saints get special mention is late!
And it occurs after the Great Tribulation when all the tribulation saints are gathered.
This is the Resurrection, and there is only one.
There can be no Resurrection that precedes this!
THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE CONCERNING THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST.
BECAUSE IT COMES QUITE LATE IN THE SEQUENCE OF END-TIME EVENTS.
THE HOLY SPIRIT CALLS IT THE 'FIRST RESURRECTION' IN REV. 20.
AND IT COMES AFTER THE GREAT TRIBULATION.
One thing that Christians do not realize, until it is pointed out to them, is that the Rapture, as it is presented by today's popular Bible prophecy teachers, is strangely isolated from the Resurrection of the righteous dead. Why is this so? Did God separate them? Or was this separation crafted by men? Our western Bible prophecy teachers are careful not mention the Resurrection. Nor do they place it in its proper scripturally founded position immediately preceding the Rapture and bonded with it. The Bible clearly bundles these two events together as a combined Resurrection-Rapture. (1Thes.4:15-17) So why are we not hearing about this? If God has joined them together in the Holy Scriptures why are churchmen dividing them asunder? And where are the Bereans who have the gumption to stand up and ask them to check the scriptures and explain the discrepancy?

There is a hidden reason for this. Our Bible teachers are clearly being pressured by the spirit of the age. They are under the influence of the prevailing religious spirits.

Here, for them, is job #1. They are bound and determined to pin the Rapture to the very beginning of the 70th week of Daniel. This is the final seven years of this age and two 3.5 year periods of trials and tribulations, the latter one being especially severe. But in order to do this they must strike the Resurrection_Rapture with a cleaver and divide it asunder. Then they must rip the Rapture from its Resurrection moorings and put a cloak over the Resurrection and its late timing. They must put a smokescreen over the Resurrection, (which is clearly too late for any possible association with their spurious Pre-Tribulation Rapture). They do not want to speak about the Resurrection of the righteous dead or its obvious late timing at the end of the 70th Week, the final seven years of this age.

Of course most Bible believing Christians already sense, (or can quite easily find out), that the Resurrection of the righteous dead comes at the very end of the age. So in order to engineer a Pre-Tribulation Rapture such a rapture must be unhinged from its true Biblical connection to the (late) Resurrection.

So here we have the strange matter of the Resurrection being made to vanish away like magic. Tinker Belle waves her magic wand and the Resurrection of the righteous dead disappears in a sparkling cloud of stardust. The Resurrection is thereby hidden under some theological "cloaking".

O yes we are under a spell. Any memory we have of the Resurrection of the righteous dead is spirited away. It is submerged or stretched out like taffy in a wad of resurrection theology extending back 2,000 years to the resurrection of Jesus. So if we ask whether the Resurrection of the righteous dead will come before or after the Tribulation we get strange and evasive responses. Because Christians are under religious witchcraft. They are under a heavy spell. They can look at the matter of the Resurrection of the righteous dead. But they do not see anything. And why? Because they are under a spell.

Does this sound far fetched? Are religious spirits at work in Christians? O yes! Just try asking about the timing of the Resurrection of the righteous dead sometime and see for yourself. The subject is quickly diverted and spirited off. This strange confusion in the face of Biblical truth is evidence of religious spirits at work. This is why we need to pray without ceasing. Religious spirits can be at work among Christians even as they discuss holy things. And they are often operating in Christians who are otherwise quite sound.


THE RAPTURE: - IN A TWINKLING OF AN EYE.
The Rapture of the Church will occur in an instant, in a twinkling of an eye. At a moment in time "the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed". The living saints will be glorified at the same time as the resurrecting dead. We shall find ourselves changed, glorified, into new incorruptible bodies. Here then is another passage from our Apostle Paul showing us once again the close relationship in time of the Resurrection and the "catching up" or Rapture.


51. "Behold, I tell you a mystery:
We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--
52. in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
For the trumpet will sound,
and the dead will be raised incorruptible,
and we shall be changed.
53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption,
and this mortal must put on immortality. - 1Cor.15:51-53

This is a 'mystery', a reality we have not yet seen. We cannot yet fully grasp or comprehend it. Nevertheless this magnificent moment is out there in the future somewhere. And when we answer this Resurrection question we begin to get somewhere. The second coming of Christ not only involves the Rapture. At His coming the righteous dead are raised in the Resurrection. Then, immediately after this comes the Rapture.

Does the Bible does give us a specific timing of the Rapture?
No it does not. It would be nice if it did.

Well does The Bible give us a specific timing for the Resurrection then?
Yes, it does.

Well when is the Resurrection of the righteous dead?
Is it pre-tribulation or is it post-tribulation.


THE RESURRECTION WILL OCCUR AFTER THE 70TH WEEK ENDS.
JESUS TELLS US FOUR TIMES IN ONE PASSAGE THAT HE WILL
RAISE UP/RESURRECT HIS COVENANT PEOPLE AT THE 'LAST DAY'.


Well we don't need to look very far for the answer. Jesus Himself gives us the answer.
Four times in John 6 Jesus states categorically that this glorious resurrection was going to occur at the "last day".

John
6:39 "This is the will of the Father who sent Me,
that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing,
but should raise it up at the last day."

John 6:40 "And this is the will of Him who sent Me,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life;
and I will raise him up at the last day.""

John
6:44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;
and I will raise him up at the last day."

John
6:54 "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life,
and I will raise him up at the last day."

Is our Lord Jesus trying to get a message to us here? If He saw fit to tell us four times in the one message that He will raise His people up at the "last day" then who would dare contradict Him? His Word should be final. And who would dare tamper with the message the Holy Spirit has so clearly laid out for us in the Holy Scriptures? The Resurrection of the righteous dead will occur at the 'last day". Therefore it must come at the end of the 7 year period of Daniel's 70th week. And therefore the Resurrection must be after the tribulation.
MARTHA, SISTER OF LAZARUS, WAS A SAINT FROM A FORMER ERA.
SHE KNEW THE TIMING OF THE RESURRECTION.
Here is some further evidence of the resurrection coming at the very end of the age. Martha left her kitchen to come out and get in Jesus' face over the death of her brother Lazarus. At that time she made a strong confession of her faith. She spoke of the sure hope of the resurrection. The Old Testament saints, unlike many of us evangelicals today, had a very good handle on the resurrection of the righteous dead. And from the testimony of the patriarchs and Job, Daniel etc. they knew when this resurrection of the righteous would occur. Here is Martha's word on the matter and her magnificent confession of the blessed hope of the glorification of the saints at the resurrection. This account is recorded by the Apostle John. As we see here in this scripture below, Martha knew very well when this end-time Resurrection of the righteous dead would occur.

John 11:24 Martha said to Him,
"I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

This seems pretty plain and straightforward doesn't it?.
The Resurrection will come at the last day of this age.

Now remember, we just read in the passages earlier that the Resurrection immediately precedes the Rapture. The Resurrection and the Rapture are a combined event. So voila, if we have our timing for the Resurrection at the last day then we also have the timing of the Rapture. We have the Rapture nailed down as being on the last day as well.

So there we have it.
Proof of a Post-Tribulation Resurrection-Rapture.

Here is some additional solid scriptural evidence for this.


JESUS TELLS US IN THE OLIVET DISCOURSE THAT HE
WILL GATHER HIS ELECT AFTER THE GREAT TRIBULATION.


We know from scripture above and the Olivet Discourse that the Elect will be gathered to the returning Christ at the Second Coming. In fact the Bible only speaks of one Second Coming of Christ.

So when is this gathering of the Elect? And yes, Jesus only spoke of one single unified Elect, not two.
Will the gathering of the Elect come before the Great Tribulation?
Or will Christ our Messiah be gathering His Elect after the Tribulation?

Again, the Bible speaks.
And Jesus Himself gives us a plain and simple answer.

Here are His words on this important matter of the time of the gathering of the Elect.
"IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION....... "
"COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN...."
"WITH THE GREAT SOUND OF A TRUMPET...."
"HE WILL GATHER HIS ELECT..." (singular)

Matthew 24:29-31
29. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

30. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

JESUS TELLS HIS FOUR CLOSEST DISCIPLES PRIVATELY THAT HE WILL GATHER HIS ELECT
IN A SINGLE FINAL HARVEST IN THE DAYS OF THE 6TH SEAL COSMIC SIGNS
OF A DARKENED SUN AND MOON WITH THE STARS FALLING.


In this same passage Jesus also tells us about the SIGN of His coming and the timing of that SIGN which would herald His coming to gather the Elect in the Resurrection-Rapture. The SIGN of the Son of Man would be seen in the heavens in those epic future days that would see the cosmic signs of a darkened sun, a bloody moon, and stars falling.

Matthew 24:29-31
29. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

30. Then the SIGN of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Then after the coming of these cosmic signs we have the gathering of the Elect at the last trumpet.

31. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The darkened sun and bloody moon are the cosmic signs time linked to the sixth seal. They occur late in the 70th week, towards the very end. A nuke will have gone off. Joel describes the awful scene in poetic language. "Blood, fire, and pillars of smoke" will go up as a mushroom cloud to fill the atmosphere with smoke. The sun will be darkened and there will be a bloody moon. These are the cosmic signs mentioned by the prophet Joel. (Joel 2:31-32) They are also mentioned by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse These are the cosmic disturbances that are associated with the
Battle of Armageddon. This epic battle will be fought at the very end of the final 7 years of this age. These 6th seal cosmic signs indicate that 5th seal witness of the saints is now over. The Second Coming of Christ is now truly imminent.


THE SHEPHERD OF
ISRAEL GATHERS HIS SHEEP
ON A 'DARK AND CLOUDY DAY'.


"The Lost Sheep" by Alfred Soord (1868-1915)
The prophet Ezekiel saw the same event. He saw it from another perspective. He saw the Shepherd of
Israel gathering His lost sheep 'on a cloudy and dark day'.

Ezekiel 34
12 'As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.' - Ezek. 34:12

This will be an awesome scene. The righteous dead are resurrected. And then the living saints are gathered. Something will have happened to the atmosphere around the earth. And the world is about to be judged. Yet here at the climax of holy history there is a magnificent rescue of God's covenant people. The prophet Micah speaks of the Bozrah Deliverance.

So at the climax of the age we see a single triumphant party. They are gathering together around the returning Christ. All of His Elect Congregation spanning 4,000 years plus are gathered together as one. They are one united 'called out' company, the 'ekklesia'/congregation of God. They are the
remnant Church and remnant Israel coming into confluence together as a 'royal priesthood and a holy nation'. (1Pet.2:9) The returning Christ will be gathering all who are in Christ and all who belong to the God of Israel. At the "great sound of the trumpet" all the saints will be gathered as a single Elect. They are gathered from among the living and the dead. They come from all races, from among both the Jews and the Gentiles, and from both sides of Calvary, and from around the world. Jesus Himself said that He would return to gather His Elect from "the four winds of heaven", from across space and time. He gathers His own from across the racial divides of Israel and out from the clutches of the heathen gentile nations. He gathers His people from beyond the gates of Sheol and brings them home across the very borders of life and death.
What a magnificent harvest this will be!
THE TIMING OF THE RAPTURE AND OUR EMOTIONS.
Of course there is more to this matter of the timing of the Resurrection-Rapture than "just the facts". Each one of us is created by God to be a creature of some emotion. We have a heart and we have a very powerful "feelings department" within our soul or psyche. Those feeling are not subject to reason. That is a well known fact.

The fact is we are not entirely rational in what we believe. Our "feelings" play a very big part. This question of the timing of the Rapture is certainly an emotionally charged issue. Our heart is often cross wired with our rational mind. And so our minds and loaded with what we believe are facts but are not. They are our notions, really just our own fondly held, (and often false, pre-suppositions. This is why the process of deciding on what we believe can play tricks on us. We don't want to "hear" some hard truths. Nor do we want to "see" some things. We might think we have all the issues in alignment with God and His Word. But there are pied pipers out there, and we pay them to play our tune. So it is often what we "want to hear" that we end up hearing, and believing.

Of course seeker friendly religious salesmen are close by our side. They know what we "want". And like good salesmen they are very keen to sell us what we want to hear. The Pre-Tribulation Rapture package is a case in point. It is just a religious dream, but we love it. Dear saints, we must face the brutal truth here. Jesus said that where our treasure is there will our heart be also. We as Christians have have opened our pockets here. We have made this Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine a multi-billion dollar a year business.

This is an exceedingly difficult matter for us to address. Bible teachers who teach a Pre-Trib Rapture are usually sound in every other way. For the most part they are dear evangelical brothers and sisters. But the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is a corporate belief. There is a huge amount of Pre-Trib traffic and peer pressure involved here. When we finally see the error of this it is difficult for us. It is hard to accept that we have been entangled in error and confusion for many years of our Christian lives. It is also exceedingly hard for us to believe that we have been deceived. We have been deceived by well meaning teachers. And we have been self-deceived as well. We have not done our homework in the Holy Scriptures as we should. We also expect the political status quo to last forever. So why bother about the end-time?

So here is the awful question we must face. What if we as Christian believers are largely living on the carnal side of our nature? What if our lower nature and our ego lords over the spiritual side of our nature. Our mind is like an iceberg, mostly submerged and unseen beneath the surface. Just what is going on deep down in our subconscious? Are we Holy Spirit led Bible believing overcomers? Or is the fleshly side of our nature on the throne of our hearts and calling the shots? Could it really be that carnal religious desires can trump out Biblical truth? Could this really be what is happening deep down in our heart with our eschatology?

These are awful things to have to consider. So most of us don't bother. We just drift along with the crowd. It is not just our teenagers who are giving in to "peer pressure". It seems our opinion will not change until the opinion of the crowd and our peers changes first. Can it really be this bad?

The Bible repeatedly alludes to human beings being like sheep.
The prophet Isaiah said,

Isaiah 53:6
"All we like sheep have gone astray.
We have turned, everyone of us, to his own way."

And he was right.
The prophet Jeremiah lamented,

Jeremiah
5:31
The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule by their own power;
And My people love to have it so.
But what will you do in the end?

A realization of the scriptural certainty of a Post-Tribulation Resurrection-Rapture is always a strait and narrow and difficult passage. It is nearly always a rude awakening. Sometimes the truth really hurts. We shall always need emotional solace from our God when we go through these sort of major spiritual transitions. This was certainly the case for me when I went through the threshold in my passage from Pre-Trib to Post Trib. I know others who have had the same experience. It is a tough initiation into the Way of the Cross. But it is a necessary one if we really want to be "sold out" for God. And the Holy Spirit is with us. He is our Comforter as well as our Guide.

Here is another pointer. It is quite normal for saints to cry out to God in their distress. We need His covering in such times. It is even normal to cry or even become broody or moody for a season. We can even get angry at God for a time as we pass through these straits. Anger at God is the real and the hidden cause of depression. The depression remains until we reach a point of acceptance. Then we get better.

Don't we often see the same pattern in the Psalms? The psalmist begins in a cry of distress. "How long, O Lord....?" Then they remember YHVH/God's great acts of mercy and deliverance in times past. The psalmist then reminds himself about those times when God was faithful in trials. The songwriter then finds himself entering into the glory and the Psalm ends on a high note. The psalmist affirms his faith in the lovingkindness of God. Then he concludes by speaking of the wonderful future God has planned for His covenant people.

The emotional issue is definitely the main issue for Post-Trib truth. The scriptural foundation is rock solid. It is all very simple, elegant, plain, and straightforward. Pre-Tribbers nowadays prefer not to debate Post-tribbers. When they are asked to back up their end-time scenario with chapter and verse of scripture they do not do well. They have learned that it is best for them to just find some reason to shut us out of their discussion boards.

If we are allowed into a Bible prophecy forum and encounter Pre-Tribbers keen to debate the issue of the timing of the Rapture then the outcome is quite inevitable. We just bring the scriptures to bear on any one of a number of relevant issues.

The timing of the Resurrection, for example, is a telling point to raise. Jesus tells us four times in John 6:39, 6:40, 6:44, and
6:54 that He will be raising His people up at the "last day". So we know the Resurrection will be after the Great Tribulation. Revelation 20:4 tells the same story. The "first Resurrection" contains tribulation martyrs. Clearly the Resurrection of the righteous dead occurs art the very end of the age after the Great Tribulation.

Then we have them. We show them the combined Resurrection-Rapture in 1Thes.4:15-17. If the Resurrection is late and the Rapture cannot precede it then the Rapture is late too. This is a simple uncomplicated logical conclusion any child can draw from a plain reading of the scriptures. Soon afterwards we have the Pre- Tribbers pinned down. They have no place to go except into Post Trib.

Of course they are usually not emotionally prepared for this. They refuse. Then they get angry. All too often, the discussion then becomes acrimonious. And both sides fall from the high pathway of grace.

This is why we see so few good debating arenas nowadays. The discussion boards that still remain open see more and more "rules of engagement" added by moderators. We see, "No discussion of the timing of the rapture is allowed on this discussion board". Or, "Please be aware of Rule #5". Offenders are typically "warned" and then "banned". Many times post-tribbers, trying very hard to be gracious in their presentation of scripture, get too successful at showing the truth. When they attempt to enter the online discussion forum the next day they find that they have been locked out.

Emotional issues are the main reason people refuse to leave the Pre-Tribulation Rapture position. The "cut and run" eschatology is very popular. There are peer pressure issues as well. None of us likes to leave friends or to lose them. And then too, as sheep, we are gregarious creatures. No one likes to be a lone voice crying in the wilderness.

POPULARITY AND MONEY ISSUES WITH POST-TRIB.
AND THE SPECTER OF BEING ALONE AND OSTRACIZED.


For ministers of religion there are financial and job security issues at stake here as well. A man has to take care of his family. So he must learn to please a deacon board. I know of several cases where ministers have lost their job over this issue of the timing of the Rapture. I personally know a fine evangelical pastor who has been sent a letter banning him from using the library of a Christian college when they learned that he held to a Post-Trib rapture view. This is so sad to have to report. We can be so childish and manipulative at times. It is truly unfortunate that Christians cannot discuss such an important matter without being bullied by the ones who have the money and the power. The fact of the matter is that most of us are still balking at Post-Trib truth. And we are not doing it for sound Biblical reasons. They are doing it for all sorts of carnal, emotional, non-rational, and non-scriptural reasons.

Fortunately we serve a gracious God. He understands what we are going through. He has promised to lead us "in Spirit as well as in Truth". The Shepherd of the sheep is with us. He does not just hit us with the data. Nor does He just "sock it to us" with the cold facts. He has sent us His Holy Spirit. He is our Comforter as well as being our Guide. He empowers us to walk on in God. The Holy Spirit also helps us to walk in the graces. He helps us to wrap up the Truth in the graces of His love, joy, and peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.


BIBLE PROPHECY IS EASY


The scriptures on the end-time are not as complicated as we have been led to believe. Even a little child could lead us into the truth here. This author found it very easy to counter the arguments of one of the champions of Pre-Tribulationism when he made his challenge to the Post-Trib position. Grant Jeffrey came out strongly against Post-Tribulation Rapture position some years back. Here is my response to Grant Jeffrey's arguments.

Pre-trib is a really quite a mess. It is a complicated colossus of disharmony and confusion. Post-Trib, on the other hand, is simple, elegant, orderly and beautiful. As we proceed on into this Bible study we shall soon see just how easy it is to use the scriptures to put the jigsaw puzzle of the end-time together harmoniously.


KNOWING THE TIMING OF THE RAPTURE IS IMPORTANT.
IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE PREPARATION FOR THE COMING NIGHT.
WISE VIRGINS WILL KNOW THE SCORE AND PREPARE.
FOOLISH VIRGINS WILL NOT.



The timing of the Rapture of the Church is an important matter to have nailed down. It must be made clear to the true saints of God. These essential truths of the revelation/apocalypse/unveiling of Jesus Christ are not going to remain a mystery forever. This information relates to the end-time drama. It is a history for which we need to be prepared. Epic events will erupt onto the world stage. They will do so very quickly and forcefully. It may well happen on some future Jewish new year on the Feast of Trumpets.

Here is the burden of this writer. If the saints are not properly warned and adequately informed and empowered by the Holy Spirit to give themselves to the Redeemer in a time of peace then what will happen when they find themselves suddenly thrust into the epic events of the end-time? They will be confused. They will be bewildered. They will be fearful, and perhaps unpredictable in what they might do. They could be caught unprepared and unready. The scriptures warn us about this very thing. The following scripture is time dated to the 'swelling of the
Jordan'. This is a biblical reference to the time of the harvest. - Josh.3:15 The harvest is that time of high intensity of events as God prepares to reap the earth. - Rev.14:15 He will gather the wicked for destruction and gather His elect for glorification at the end of the age. - Mat.13:33 It is a message to us, ...now, ...today.
God is asking us some questions.

Jer 12:5
"If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
then how can you contend with horses?

And if in the land of peace, in which you trusted, they wearied you,
then how will you do in the swelling of
Jordan?"

Are we listening? And how shall we answer? Are we connecting the dots? Or do we just say.
"That message of warning and exhortation to preparation is for the Jews.
That is Old Testament stuff.
We are in a different dispensation.
We are the
New Testamant Church!" Preparation in God is "works". We are people of "grace".

Dear saints, now is the time for us to take a long hard look at our attitude to Christian witness. God has given us time for peaceful reflection and preparation in the Holy Spirit. And that time is now!

True shepherds know that sheep will only drink from still waters. God has given us this time of peace for a purpose. This is a time to leave our pursuit of pleasure and material things. Now is the time to allow ourselves to be led in quietness deeper into the heart of the Shepherd. Let us get to know His voice. (John 10:3-4) A dark and cloudy day is coming. (Ezek.34:12) True believers will need to stay very close to the Shepherd of
Israel.

Let us join our Apostle Paul and affirm our faith to the end.

"For the which cause I suffer these things,
Nevertheless I am not ashamed,
For I know whom I have believed,
And am persuaded, that He is able,
To keep that which I've committed
Unto Him against that Day". -1Tim.1:12

The highway of holiness leads onwards and upwards;
- towards the gates of splendor.

Grace and shalom to all the saints.



.