Being on various mailing lists, one has a variety of different teachings sent to one’s inbox, some good and some bad, and sometimes both from the same source. I was going to write about Brannon Howse’s error, saying that one can take the mark of the Beast and still end up in Heaven, but I received the following which is such a blatant attack on the word of God that I had to respond;
The offending article is from www.omegashock.com by one John Little, and is entitled “The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Lie” http://www.omegashock.com/2014/07/28/the-pre-tribulation-rapture-lie/
“I try to always ask God for direction before I write, because I truly want every word that I write to be what He wants you to read. I really do. It scares me that I would lead you astray in ANYTHING. Unfortunately, because I am fallible, you cannot trust my words completely. I really am no better than you are.”
Up to this point I am in complete agreement with the writer. I also pray about everything I write, so if a spirit is leading both him and me, then it must be a different spirit. God does not contradict Himself. Is the Pre-Tribulation Rapture a Lie, as he says, or is there another way of understanding the verses he points out? We shall see as we go through his article;
“I say all that, because I wanted to write something else today. There are such dire threats facing us, that talking about spiritual lies seems like a waste of time. The problem is that you won’t heed my warnings, if you believe spiritual lies. So, here we go again.”
“The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Lie”
“After talking about spiritual deception and heresy all last week, you would think that I could be done with the lies and get back to the truth. Unfortunately, God isn’t letting me go on this. There is one specific lie that must be dealt with again, before I can move forward:”
“The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Lie”
“I keep calling it a theory, but that’s just because I am trying to be polite. It’s more than a theory. It’s a lie – from Satan, the father of lies. He is using it to put you to sleep, so that you will NOT prepare for what he has planned for you.”
Satan certainly does have a lie that he is preparing for the Church, a lie so deceptive that if it were possible even the elect would be deceived. It is in the nature of this lie that I differ very strongly with John Little;
“Please, if I have to beg, I will. You MUST wake up. There is so little time left.
Starting With The Truth
When judging a lie, you must always start with the truth, and you will find it in the Bible. It’s really quite simple, as the truth often is, and it won’t require lots of verbal gymnastics to say what is… the truth.”
Again, I agree with the author, the truth is rather simple, but as you will see, he does indeed go through a lot of mental gymnastics to make his point. His biggest error is failing to understand the context of various passages, and failing to harmonize the whole bible. For a person who wants to teach the Church this is inexcusable, but also quite common.
“Let me summarize the points first:
“ Truth ALWAYS trumps THEORY – ALWAYS”
The Antichrist must come before the Rapture
The Tribulation must come before the Rapture
The Sun and Moon Must be Darkened before the Rapture
The Lord Must descend from Heaven with a Shout before the Rapture
Jesus Must Return before the Rapture
The Resurrection must happen just before the Rapture (or, at the same time)
There is only one resurrection for those who are God’s people
God promised that Christians would suffer
There IS a Place of Safety on this Earth
There IS A Safe Place If You Do Not Follow The Lie
“That last one should concentrate your mind. All of the arguments that the pre-tribbers make are based upon the fact that God would never allow His people to suffer. Well, you won’t have to suffer if you pay attention and follow the truth, and not lies.”
The author has just lied to you; Pre-Tribbers do not say that God would never allow His people to suffer! Every Dispensationalist I have heard, and read, has pointed out that many millions of Christians have gone through great persecutions throughout the Church’s history. Many have died as martyrs since the very first century. What pre-Tribbers do say is that “tribulation” and “the Great Tribulation” are not the same thing; “tribulation” has occurred to every generation of believers since Christ, “the Great Tribulation” is one event which will occur around the End of the Age and is God’s judgment against mankind.
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. I Thessalonians 5:9 – 11
What comfort is there for those who will have to die by the millions during the Tribulation? This verse is aimed at the Church who will not have to suffer the wrath of God during that time.
The Antichrist IS a judgment of God against unbelieving mankind; even those who come to faith during the Tribulation will be unbelievers during the day of the Rapture. Their status in Heaven will be somewhat different than Church-age saints!
Essentially the Lord is saying to mankind “You don’t wan the Messiah I sent for you? Then you can have one of your own choosing”! Those who become believers during the Tribulation will find that they have woken up too late!
Saying that Christians must go through the Great Tribulation, and that there is a safe place on earth will cause Christians to focus their attention on finding that “safe place”, which doesn’t exist. I see a lot of Christians preparing for the Tribulation by hoarding dried goods, and buying guns and weapons. While it is always a good idea to prepare for disasters, which occur periodically, those who think they will be able to ride out the storm of the Great Tribulation will find themselves coming out of hiding at the same time as the real Antichrist is rising! I am afraid that this is precisely where the author of this article is leading his audience!
We ought to focus our attention on the Word of God, not on our own earthly survival. Heed the words of Jesus;
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25
“Following a lie will ALWAYS lead to suffering. And THAT is what the pre-tribbers are setting you up for. Do not follow the lies of Satan. Do NOT twist the Bible. You must get this right, or you will die.”
Now he is priming us to focus on avoiding suffering. The suffering of untold millions of Christians has not been because they were following lies, but because they were following the truth! This is exactly the opposite of the teaching found in the Word of God!
“Yes, it really is a life and death issue.”
No argument here, but it appears that John Little is on the wrong side of the issue!
“After the first series of disasters rolls by, we can argue the finer points of eschatology. Until then, make ready for the worst moment in human history. But, let’s get to proving the above points.”
Truth ALWAYS Trumps THEORY – ALWAYS
You see, the first series of disasters is exactly what I am talking about; People like th
The Bible cannot lie. If you believe otherwise, please stop here. If you do not believe that the whole of the Bible is truth, there’s no hope for you.
This is the crux of the matter, “the whole of the Bible is truth”, in other words, we need to harmonize the whole bible, not just the parts we like, AND we have to do it in consultation with the Holy Spirit.
“So, if the Bible cannot lie, then each verse is a challenge to our theories.
We all have them. Some are right. Some are wrong. And, as you (hopefully) read your Bible, if you stumble across a verse that declares your theory wrong… well…
…it’s wrong, and you have to get it right.
Seriously, folks. If I tell you something, and the Bible disagrees with me… well, I’m wrong. It’s that simple.
The Bible is ALWAYS right. Always.”
(No argument here; complete agreement from me, Dan. I would add, however, that very often our pre-conceived ideas and notions colour our understanding of the bible. It looks to me that this is what the author, John Little, is doing, although he would claim the opposite!)
“The Antichrist Must Come Before The Rapture”
“Paul reached out to the church in Thessalonica because they were thrown into turmoil over the idea of the Rapture. It appears that someone was telling them that they had missed it. Here is what Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
“The Antichrist MUST come before the Rapture. There is no other way that you can interpret this verse. None.”
Wrong! There is another way to look at this verse, which the author, most Dispensationalists, Amillennialists and Post-millennialists have missed; Look at the verse again; the subject in verse 1 is the Rapture, which Little has correctly noted “ and by our gathering together unto him”. What he has missed is the little word “revealed” in verse 3, and the phrase which contains it;
“for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition”
So, does it say that the Tribulation must occur before the Rapture of the believers? No! It says that the man of sin, the Antichrist, or the Beast, must be REVEALED before the rapture.
He could be revealed shortly before the start of the Tribulation, and I believe the evidence is that he will be!
So how is the Beast revealed? He will do some of the things that the bible says he will do, but it is not necessary that he does everything that the bible says he will do throughout his reign! He only needs to do something that identifies him as the Antichrist.
What will that thing be? There is a long list of events and actions that identify this man, but only one or two would really be necessary. Some think that it will be the confirmation of a covenant with Israel. This may be so, but I think that this event might actually identify a false Antichrist; the first world leader to work-out a peace agreement between Israel and the Arabs, after the Psalm 83 war will not be the Antichrist.
The term is “confirm” which implies that the deal does not originate with the Antichrist, but with someone else. That someone else will be a stand-in for the Antichrist. The real Antichrist, the Beast, will reinstate an old agreement that actually worked. Many, like John Little, will identify the original author of this agreement as the Antichrist, but in truth, the Antichrist comes along later.
“Unfortunately, pre-tribbers seek to twist this verse by saying that ‘falling away’ is The Rapture.
Really? Apostasy is the RAPTURE?
Here’s the Greek word that Paul used for ‘falling away’:
ἀποστασία – apostasia
That is NOT – and cannot be – the word for the Rapture. In another verse, apostasia was translated as forsake in Acts 21:21, when Paul was being accused of teaching apostasy, it was because they thought that he was telling people to forsake the Law of Moses.
Apostasia is NEVER used in ANY place in the Bible in reference to the Rapture. In fact, Paul already had a word that he uses for the rapture. It’s used in this phrase:
by our gathering together unto him
The Greek word used for gathering together is:
ἐπισυναγωγῆς – episynagōgēs
It really does just mean ‘gather together’.
The word that pre-tribbers like to use – rapture – comes from the Latin – rapturo. It’s a good word, and I use it because that’s what people understand. The Greek version of this word is:
ἁρπάζω – harpazó
It means to snatch away, or to take by force. And THAT is exactly what the Lord is going to do. He’s going to snatch us away. In fact, Paul uses much the same word in 1 Thessalonians 4:
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 4:17
The word for shall be caught up is:
ἁρπαγησόμεθα – harpagēsometha
And, the root is – you guessed it – harpazo.
So, when a pretribber comes to you and tries to tell you that The Great Apostasy in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is actually the rapture, tell him that he’s lying. And then, tell him this:”
I would not say he is lying, but I might say he is deceived, and then attempt to show him the truth.
“The Antichrist Must Come Before The Rapture”
“To believe otherwise is to believe a lie. And, there is only one person who is the father of lies.”
OK. I did hear Grant Jeffrey make the case which he is refuting here. John Little is correct that ἀποστασία – apostasia is not the Rapture. This is kind of a “bait-and-switch” tactic he is using here.
The case for a pre-Tribulation Rapture does not rest on the translation of “ἀποστασία – apostasia”, as a “taking away”. There are many passages in Scripture that do indeed teach a pre-Tribulation Rapture. I have noted them in many of my articles, and in The Spirit of Prophecy.
“The Tribulation Must Come Before The Rapture”
John Little’s teaching of this lie is based on only one passage (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4), and as I have shown, that verse does not make it necessary that the Tribulation must occur before the Rapture. It only says that the Antichrist must be REVEALED before the Rapture of the Church!
The Dispensational idea that the Rapture could have occurred at any time since the Lord’s ascension is refuted by this verse, but not the idea of a pre-tribulation Rapture!
“When Jesus spoke of the Last Days, the coming of the Antichrist and the Tribulation, He made zero mention of a pre-tribulation rapture. None. Zero. Zip.”
“You would think – if there WAS a pre-trib rapture – that Jesus would have mentioned it here. But, He didn’t. However, He DID say this:”
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. – Matthew 24:29-31
(See also Mark 13:24-27)
“This is Jesus, our Lord and Savior, telling us that the Rapture MUST HAPPEN AFTER THE TRIBULATION!”
John Little is incorrect here simply because the event in view is not the Rapture! The Church will come to Him when He calls, He does not need to send out angels to collect them! Believers who have the Holy Spirit indwelling them will be empowered to come to Him when they hear His voice!
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: John 10:27
The people picked up by angels in Matthew 24:31 are in physical bodies. They are picked up off of the surface of the earth as Jesus and the saints return bringing judgment against all who have taken the mark of the beast! This is to get the believers out as He slaughters His enemies! They will witness the judgments of the armies of the Beast from the safety of the arms of angels as destruction goes on below them on the earth!
No! This is not the Rapture! Not at all!
“Please, did you get that?
“The Rapture happens AFTER THE TRIBULATION. There is NO OTHER WAY TO INTERPRET THOSE VERSES!”
Poor John Little, Satan has blinded him, because as I have just shown, there is another way to view those verses, which fits far better than the mess he is promoting!
“Period. End of Statement.
Is there any part of this that you did not understand?
The Sun and Moon Must be Darkened before the Rapture
This next point, how the Sun and Moon must be darkened before the Rapture, piggy-backs on top of the verse that I talked about, above. But, it’s worth talking about separately. Although, this time, I’ll use Mark 13:
But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. – Mark 13:24-27
Please, everyone, there is NO WAY that you can see ANY pre-tribulation rapture here. The Sun and Moon must be darkened first, and the stars fall.”
There is a section in The Spirit of Prophecy about this exact scenario. I show from Joel that this phenomenon will actually occur three times during the End Times! It will occur Before the Tribulation, when the Tribulation is near, and then it will occur AFTER the Tribulation!
Here is just one, but it is one that is very important;
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. Joel 2:31
This is important because many will interpret this sign exactly as John Little has; That they are witnessing the end of the Tribulation! In fact they are very close to the time of the Tribulation but it actually will not have happened yet! It will not even have begun, but because they are not cross-referencing the New Testament with the Old they will misinterpret the signs, and be ready to crown the Antichrist as Saviour!
The phrase “the stars fall to earth” is not a reference to stars literally falling to the earth, but to an atmospheric phenomenon; As a result of the dust kicked up into the atmosphere from nuclear weapons going off, and also several volcanoes erupting around the same time, the dust in the upper atmosphere will obscure the stars so it will appear as if they had fallen to earth. Should this happen around the time of the Gog and Magog war, the illusion will be completed by a celestial bombardment which lands on the armies of the invading nations, and also on them who dwell carelessly in the isles (probably North America).
John Little, and his Shock Letter is leading Christians astray!
“Then, and only then, will The Rapture happen.”
“The Lord Must descend from Heaven with a Shout before the Rapture”
“You saw me talk about harpazo, above. Well, this snatching away is not going to be some quiet event. In fact, Jesus descends from the sky with a shout. Here’s the specific passage:”
“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: 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”
“I have a question to ask you:”
Does this sound like the pre-trib rapture that the pretribbers talk about?
Not to me.
Jesus Must Return before the Rapture”
There is a serious problem with John Little’s interpretation of this passage. He is not cross-referencing this passage with a very important Old Testament passage. Please read this section from Isaiah, it will shed much light on what Paul is saying;
17 Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD. 18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. 19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. 21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. Isaiah 26:17-21
Note the reference to child-birth and “birth pangs” in verse 17. This tells us that this is an End Times passage. Israel is like a woman in childbirth, but has only brought forth wind; they have been wasting their time for the last 2700 years! This is also a reference to the return of Israel to the land. They are recalled like a faulty product, to their place of manufacture. There the manufacturer, God, will fix their problem.
Note in verse 19 we have the Lord’s dead men being resurrected, and Isaiah himself anticipates being among them, and then in verse 20 we have the Lord’s people, still alive, being invited into their chambers as God’s indignation comes over the earth. They are invited to stay there until the end of the indignation, the End of the Great Tribulation!
This is the pre-tribulation Rapture of the Saints, and is the exact same event spoken of by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2.
“I have already shown you Matthew 24:29-31 and Mark 13:24-27 above.
How does the Lord return?
Well, Jesus said that everyone would see Him return in the clouds with great power and glory. THEN He would send His angels to gather up His people from the Earth. This is His RETURN.”
The “four winds of Heaven” in Matthew 24:31 is a reference to the atmosphere of the earth. Those people are not taken to the third Heaven, God’s home, but only up into the first Heaven, the atmosphere! It would make no sense for Him to return with saints he has just raptured moments before! Do you think you are ready to rule the earth with Jesus? I don’t think any of us is. We will need seven years in the University of Heaven for us to be able to rule like Jesus!
“Does Matthew 24 or Mark 13 speak of a SECOND return?
Of course not. There is just one – THE RETURN.”
Funny how so many Christians miss this; When Jesus returns there is a time when He will be coming and going on the earth. It is spoken of in Revelation 10:5-7. This is an event that occurs around the mid-point of the Tribulation;
5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, 6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: 7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets
So many bible teachers focus on only part of this passage, and claim that time will no longer exist, based on one phrase in verse 6. This is taking the passage out of context. What it is saying is that the time of the mystery of God will be finished, at this time! At this point, God no longer has to hide himself from His creation, but now comes and goes as He pleases!
Evidently this is a reference to an agreement made by the Godhead before the creation of the earth.
“Do we understand all that will happen at the time?
Probably not, but that shouldn’t keep us from accepting what our Lord and Savior told us.
The Rapture really does happen when Jesus returns.
The Resurrection Must Happen Just Before The Rapture”
The pretribbers do their best to distort and explain away the evidence of a post-tribulation rapture, but they have an exceptionally tough time of it – when it comes to the resurrection. In fact, every time I raise this point, they begin attacking me personally, instead of answering the passage.
So, this passage is especially thorny for pretribbers:
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: 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
THAT is unquestionably a rapture passage. No one can question that, and the pretribbers don’t. But, it is also a resurrection passage.
How can you have a pre-tribulation rapture, if the resurrection must happen just before (or at the same time as) the Rapture?
“The answer is that you can’t. You CANNOT have a pre-tribulation rapture, because the resurrection MUST happen at the same time as the rapture. And… there is only one of them for God’s people.”
“And yet, as we have already seen from Isaiah 26, the exact chronology that Dispensationalists teach is definitely there, including a pre-rapture resurrection, a pre-tribulation rapture, followed by the Lord’s judgment of the earth during the Great Tribulation!”
“There Is Only One Resurrection For Those Who Are God’s People”
There are two resurrections, but he is correct that there is one resurrection for God’s people, but it is broken up into a series of events. In fact the first resurrection has already started! Jesus is the very first of the first resurrection, but He is definitely a part of this resurrection.
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. Colossians 1:18
Jesus is not alone, as the only person who has already been resurrected.
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Matthew 27:52-53
This was not a resurrection like that of Lazarus, who eventually died again. If these people were only in physical bodies, we would have seen them join the Church, and we would have heard more from them. Some of them certainly would have made an appearance in the book of Acts, but they do not. This is because their resurrection was like that of Jesus, and they went to Heaven when He did, only a few days after their resurrection.
This is the first resurrection.
Since this was the first resurrection does this mean that you and I have missed it? No! The first resurrection will continue shortly before the rapture of the Church, and then at the end of the Tribulation it will occur again. Each of these events is a part of the first resurrection. John Little is incorrect that the first resurrection is a one-time only event.
“The reason why there cannot be a pre-tribulation rapture is that there is only one resurrection for those who are God’s people. Only one.”
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. – Revelation 20:4-6
Those that go through the Tribulation WILL BE IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION!!
Is there any other FIRST RESURRECTION?
“Of course not, unless you want to twist the Bible.”
Yes, we just saw that Jesus is the first of the first resurrection, and He was resurrected almost 2,000 years ago. Then we saw that many saints were resurrected shortly after He was resurrected, so we know that the “first resurrection” is a multi-faceted event. The term “first” does not refer to a time but to a position. The first resurrection is for all of God’s people from all times and ages, and it has occurred, and will occur more than once.
God’s two witnesses, who trouble the Beast, will also be a part of the first resurrection, and their resurrection will occur during the middle of the Tribulation. Read Revelaton 11, and note that these two men are invited to “come up hither” after their resurrection just like we see in Revelation 4:1, with the exact same invitation.
Just to rub it in a little, here’s Jesus speaking in Luke:
And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. – Luke 14:14
This verse does not state that the resurrection of the just only occurs at one particular time. Each just person will only be resurrected one time, so for them there is only one resurrection, but different people are resurrected at different times, as I have shown you.
“So, if you don’t make it in the First Resurrection, and are not in the Rapture, you will go to Hell.”
“Again, what happens just before (or at the same time as) the resurrection?”
“God Promised That Christians Would Suffer”
“The reason why we are even having this debate is due to our desire to avoid suffering. We don’t even want to THINK about what the Antichrist will do to us during the Tribulation.”
The reason we are having this debate is because, for some strange reason, many professing Christians hate the doctrine of the rapture. It was denied by Augustine, and that denial was perpetrated by his followers for the 1,700 or so, years since his death, but that does not mean he was correct.
“That is completely understandable, but it’s not an excuse to twist the words of God.
In fact, God promised us that we would suffer persecution and tribulation. I am mystified as to why the pretribbers think that we could avoid it. There are just too many verses that talk about this. Here are a couple:
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. – 2 Timothy 3:12
And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. – Acts 14:21-22
Maybe the preachers John Little was listening to said that Christians shouldn’t suffer persecution or tribulation, but most Dispensationalists do not say this. This is a straw-man argument.
I have a question to ask all of my pretribber friends:
With all the persecution that we have experienced over the past two thousand years, and are experiencing now, why do you think that we should be exempt from the persecution of the Antichrist?
Because THAT is what we are talking about. The pretribbers will tell you about how God isn’t going to pour out His wrath upon His people, but they are REALLY just interested in avoiding the Antichrist.
Not really, I want to be with Jesus. I also think that if I live long enough, I will see the Antichrist, and he will be revealed to me, before I and my brethren are raptured. I also don’t think the Beast will have a chance to harm any true believers before the rapture. He will harm millions of late believers, after the rapture.
Well, if we haven’t been able to avoid the persecution of the communists/catholics/nazis/pagans, then we aren’t going to avoid the persecution of the Antichrist.
Well… actually …that’s not completely true.
There IS A Place Of Safety On This Earth
When God sent the ten plagues upon Egypt, He didn’t take them out of Egypt. But, He did provide them with a place that was free of these plagues. It was an area of Egypt called The Land of Goshen.
And, we can find the same idea in Revelation. According to the Book of Revelation, there is a place that will offer protection to God’s people, who flee the Antichrist:
And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. – Revelation 12:13-14
John Little has just revealed himself as a replacement theologian. This passage is a specific promise to the believers of Israel, that they will be protected during the Tribulation. It is not a promise to Gentile believers.
There IS a place of safety that will be prepared for God’s people. And, it will be a place that will keep them safe, until the end of the Tribulation.
Do I understand how that is possible?
No. No one does. But, that shouldn’t keep us from taking it on faith.
The problem is that you will not have the opportunity to be in a place of safety, if you allow yourself to twist the Bible.
Torturing The Bible
There is no verse in the Bible that talks about a pre-tribulation rapture. I’ve seen the evidence of these false teachers, and all that they can offer are verses that they have twisted out of shape.
Well, we have just seen a pre-tribulation rapture in Isaiah 26, and can also find it in Zephaniah 2, Psalm 50, and in many other places in both Old and New Testaments. The purpose of the rapture is multi-faceted, while it is for the Church, it is also for Israel. God is removing the Church because He will now deal with mankind through Israel, and He will also use the rapture as a wake-up call, to provoke Israel to jealousy!
“As someone once said:
The Bible is like a person. If you torture it enough, you can get it to say anything.
God did not intend for you to torture the Bible. He meant for you to accept it. It is His words for you.
If you would not twist the words of those that you truly love on this Earth…
…why would you twist the words of God?
My suspicion is that many pretribbers don’t love God. It’s really that simple.”
My suspicion is that most Post-tribbers, Preterists and Amillennialists don’t love God. It is either this, or they are deluded, and victims of false teachers. Pre-Tribulation teachers have made some mistakes, undoubtedly, but they are on the right track, or at least, are closer to the truth than the followers of other forms of eschatology.
Believing Preterism, Post-millennialism, or Amillennialism, will leave you open to the deception of the Antichrist. I am convinced that any “Christian” who calls the Antichrist a “man of God” before the rapture, will not participate in that event. I hope that is not John Little’s fate, but I suspect it will be if he doesn’t repent soon!
“Conclusion – Your Choice”
My conclusion is that if you believe the bible, as written, you will be pre-tribulational, in your eschatology, but not necessarily Dispensational. There really is no choice for the child of God. While you may make mistakes, as we all do, you will adjust your understanding as you study the Word of God, so that you may more closely conform to the teachings of the Holy Spirit.