Home > Apologetics, Bible Study, End Times, Israel and the Church, Pre-Tribulation Rapture, PreWrath Rapture Refuted, Prophecy and Mystery > JOHNSTON ANSWERS HOVIND – Is the Olivet Discourse for Jews and the Church?

JOHNSTON ANSWERS HOVIND – Is the Olivet Discourse for Jews and the Church?

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Dr. Mike Johnston (PreTrib) – Dr. Kent Hovind (Anti-PreTrib)

I have for years loved and respected Dr. Kent Hovind’s Creation Science Evangelism ministry and have spent many profitable hours glued to youtube where he literally pulverized every atheist or evolutionist crazy enough accept his debate challenges where they all subsequently suffered a humiliating defeat. It is amazing.

Not long after we began corresponding, Dr. Kent confided in me that he had abandoned his 30+ year belief in a PreTrib rapture after becoming convinced that it was nothing more than an extravagant hoax dreamed up in 1830 by Margaret MacDonald, pirated by JN Darby, then published in 1907 in the Scofield Reference Bible notes. However when asked for proof, Dr. Kent – like all the MacDonald-Darby-Scofield conspiracy theorists – had to dip his bucket in the shallow pool of other anti-PreTrib rapturists who in turn have quoted others who have also quoted others – ad nauseum – in their same thinly populated camp.

I soon discovered the rapture position Dr. Hovind now embraced was a kind of anti-PreTrib hybrid mod-eled closely after the Robert Van Kampen [see END NOTE] and Marv Rosenthal PreWrath position – which Dr. Hovind calls “post trib” – and which leans heavily on Matthew 24 as a main proof text. And while Dr. Kent and his anti-PreTrib rapture are partially correct in teaching the Lord Jesus returns “immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29-31), their error is in ignoring a basic rule of hermeneutics: all Scripture is profitable, BUT all Scripture is not personal. A case in point is the manner in which these men have intentionally forced the church into an obvious Jewish setting – the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21). Contextually, this discourse is a continuation of the OT narrative [since the death of the Testator had not yet occurred- Heb. 9:16-17], and has nothing to do with the mystery church. It is completely Jewish; it centers around Jerusalem and Judea; it incorporates prophecy given strictly to Israel; and it describes “the time of Jacob’s [Israel’s] trouble” (Jer 30:7). In short, if our anti-PreTrib friends would eliminate eisegesis and employ exegesis in their study endeavors, the distinctive between prophecy for Israel and the mystery of the church would render the proper interpretation.

Prophecy and Mystery

Prophecy: Israel was established and exists from Prophecy: What is at the heart of Prophecy? The Messi-anic Kingdom; that is, the “kingdom of heaven” which was spoken of by John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ and the twelve disciples, which will be set up on the EARTH; (Matt. 3:1-2, 4:17, 10:5-7). Since the “kingdom of heaven” is not yet established on the earth, it will be set up in the near future when the Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, returns to the earth on the Mount of Olives, then on to Jeru-salem at the Second Advent and sets up His kingdom and reign upon THE EARTH for one thousand years. This is also called the Millennium. The main purpose or the main goal of prophecy is the establishment of the “kingdom of heaven” upon THE EARTH (Rom. 11:25-29). The Messianic Kingdom will be set up on THE EARTH: (Psalms 2:8) “I shall give Thee . . . the uttermost parts of THE EARTH for Thy possession”. (Jeremiah. 23:5) “A King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in THE EARTH”. The Lord Jesus Christ who is the second member of the Godhead- who is also God- will rule as God, from Jerusalem over the entire world. It will be a theocracy. “They shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Isaiah 7:14) (Matt. 1:23). “And His name shall be called . . . The mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6). “The Lord shall be King over all THE EARTH” (Zech. 14:9).

Mystery: The church exists as a Mystery and will disappear in a Mystery (1 Cor. 15:51): God’s purpose con-cerning HEAVEN and the exaltation of the Body of Christ there with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Body, is the subject of “The Mystery”. What is the Mystery? There are many mysteries in the Bible, but this refers to “THE MYSTERY” which is that great body of truth given to the Apostle Paul by direct revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ, from heaven. The “kingdom of heaven” one day being set up on the earth and the coming Messiah was well known and prophesied by the holy prophets (for Israel). But, the Body of Christ with its heavenly calling and position was not prophesied. Nothing- not even one mention- can be found in the pages of prophecy about the Body of Christ. God kept this a complete secret until the proper time when He brought the Body of Christ into existence, revealing THE MYSTERY only to the Apostle Paul. (Rom. 16:25) “kept secret since the world began”. Then also in (Ephesians 3:9) “from the beginning of the world . . . hid in God”. “Hid from ages and from generations” (Col.1:26).

The nation Israel was temporarily set aside along with the unbelieving Gentiles. “Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for” (Rom. 11:7). “Because of unbelief they were broken off” (Rom. 11:12). A new dispensation was slowly being brought in and mercy was shown to all. “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief that He might have mercy upon all (Rom. 11:32). “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek (Gentile)” (Rom. 10:12-13). No longer is the gospel of the kingdom proclaimed, but the gospel of the Grace of God, which is Christ’s finished work on the cross. The Apostle Paul declared “the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD” and “THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD which is given me to you-ward” (Acts 20:24) (Ephesians 3:2). Prophecy and mystery are different; therefore they are not the same!

The following was adapted with slight edits for clarification from an email discussion I had with Dr. Hovind regarding his claims that the Olivet Discourse implicates the church. This discussion unfolds beginning here:

I WROTE:

Brother Doc, our differences are based upon how we have chosen to rightly divide the word of truth, aka hermeneutics. To begin with, it is widely accepted that the Bible can be divided into Old Testament and New Testament. However, the Bible is basically divided into two more well defined, descriptive terms, and these are prophecy and mystery. Prophecy is basically the purpose God has for the earth and Christ’s reign upon it, which includes the nation of Israel and the coming kingdom in the city of Jerusalem (Isa. 24:23; Mic. 4:7). This is the Kingdom of heaven that will in the future be set up on the earth, literally. The Mystery is that body of truth proclaimed by the Apostle Paul, concerning heaven and the exaltation of the Body of Christ in heaven, together there with Christ (Eph. 2:4-10, 3: 1-4) that the prophets knew nothing about. Therefore, when properly interpreting Scripture we must first distinguish between prophecy given to Israel which is reinforcing Christ’s return to establish the coming Kingdom in Jerusalem for which Peter is the NT spokesman, or the mystery of the church which is parenthetic to God’s overarching program for His elect Israel and for which Paul is spokesman.

The very first words in the Bible state: “In the beginning God created the HEAVEN and the EARTH” (Gen. 1:1). It does not say God created the UNIVERSE; it does not say God created the heavens and the earth as many people- and most all erroneous modern translations- make the mistake of saying. It says God created the HEAVEN and the EARTH. This is because He has a special purpose concerning the earth which is completely different from His purpose concerning heaven. His purpose that concerns the earth has to do with Christ’s future reign upon it, and this is the subject of “prophecy” (2 Peter 1:16-19). His purpose for heaven and the exaltation of the Body of Christ there with the Lord Jesus Christ is the subject of the “mys-tery” (Ephesians 2:4-10, 3:1-4). This is why the Bible is really divided into two great subjects: Prophecy and Mystery! I will say more about this in a moment. But before I do, let’s establish some common ground. Would you agree that:

• All Scripture is profitable, but all Scripture is not personal.
• Israel is a nation, and the church is a body, and the two are not the same.
• Christ came as the Messiah to the lost sheep of Israel (Matt. 15:24); to set up the long awaited Messianic kingdom in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam 7:16).
• The Lord Jesus Christ was manifest as the King of Israel under the Old Covenant.
• The Kingdom was postponed when the King was rejected which occurred on the exact day Daniel predicted it would (Dan. 9:24-26; Matt 21).
• The original church was Jewish, and was formed thru the baptism of the Spirit (Acts 2) in fulfill-ment of Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2). The Gentiles weren’t added until Acts 10.
• Peter was apostle to Israel (circumcision- Gal. 2:7), and preached the gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 10:5-7). Paul was apostle to the Gentile church (uncircumcision- Gal. 2:8), and preached the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24). Thus, the overall focus of their ministries was not the same.
• The original disciples and followers of Christ, were taught the gospel of the Kingdom, and were still awaiting it as evidenced by their final questions Jesus answered in the Olivet Discourse and just prior to His ascension (Matt. 24:3; Acts 1:6).
• The church is nowhere told to be concerned about the Davidic Kingdom. We are instructed to be focused heavenward instead (Col. 3:1-6).
• If the Jewish church didn’t begin until Acts 2, all four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are actually a continuation of the Old Covenant narrative which would include the Olivet Dis-course.

The Olivet Discourse
(here is a more complete discussion on this topic: The Olivet Discourse in its Jewish Setting

When discussing the Olivet Discourse, we need to really understand the differences between Israel and the church which clearly appear in the dichotomy between Prophecy for Israel and the Mystery of the church.

Prophecy: Israel was established and exists from Prophecy: What is at the heart of Prophecy? The Messi-anic Kingdom; that is, the “kingdom of heaven” which was spoken of by John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ and the twelve disciples, which will be set up on the EARTH; (Matt. 3:1-2, 4:17, 10:5-7). Since the “kingdom of heaven” is not yet established on the earth, it will be set up in the near future when the Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, returns to the earth on the Mount of Olives, then on to Jeru-salem at the Second Advent and sets up His kingdom and reign upon THE EARTH for one thousand years. This is also called the Millennium. The main purpose or the main goal of prophecy is the establishment of the “kingdom of heaven” upon THE EARTH (Rom. 11:25-29). The Messianic Kingdom will be set up on THE EARTH: (Psalms 2:8) “I shall give Thee . . . the uttermost parts of THE EARTH for Thy possession”. (Jeremiah. 23:5) “A King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in THE EARTH”. The Lord Jesus Christ who is the second member of the Godhead- who is also God- will rule as God, from Jerusalem over the entire world. It will be a theocracy. “They shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Isaiah 7:14) (Matt. 1:23). “And His name shall be called . . . The mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6). “The Lord shall be King over all THE EARTH” (Zech. 14:9).

Mystery: The church began as a Mystery (Rom. 16:25) and will disappear in a Mystery (1 Cor. 15:51): The mystery is God’s purpose concerning HEAVEN and the exaltation of the Body of Christ there with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Body, is the subject of “The Mystery”. What is the Mystery? There are many mysteries in the Bible, but this refers to “THE MYSTERY” which is that great body of truth given to the Apostle Paul by direct revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ, from heaven. The “kingdom of heaven” one day being set up on the earth and the coming Messiah was well known and prophesied by the holy prophets (for Israel). But, the Body of Christ with its heavenly calling and position was not prophesied. Nothing- not even one mention- can be found in the pages of prophecy about the Body of Christ. God kept this a complete secret until the proper time when He brought the Body of Christ into existence, revealing THE MYSTERY only to the Apostle Paul. (Rom. 16:25) “kept secret since the world began”. Then also in (Ephe-sians 3:9) “from the beginning of the world . . . hid in God”. “Hid from ages and from generations” (Col.1:26).

The nation Israel was temporarily set aside along with the unbelieving Gentiles. “Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for” (Rom. 11:7). “Because of unbelief they were broken off” (Rom. 11:12). A new dispensation was slowly being brought in and mercy was shown to all. “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief that He might have mercy upon all (Rom. 11:32). “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek (Gentile)” (Rom. 10:12-13). No longer is the gospel of the kingdom proclaimed, but the gospel of the Grace of God, which is Christ’s finished work on the cross. The Apostle Paul declared “the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD” and “THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD which is given me to you-ward” (Acts 20:24) (Ephesians 3:2).[1] Prophecy and mystery are different; therefore they are not the same!

DR. HOVIND WROTE:
Since 2009, when I announced my switch back to the historic position of the church, i.e. Post-trib rather than pre-trib rapture,

MY ANSWER:
This is a blanket false statement leveled against PreTribbers by anti-PreTrib proponents who either have not seen the contradictory evidence, or who have seen it and and are ignoring or hiding it in order to “win” their feckless argument. There are many verifiable writings from early church fathers proving they looked for the blessed hope (pre-trib rapture) to deliver them from the time of Jacob’s trouble. If it would convince you, I will be happy to provide some of them as I have in the past.

DR. HOVIND WROTE:
I’ve had several godly brothers tell me that the passages I cite in Mt. 24; Mk 13 and Lk 21 are for the Jews and do NOT apply to Christians. (They all still believe in Pre-trib rapture-I’ll work on that! 🙂 ). Brothers, I must strongly disagree! Those 3 parallel passages are for Christians (not Jews) and DO apply to us today. Jesus was warning HIS DISCIPLES what was coming so they would not be surprised when it came.

MY ANSWER:
Would you not agree that Christ came to inaugurate the long awaited Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:16), and had been rejected which caused the disciples much confusion and consternation? And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world (Matthew 24:3)? Would you not again agree that the explanation He gave has become known as the Olivet Discourse and can be studied in Mat-thew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21?

The entire context of the Olivet Discourse must be taken into consideration. First, the church didn’t exist until Acts 2 (for the Jews) then later after Paul was given the revelation of the mystery (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:3-9). Second, the disciples came to Christ with questions about the fulfillment of the Davidic Kingdom in Jerusalem. Here are the exact questions:

“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3)

Coming for what? To establish the Kingdom in response to the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam 7:16): “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6)

How do you see the church here? This had NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CHURCH. It was their concern about the Kingdom on earth in Jerusalem that prompted these questions.

DR. HOVIND WROTE:
Let’s look at the facts:
All through Jesus’ ministry He had gentiles following Him and believing in Him (the woman at the well was a Samaritan, woman of Canaan in (Mt. 15:21-28, etc).

MY ANSWER:
While this is a wonderful observation, the salvation of Gentiles holds no value in the discussion of the Jewishness of the Olivet Discourse. It is clearly provable that the Lord Jesus came to the lost sheep of Israel to set up the Jewish kingdom (in Jerusalem) in fulfillment of the covenanted Davidic Covenant (2 Sam 7:16). His message was “repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 4:17). The Kingdom was never realized and the Olivet Discourse discusses when it will be.

DR. HOVIND WROTE:
When He selected His 12 disciples He selected Simon the Canaanite (Mk. 3:14, 18). Later, when He sent the 12 out Simon the Canaanite was named as one of them (Mt. 10:1, 4)

MY ANSWER:
Brother, vs 1 this Simon was Simon Peter.
V4 Simon the Canaanite lived in Cana. Simon is a Jewish name. There is no evidence suggesting he was not an Israelite and from what i see you are pretty much alone in this strained interpretation. Luke labeled him a part of the Zealots, a group of avenging priests of the temple. Some historians also teach he was related to the Lord Jesus. Christ sent his disciples to minister to Jews alone would not have chosen a Gentile dog for this.

DR. HOVIND WROTE:
There is absolutely no evidence that all of His hundreds of followers or even that his 12 disciples were all Jews and there is plenty of evidence that they were NOT all Jews, especially at the end of His ministry when these passages in question certainly take place.

MY ANSWER:
Again, this is irrelevant. The fact is He was preaching the “gospel of the kingdom” (Matt. 4:23; 9:35; Mark 1:14) to Jews first which will be the gospel that is again preached just before the Revelation return to Jeru-salem to inaugurate the Kingdom (Matt. 24:14; Rev 19).

DR. HOVIND WROTE:
In Acts 1 Peter was talking to 120 disciples in the upper room. He said they needed to select someone to replace Judas. It had to be someone who had been with them from the Baptism of John through the res-urrection and ascension into Heaven. Neither of the ones they chose that day are mentioned in the lists of 12 disciples or anyplace in the New Testament other that this passage. There is no proof that they were Jews. There were MANY who followed Jesus who were NOT Jews. Jesus preached OUTSIDE of Israel several times and got converts. He healed the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter in Tyre and healed many in Decapolis.

MY ANSWER:
There is no proof they were not Jews either. The disciples were preaching the gospel of the kingdom and knew nothing about the mystery Christ later revealed to Paul. Peter was preaching the time of refreshing which was the Covenant kingdom that he believed was still a possibility in their lifetime and would com-mence if Israel would repent (Acts 3:19-20). This had no bearing on the Gentiles whatsoever. It was part of a Jewish Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:16).

DR. HOVIND WROTE:
Read Mt. 24, Mk. 13 and Lk. 21 and see how many times Jesus clearly refers to HIS DISCIPLES (not Jews) as He clearly and simply answered their questions about WHEN He would return and WHAT SIGN they should look for. I suggest you follow in your Bible (KJB) and circle them as you read and then connect them all with lines.

Matthew 24:1 “his DISCIPLES came came to him…” v. 2 Jesus said unto THEM… v. 3 the DISCIPLES came unto him…tell US when… v. 4 Jesus answered and said unto THEM…deceive YOU… v.6 YE shall hear…see that YE be not… v. 9 deliver YOU up…kill YOU and YE shall be hated …for MY NAME’S SAKE. (The world does NOT hate Jews for JESUS’S name sake. It hates CHRISTIANS for His name’s sake- CHRISTian). v.15 When YE therefore…v. 20 pray YE… v. 25 I have told YOU…He was sitting there talking to His DISCIPLES not the Jews. v. 30 THEY shall see -THIS one is about the NON-DISCIPLES!

That’s about 16 times in Matthew 24:1-25. He was clearly referring to HIS DISCIPLES.

MY ANSWER:
It appears there was a shotgun blast of faulty conclusions; none of which hit the target. The Kingdom was on hold and the New Covenant promised for Israel during the Millennium had not been established thus these Jews were still under the Old Covenant. Their questions about its establishment were followed by Christ’s description of the destruction of the Jewish Temple and the tribulation period all centering around Jerusalem and marking His Revelation and inauguration of the Davidic Kingdom. Still, even if 20,000 Gentiles attended this Olivet discourse – which evidence does not support – the complete context of the discourse is Christ’s response to the questions that were given to Him from only four Jewish disciples: Mark 13:3-4 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, (4) Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? Once again, this had nothing to do with the mystery church which incidentally had not even been established yet. It has everything to do with Israel and prophecy.

Regarding His name’s sake- there is no proof this means this implicates the church (which didn’t exist until Acts 2). You may recall that throughout history- beginning with Romanists like Augustine- the Jews were tied to the death of Christ. This was a charge issued by many popes, Luther, Hitler, and many on through today.

DR. HOVIND WROTE:
Mark 13:1 …one of his DISCIPLES…v. 2 Jesus answering said unto HIM… v. 3 Peter and James and John and Andrew…v. 4 tell US…v. 5 answering THEM…deceive YOU… v. 6 when YE shall hear.. be YE not troubled… v. 9 take heed to YOURSELVES… deliver YOU …in the SYNAGOGUES YE shall be beaten (the JEWS don’t beat the JEWS in the synagogues for JESUS’S NAME) and YE shall be…for MY NAME’S SAKE (The Jews are not persecuted for Jesus’s name sake!) v. 11 lead YOU and deliver YOU up…what YE shall speak neither do YE premeditate.. shall be given YOU in that hour, that speak YE for it is not YE that speak, but the Holy Ghost (Are the unconverted Jews indwelt by the Holy Ghost?- NO!) v. 13 YE shall be hated of all men for MY NAME’S SAKE… v. 14 when YE shall see… v. 18 pray YE …v. 20 for the ELECT’S sake (Christians are God’s elect)..v. 21 say to YOU… v. 23 take YE heed… told YOU (He was on the mount talking to His Disciples NOT Jews!)

That’s 27 times in Mark 13:1-23. He used words referring to HIS DISCIPLES.

MY ANSWER:
I answered this. Garnering a group to label disciples proves nothing contrary to what I’ve presented about the Jewishness of the Olivet discourse. It is moot. Regarding “the elect” the term is not reserved for Chris-tians; in the context it is for Israel.

Defining the term “elect”, Isaiah defined the term: Israel, mine elect (Isa. 45:4). Most references in the NT of election allude directly to Israel. Such is the case in the Olivet Discourse.

DR. HOVIND WROTE:
Luke 21:7 …THEY asked Him. (obviously this is a parallel passage to the other two and He is addressing His disciples). v. 8 Take heed that YE be not deceived (The Jews ARE deceived!)..go YE not… v. 9 when YE … v. 10 unto THEM…v. 12 lay hands on YOU and persecute YOU delivering YOU up to the synagogues (Jews did this TO the DISCIPLES)…for MY NAME’S SAKE…v. 13 turn to YOU for a testimony…v. 14 settle it in YOUR hearts…what YE shall answer..v. 15 I will give YOU a mouth.. all YOUR adversaries..(Is Jesus inspiring the lost Jews?- NO!) v. YE shall be…some of YOU… v. 17 and YE shall be hated of all men for MY NAME’S Sake…v. 18 hair of YOUR head…v. 19 In YOUR patience possess YE YOUR souls… v. 20. when YE shall see…

That’s 21 times in Luke that refer to Jesus DISCIPLES. That’s about 64 times in total. I think He wants it clear He is talking to HIS DISCIPLES not Jews! One would have to have HELP (or an ulterior motive?) to misunderstand THAT! Some of course WANT to believe in the ‘pre-trib’ rapture. I DO TOO! I wish it was true! But, I can’t twist the obvious teaching of the Bible to make it fit my pre-determined theology and you shouldn’t either. Since the pre-trib idea started 180 years ago it has been common for Bible teachers to say these passages apply to Jews and then dismiss the clear warning they bring to BELIEVERS.

MY ANSWER:
The 180 year old straw man origin of the PreTrib rapture via Margaret MacDonald has been impugned and disproved so many times I’m shocked as to why anti-PreTribbers continue putting it forth. I have answered this in previous articles I sent you that you probably deleted unread which is what I used to do :). I will be happy to send them again since they clearly refute what you’ve just written. Let me know.

DR. HOVIND WROTE:
I’m sorry fellas but those passages are NOT for the JEWS. They are for DISCIPLES and we WILL be here until we are raptured out, as it clearly says, at the END of each passage. Read them again and the se-quence is obvious: First, a falling away, then abomination is set up, then tribulation, then sun and moon darkened, then coming in clouds, then rapture. We are raptured AFTER the tribulation and AFTER the sun and moon go dark when He comes in the clouds. Mt. 24:29 “Immediately AFTER the tribulation..the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light…and THEN shall appear…the Son of man (Jesus) and… his angels…shall gather together HIS ELECT… (rapture). Mk. 13:26-27 is when the Son of man comes in the clouds and his angels gather HIS ELECT (rapture). Lk. 21:25-28 is when HIS DISCI-PLES are commanded to “look up, and lift up YOUR heads; for YOUR redemption draweth nigh.” (rapture) The 3 1/2 years of “great tribulation” ENDS with the sun and moon going dark and an earthquake. Even blind folks will notice THAT! (See Rev. 6:12) We are told to “endure to the end.” That is it! It is also THE SIGN of His coming. He was answering THEIR questions clearly. The rapture of His DISCIPLES is AFTER the tribulation which is BEFORE The Day of the Lord (Joel 2:31; Acts 2:20)! The WRATH of God falls IN the Day of the Lord NOT in the tribulation while we ARE here!

MY ANSWER:
Again you assume what you failed to prove brother. What you are describing after the tribulation is the Revelation of Christ to Israel to set up the Kingdom in JERUSALEM. The reason the church is not men-tioned from Rev. 4-19 is because she is not here. We come back with the Lord at the Revelation and go to be with Him at the Rapture; two separate events. Please read carefully the Olivet Discourse along with Zech 12-14. Jerusalem is the focus and the Jews are the recipients. It is the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer 30:7).

DR. HOVIND WROTE:
II Thes. 2:1-3 makes it clear that the DAY OF CHRIST (NOT the day of the Lord as nearly ALL new “bible” perversions change it to say) CANNOT come until there is a “falling away” and “the man of sin (antichrist) is revealed.” Hmmm? THAT happens in the middle of the 7 years (abomination). We ARE here for that. Why would the NIV folks change Day of Christ to Day of the Lord? Hmmm? Same reason Satan changed “God hath said” to “hath God said”????? See Jn. 8:44! It is the very pre-trib rapture belief that will CAUSE many to fall away when it doesn’t happen! DON’T take your kid to the dentist and say, “This is going to be fun! It won’t hurt at all!” Don’t lie to him. Tell him the facts and he can get ready.

MY ANSWER:
I’m A KJV believer, and I have no problem with the day of Christ here.

The Day of the Lord (prophecy) and the Day of Christ (mystery) are Not the Same

The Day of the Lord is a Jewish phrase that originated in prophecy. In fact, it is referred to specifically by nine OT prophets: Isaiah 2:12; 13:6,9; 34:8; Jeremiah 46:10; Ezekiel 13:5; 30:3; Joel 1:15; 2:1,11,31; 3:14; Amos 5:18,20; Obadiah 1:15; Zephaniah 1:7,8,14,18; 2:2,3; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi 4:5). It is also called the time of Jacob’s trouble by Jeremiah (30:7); and as a time of trouble by Daniel (12:1). Moses, the Lord Jesus, and John labeled this period the (great) tribulation (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:21; Rev. 7:14). When studied in context one finds the entire purpose of the time of Jacob’s (Israel) trouble is a time when God will punish Israel and the world for sin and rejecting Christ while preparing Israel for the coming Davidic Covenant Millennial Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:16; Isa. 14; etc). The day of the Lord is judgment against the proud (Isa. 2:12); destruction (Isa. 13:6; Joel 1:15); God’s fierce anger (Isa. 13:9; Zeph. 2:2); God’s vengeance for Zion (Isa. 34:8); God’s vengeance against His adversaries (Jer. 46:10; Obad. 1:15); terror (Lam. 2:22); Israel’s battle (Ezek. 13:5); the time of the heathen (Ezek. 30:3); a time of trembling (Joel 2:1); great and very terrible (Joel 2:11); dark and bloody moon (Joel 2:31; Acts 2:20); multitudes in the valley of decision (Joel 3:14); woe (Amos 5:18); darkness (Amos 5:20); bitter crying (Zeph. 1:14); and wrath (Zeph. 1:18). The day of the Lord is an extended period dispensationalists teach will commence with the signing of the seven year covenant (Dan. 9:27) and culminate with a great noise where the elements shall melt, and the earth and it’s works shall be burned up (2 Pet. 3:10).

The Day of Christ is a Christian phrase Paul was given in the revelation of the mystery for the church. As a Hebrew scholar, Paul was well aware of the prophetic phrase the day of the Lord and knew it described the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble. The fact that he opted to use the day of Christ, day of our Lord Jesus Christ, day of the Lord Jesus, and day of Jesus Christ rather than the day of the Lord signifies their dis-tinctions. Arno Gaebelein explains:

“There is an important difference between the day of Christ and the day of the Lord. The day of Christ concerns the Church, the saints of God. The day of the Lord concerns the earth– Israel and the nations. The day of Christ begins when He takes His saints in glory and they are with Him. The day of the Lord will bring . . . the visible manifestation of the Lord from heaven. The day of Christ comes first and the day of the Lord follows [and continues] at least seven years later. The day of the Lord does not concern the saints at all; it falls on the world. Before the day of the Lord can come, His saints have to be gathered together unto Him. The promise of 1Th_4:16-18 needs first to be fulfilled. (Paul) uses this hope of being gathered to Christ, when He comes for His saints, as a motive why they should not listen to those who said the day of [Christ] is present. He reminds them of the fact that their gathering unto Him had not yet taken place. How, then, could the day of the Lord be present?” (The Annotated Bible- Arno Gaebelein)

Here are the 7 passages in the chronological order Paul wrote them. Please notice if you will that this is a definite terminal period that includes rewards and rejoicing and affects Christians only.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 (54 AD): Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (2) 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.
[Anti-PreTrib writers argue against imminency by claiming Paul taught the antichrist had to appear prior to the Rapture. This, of course, would place Christians in the time of Jacob’s trouble causing them to look for antichrist rather than Jesus Christ. The context of Paul’s words disproves this notion. A forged letter from Paul arrived in Thessalonica claiming the day of Christ (which includes the Rapture and the day of the Lord-or tribulation) was at hand or had begun. If Paul had taught them they were going through the time of Jacob’s trouble, why were they scared since Jesus would after all be returning within seven years? Moreover, why didn’t Paul encourage them to stock pile food, weapons, and other necessities since this would have been the perfect opportunity? The fact is, Paul clearly taught them two comings of Christ: the Rapture where the Lord comes for His church to deliver them from the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble aka day of the Lord which is to come (1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:9, 23) and the Revelation where Christ returns with His church after the tribulation: 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; see Matt. 24:29; Rev. 19:11-21].

Here are the remaining verses describing this event. No mention of judgment or any of the woes described by the nine prophets that warned Israel about the day of the Lord:

1 Corinthians 1:8 (59 AD): Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 5:5 (59 AD): To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
2 Corinthians 1:14 (60 AD): As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Philippians 1:6 (64 AD): Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:10 (64 AD): That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.
Philippians 2:16 (64 AD): Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

The day of the Lord and the day of Christ are different; therefore they are not the same!

DR. HOVIND WROTE:
Starting in Jeremiah 14:13 Jeremiah’s fellow prophets as well as others who were preaching “peace in this place” did NOT like what he was preaching about them going into captivity! They contradicted him, beat him, imprisoned him and claimed they had “a word from the Lord.” They wanted to SHUT HIM UP be-cause THEY had been preaching a message of peace and “something GOOD is about to happen to you” that the people WANTED them to preach. The prophets were LYING and had NOT gotten their message from God or His Word. The ones who blindly followed the FALSE teaching of those false prophets were GREATLY disappointed when they DID go into captivity for 70 years!!! They thought God had not kept His promise when it was their false hope from their lying prophets, not God’s promise, that was not kept. God keeps His promises!

GOD told Jeremiah that the prophets were lying and to “Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you; that make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. They say still unto them that despise me, Thus hath the Lord said, Ye shall have peace…no evil shall come upon you. … I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken unto them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” Jer. 23:16-22.

Hmmm? Telling the people good things are coming rather than the truth will cause them to NOT turn “from their evil way”… If you believed you WOULD be here for the tribulation would that make you ex-amine your life and actions more? Would it make you less likely to sin? Would it make you “set your af-fections on things above and not on the earth”? I am CONVINCED we WILL be here for the tribulation and by warning people maybe I can help “keep them from falling” or “turn many to righteousness” and win the Dan. 12:3 prize! Join me please!

Jeremiah wept as he preached God’s message! (As do I!) He did not WANT the people to suffer (nor do I) and he did not CAUSE it to happen by preaching about it (nor will I). He didn’t WANT to preach the mes-sage and even tried to quit once but the “fire in his bones” wouldn’t let him! (Jer. 20:9; 23:9; Lam. 1:13). Me too! There was no “name it claim it” or “speak life to it” preaching in Jeremiah. He just preached what God told him to preach. (Like EVERY man of God should!) In the case in Jeremiah’s day the suffering WAS because of Israel’s sin. The coming tribulation is NOT because of Christian’s sins. It is because of what wicked men will do ($) for their “New World Order.” The time of wrath WILL be caused by God! We are NOT here for THAT! (I Thes. 1:10; 5:9).

MY ANSWER:
All of the above could be laid to the charge of those who have distorted the blessed hope, too. While a great narrative, it proves nothing.

DR. HOVIND WROTE:
The idea that CHRISTIANS will NOT be here for the tribulation is NOT found in the Bible and is NOT what anyone has authority from God to preach! Jesus told HIS DISCIPLE clearly that in the world they SHALL HAVE tribulation. (Jn. 16:33). The followers of Jesus have suffered tribulation at the hands of wicked men for 2,000 years! MILLIONS have been (and are being) tortured and killed for their faith. God wants us here to be a witness to the lost world (even if it kills us) and bear more fruit. If they don’t get saved they will at least be without excuse on the day of Judgment. He will let even His two witnesses preach 1260 days and then be KILLED.

MY ANSWER:
As long as we are quoting the Lord Jesus, let’s remember He introduced the rapture when He promised to come get His people and take them to be where He is forever (John 14:1-3). Moreover, the Lord Jesus promised “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of tempta-tion, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Revelation 3:10).

DR. HOVIND WROTE:
Jesus warned HIS DISCIPLES to not teach things that offend the little ones or they would be in TROU-BLE! Mt.18:1-10; Mk. 9:33-37; Lk. 9:46-48. II Peter 3:4 says the scoffers will mock us over the Lord not returning when we thought He would. “Where is the promise of His coming…” Hmm?

Even good godly men like Simon Peter who loved Jesus and knew Him personally could talk without thinking it out (Mk. 9:6- “wist not what to say”) and could even let Satan speak through them (Mt. 16:23; Mk 8:33 -“get thee behind me Satan…”). I advise CAUTION when teaching others about end times (or anything about the Bible). I waited nearly 40 years before publishing my views because I wasn’t sure. You can ask my wife of 39.5 years or my grown children-I don’t change my mind easily! I changed it on the “pre-trib” in 2009 and am CONVINCED what I now teach is right.

I would LOVE to be able to tell believers that everything will be fine and we will be raptured out BEFORE the tribulation. I have 5 small grandchildren, a wife, and three married children as well as thousands of Christian friends all over the world that WILL be affected by this. I believed the pre-trib for nearly 40 years of my Christian life. I know full well that THAT is the message the people WANT to hear with their “itching ears” (II Tim. 4:3) and it is a message that will $ell and make the preachers (or movie makers) rich! I cannot be true to the Bible and teach that any longer. I do NOT look forward to suffering. Like Evangelist Dave Roever says, “I hate pain. Pain hurts me!” Pretending we will get raptured out and preaching it loud and long does NOT change the Scriptures any more than Jeremiah’s contemporaries changed the FACT of the coming captivity by saying it wouldn’t happen. Be CAREFUL what you teach about God’s Word! You WILL be held accountable! Mt. 12:36!

Get it settled in your hearts that you WILL be expected to ENDURE to the end and God WILL greatly re-ward His faithful!

MY ANSWER:
“Get it settled”?
Be expected to “endure to the end” – for what? To earn our salvation? Hardly. As long as we are exchanging emotionally linked stories, try to imagine this if you will:

A man engaged to his girlfriend, drops her off in a crime infested Detroit hood and pushes her out of the car telling her: I’ll be back for you in seven years; if you’ve “endured” we’ll be married.”

In reflecting on this treatise, it has become evident that you have proved nothing but the fact that you are now fully convinced to believe something that is not Biblical, is illogical, and for which there is no solid proof.

END OF DISCUSSION

END NOTE:

Refuting Van Kampen: https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/refuting-the-van-kampen-rosenthal-pre-wrath-rapture-ruse/

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  1. July 29, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Hovind has become a replacement theologist. The pre-trib rapture is SO obvious – I wonder if he really, I mean, really, reads Paul’s writings at all. They were written to us, the church, specifically. Jesus came to the Jews. And He blinded them (in part) so that every last Gentile that would receive Him, could receive Him. If the Jews had accepted Him (nationally) when He came the first time, the Kingdom Age would have begun right then.

    With angels circling the earth and preaching repent, repent, 144,000 “Pauls” evangelizing the world, and the two witnesses calling down fire from heaven – what possible use could the lukewarm church serve? I wonder at Steven Anderson and his friends, have they fully trusted Christ? Do they not believe He is able to deliver His Bride before the Wrath of God? I would prefer to be as the young Jewish boys, who before being thrown into the fiery furnace calmly stated –

    Daniel 3:17-18

    17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

    18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

    Foxes Book of Martyrs informs us that dreadful Christian persecution has been ongoing since the beginning of the Church Age. While it is terrible – it is NOTHING compared to what will happen to those in rebellion left after the Rapture.

  2. July 29, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Reblogged this on The Vine Vigil and commented:
    Fabulous and intelligent discourse on the pre-tribulation Rapture of the saints.

    Thank you Dr. Mike!!!!!

  3. jimfinn2000
    July 29, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Great stuff. I wish all Christians would read and study this.

  4. Keith wynn
    August 13, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Where does it say in the bible, that the time of jacob’s trouble, or the events of revelation will fall within the 7th week? It does day that the day of the Lord begins after the sun goes dark and the moon turns to blood, which happens at the 6th seal. Also wrath and temptation and trials and tribulation all mean different things. God’s wrath is poured out during the day of the Lord, the day of Christ is peace. It seems both you and Dr. . Hovind believe pre-wrath, and that the Day of Christ happens before the day of the Lord, it just seems you have assumed that wrath happens during the great tribulation, which does no have to be the case, and I believe actually seems to not be the case. And even if the church is the mystery and the day of Christ is for the mystery, and is the rapture and the day of the Lord is for the prophecy which is the jews which is the day of the Lord. Say all of that is true and it probably is, that does not solve the problem 2 thessalonians 2:3 has for pre-trib. The son of perdition, the anti Christ rises at the 31/2 point in the midst of the 7th week, and 2:3 states the day of Christ can’t happen, meaning the rapture of the mystery can’t happen, until there is a falling away, and the son of perdition\antichrist be revealed. Please explain. Signed eschatology undecided.

    • August 14, 2015 at 9:06 am

      Someone wisely noted: “things that are different are not the same.” In Scripture this is revealed to us in several areas, most pronounced of course is God’s distinct dealings with Israel and the church. Anti-PreTrib rapturists I believe are involved in a collusion of confusion by refusing to see these Biblical differences as intrinsic pieces to the hermeneutic puzzle. For instance, Peter preached the gospel of circumcision to Israel, while Paul preached the gospel of uncircumcision to the Gentiles (Gal. 2:7). Peter’s Pentecost message to the Israelites included prophecies of the return of Christ and the restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began(see Acts 3:17-21). Paul however wrote to the Gentiles about the revelation of the Mystery, which was kept secret since the world began (Romans 16:25). This tract discusses four very important topics which individually and collectively prove things that are different are not the same.

      First, Prophecy (earthly) and Mystery (heavenly) are not the Same
      It is widely accepted that the Bible can be divided into Old Testament and New Testament. However, the Bible is basically divided into two more well defined, descriptive terms, and these areprophecy and mystery. Prophecy is basically the purpose God has for the earth and Christ’s reign upon it, which includes the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem (Isa. 24:23; Mic. 4:7). This is the Kingdom of heaven that will in the future be set up on the earth, literally. The Mystery is that body of truth proclaimed by the Apostle Paul, concerning heaven and the exaltation of the Body of Christ in heaven, together there with Christ (Eph. 2:4-10, 3: 1-4).

      The very first words in the Bible state: “In the beginning God created the HEAVEN and the EARTH” (Gen. 1:1). It does not say God created the UNIVERSE; it does not say God created the heavens and the earth as many people- and most all erroneous modern translations- make the mistake of saying. It says God created the HEAVEN and the EARTH. This is because He has a special purpose concerning the earth which is completely different from His purpose concerning heaven. His purpose that concerns the earth has to do with Christ’s future reign upon it, and this is the subject of “prophecy” (2 Peter 1:16-19). His purpose for heaven and the exaltation of the Body of Christ there with the Lord Jesus Christ is the subject of the “mystery” (Ephesians 2:4-10, 3:1-4). This is why the Bible is really divided into two great subjects: Prophecy and Mystery!
      Prophecy: What is at the heart of Prophecy? The Messianic Kingdom; that is, the “kingdom of heaven” which was spoken of by John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ and the twelve disciples, which will be set up on the EARTH; (Matt. 3:1-2, 4:17, 10:5-7). Since the “kingdom of heaven” is not yet established on the earth, it will be set up in the near future when the Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, returns to the earth on the Mount of Olives, then on to Jerusalem at the Second Advent and sets up His kingdom and reign upon THE EARTH for one thousand years. This is also called the Millennium. The main purpose or the main goal of prophecy is the establishment of the “kingdom of heaven” upon THE EARTH (Rom. 11:25-29). The Messianic Kingdom will be set up on THE EARTH: (Psalms 2:8) “I shall give Thee . . . the uttermost parts of THE EARTH for Thy possession”. (Jeremiah. 23:5) “A King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in THE EARTH”. The Lord Jesus Christ who is the second member of the Godhead- who is also God- will rule as God, from Jerusalem over the entire world. It will be a theocracy. “They shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Isaiah 7:14) (Matt. 1:23). “And His name shall be called . . . The mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6). “The Lord shall be King over all THE EARTH” (Zech. 14:9).

      Mystery: God’s purpose concerning HEAVEN and the exaltation of the Body of Christ there with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Body, is the subject of “The Mystery”. What is the Mystery? There are many mysteries in the Bible, but this refers to “THE MYSTERY” which is that great body of truth given to the Apostle Paul by direct revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ, from heaven. The “kingdom of heaven” one day being set up on the earth and the coming Messiah was well known and prophesied by the holy prophets (for Israel). But, the Body of Christ with its heavenly calling and position was not prophesied. Nothing- not even one mention- can be found in the pages of prophecy about the Body of Christ. God kept this a complete secret until the proper time when He brought the Body of Christ into existence, revealing THE MYSTERY only to the Apostle Paul. (Rom. 16:25) “kept secret since the world began”. Then also in (Ephesians 3:9) “from the beginning of the world . . . hid in God”. “hid from ages and from generations” (Col.1:26).
      The nation Israel was temporarily set aside along with the unbelieving Gentiles. “Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for” (Rom. 11:7). “Because of unbelief they were broken off” (Rom. 11:12). A new dispensation was slowly being brought in and mercy was shown to all. “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief that He might have mercy upon all (Rom. 11:32). “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek (Gentile)” (Rom. 10:12-13). No longer is the gospel of the kingdom proclaimed, but the gospel of the Grace of God, which is Christ’s finished work on the cross. The Apostle Paul declared “the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD” and “THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD which is given me to you-ward” (Acts 20:24) (Ephesians 3:2). [1] Prophecy and mystery are different; therefore they are not the same!

      YOU WROTE: Where does it say in the bible, that the time of jacob’s trouble, or the events of revelation will fall within the 7th week? It does day that the day of the Lord begins after the sun goes dark and the moon turns to blood, which happens at the 6th seal.

      MY ANSWER: Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks was for Israel and concerned events surrounding Jerusalem as revealed later in the Olivet Discourse (Matt 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21) and the book of Revelation 6-19. The church is not in view here as the prophet(s) had no information about this entity and never mentioned it. Dispensational Bible scholars generally all agree the only place this missing week fits is within the parameters of the tribulation time of Jacob’s trouble.

      You’ll find my writing on this on my blog at:
      https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/page/2/?s=Daniel%27s+seventieth

      YOU WROTE: Also wrath and temptation and trials and tribulation all mean different things.

      MY ANSWER: True.

      YOU WROTE: God’s wrath is poured out during the day of the Lord, the day of Christ is peace. It seems both you and Dr. . Hovind believe pre-wrath, and that the Day of Christ happens before the day of the Lord, it just seems you have assumed that wrath happens during the great tribulation, which does no have to be the case, and I believe actually seems to not be the case.

      MY ANSWER: The Day of the Lord is a Jewish phrase that originated in prophecy. In fact, it is referred to specifically by nine OT prophets: Isaiah 2:12; 13:6,9; 34:8; Jeremiah 46:10; Ezekiel 13:5; 30:3; Joel 1:15; 2:1,11,31; 3:14; Amos 5:18,20; Obadiah 1:15; Zephaniah 1:7,8,14,18; 2:2,3; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi 4:5). It is also called the time of Jacob’s trouble by Jeremiah (30:7); and as a time of trouble by Daniel (12:1). Moses, the Lord Jesus, and John labeled this period the (great) tribulation (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:21; Rev. 7:14). When studied in context one finds the entire purpose of the time of Jacob’s (Israel) trouble is a time when God will punish Israel and the world for sin and rejecting Christ while preparing Israel for the coming Davidic Covenant Millennial Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:16; Isa. 14; etc). The day of the Lord is judgment against the proud (Isa. 2:12); destruction (Isa. 13:6; Joel 1:15); God’s fierce anger (Isa. 13:9; Zeph. 2:2); God’s vengeance for Zion (Isa. 34:8); God’s vengeance against His adversaries (Jer. 46:10; Obad. 1:15); terror (Lam. 2:22); Israel’s battle (Ezek. 13:5); the time of the heathen (Ezek. 30:3); a time of trembling (Joel 2:1); great and very terrible (Joel 2:11); dark and bloody moon (Joel 2:31; Acts 2:20); multitudes in the valley of decision (Joel 3:14); woe (Amos 5:18); darkness (Amos 5:20); bitter crying (Zeph. 1:14); and wrath (Zeph. 1:18). The day of the Lord is an extended period dispensationalists teach will commence with the signing of the seven year covenant (Dan. 9:27) and culminate with a great noise where the elements shall melt, and the earth and it’s works shall be burned up (2 Pet. 3:10).

      The Day of Christ is a Christian phrase Paul was given in the revelation of the mystery for the church. As a Hebrew scholar, Paul was well aware of the prophetic phrase the day of the Lord and knew it described the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble. The fact that he opted to use the day of Christ, day of our Lord Jesus Christ, day of the Lord Jesus, and day of Jesus Christ rather than the day of the Lord signifies their distinctions. Arno Gaebelein explains:

      “There is an important difference between the day of Christ and the day of the Lord. The day of Christ concerns the Church, the saints of God. The day of the Lord concerns the earth– Israel and the nations. The day of Christ begins when He takes His saints in glory and they are with Him. The day of the Lord will bring . . . the visible manifestation of the Lord from heaven. The day of Christ comes first and the day of the Lord follows [and continues] at least seven years later. The day of the Lord does not concern the saints at all; it falls on the world. Before the day of the Lord can come, His saints have to be gathered together unto Him. The promise of 1Th_4:16-18 needs first to be fulfilled. (Paul) uses this hope of being gathered to Christ, when He comes for His saints, as a motive why they should not listen to those who said the day of [Christ] is present. He reminds them of the fact that their gathering unto Him had not yet taken place. How, then, could the day of the Lord be present?” (The Annotated Bible- Arno Gaebelein)
      Here are the 7 passages in the chronological order Paul wrote them. Please notice if you will that this is a definite terminal period that includes rewards and rejoicing and affects Christians only.
      2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 (54 AD): Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (2) 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.[Anti-PreTrib writers argue against imminency by claiming Paul taught the antichrist had to appear prior to the Rapture. This, of course, would place Christians in the time of Jacob’s trouble causing them to look for antichrist rather than Jesus Christ. The context of Paul’s words disproves this notion. A forged letter from Paul arrived in Thessalonica claiming the day of Christ (which includes the Rapture and the day of the Lord-or tribulation) was at hand or had begun. If Paul had taught them they were going through the time of Jacob’s trouble, why were they scared since Jesus would after all be returning within seven years? Moreover, why didn’t Paul encourage them to stock pile food, weapons, and other necessities since this would have been the perfect opportunity? The fact is, Paul clearly taught them two comings of Christ: the Rapture where the Lord comes for His church to deliver them from the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble aka day of the Lord which is to come (1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:9, 23) and the Revelation where Christ returnswith His church after the tribulation: 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; see Matt. 24:29; Rev. 19:11-21].
      Here are the remaining verses describing this event. No mention of judgment or any of the woes described by the nine prophets that warned Israel about the day of the Lord:
      1 Corinthians 1:8 (59 AD): Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

      1 Corinthians 5:5 (59 AD): To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

      2 Corinthians 1:14 (60 AD): As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.

      Philippians 1:6 (64 AD): Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

      Philippians 1:10 (64 AD): That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.

      Philippians 2:16 (64 AD): Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

      The day of the Lord and the day of Christ are different; therefore they are not the same!

      YOU WROTE: And even if the church is the mystery and the day of Christ is for the mystery, and is the rapture and the day of the Lord is for the prophecy which is the jews which is the day of the Lord. Say all of that is true and it probably is, that does not solve the problem 2 thessalonians 2:3 has for pre-trib. The son of perdition, the anti Christ rises at the 31/2 point in the midst of the 7th week, and 2:3 states the day of Christ can’t happen, meaning the rapture of the mystery can’t happen, until there is a falling away, and the son of perdition\antichrist be revealed. Please explain. Signed eschatology undecided.

      MY ANSWER: 2 Thess 2 “problem” explained.

      Keep in mind Daniel’s prophecy is for Israel, not the church. There isn’t a verse anywhere in Scripture clearly placing the church here in the time of Jacob’s trouble for good reason. It has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CHURCH which appeared as a mystery and will disappear in a mystery (1 Cor 15:51).

      2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 Thessalonians 2:2 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.

      My commentary: Paul taught the Thessalonian church (2 Thess 2:5) they would be delivered from the wrath to come (1 Thess 1:10; 5:9), aka the tribulation (Matt. 24:21, 29) or time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer 30:7). The Thessalonians had received forged letters supposedly from Paul that the day of Christ was underway (which included the rapture of the church and the restrainer- vs5-6, and the revelation of the antichrist to the world. Since these things obviously had NOT TAKEN PLACE, Paul assured them they could NOT possibly BE in the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer 30:7).

      Arno Gaebelein writes: He uses this hope of being gathered to Christ, when He comes for His saints, as a motive why they should not listen to those who said the day of the Lord is present. He reminds them of the fact that their gathering unto Him had not yet taken place. How, then, could the day of the Lord be present? And this opens the way for still more important teaching.

      2Th 2:3 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;

      My commentary: Once again, the deception was they were in the time of Jacob’s trouble. Paul tells them here that it’s impossible since the Antichrist would be on the scene if THAT DAY had begun.

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