Home > Apologetics, End Times, Pre-Tribulation Rapture, Prophecy, Prophecy and Mystery, Rapture > The Body of Christ WILL NOT go through Israel’s Tribulation

The Body of Christ WILL NOT go through Israel’s Tribulation

Dr. Mike Johnston

Thesis Summary

If you’ve studied the Bible for any length of time, you probably know that the tribulation – aka “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) – is a grossly misunderstood, gravely misapplied end-time’s doctrine. One of the major misrepresentations of the tribulation comes from hype, and a hodgepodge of heavy-handed haranguing found in testy tribulation texts written by PreTrib protesters who place us here in a primary capacity [1] using a contrived narrative with self-serving Scriptural support. The reason – although they fall on the sword denying this – is a hermeneutic gaffe I employed early in my Christian life that ignores the clear distinction God’s Word makes between Israel, the Body of Christ, and the implications of the two programs governing them.

The first program is for Israel and exists from prophecy “which God hath spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21).

The second is for the Body of Christ and exists as a mystery “which was kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25).

This right division between prophecy and mystery is a necessary component for unlocking end time’s Scripture by separating the Body of Christ from Israel, and her coming tribulation. However, flouting right division arguably produces many problems that keep students “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7).

I’ll discuss three:

First, trivializing the doctrine of Israel’s tribulation by equating it with common trials every Christian faces. In this manner they can include the Body of Christ without citing Scripture to punctuate their preposterous presumptions!

The tribulation that Moses, Jesus, and John warned Israel about (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:21, 29; Rev. 7:14) is an epic future event progressively revealed in Scripture as “tribulation” (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:21, 29; Rev. 7:14); “the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15); Daniel’s seventieth week (Dan. 9:24-27); “a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Zephaniah 1:15), and “the hour of temptation” to try earth dwellers (Rev. 3:10).

Do you see anything trivial here?

Second, twisting God’s primary purpose for Israel’s tribulation which has nothing to do with the Body of Christ. The fact is, the tribulation – according to the prophets [2]– is part of God’s final pre-kingdom judgment where He will punish sin and sinners (Deut. 4:30-31; Jer. 30-31; Joel, Zeph; Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; Rev. 6-19), while preparing earth and Israel for the Revelation of the Messiah (Matt. 24:29; Rev. 19:11), and the Jewish Davidic Kingdom immediately following (2 Sam. 7:16; Isa. 11; 65; Matt. 24:29; 25:34; Rev. 20).

Finally, touting the use of “Houdini hermeneutics” wherein inconvenient facts disappear with the stroke of a pen as rapidly as indefensible ones appear to replace them.

One glaring example concerns the slippery, slapdash inclusion of the mystery Body of Christ in Israel’s tribulation even though we were completely hidden from the Old Testament prophets (Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:26) and therefore they couldn’t have included us.

Consider this.

While Israel and the anti-Semitic Gentile nations can be clearly identified during “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15) the heavenly Body of Christ – which has incidentally been promised deliverance from it (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9; 2 Thess. 2:5-7; Rev. 3:10; see also Rev. 4:1) – is conspicuously absent (Rev. 6-19).

Was this an oversight on the part of the Holy Spirit? Do PreTrib rapture antagonists possess information the Holy Spirit didn’t have? Or – even worse – did He purposely hide this from us in order to advance some secret conspiracy to deceive us?

God forbid!

The fact is, we aren’t mentioned because we aren’t here, and that by divine design.

There isn’t a verse or passage of prophecy anywhere in the Bible conclusively consigning or identifying on earth for a single moment of Israel’s tribulation the Body of Christ without pulling from context and redefining the words “saints” and “elect” – which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and Revelation specifically refer to Israel.

That being what it is, I will now explain briefly the process that brought me – a man once as anti-PreTrib as anyone on the planet – to this unabashed PreTrib rapture conclusion.

The Infamous 1830 PreTrib Rapture Hoax

The fact that I didn’t believe in the PreTrib rapture was inevitable. I didn’t understand the right division God placed in Scripture between prophecy for Israel and the mystery Body of Christ and as a result, I wandered around the wilderness of Bible studies gleaning axiomatic conclusions from prophecy teachers who were just as confused as I was.

My Bible journey began in 1975 when Jesus saved me. From the onset, I had a voracious appetite for God’s word and quickly found teachers everywhere. It wasn’t long before the subject of the end times caught my attention. I learned about the Antichrist, mark of the beast, the seven-year tribulation, and the return of the Lord at the conclusion of it.

However, in my naïveté I wasn’t aware there were contrary opinions until about six months into my new life. That’s when the innocence all newborn Christians are born again with – evaporated.

During one of our extended discussions, a pastor friend warned me about an “evil” group of people teaching “a satanic hoax” he claimed didn’t exist until 1830. The inherent wickedness of this teaching – so he said – surrounded the preposterous notion of an imminent return of Jesus in the air to remove the Body of Christ from earth before the tribulation bloodbath begins.

They called it the “PreTrib rapture” and from the way this subject angered my friend, I figured this had to be the biggest threat to the church in its two-thousand year history.

In light of that, I dug in my heels and prepared myself for the aggressive assault I was about to encounter.

I listened to sermons condemning it, read books ostensibly disproving it, and fellowshipped with people who hated it; and all progressed virtually unimpeded until the unexpected appearance of contradictory inconsistencies that I couldn’t reconcile in my spirit or cleverly explain away.

That’s when I decided to conduct my own personal Bible study comparing information I’d been given with verses I would find, regulated by two rules I would not compromise:

First, the basis of the study had to be Sola Scripture, and second, I would follow the evidence wherever it led.

Today I present you with my findings. They represent thousands of hours of research spanning over 40 years resulting in excess of 70,000 words incorporating scores of Bible verses filling several chapters – with annotations and appendices – explaining what lies ahead for Israel, the church Body, and the world according to Scripture — rightly divided and concisely represented by a ten word synoptic title that fitly summarizes everything that follows …

The Body of Christ WILL NOT go through Israel’s Tribulation!

[1] In order for the church Body to be included in Israel’s tribulation, the prophets would have to have included it. They did not! In fact, none of the OT prophets spoke about the Body of Christ anywhere at any time. Moreover, there isn’t a verse anywhere in Scripture CLEARLY placing the Body of Christ on earth during Israel’s tribulation without pulling from context and redefining the words “saints” and “elect” which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and Revelation specifically refer to Israel.

[2] The prophets represented God to Israel, often warning the nation about the evil in the world, and certain judgment if they didn’t remain separated to Him from it. The ultimate earthly judgment prior to the Kingdom will be the tribulation, which Moses first mentioned (Deut. 4:30) in the progressive revelation series.

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