|Scriptures Prove Secret Pre-tribulation Rapture is Anti-biblical!|
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened…. 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 24:21,22,29-31)
“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 1:9)
|When Jesus’ disciples asked him “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” the first thing he told them was, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” He then preceded to give them a long list of things that were to transpire just before his second coming and the end of the world. Jesus said,
What is the common denominator in these scripture passages? Secret Rapture proponents argue that the “ark” in Matthew 24:38 is symbolic of Christ as a vehicle by which Christians will be taken out of the world prior to the great tribulation thereby escaping the wrath of God upon the wicked. But this theory does not float (no pun intended). The obvious common denominator in these scriptures is that while both Noah and Lot escaped the destruction of the wicked neither of them was taken out of the world. The common denominator is that the wicked are going about their daily lives and the righteous are obeying the commandments of their Lord. Noah obeyed God and was kept safe through the great flood. Lot obeyed God and was kept safe during the fiery destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Noah and Lot were not secretly or otherwise “Raptured” out of the world. Jesus said, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” (John 17:15)Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not taken out of “the midst of the burning fiery furnace,” they were kept safe from the destructive force of the flames (Dan. 3:21,25,27). Daniel was not taken out of “the den of lions,” he was kept safe from “the lions’ mouths” (Dan. 6:16,22). Noah, and Lot, were not taken from the earth when the wrath of God fell upon the wicked. Daniel, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not taken out of the midst of their tribulations and temptations and the fiery trials of their faith. Noah, and Lot, and Daniel, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were all “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” (I Pet. 1:5,10,11). The prophet Isaiah said, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” (Is. 54:17). Jesus said, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matt. 24:13)
A very significant Bible passage concerning the second “coming of the Son of man” is also very revealing in that it warns us against belief in a secret coming of Christ: “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.”(Matt. 24:25,26). The scriptures consistently describe the second coming of Christ as a very noisy and visible event:
The events described in the above scriptures make it clear that Christ’s second coming is anything but secret. We are told in no uncertain terms that the coming of Christ will be “as the lightning”(Matt. 24:27), that “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….”(Matt. 24:30,31). Proponents of the secret rapture claim that Matthew 24:29-31 describes the second coming, which will include “a great sound of a trumpet”(Matt. 24:31). So how can 1st Corinthians 15, which speaks of “the last trump” when “the trumpet shall sound,” refer to the “Rapture” when there is yet another trumpet to be sounded, several years later, at the second coming? When Matthew 24 and 1st Corinthians 15 mentions “the last trump,” “a great sound of a trumpet,” and “as the lightning,” all are describing the same event – the second coming of Christ. There is nothing secret about lightning. And there is nothing secret about a great sound of a trumpet. To deduce from any of these Bible verses a secret coming of Christ is to deny the plain meaning of the scriptures.
Another set of scripture passages frequently used by secret rapture proponents is Matthew 24:37-41 and Luke 17:31-37, which says that “Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” But look closely at Matthew 24:39: it is not the wheat –the saints, God’s elect, the church– that is “taken”; it is the tares –the wicked, unbelievers, counterfeit Christians– that are “taken” –they “knew not until the flood came, and took them all away;”(Matt. 24:39); “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”(Matt. 13:30).
Titus 2:13 is often used to support a secret rapture. The argument is that the “blessed hope” is the rapture and the “glorious appearing” is the revelation. But this would postulate a second and a third coming, of which there is not the slightest intimation of such in all of scripture. What is the Christian’s hope? Paul gives us the answer in his first letter to Timothy, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;”(I Tim. 1:1).
Another scripture used by the Secret Rapture proponents is Luke 21:36, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”They contend that this scripture means that the church will be Raptured out of the world prior to the “great tribulation” period. They argue that the phrase “to stand before the Son of man” is to be taken in a literal sense. But the same phraseology is used in Revelation 11:4 when speaking of the two witnesses “standing before the God of the earth.” Whether literal or not, neither Luke 21:36 nor any other Bible verse gives the slightest hint of a secret catching away of the saints. Second Thessalonians chapter two is, according to Secret Rapture proponents, further “proof” that the saints will be secretly caught away:
Let us examine the above text in the light of the scriptures. Verse 3 says, “that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first” (II Thess. 2:3). Writing to Timothy, the apostle Paul warned, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith [“a falling away”2Thess.2:3], giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats….” (I Tim. 4:1-3). Paul said, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29,30). And the apostle John warned, “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us,” exclaimed John, “that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (I John 2:18,19). To “be made manifest” means to “be revealed.” Paul said that “the mystery of iniquity doth already work:” and “that he might be revealed in his time.” What is “the mystery of iniquity”? In the book of Revelation chapter 17 verse 5 the apostle John tells us,
This mysterious mother of harlots is also called “the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” (Rev. 17:1,2). The Bible tells us that in the days of the apostles “the mystery of iniquity doth already work” and “even now are there many antichrists” (II Thess. 2:7, I John 2:18). The angel of Revelation chapter 17 said unto John,
Who else in scripture shares a similar attribute –“was, and is not, and yet is”? The Lord Jesus Christ –“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev. 1:8). Lucifer said, “I will be like the most High.” (Is. 14:14). This is the great counterfeit of Christ which John said “is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (I John 4:3). Paul said, “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.” (II Thess. 2:6). This is the great counterfeit Christian church that was to come to power not far in the distant future after the apostle Paul’s death. We are told that this great power would come in the name of Jesus Christ “to draw away disciples” after “a falling away” from the truth (Acts 20:30; Mat. 24:5; II Thess. 2:3). The angel then tells John,
The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined.” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson, 1976, see “Rome”). The official Catholic Bible, the NASB, states, “The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits enthroned.” (Rev. 17:9) (See Defining Antichrist). The ecclesiastical-temporal union of church and state by the Roman emperor Constantine in the fourth century marked the beginning of the establishment of the mother of harlots, with whom the kings of the earth have committed spiritual fornication (Rev. 17:2). This religio-political power of Rome is the fulfillment of many Bible prophecies, being recognized by the remnant of faithful believers over the centuries as the four “beasts” and “little horn” of Daniel chapter 7, Paul’s “man of sin” of 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2, and John’s “beast” of Revelation chapters 13 and 17. But despite the abundance of scripture evidence and historical facts many of our pro-secret rapture friends are still not convinced.
Let us look again at 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2 and compare scripture with scripture: here we are told of “that man of sin” whom the apostle Paul said would “be revealed in his time.” (II Thess. 2:3,6). Secret Rapture proponents argue that these scriptures point to one single sinister devil-man who is to appear on the scene after the true church is caught away. They contend that the phrases “that man of sin be revealed” and “that Wicked be revealed” refers to a single individual person. But could not Paul be using these terms in the same plural sense as in “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works”(II Tim. 3:17) and “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience”(Eph. 2:2) and “this is that spirit of antichrist”(I John 4:3)? In light of the scriptures presented here along with irrefutable historical corroborating evidence we have every reason to believe that the “man of sin” refers not to a single person, but to a long succession of Christian impostors.
It is both interesting and disturbing to see how that in recent years many once Bible believing churches have compromised the Word of God and fallen away from the sound doctrine of the scriptures back to the fables of the Roman Catholic church, as the prophecies of the scriptures are literally being fulfilled before our eyes (II Thess. 2:3; I Tim. 4:1-5; II Tim. 4:1-4). The “falling away” foretold in second Thessalonians chapter two began in the early days of the church and excelled in the fourth century with the establishing of the Pagan/Christian Roman Catholic church. The “falling away” refers to the falling away from true Apostolic Christianity, “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (II Thess. 2:3; Jude 1:3). The early Christians clearly understood this, as did the Protestant Christians of the Reformation. Read what Protestant churches taught for centuries in their official prayer books and in their public declarations of faith. Even the Episcopal church in America and the Anglican church in England exposed many of the “blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits” of the Roman Catholic church (see Book of Common Prayer, Article 31). As late as the middle of the twentieth century, circa 1953, the Episcopal church in America understood and revealed, at least in part, the doctrines of antichrist. (See A FALLING AWAY)
For more than three centuries, the vast majority of American pulpits reverberated the sound doctrine of the Holy Scriptures. Ministers of the gospel knew the true source of man’s salvation as revealed in the Holy Bible. They also knew the source of man’s depraved nature and his inclination to follow dangerous heresies. And this is why pastors of churches regularly preached against false doctrines and cunningly devised fables. It is only in the last two generations that many, if not most, American Christians have become ignorant of the history of the world, of the history of their nation, and of the history of the churches both at home and abroad.
The Lord said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Herein lies one of the grave dangers of believing in a pre-tribulation rapture: if “Christians” believe they’re going to be “raptured” from the earth before the great tribulation and the mark of the beast, they will have no reason to believe that it is in fact the mark of the beast and will readily accept it.
People often confuse sincerity with humility. We can be sincere, yet wrong. We can be sincere, yet deceived. True humility is to admit that our hearts are “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked”, and then let the word of God correct us and be our final authority (I Pet. 5:5; Jer. 17:9; II Tim. 3:16). Sadly, many professing themselves to be Christians today are erring by failing to believe and trust the words of the Lord in the Holy Bible. And instead of trusting that the Lord preserved his pure words as promised, many modern-day Christians are putting their trust in the wisdom of man’s inventions via Bible lexicons and such. “All Christians profess to believe that God speaks to them in the Bible. He speaks, and therefore He can make us hear and know His voice. But we fall far too readily into the notion that the book only speaks to us; and we find, when we think so, that our spirit does not hear. Then we go to commentaries; we try one after another; we know not how to ascertain whether this or that commentary may be most safely trusted; we go further and further from the Book which all the time we profess to consider divine, and we despair of its teaching, even whilst we seem to ourselves to be reverencing it.” (Bible Readings, Edinburgh, 1864, Preface, p. 6). “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.” (Prov. 26:12)
Dear fellowservants in Christ, we are “charge[d]” to “reprove, rebuke” and “exhort” with the “pure” “preserve[d]” “sound doctrine” of the inspired “holy scriptures”. We are living in the “perilous times” of “the last days” and the“falling away” from “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”, when men are “lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud”, “Having a form of godliness”, “when they will not endure sound doctrine”, but “shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables”: “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” (Psa. 12:6,7; II Tim. 3:1-5,16; 4:1; II Thess. 2:3-11; Jude 1:3).
Brothers and sisters in Christ, the Lord is calling us back to himself and to his pure preserved word, “saying, Come out of her, my people”: “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works”. The fables of the Roman church are ensnaring the souls of millions, while many once Bible believing Christians are being led astray and lulled into a state of complacency with the charms of “THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS” (II Tim. 4:1-4; Rev. 2:4,5; 17:1-6; 18:4)