Bad Eschatology, Part 3 – The Pretribulation Rapture

My favorite pastors believe in a pretribulation rapture. I currently attend a church that holds to a pretrib eschatology. So, my disagreement with this view is no reflection upon anyone’s faithfulness to God. In fact, I normally like pretribbers more than post-tribbers.

However, as your brother in Christ, I am required to point out where you get things wrong, especially if such errors put you in harm’s way.

Just remember what I wrote last week about our tendency to blindness. We are all vulnerable to error, and it’s hard to undo the mistakes that we were taught.

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Bad Eschatology, Part 3 – The Pretribulation Rapture

11 Reasons Why The Pretrib Theory Is Wrong

We all get things wrong. We all take verses out of context and make mountains out of molehills. It’s how heresies get started. The difference lies in our willingness to be corrected by other verses and passages in the Bible.

Are you willing to submit to what the Bible says?

If so, then you will be safe from the heresies that Satan has been cultivating around the world. If not, there’s a big target on your back.

Reason #1 – No Verse Describes the Rapture as Pretrib

Our first and most powerful reason for why the Pretribulation Rapture Theory is incorrect, is simply this:

There is no verse or passage that describes the Rapture as coming before the Great Triblulation.

That realization should surprise you as much as it shocked me. When I first crossed swords with proponents of this theory, I had thought that there would be at least one verse that described what they said. But, there wasn’t. I was dumbfounded.

How can you build such a colossal theory, without a single verse that describes it to be true?

What’s more, Dispensationalist theologians admit that this is true. Unfortunately, many are not willing to be so honest, and will either deny that they know this or will change the subject by claiming that there is no proof of a post-tribulation rapture. And, my response is always…

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Reason #2 – 1 Thessalonians 4 and Daniel 12

In 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul says this:

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

 – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (KJV)

Paul is saying that the First Resurrection happens BEFORE the Rapture. There is only one First Resurrection, and the Rapture cannot come before it. This begs the question:

When does the First Resurrection occur?

Well, Daniel 12 says this:

1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

 – Daniel 12:1-2 (KJV)

THAT is the First Resurrection, and it is AFTER the Great Tribulation.

Just those two passages are absolute proof that the Pretribulation Rapture cannot be true. There are other, more complex proofs ahead. But, that is the second most clear description of why the Rapture cannot be pretrib.

To summarize:

Paul said that the Rapture is AFTER the Resurrection.

Daniel said that the Resurrection is AFTER the Great Tribulation.

However, the clearest explanation comes from the words of Jesus Himself:

Reason #3 – Matthew 24

I have stopped using the Olivet Discourse as my number one proof because Dispensationalists are already primed to twist this scripture. I am horrified at their willingness to do this, so I make Matthew 24 the third proof, instead of the first.

Here is firm evidence that Jesus is talking about a Post Tribulation Rapture:

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.

 – Matthew 24:29-31 (NKJV)

That is the Resurrection and the Rapture AFTER THE GREAT TRIBULATION. The idea that Dispensationalists would twist the words of Jesus, to try and make His words say the opposite is mind-boggling.

Reason #4 – Gog Cannot Be The Antichrist

Unfortunately, Dispensationalists have a little problem. They don’t know what to do with the coming of Gog and Magog. It’s a huge hole in their argument, so they either refuse to talk about Gog – or if they do, they claim that he’s the Antichrist.

The coming of Gog and Magog is directly described in Ezekiel 38 and 39, and indirectly described in Zechariah 12 and 13. If you can read through those passages and still say that Gog and Magog fits inside the Great Tribulation, you have a greater imagination than I do. But, maybe I should describe how important this question is.

If Gog is not the Antichrist…

…there is no pre-tribulation rapture.

…there will be no Third Temple for blood sacrifices.

…the Return of Jacob to God must happen years, even decades, before the Antichrist.

The Three Biggest Reasons

I did a deep dive into the timing of Gog and Magog, in my book When Gog Comes. When I undertook that study, I was hoping to find proof that my assumptions were wrong and that I had wasted my time writing Ezekiel’s Fire. To my horror, My research confirmed the timing, and I discovered that my assumptions were far too conservative. Ezekiel’s Fire was going to be worse than I thought.

So, I’m going to steal a little bit from When Gog Comes, to show you why Gog cannot be the Antichrist. The three biggest reasons are:

The invasion of Israel by Gog and Magog is not at all like the invasion of the Antichrist.

The events surrounding Gog and Magog are not at all like the events surrounding the Antichrist.

But, here’s the most important reason of all:

The salvation of Israel happens years BEFORE the coming of the Antichrist…

…while the Bible records this Return of Jacob as happening AFTER Gog and Magog.

Those three reasons, by themselves, are enough to prove completely that Gog is NOT the Antichrist, and that Gog and Magog are coming long before the Antichrist arrives. It also proves that you MUST prepare for the great catastrophe that will also come, when Gog leads his military alliance against Israel. But, let’s look at some more reasons. (The full list is in the book.)

There are five invasions of Israel by the Antichrist
(Gog is described as invading once)

The Israel at the time of the Antichrist will not look like the Israel of today
(What Daniel 11 describes is deeply disturbing. Israel will have suffered heavy damage, long before the Antichrist rises.)

The Antichrist captures Jerusalem.
(Gog does NOT capture Jerusalem.)

Israelis need to run away from the Antichrist
(Israelis do not need to run away from Gog)

The Antichrist will not be buried, but he and his false prophet will be thrown alive into Hell
(Gog will be buried and will have a grave in a valley called Hamon Gog.)

There are merely hours or maybe days between the destruction of the Antichrist and the Millennium
(After Gog is destroyed, there must be enough time for Israeli Christians to reach spiritual maturity and to seal the 144 thousand.)

In Zechariah 14, The Antichrist conquers Jerusalem and half the city flees into the wilderness
(In Zechariah 12, the inhabitants of Jerusalem successfully defend the city from Gog and Magog, with even the weakest being so incredibly strong that they will slay all their enemies, just like David did.)

In Zechariah 14, Jerusalem is rescued by God Himself
(In Zechariah 12, God gives the inhabitants of Jerusalem supernatural strength and the ability to defend themselves.)

In Zechariah 14, God PHYSICALLY saves Jerusalem and Israel
(In Zechariah 12 and 13, God SPIRITUALLY saves them.)

For a detailed analysis with scripture references, go here.

Reason #5 – The Fourth Angel of Revelation 16

My discussion of Isaiah 30 in When Gog Comes brought up some interesting observations.

When does God send fire upon Magog and the other nations in Ezekiel 39?

AFTER the invasion of Gog and Magog has begun.

When does the fourth angel pour out his bowl upon the Sun in Revelation 16?

BEFORE the invasion of The Kings of the East and the battle of Armageddon.

That alone means that Gog CANNOT be the Antichrist.

Reason #6 – Israel Must Be Saved BEFORE The Great Tribulation

Gog is NOT the Antichrist, and  Gog must come years before the Antichrist. Therefore, the Redemption of Israel must come long before the Antichrist. But, there are more reasons why God will Redeem Jacob BEFORE the Antichrist arrives.

Remember that Revelation 12 shows that Israel is in a covenant relationship with God, when she flees into the wilderness, where she is sheltered from the Antichrist for three and a half years. Also, Daniel 11 shows that there is a spiritual relationship between Israel and God, BEFORE the Antichrist takes over Jerusalem. All of this means that:

Israel accepts Christ and is Christian BEFORE the Antichrist rises
(Ezekiel and Zechariah say that the salvation of Israel is AFTER Gog is destroyed)

The Return of Jacob must happen BEFORE the Antichrist invades Israel
(Only after Gog is destroyed, will Israel be saved.)

Here are some other key points:

  • The proof of the salvation of the Children of Jacob before the Antichrist is so clear, that those who disagree should the ones required to prove their point. (And, they can’t.)
  • Hebrews 8 and Galatians are clear that God will NOT be bringing the Children of Jacob back to the Law of Moses – aka, Torah.
  • All the prophecies about the salvation of Israel show them being saved IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL – not outside of Israel. (Therefore, the Children of Israel MUST BE SAVED BEFORE REVELATION 12.)
  • The 144,000 men from the 12 tribes of Israel, must be saved LONG BEFORE the coming of the Antichrist.

If nothing else, the sealing of the 144 thousand Israelis in Revelation 7 should be enough of a clue that Israel must be following Christ long before the Antichrist arrives – enough of a clue that we all should have serious questions about current theories concerning the Last Days. There is just no way that you can look at Revelation7 and see anything else.

Reason #7 – Revelation 19 and 20

Please remember that there is only one Resurrection of the Just. And, Revelation 20 refers to only one First Resurrection:

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

 – Revelation 20:4-6 (NKJV)

What comes at the time of the First Resurrection?

This happens:

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

 – Revelation 20:1-3 (NKJV)

Also, Revelation 19 also shows us when the Resurrection happens:

7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

[Further description of Jesus and the armies of heaven]

19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.

20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

 – Revelation 19 (KJV)

The Resurrection happens at the time when Jesus Returns with the armies of heaven. And, that event coincides with marriage of the Lamb. There is literally no way that the First Resurrection and the Rapture can happen before this.

Where else do we see this?

Reason #8 – Zechariah 14

Zechariah 14 is interesting. It talks about the coming of the Antichrist and his capture of Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Bible translations get an important word wrong:

1 Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

 – Zechariah 14:1-2 (ESV)

As much as I dislike the ESV (due to their vile translation of Genesis 3:16), they get this passage right, while the KJV and other translations get it wrong. The key word is ‘exile’ (גולה). Other translations say ‘captivity’. and that’s incorrect. If half the city was taken captive, a different word would have been used, like sh-vee (שבי), which means captivity. If you are a prisoner, you are a shah-voo-ee (שבוי).

So, what does it mean that half of Jerusalem goes into exile?

Here is a snapshot of one part of the same event, from the Book of Revelation:

13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.

 – Revelation 12:13-14 (ESV)

So, the ‘half of Jerusalem’ that goes into exile, looks like it is actually the great escape from the dragon, which makes the first two verses of Zecharia 14 about the third invasion/coup of Israel by the Antichrist. Again, the words of Jesus confirm the suddenness of this military operation by the Antichrist:

15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.

Matthew 24:15-18 (ESV)

So, upon closer inspection, it’s actually a positive thing for ‘half the city’ to go into exile. It means that half the population of Jerusalem followed the commands of Jesus and got out before the Antichrist could catch them. So, part of Zechariah 14:2 is good, even though the suffering after that is awful.

I find it deeply disturbing to discover that this KJV translation error had corrupted my view of what Zechariah 14:2 said. For decades, I had assumed that the Antichrist would forcefully depopulate Jerusalem and put the Jews into concentration camps, when the truth was that the people of Jerusalem were running away – just like Jesus told them to.

More importantly, if I had known that the word was EXILE, instead of CAPTIVITY, I would not have been as puzzled by Zechariah 14. This is yet another reason why the KJV cannot be trusted completely. You need to double-check what it says.

Unfortunately, you also need to double-check all the other translations, too. I am truly amazed at how awful the English translations of the Bible are. The publishing houses that commissioned these Bibles should be ashamed of themselves.

The Battle Of Armageddon Begins

Then in verse three of Zechariah 14, all the English translations of the Bible get the first word completely wrong – at least, for the translations that I’ve seen:

Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

Zechariah 14:3 (KJV)

That word ‘Then’ is deeply incorrect. The original Hebrew says ‘And’ and NOT ‘Then’. The word ‘then’ indicates a moment that is immediately after the events of verse two. But, since the word is ‘and’, the gap between verse two and three could be much, much longer than ‘immediately after’. And yes, for years I was caught by the false usage of ‘then’ in that verse. To put it another way:

There is a three and a half year gap between verse two and verse three of Zechariah 14.

Even though I knew that the KJV was imperfect, I still made the mistake of not double-checking the translation by looking at the original Hebrew. That’s why I – and so many others – have assumed that the events of verse three MUST come immediately after the events of verse two.

So anyway, verse three begins the liberation of Jerusalem from the Antichrist, and is where the Battle of Armageddon really begins. And, the next verse describes HOW Jesus begins His war upon the Antichrist and the nations:

On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west forming a very large valley. Half of the mountain will move toward the north, and the other half toward the south.

Zechariah 14:4 (NASB)

Jesus will descend upon the Mount of Olives, and they will split in two. This is the Second Coming, as promised in the first chapter of Acts:

11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

Acts 1:11 (NKJV)

Jesus will return in the same way that He left, with one difference:

The Mount of Olives will split in two.

Oh, and this indicates a very, very important point:

Yehovah is Jesus

If you are surprised by that, you might need to spend more time reading the Old Testament – not just the new. If you aren’t reading both, you are doomed to a stunted spiritual growth. Oh, and there are a lot more proofs that Yehovah is Yeshua (Jesus). If you want to get deeper into that, my friend Meno Kalisher wrote a great book called Jesus in the Hebrew Scriptures. (I helped with the very first rough draft.)

Zechariah 14 goes on to talk about the escape of those who are left in Jerusalem, followed by the plagues that God inflicts upon those nations that fight against Him. This description of Armageddon is followed by a discussion of what the Millennium will be like.

Confirmation From Joel 3

Oh, and we can confirm that God rescues Jerusalem BEFORE the Battle of Armageddon, because of this verse in Joel 3

16 The Lord also will roar from Zion,
And utter His voice from Jerusalem;
The heavens and earth will shake;
But the Lord will be a shelter for His people,
And the strength of the children of Israel.

Joel 3:16 (NKJV)

Jerusalem will be rescued first, THEN the Battle of Armageddon starts. Or, maybe we could say that the Battle of Armageddon begins at Jerusalem. Furthermore, the people of God who live during this time will be sheltered by God, from the wrath that He will pour out upon the nations that fight against Him.

Reason #9 – The Resurrection At The Last Day

After Jesus fed the 5000 and walked on the Sea of Galilee, the next day Jesus spoke at the synagogue at Capernaum (K’far Nahum). That was when he spoke of Himself as the Bread of Life, that came from Heaven.

39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

 – John 6:39-40 (KJV)

This means that the Resurrection is literally at THE LAST DAY. It’s AFTER the Great Tribulation. The LAST DAY is definitely not before the Great Tribulation.

Reason #10 – 2nd Thessalonians 2

Dr. Alan Kurschner says about this next proof:

Second Thessalonians chapter two has been the nemesis for pretribulationism. Or what I refer to as the 800-pound gorilla in the Bible of the pretribulationist.

This biblical passage has convinced more ex-pretribulationists that their pretrib theology is wrong than any other Bible passage. The reason for this is straightforward: The fundamental premise of pretribulationism is that there cannot be any prophesied events that will take place before the rapture, and consequently they believe in the novel idea of what has come to be called the “any moment” rapture (a.k.a. imminence).

 – from Does Apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Refer to a ‘Physical Departure’ (i.e. the Rapture)?

Unfortunately, in a desperate attempt to block criticism of their failed theory of a pretrib rapture, some Dispensationalists have chosen to redefine a key word to keep their theory alive. Here is the passage in question:

1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 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, 4 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 Thessalonians 2:1-4 (NKJV)

That phrase ‘unless the falling away comes first’ is dangerous to the Dispensationalist doctrine of imminence. If there is ANYTHING that must happen before the Rapture, then their position is severely damaged. So, some pretrib commenters have redefined ‘falling away’ to mean the rapture.

The Greek word in question is ἀποστασία (apostasia), and it’s where we get the word apostasy. Merriam-Webster defines ‘apostasy’ as:

“an act of refusing to continue to follow, obey, or recognize a religious faith”

That’s exactly what it means, and that is exactly how the Book of Acts and the Septuagint use that word. But, because apostasia means to ‘move away from a position of faith’, they have chosen to see it as just ‘moving away from a position’, as in… move up into the clouds. And no, the Bible has never referred to the Rapture in this way. Never. Read more from Dr. Kushner’s explanation, to understand what I mean.

Unfortunately, I believe that this habit of twisting the Bible will lead Dispensationalists into some very, very dark paths. And, Paul wrote about this a few verses down in this chapter:

10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 – 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (NKJV)

Our only hope of safely getting through the difficult days that are coming, is to love the truth. Without it, we will perish, and I fear for our brothers and sisters in Christ because they have chosen a lie over the truth.

Reason #11 – Daniel’s 70 Weeks

John Nelson Darby taught that there was a centuries-long gap between Week 69 and Week 70 because that was the only way to make Dispensationalism work. That’s right…

…Dispensationalism falls apart if there is no gap in Daniel’s 70 Weeks.

Over the years, several friends of mine acknowledged this to me by saying:

“We put a gap there, because we have to.”

And, the reason for this, is because Dispensationalism and the Pretribulation Rapture require the return of Temple Sacrifices, if they are going to escape the Great Tribulation.

Why?

Well, if you want the Rapture to happen before the Antichrist takes power, you need it to happen BEFORE the Return of Jacob to God. If Israel is saved before the Rapture, it means that we are all going to suffer terribly when the Antichrist arrives. And, they are desperate to avoid believing that.

Here is the full passage:

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

 – Daniel 9:24-27 (KJV)

According to verse 24, during this seventy weeks, the following was going to happen:

  • finish the transgression
  • make an end of sins
  • make reconciliation for iniquity
  • bring in everlasting righteousness
  • seal up the vision and prophecy
  • anoint the most Holy.

And, when those 490 years (each week is seven days, each day is a year) were completed, all of the above would have happened, and did happen. All of it. And, it happened exactly as prophesied.

Is there anything in that list that applies to the Last Days?

NO!! NOTHING!

Jesus Fulfilled All Of That – Including The 70th Week

Transgression was finished. Sins were ended. Reconciliation was accomplished. Everlasting righteousness was brought in. Vision and prophecy were sealed up. And, the Most Holy in heaven was definitely anointed with the Blood of Jesus. To say otherwise, is to not understand what Jesus did on the cross, in the grave and in heaven when he rose and went to the temple in heaven.

To say otherwise is to deny what Jesus did, two thousand years ago.

Don’t people know that Satan has ALREADY BEEN DEFEATED?

Satan lost, when Christ died for our sins, rose from the grave and poured out his blood upon the alter in heaven. And, I am astounded that so few seem to understand that.

Yet, they persist in saying that verse 27 has not happened yet.

How can this be?

Well, I know the answer. Honest mistakes were made by people who did not understand the underlying Hebrew, and those mistakes were picked up by Darby and amplified.

Looking More Closely For That ‘Gap’

So, let’s look at verse 26 and 27 more closely, because THAT is where they claim the two thousand year gap is. And, while we do that, remember the purpose of this prophecy that was laid out at the beginning of this passage.

So, here are verses 26 and 27, but this time I have looked at the original Hebrew:

VERSE 26 – And after sixty and two weeks will Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and a people of a prince that shall come and destroy the city and the holy place, and its end in the overflow, and to an end war is desolations determined.

VERSE 27 – And, a covenant shall be confirmed to many, for one week. And, [at] half of the week, there is a ceasing of sacrifice and offering. And, to the wing of abominations, devastation – until completeness and destruction is poured on [the] devastated.

 – Daniel 9:26-27, JLV (John Little Version)

Verse 25 speaks of a seven week period to build the city, and then – after 62 weeks – Messiah will be cut off. How much after? Well the clue is in verse 27, where He makes sacrifice and offering to cease. Of course, in the physical world, sacrifices and offerings continued, but they had as much significance as the offerings made to the demon in the temple that is just down the street from where I live, here in Tainan.

In the eyes of God, the sacrifices were over. Done. Finished. Of no value, whatsoever. But, verse 26 speaks about a prince. And, a people. And, the destruction of the city. And, remember that the focus is NOT on the temple, but on Jerusalem.

Who destroyed Jerusalem?

The Romans.

When?

AD 70.

Are we inserting extra time, here?

No, the Bible is making a parenthetical statement – a side point that adds important detail but is not essential to the main point. It is describing that Jerusalem will be destroyed (about forty years later), because they rejected their Messiah. And, you will notice that the Jews chose the leader of an insurrection, Barabbas, over that of Jesus. That was a very prophetic choice, since it was the insurrection of the Jews that caused the fall of Jerusalem.

Yes, I know that God could have made this ‘side point’ at the end of this prophecy, but God was describing the consequences of the rejection of Messiah – an extremely valid point. And, remember again the rule set out in verse 24. Verse 24 does not allow you to insert extra time. It described the time frame very concisely. It’s seventy weeks, and that’s it. There’s no, 69 weeks plus 2000 years plus one week.

No, it said 70 weeks.

But, what about the ‘abomination of desolation’ that Jesus spoke of?

Didn’t Daniel speak of abominations and desolations in Daniel 9?

Here’s the passage where Jesus referred to the Abomination of Desolation:

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

 – Matthew 24:15-22 (NKJV)

Unfortunately for the Dispensationalists, Jesus was not referring to Daniel 9. He was referring to this verse:

31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.

 – Daniel 11:31 (NKJV)

The last half of Daniel 11 (verses 20-45) is all about the Antichrist. He is the King of the North. And, we know that this must be so, because chapter 12 continues the vision with these two verses that should be familiar to you:

1 “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

 – Daniel 12:1-2 (NKJV)

That’s the First Resurrection, and we want to be in that one. Oh, and that reminds me of the other place where the abomination of desolation is referred to:

11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.

 – Daniel 12:11-12 (NKJV)

The one speaking to Daniel was restating what was said in Daniel 11, for emphasis and clarity. He also adds that the period of time will be 1290 days.

How long is that?

Three and a half years.

The same amount of time referred to for the reign of the Antichrist. What a coincidence.

Conclusion

So, there you have it. The Pretribulation Rapture Theory is just not possible. It’s a fable created by a Jesuit fabulist, expanded upon by an Anglican fabulist and emphasized by a Congregationalist fabulist who made a ton of money selling millions of copies of his Scofield Reference Bible.

If we believe that the Bible is the Truth, then it’s time to submit to what the Bible actually says. You cannot believe in a Pretribulation Rapture and claim Sola Scriptura. You just can’t.

How can you claim to love and fear God, while twisting the words He gave us?

That is probably the most upsetting thing about this discussion. The pretribulation rapture theory is so clearly corrupt, that I find it hard to understand why any Bible believing Christian would accept it as true. But, I also know how willing we are to believe the lies that people tell us. We’ve all made mistakes, so I understand why pretribbers cling so hard to theirs.

I talked about that, last week. And, what I wrote should make you think carefully about why you believe what you believe.

It is time to submit to what the Bible actually says, instead of what we want it to say.

Lord willing, I will talk about the history of the pretrib theory next week.

 

I truly hope that you’ll be ready for this

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.Proverbs 22:3

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