31. Guest Post: In Case of Rapture—the Bible will be wrong (post 1 of 2)

by Preacher Todd Clippard, Burleson Church of Christ, Hamilton, AL.

(Reprinted with permission January 2016)

INTRODUCTION AND OUTLINE

Most dispensational pre- and post-millennialists use passages from the books of Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation in support of their doctrine. The passages to which they refer are often highly symbolic and apocalyptic. That is, these texts use symbols and figures to represent spiritual concepts. Admittedly, many of these symbols and images are difficult to decipher. However, keep in mind that the Bible is one large book composed of 66 smaller books. “God is not the author of confusion” (1 Cor 14:40). Therefore, the Bible is uniform and consistent in its teaching throughout.

One of the most basic principles of interpretation is to interpret difficult passages in light of those easily understood. This method of interpretation applies to the Bible or any other document or concept. For example, when one learns mathematics, he must first learn addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division (in that order) before moving on to algebra, geometry, etc. All higher math must agree with the rudiments of mathematics. Unfortunately, many folks take difficult passages and make them teach something in direct opposition to easily understood scriptures.

The main points of this outline are the most common beliefs in the millennial system. Although every dispensationalist may not be in agreement on every point, the following summarization would garner the support of most. Also, the validity of each point is dependent upon all the others. Therefore, by refuting even one of the fundamental principles of premillennialism, one refutes the entire system without having to address the seemingly infinite minute details of the varying theories.

RAPTURE THEORY CONDENSED

1. Initially, Jesus came to the earth to establish an earthly kingdom in Judah, was rejected by the Jews, and set up the church instead until He comes again.

2. There will be a secret “catching away” of the saints, both living and dead, before “the tribulation.” This is commonly referred to as “the rapture.”

3. The tribulation will last approximately 7 years, during which time the Jews will begin to rebuild the temple. The Jews will also enter into a 7-year agreement with “the Anti-christ”. After 3 ½ years, “the Antichrist” will be revealed, at which time he will stop the daily sacrifice and set up his own image in the temple.

4. During this time, Jerusalem will be trodden under foot, nations will unite against the city and overcome it. Great suffering will occur and many will be carried into captivity; those remaining will turn to Christ. When the kings of Earth gather to battle against the Christians, Jesus will descend with the saints to deliver the faithful and destroy the enemy. Thus ends the tribulation and the power of the Antichrist.

5. Tribulation martyrs are raised to reign with Jesus and the other saints for 1000 years, during which time Jesus will sit on the throne of David, having established his earthly kingdom in Jerusalem.

6. The tribes of Israel are restored and the Lord makes a new covenant with them. The temple will be completely rebuilt with Levitical sacrifices re-established and continued throughout the 1000 year reign.

7. After 1000 years- the final judgment will take place.

RAPTURE THEORY REFUTED

1. Initially, Jesus came to the earth to establish an earthly kingdom in Judah and reign as a king, but was rejected by the Jews, and set up the church instead until he came again. (Pre-millennialists view the church as a “Plan B.”)

The BIBLE says:

a. John 6:15 the Jews sought to make Jesus a king, but He rejected them
b. John 18:36 Jesus was no threat to Caesar (Ephesians 6:17; Micah 4:2)
c. Ephesians 3:9-11 purpose and design of the church was eternal, not secondary.

2. There will be a secret “catching away” of the saints, both living and dead, before “the tribulation.” This catching away is commonly referred to as “the rapture.”

The BIBLE says:

a. 1 Corinthians 15:52 – the changing “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” will take place “at the last trump”
b. John 5:28-29 ALL the dead shall be raised the same day
c. John 6:40 ALL believers will be raised the last day (not 1007 years before the last day)
d. Revelation 1:9 John was a companion in the tribulation (present tense, definite article)
e. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 ALL the saints raised at the last day, the dead in Christ first.
f. “rapture” is a non-biblical term which cannot be found in word or principle in the Scriptures.

3. The tribulation will last approximately 7 years, during which time the Jews will begin to rebuild the temple. The Jews will also enter into a 7-year agreement with “the Anti-christ”. After 3 ½ years, “the Antichrist” will be revealed, at which time he will stop the daily sacrifice and set up his own image in the temple.

The BIBLE says:

a. Acts 14:22 entrance into the kingdom with tribulation, not after or apart from it.
b. Revelation 1:9 John a companion with 7 churches of Asia in tribulation
c. the Antichrist?
i. 1 John 2:18, 22 MANY anti-Christs already present = a signal of the “last days”
ii. 1 John 4:4 “ye have overcome THEM”

4. During this time, Jerusalem will be trodden under foot, nations will unite against the city and overcome it. Great suffering will occur and many will be carried into captivity; those remaining will turn to Christ. When the kings of Earth gather to battle against the Christians, Jesus will descend with the saints to deliver the faithful and destroy the enemy. Thus ends the tribulation and the power of the Antichrist.

The BIBLE says:

a. Ephesians 6:10-17 Christians not fighting against flesh and blood, but spiritual wickedness
b. 2 Peter 3:10-11 When Jesus comes again, the universe shall be dissolved

5. Tribulation martyrs are raised to reign with Jesus and the other saints for 1000 years, during which time Jesus will sit on the throne of David, having established his earthly kingdom in Jerusalem.

The BIBLE says:

a. John 18:36 – Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world.”
b. Daniel 7:13-14 – Jesus was given His kingdom when He ascended to heaven (cf Acts 1:9)
c. Jeremiah 22:28-30 no descendant of Coniah shall reign in Judah, sitting on the throne of David
i. Matthew 1:11 Jesus is a descendant of Jeconiah = Coniah
ii. Acts 2:29-31 Jesus sitting on the throne of David = resurrection from the dead

6. The tribes of Israel are restored and the Lord makes a new covenant with them. The temple will be rebuilt with Levitical sacrifices re-established and continued throughout the 1000 year reign.

The BIBLE says:

a. Joshua 21:43-45 all promises to Israel fulfilled
b. Galatians 3
i. things spiritual (of Christ) not made complete by the flesh (the old law) vv 2-3
ii. justification comes through Christ, who redeemed us from the curse of the old law – vv 10-14
c. Hebrews 8:6-13 why would Jesus re-establish the imperfect, faulty law that He came to abolish?

7. After 1000 years- the final judgment will take place.

The BIBLE says:

a. Matthew 25:31-34,41 BOTH the righteous and the wicked shall be judged at his coming
b. John 5:28-29 ALL the dead will be raised together for the judgment

8. Other considerations:

a. This theory impugns the authority of Christ – Matthew 28:18
b. This theory denigrates the importance God placed upon the church:
i. Acts 2:47 – the saved are added to the church by the Lord
ii. Acts 20:28 – the church was purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ
iii. Ephesians 3:10 – the manifold wisdom of God is made known by the church
c. This theory denies that the kingdom is the church
i. Matthew 4:17, Mark 12:34, Luke 10:9-11 – kingdom is nigh or close at hand
ii. Matthew 16:28, Mark 9:1 – some living then would live to see it established
iii. Matthew 16:18-19; Matthew 18:18 If the kingdom was not close to being established, why  did Jesus give Peter and the other apostles the keys to it?
(1) From Matthew 1 to Acts 2, the kingdom is always spoken of in the future tense.
(2) After Acts 2, it is spoken of in the present tense, as already established.
(3) Thus, the kingdom was established in Acts 2 = the church (v 47).
iv. Some were already in the kingdom in the first century:
(1) Acts 28:23 Paul testified of it as an established fact, not prophesied of it as being in the future
(2) Colossians 1:13 God has translated (note past tense) us into the kingdom of His Son
(3) Revelation 1:9 John identified himself as a companion in the kingdom
(4) Hebrews 12:28 the Hebrews received a kingdom which cannot be moved (cf Matt 16:18)

End post 1 of 2

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Author: The_Old_Maid_of_Potluck

Author of Potluck2point0: The resource formerly known as http://oldmaid.jallman.net (a.k.a. My humongous [technical term] study of "What's behind 'Left Behind'").