There are many different views on the Rapture and that's
okay, since it is not a salvation issue. I do not preach
or teach on the timing of the "catching away"
of the church in our services, however I have written the
following study on this important subject and I hope it
will be a blessing to you.
Jesus is coming soon! The signs are everywhere, famines,
pestilence (aids is the greatest ever known to man), and
the increase of earthquakes (Matt. 24:7). Jesus said also
"the sea and the waves would be roaring" (tsunamis)
and there would be "fearful sights" (Luke 21:11,
25). What could be a more fearful sight than busses and
buildings being blown up, killing thousands? One of the
greatest signs of His soon coming is the re-gathering of
the Jews and Israel re-established as a nation (Isaiah 14:1-3,
Jer. Ch. 30 & 31, and Ezek. Ch. 36 & 37, Amos 9:14-15).
Plans are now under way to rebuild the last days' temple
in Jerusalem (Mark 13:14, Rev. 11:1-2) (see www.temple.org.il).
However, there is one thing that is being taught by many
sincere Christian ministers today that I believe is based
on a misinterpretation of scripture and I feel constrained
in spirit to write about it. That is the doctrine of the
pre-tribulation rapture of the church. May I say in all
humility that I believe this is a man-made doctrine that
is not supported by the Bible. Not that they would knowingly
preach error but perhaps they have embraced it without thorough
study and rightly dividing the word of truth. Maybe you
have made up your mind in this area and will not hear me
out, but I pray that this is not the case. Please look with
me at some Bible facts.
1. According to Revelation 8:1-13 & 9:1-21; there are
7 trumpets to sound and the wrath of God and plagues are
to be poured out during the first 6 trumpets. The saints
are resurrected and changed at the last trumpet.
(I Thess. 4:13-17, I Cor. 15:51-52, Rev. 11:15 & Isaiah
2. It is God's way, as shown in the Bible, to preserve
His people in trouble rather than take them
out of it. God preserved Noah in the flood, Daniel
in the lions den, the Hebrew three in the
fiery furnace, and Israel in Egypt (Goshen) at the
time of the terrible plagues. The wrath of God and plagues
will not be poured out on the saints "for God has not
appointed us to wrath" but will be poured out on the
wicked world that has worshiped the beast and taken his
mark. (Rev. 14:9-11 & Rev. 16:1-6). God is well able
to protect the righteous while punishing the wicked (II
Peter 2:9). In a major battle while Israel was marching
to the land of promise, God cast down great hailstones upon
the enemy and slew more of the enemy than Israel slew with
the sword, and not one Israelite was killed (Joshua 10:11).
3. In Revelation 12:17 the dragon persecuted the remnant
of the saints "who have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Clearly these are Christian believers. The beast (anti-Christ)
persecutes the saints according to Daniel 7:21, 24-25 and
Revelation 13:7. How can this be if they are in heaven?
4. If the saints are raptured before the time of trouble,
why does Revelation 14:13 say "Blessed are the dead
which die in the Lord from now on," or verse 12 say
"Here is the patience (perseverance) of the saints?"
(Job 14:13 & Isaiah 57:1).
5. If the saints are raptured to heaven before the time
of trouble, why did Jesus say in Matthew 24:22, "For
the elect's sake those days will be shortened." The
word elect means "chosen ones" and in scripture
it refers to saved people, both Jew and Gentile. (Matt.
24:24, 31 & Luke 18:7). Also in Romans 8:33 and Colossians
3:12, Paul refers to Gentile saints as "God's elect."
6. The anti-Christ and his kingdom of Babylon are destroyed
in Revelation chapter 18, before the marriage supper
of the Lamb which is told of in Revelation 19:1-9.
7. According to II Thessalonians 2:1-4 "the coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him"(the
rapture) cannot occur "unless the falling away
comes first and the man of sin (anti-Christ) is revealed"
and "stands in the temple of God, showing himself that
he is God."
8. In Matthew 24:23-30, Jesus teaches about His second
coming and says plainly that it is "after the tribulation
of those days." Nowhere does the scripture teach that
the people of God will spend 3½ years up in the air to escape
the great tribulation. The tribulation is to punish the
world for iniquity as well as refine Laodicea. Where is
that church today that is without "spot or wrinkle,"
"holy and without blemish" (Ephesians 5:27) and
how will she shine forth without some refining persecution?
When the early church was persecuted "the word of God
grew and multiplied" (Acts 12:24).
9. In Revelation 3:7-10 the Philadelphian church was to
be delivered from "the hour of trial which shall come
upon the whole world," but not the Laodicean church
which was at the end of the age. (Rev. 3:14-21).
10. The apostle Paul says in II Thessalonians 1:7-10, "And
to you who are troubled rest with us, (when?) when
the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty
angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know
not God and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from
the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power:
When He shall come to be glorified in His saints,
and to be admired in all them that believe...in that
day." This does not sound like Paul believed
in a secret rapture of the church.
11. Jesus said in Mark 14:25 and Matthew 26:29 "I
will drink no more of the fruit of the vine (wine) until
that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
He said in Luke 22:18 "For I say unto you, I will not
drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God
shall come." The kingdom of God is to be set up on
earth (Daniel 2:44, 7:14, 18, 22, 27; Matt. 6:10,
Rev. 12:10) so the marriage supper of the Lamb cannot be
in heaven, else Jesus would not drink the wine that is served.
12. In studying Jesus great teaching regarding the end
time and His second coming, found in Matthew 24, Mark 13,
& Luke 21, no reference can be found to a secret, pre-tribulation
rapture of the church. He did say, "But he who endures
to the end shall be saved," (Matt. 24:13). Please
read these chapters again prayerfully.
13. In Revelation chapter 12, John the Revelator saw a
vision of the end time, and the Lord's church pictured as
a woman, persecuted by a great red dragon (Satan). Verse
6 says she "fled into the wilderness, where
she hath a place prepared of God," where she is fed
and protected for the final 42 months of the tribulation.
Please note that it did not say she was caught up to heaven.
14. The angel Gabriel told Daniel in the book of Daniel
chapter 12 that he would not be resurrected until after
the time of trouble "at the end of the days."
Do those who preach a pre-tribulation rapture believe that
they will be in heaven seven years before the great prophet
15. Contrary to what is taught by some, the apostles did
not believe Jesus was coming back to earth in their lifetimes.
He taught them that certain things would happen before His
return, including the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple
(A.D. 70) (Mark 13:2, Luke 29:43-44, Luke 21:9). He told
Peter plainly that he would grow old and be killed for the
Gospel (John 21:19). The disciples were shocked when they
misunderstood Jesus and thought He was saying that John
would live until His coming (John 21:22-24). Paul knew that
he would die, and spoke of his "departure" and
what would come after. He knew that the rebuilt Temple would
be defiled by the anti-Christ (Acts 20:29-31, II Tim. 3:1-6,
II Thess. 2:1-8). They all understood that Jesus would come
the second time as He had the first "when the fullness
of time had come" and not before (Galatians 4:4, Romans
My friend, can you imagine a just God taking His church,
which is the light of the world and the salt of the earth,
to heaven to miss the time of trouble and leaving the babies
and children of all the nations to suffer through it? Do
you believe all of earth's children under the age of accountability
will be raptured, and have you seen in the Bible where life
will continue on earth with no child to be found under the
age of 10 or 12 years? Likewise is the church to escape
suffering and persecution, while Israel that has already
suffered so much, is left here in tribulation without our
help, prayers, or support? It simply does not fit scripture,
but seems tailor made for an American Church (Laodicea)
that says "I am rich, and increased with goods, and
have need of nothing," and knowest not "that thou
art wretched, and miserable, and poor and blind and naked"
(Rev. 3:17). I cannot help but think of the old hymn that
asks, "Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds
of ease, while others fought to win the prize and sailed
through bloody seas?"
My friend, God looks severely upon false teaching and the
seriousness of it can hardly be overstated. When Paul said
in II Thessalonians 2:3, "Let no man deceive you by
any means" he was speaking in reference to the timing
of Jesus' return. This shows that there would be deception
regarding this matter. Every doctrine bears fruit, and error
as you well know bears bitter fruit. Let me explain how
this pre-tribulation rapture doctrine can do harm to the
body of Christ.
The USA Today newspaper carried a story recently about
the U.S.'s most decorated officer to survive as a P.O.W.
He spent 8 years in the horrible prison called "Hanoi
Hilton" and in spite of intense mental and physical
torture, came back home to his family. He was asked in the
interview, who did not survive the ordeal and he said, "The
optimists." When asked to explain he said, "those
who said, 'we will be out by Christmas' and weren't, then
'we'll be out by New Years' and weren't, then 'we'll be
out by Easter' and weren't, and their spirits were broken,
their hopes dashed, and they succumbed to despair and died."
He said, "I fixed my mind for the long haul and thought,
I have a wife and babies back home in the U.S. and no matter
how long it takes or what I have to suffer, I will see them
and hold them again." Thus, he made it! We as Christians
must fix our minds for the long haul!
It is dangerous to preach a doctrine of easy escape when
that is not what is coming. May I humbly say that what is
coming is a shaking of the nations. In 1986, God told me,
"I am soon going to shake the nations with a demonstration
of the power of my wrath. Many will think that it is the
end but it is not, it is just to show my power to the nations."
God said He did not want His people stirred by the shaking,
but He wants us stirred by the Word, now, "so that
we will have the strength to reap the harvest of souls that
the shaking will bring." I later found where Ezekiel
38:20, Haggai 2:6-7, Hebrews 12:26-27 and Joel 3:11 speak
of this shaking which is to come. Joel 2:31 says these things
happen "Before the coming of the great and awesome
day of the Lord."
Let me say to my friends in the ministry, Brethren instead
of telling people they will fly away and avoid it all, let's
do as Paul did in Acts 14:21-22, preaching to all of the
churches "strengthening the souls of the disciples,
exhorting them to continue in the faith" and saying
"we must through many tribulations enter the
kingdom of God." What happened to that
As Don Finto said in his book, Your People Shall Be My
People, "I would rather be prepared for the worst and
be delivered than to be caught off guard." Daniel 11:32
says, "then they that do know their God shall be strong
and do exploits," (not, "will fly away").
These exploits are heroic and notable deeds and there is
something in me that looks forward with great anticipation
to that day. Strengthened by God, I would love to do battle
with the anti-Christ for "greater is he that is in
us than he that is in the world" and "the weapons
of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God."
(I John 4:4 and II Cor. 10:4)
Dear fellow Christian, please receive this message in the
spirit of love in which it is written as I do honor you
and believe that you are a sincere seeker for truth.
God has plans that we know not of and one thing is for
sure, His glory will soon be revealed in the earth. May
we spread the Gospel and pray for the soon coming of Jesus.
Your Brother In Christ,
Sometime back I wrote a study titled "Why I Speak
in Tongues" and posted it on this website. We get a
good many questions and comments about this article and
are always happy to respond.
A couple of weeks ago I received a quite lengthy email
from a Dr. Bob Pearson (I have changed the name)
who named many great Christian ministers from the past,
and Dr. Billy Graham of the present, who did not teach or
practice speaking in tongues. His question was basically,
"If speaking in tongues is of God, and they didn't
practice it, how could they have been used of Him as they
were?" That is a good question and I hope I answered
it well. I have posted my email to him here, so you can
be the judge.
Warmest Christian Regards,
P.S. I do not normally talk about "tongues"
in our concerts and church services, as our ministry crosses
many denominational boundaries, but I certainly do practice
it every day in my personal prayer time. Also, I was amazed
at some of the good statements I found from Brother Billy
Graham on this subject.