Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why I Believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture: Part 3

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

In Part 1, I covered what I call the "bedrock" foundational tenets about the Bible and its interpretation that provide the foundation in which to analyze the reasons for why I believe the Bible teaches a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. The following are three more reasons.

3) The Rapture and the removal of the "Restrainer" occur at the same time.

In 2 Thessalonians, the church at Thessalonica was afraid due to a false report that they had entered the Day of the Lord (Tribulation) and had somehow missed the Rapture. The Apostle Paul assured them that the Antichrist would not be revealed until a restraining force would be taken away so that the Man of Lawlessness could be revealed.

Because the revealing of the Antichrist coincides with the beginning of the 7-year Tribulation starting with his peace treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:27), then the Restrainer has to be removed before the Tribulation. As the Holy Spirit also works in salvation (Jn. 16:8-11; 1 Jn. 5:7) during the Tribulation, then it is the Church that must be the Restrainer that is removed. Therefore, the Rapture and the removal of the Church must coincide, and at the beginning of the seven years.

4) The Tribulation is for Israel's redemption.

Jeremiah 30:7 describes the Tribulation as the "time of Jacob's trouble" — "How awful that day will be! None will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it."

In the Book of Matthew, whose primary audience is the Jews, Jesus explains to his Jewish followers what life will be like during the Tribulation. Also, Revelation 12 describes picturesquely a woman who gives birth and has to flee due to persecution during the Tribulation. The context shows the woman is Israel. And again, the Battle of Armageddon is the world against Israel. Two-thirds of the Jewish people will be killed from these battles. These texts and others show that the Tribulation is meant for the redemption of the Jewish people.

Why are the Jews the object of persecution during the Tribulation? For one, Satan hates the Jewish people for giving the world the Scriptures and the Messiah, as well as he wishes to thwart God's promises to the Jews (see Bedrock #4). Secondly, the Jews have to be so desperately brought low that they finally call out to their Messiah "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" (Mat. 23:39; Lk. 13:35). The Tribulation, then, is used for Israel's redemption which also results in the punishment of the wicked. The Church does not fit into this scenario, and are left out of the purposes of the Tribulation. They would need to be removed — caught up — before the Tribulation begins.

5) The Tribulation is not for the Church.

The Tribulation is God's wrath upon the unbelieving world, and not for those who are saved from Christ's resurrection to the Rapture — called the Church. Yes believers have suffered all throughout human history, but there is a special time (just like the Flood) set apart called the Day of the Lord for God's wrath. Christians suffering and the Tribulation/Day of the Lord are different.

True believers in Christ during the Church Age, represented by the Church of Philadelphia, are promised in Revelation 3:10, "Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth." Paul states in 1 Thessalonians 1:10, "and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath." He also states in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, "For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:9 states, "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" Ephesians 5:6 states, "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient." Colossians 3:4 states, "When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." Again and again, Scripture states the Church is not meant to endure God's wrath.

I will continue posting more reasons why I believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture in Part 4.


Anonymous said...

There is not a single verse that clearly points that the tribulation starts withe the peace tready of Antichrist. Instead all the scriptures point to 'abomination of desolation' as a sign in which the tribulation will soon start.Thank you for your wonderful articles and dedication to fulfill his call over your life. Best wishes to Bro. Nathan Jones.

God Bless You.

Abraham Israel

Anonymous said...

Actually the Bible says the abomination of desolation occurs mid point in the tribulation (3.5 years). Since the tribulation is 7 years long I think it is safe to say the peace treaty is the event which marks the start of the tribulation period.

Anonymous said...

Daniel 9:27 says that the antichrist "will confirm a covenant with many". It doesn't say it's a peace treaty.


Nathan Jones said...

Is not a covenant a treaty between two or more parties to peaceably live in mutual harmony and/or work towards some goal together?

Anonymous said...

A covenant can be used to establish all sorts of legal situations and relationships, not just peace treaties. There are different treaties (covenants) in effect today between various countries that are not peace treaties, i.e. arms control treaties, extradition treaties, etc.

If the world has just witnessed God's supernatural and total destruction of the Gog/Magog group in their attack on Israel, will any other world power want to risk their own annihilation? Especially if, like Bill Salus suggests based on Psalm 83, Israel has already defeated and taken possession of the areas of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia? If it is an actual peace treaty, it will be one to protect the rest of the world from Israel, and the price of her appeasement will be construction of the Temple.


Andy said...

When the heavens are rolled open like a scroll during the sixth seal and the whole world sees God sitting on his throne in the heavens (Rev. 6:12-16), there will be plenty of impetus for a world ruler to sign a treaty calling for peace among those left on earth and cooperation against the God in the heavens who took all the people (Matthew 24:29-31 compared to the sixth seal events). The time of the gentiles will be over and the time of Jacob's troubles will begin (that is why 144,000 Jews will be sealed- All the Christians who have been telling the REAL truth will be gone - see them in Rev. 7:9 just after the sealing of the 144,000). The silence of Rev. 8:1 is caused because the seven seals have all been opened, the world is about to experience that 7 year great tribulation period, and all of heaven is silent in awe and anticipation of the Judgments about to be poured upon the earth.

Anonymous said...

Hi wake up, there is a little misunderstanding of the bible. The true people of God are those who keep perfectly the ten commandmants, those who are bullied and prosecuted in this world, those who refused to quit their land. They are the muslims they are the palestinians.

Nathan Jones said...

And yet, as Romans 3:10 states, "There is no one righteous, not even one."

As long as sin is in the heart (Matt. 15:18), no one can fulfill the commandments of God, 10 or otherwise. That is why all people need Jesus to forgive and save us.