Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

Open Challenge to PreTrib Rapture antagonists


I’m asking ANY PreTrib Rapture antagonist to show me one verse in the King James Bible that specifically names the mystery “Body of Christ” as being on earth for a single moment of Israel’s Tribulation.

PS: don’t use ambiguous words like “saints” and “elect” and “disciples” which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and Revelation refer to Israel and or Tribulation converts. I want the name: the Body of Christ.


The Glorious Appearing of Christ – Rapture or Revelation?

Dr. Mike Johnston

What did Paul mean when he wrote: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epipháneia) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13)? Our discussion here is from two opposing camps that have formed to answer that question. One believes the glorious appearing (epipháneia) refers to the Lord’s return for His church body before the seven year tribulation which is known as the Rapture (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9); while the other group teaches that the glorious appearing (epipháneia) is the Revelation when Christ returns with His church to set up His kingdom following the tribulation (Matt. 24:21, 29-31).[1] While both the Rapture and the Revelation certainly will be spectacularly glorious events in the eyes of their respective audiences, we believe there are at least 5 problems associated with suggesting that Titus 2:13 features a post tribulation- πιφάνεια- appearance of Jesus Christ.

First: there is a Linguistic problem

When interpreting a passage of Scripture, hermeneutics becomes the default enemy of conjecture in that it demands that each passage be viewed from the perspective of the author and the audience. Our opponents imply that the use of “glorious appearing” automatically defines the blessed hope of Titus 2:13 as a post tribulation Revelation of Jesus Christ (Matt. 24:29; Rev. 19:11). However, when the collective usage is studied contextually, this theory collapses. To begin with, the Greek word is ἐπιφάνεια – ep-if-an’-i-ah which Strong defines as “a manifestation . . . the advent of Christ” doesn’t suggest or demand a particular timeframe but rather allows for it to happen when it will.

In order to understand this better, we’ll briefly survey the 3 distinct usages of πιφάνεια as they are associated with Christ’s appearing: at Redemption, at the Rapture, and at the Revelation (2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 1:10; 4:1,8; Titus 2:13).

  • The Redemption epipháneia: The Lord Jesus appeared as a Babe in a manger some 2000 years ago: But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: (2 Timothy 1:10). (See also Titus 2:11; 3:4)
  • The Rapture (Pre-trib) epipháneia: We believe the Lord Jesus will appear before the tribulation to rescue His body- the church- which is our blessed hope. [2] The following verses provide additional proof texts for a pre trib rapture. Attempting to view any of them from a post tribulation setting dismantles the argument before it begins. My comments are included in [brackets].

    That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 6:14). [If this is post trib, keeping commands would only be part of a Christian’s duty along with earning a living, buying and selling, and protecting themselves from martyrdom, which Paul never mentions anywhere]

    Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8) [If this appearing is post tribulation, who in their right mind wouldn’t love it and long for it?]

    Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; (Titus 2:13; cp 1 John 3:2-3) [If this is post trib, we wouldn’t be looking for Christ until the appearance of Antichrist, the mark of the Beast, and 7 years of chaos and catastrophes in the Middle East and specifically in Jerusalem]

The Revelation (Post-Trib) epipháneia: I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2 Timothy 4:1). [Regarding 2 Timothy 4:1, the Believer’s Bible Commentary by Dr. William MacDonald provides this: “In this verse, the Lord Jesus is spoken of as the One who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom. The English word “at” might suggest that when the Savior returns to earth to set up His kingdom, there will be a general resurrection and a general judgment. But in the original the Greek word kata literally means “according to” or “in accordance with”. Christ’s appearing and His kingdom are presented by Paul as motives for faithful service. The believer’s service will be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but these rewards will be manifested at Christ’s appearing and His kingdom. For instance, those who have been faithful will rule over ten cities -Luk_19:17]. Other Revelation verses to study: (Isa. 66:15-18; Zech. 14:1-4; 2 Thess. 2:8; Rev. 19:11-21)

Second: there is a Jewish problem

PMI Bible Study Methodology includes an important rule of Bible interpretation: Israel and the church are NOT the same. Israel exists from prophecy; the church from the revelation of the mystery the prophets didn’t receive. From the “law of first mention” we learn the coming tribulation- as an eschatological doctrine- is for Israel (Deut. 4:30), and every reference studied in context from that point onward follows that progressive path through the OT, past the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24) and into the Revelation (Rev. 7:14). Our reference here to “the tribulation” is predicated upon the doctrinal teaching that there is a coming 7 year period (Dan. 9:24-27) whereby God will punish the world while preparing and purifying Israel for the return of Christ to set up the promised Davidic Covenant Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:16) for 1000 years in Jerusalem (Isa. 52; Hos. 3; Zech. 12; Rev. 20:1-7). The tribulation/great tribulation occurs in conjunction with the day of the Lord (Isa. 2:12; 13:6-9; 34:8; Joel 2; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Pet. 3:10), a time of trouble (Dan. 12:1), and the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7); and Jacob is Israel (Gen 32:28). It will include the worldwide worship of Satan through his incarnated son Antichrist who will require a full allegiance to his Beast kingdom by receiving a mark in the right hand or forehead permitting them to buy or sell (Rev. 13:16).

As stated, the entire scope of the tribulation is punishment for sin and preparation for the Kingdom. This is the period Christ outlined in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21) and that is described in Revelation 6-19 as yet future. While there is ample Biblical support for the pre-trib Rapture of the church- created in mystery (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:3) that will disappear in a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51), there isn’t a verse anywhere in the Bible clearly placing the church here during any part of Daniel’s seventieth week (the tribulation period) without redefining and reassigning words clearly attributable to Israel (elect- cp Isa. 45:4 w/Matt. 24:22; saint- cp Dan. 7:18-27 w/Rev. 13:7). Therefore, since the church is not implicated in the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7), Paul could not have meant that the blessed hope would be the post-trib Revelation where Christ comes to set up His Kingdom.

Third: there is a Pauline problem

Consigning the church to the tribulation is completely out of character for Paul who continually expressed the element of imminence in the return of the Lord Jesus (see 1 Cor. 1:7; Phil 3:20; 1 Thess. 1:10; 2 Thess. 3:5; Titus 2:13). If he meant the blessed hope to be post trib, he did so completely out of sync with all of his other writings. Therefore we conclude the only support for placing the church here for any portion of the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7) is agenda driven speculation and not in any manner Pauline.

Fourth: there is a Contextual problem

There is no blessed hope in being consigned to the tortures of the coming tribulation and almost certain martyrdom, perhaps by beheading (Rev. 20:4). The fact is, the time of Jacob’s trouble (tribulation) will be the most fearfully violent time in the history of the world. Estimates range as high as 2/3 of the population will be murdered by Antichrist or else perish in supernatural disasters [Read Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; and Revelation 6-19]. That being said, if the church is supposed to be here during this barbarous epoch, why didn’t our Apostle Paul exhort believers to hide from the Antichrist like Christ told the Jews (Matt. 24:16), or avoid the mark of the Beast like John did? Let me answer that. Because the church will not be her during the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7).

Fifth: there is a Contradiction problem

Read the following verses, carefully noting that we return with Christ at the Revelation: For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? (1 Thess. 2:19) (See also Col. 3:4)

To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints (1 Thess. 3:13)

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, (15)  To execute judgment upon all . . . (Jude 1:14-15  See also 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Rev. 19:11-14)

How can we be on earth to watch for the glorious appearing when we are promised we’ll be with Christ when He is revealed? It is a total contradiction of Scripture and along with the other 4 problems must be rejected.

[1] He returns with all of His saints (1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; Jude 1:14-15; Rev. 19:11-14) to judge between the sheep and goats (Matt. 25:31-34) and set up His earthly kingdom in Jerusalem (Rev. 19:11, see Zech. 14)

[2] You may want to order our literature: Introduction to Rapture Apologetics, and Things that are Different.

Dave MacPherson’s PreTrib Antagonistic Baloney

MacPherson, Dave

Truth about Dave MacPherson’s attacks on the Rapture @BillyCrone – The Scofield Bible, John Darby, Margaret MacDonald, Dave MacPherson

Books promoting right division available at:

God’s Prophecy Program for Earth Features Israel

April 26, 2018 2 comments

Dr. Mike Johnston

“And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods (2 Samuel 7:23)? “And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began” (Luke 1:69-70).

If you follow the winding pathway of life God set before the people He created, you find one leading from His heart directly to Israel. It has been God’s plan from the garden to be in fellowship with man as he exercised disciplined dominion over the earth. When Adam sinned, God saved a family (Noah) and waited for a man who would become a nation from his son Shem (Abraham) and God made a Covenant with him. King David – a man after God’s own heart would provide seed for God the Son as the Messiah King, and God made a Covenant with him as well. Think of all God has done with these people:

  • He has called them “Israel mine elect” (Isa. 45:4).
  • He gave them everything they needed for establishing His earthly kingdom including Judaism, desire, direction, people, power, land, health, strength, wisdom and wealth (Deut. 7-8).
  • He Covenanted to David and his family the Kingdomin perpetuity: “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. Psalms 132:11 “The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne” (2 Samuel 7:16). “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,
  • Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah” (Psalms 89:3-4).

Now here’s the gist of it. If you can accept the aforementioned information, you’ll have very little problem understanding the rest of this book – or the last days for that matter. The fact is God forecast His plan for the earth through prophecy with Israel at the core. Places, people, property – all pointing to Jerusalem and the Revelation of Jesus Christ – the King of kings – in full view of the world to establish His Millennial Kingdom at the end of the final dispensation of the Kingdom according to His Covenants in fulfillment of the prophetic word  (Zech. 14:4; Matt. 24:29-31; Rev. 19:11).

Purpose of Israel

When the Bible refers to “Israel”, it is using a broad-brush term for the twelve tribes we call the Jews–the corporeal offspring of Jacob (Gen. 32:28). God spoke to the Jewish Patriarch Abraham and how far reaching it really was, “And I will make of thee a great nation, [1] and I will bless thee,[2] and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  (3)  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3). This will happen sometime in the future when Jesus Christ, King of kings, rules from Jerusalem during His long anticipated Millennial reign.

God’s Earthly Jewish Kingdom Plan

Earth -> ————————————————– -> Jewish Kingdom

Bear in mind throughout this treatise that God’s overarching blueprint for earth is a Kingdom in Israel. Everything in between is an explanation or enhancement of that immutable plan. Dr. Chafer elaborates on the scope of God’s elect by explaining something she enjoys that no other entity in the universe ever has or ever will- her covenantal significance, “An elect, [3] sacred, and everlasting nation is the plan or purpose of God for Israel. This people came into being miraculously as the seed of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob. They are the object of immeasurable covenants and promises and this becomes their major identification or destination, for the covenants are secured or sealed by the act of Jehovah. Israel stands alone, in distinction from all other nations combined. Those many nations are known as Gentiles, but Israelites as Jews. Individual Jews are such because of the fact that they were born into covenant relations with God by a physical birth. Herein lies a great contrast, since Christians are such because they were born by a spiritual birth into right relations with God. Because Israel sustains a covenant relationship to God, He gave them a specific rule of life through Moses. Keeping the rule of life, however, did not and could not make them children of Jehovah’s covenant. They were to keep the rule of life because they were already in the covenant. The believer has a rule of life secured by his position under grace today and so keeping this or any rule will not make him a child of God, although being a child of the Father above he should walk according to His revealed will.” (Systematic Theology, 1948- bold added)

The Panorama

Prophecy highlights God’s purpose for Israel which is most unique, is a testimony to the world that God is supreme ruler over heaven and earth. As such, she has been charged with serving as the key unlocking many of the mysteries associated with the earth, and all things associated with it.

  • Israelexists from prophecy and includes 5 Covenants covering her past, present, and future
  • The goal of prophecy – as well as Israel’s covenants – is the glorious appearance (Revelation) of the Messiah – from the lineage of David
  • The purpose of the coming of the Messiah is to establish Israel’s kingdom (Dan. 2:44) of heaven on earth in the city of Jerusalem(Isa. 24:23; Mic. 4:7) – in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:16) following the Tribulation – which is the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:24-27; Matt. 24-25; Rev. 19-20)
  • Jacob is Israel(Gen. 32:28)
  • The Tribulation trilogy (Daniel, Olivet Discourse, Revelation) is a three-part, end time’s message for Israelunfolding the goals of prophecy through a Progressive Revelation introduced in Daniel’s prophecy where it was revealed and codified into a seventy week period.
  • The term is Seventy weeks” (of seven years- 490 years total, with one still future). It focuses on “thy people” (Jews) in “thy holy city” (Jerusalem), in order to “finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness” (the Kingdom), which means “to anoint the Most Holy” (the reigning King, Messiah).
  • This prophecy continued its Progressive Revelation journey through the Olivet Discourse where the Lord Jesusclarified it and where John in the Revelation will conclude it.
  • All of this is in fulfillment of prophecy as the Lord Jesussummarized in the Olivet Discourse recorded in Luke 21:22: “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” Fulfilled for whom? Israel! See also Matt. 26:56.
  • The mystery Body of Christwas never seen by the prophets, so nothing has to be fulfilled through her; the Tribulation is clearly prophecy for Israel.

God’s love and plan for Israel is greater than her disobedience (Jer. 31:3). “The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8).

Prophets and Promises

“Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets” (2 Kings 17:13).

God’s prophets were men God appointed during a time when there was no completed canon of Scripture. The fact is, Israel owes her existence to the Spirit-inspired prophets of God who witnessed to her, warned her, and predicted her future with 100% accuracy. [4]  We find this of extreme significance when Israel first constituted as a nation under Moses (study Exodus). During his tenure as leader, he was God’s voice to the people. He wrote five Books called the Pentateuch. In these Books (Genesis-Deuteronomy), God taught Moses how to work, worship and walk in the Lord, which included an elaborately detailed system of commandments, judgments, and ordinances. He in turn taught all of this to Israel. He also taught her about God’s mandate for holiness, demanding separation from the egregious occult religious practices permeating Canaan, including child sacrifice [modern day abortion], sodomy [homosexuality], [5] and bestiality that awaited her in the land.

In the end, it was Joshua, not Moses God chose to lead Israel across the Jordan into Jericho and on to the conquest of Canaan. Once settled in the land, evil wasted no time presenting itself in the form of a seductive “religious” system with priests and “prophets” Moses had warned about. In order to distinguish His prophets from the devil’s, God’s men were required to speak bold clear messages that were verifiable by any number of supernatural signs including miracles, and prophesies – both short and long range – that had to be fulfilled with 100% accuracy (Deut. 13; 18; Matt. 26:56). [6]

This was the beginning of the office of prophet originating with Samuel (Acts 3:24). From that time forward, everything the Lord wanted Israel to know, these Holy Ghost inspired men received and relayed: “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).  Dr. Henrietta Mears carefully condensed the prophetic topics into four major categories [my comments in brackets]:

  • The dispersion and captivity of God’s chosen people.
  • The coming of the Messiah: [The Jew is still looking for his Messiah]
  • The restoration of the chosen people to their own land under the coming Messiah, David’s greater Son. [This is happening in record numbers today]
  • The reign of the Messiah over the whole earth. (What the Bible is All About, 1953, 1983, p. 209)

Israel exists from prophecy

“And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods” (2 Samuel 7:23)?

We opened our book with a premise that runs throughout our treatise: Israel and the Body of Christ – aka the church– are not the same and neither are God’s plans for them. Israel exists from prophecy spoken by the mouth of the prophets “since the world began” (Acts 3:21), and the church exists from a mystery revealed only to Paul which was kept secret “since the world began” (Rom. 16:25). To briefly contrast them once again:

Prophecy program for Israel: “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). An earthly Kingdom is the promise from “time past” and in the “ages to come”.

Mystery program for the Body of Christ: “… according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (Romans 16:25). A heavenly inheritance is the promise made in the “but now” revelation of the mystery.

It’s crucial to Bible study, therefore, to build on the Biblical distinction between Israel and earth (time past, ages to come) the Body of Christ and heaven [7] (but now) – and their distinct programs – because this provides us with a working dichotomy that actually lends itself to sensible systematic theology. It includes separate ordinances for Israel (earth) and for the Body of Christ (heaven) (Jer. 33:25) that actually began without much fanfare in Genesis Chapter One, which is the first mention,[8]

“In the beginning God created the HEAVEN and the EARTH” (Gen. 1:1).

Read what that says carefully. Notice what it does not say- God “created the UNIVERSE”, or God “created the heavens and the earth” as many people make the mistake of saying. It says God created the HEAVEN and the EARTH. This is because He has a special purpose concerning Israel and earth, which is completely different from His purpose concerning the Body of Christ and heaven. While the Body of Christ occupies a settled position in “heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3, 20; 2:6; etc), Israel [9] is the most important nation in the earth. “And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem” (1 Chron. 17:21).  With regard to her overall importance, as Dr. Chafer points out, “Israel occupies nearly four-fifths of the text of the Bible, while the Church, with respect to primary application, occupies slightly more than one-fifth. Because of a strange inattention on the part of many, it needs to be stated that there are two major divine purposes, both quite apart from that which concerns either the angels or the Gentiles. The distinction between the purpose for Israel and the purpose for the Church is as important as that which exists between the two Testaments. Every covenant, promise, and provision for Israel is earthly, and they continue as a nation with the earth when it is created new. Every covenant or promise for the Church is for a heavenly reality, and she continues in heavenly citizenship when the heavens are recreated.” (Systematic Theology, 1948)

Promises for Israel (Covenants)

“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.

God is a covenant [10] making, covenant keeping God and Israel’s history can be traced through the five covenants given by the prophets to Israel, the apple of His eye (Zech. 2:8). The majority of the Scriptures relate in some way to the fulfillment of these important contracts, all of which guide and guard Israel in perpetuity and purpose.




(Gen. 15:18)


The Covenant Family


Covenant (Ex. 19:25)


The Covenant Nation

Palestinian (Land)


(Deut. 30:3)

The Covenant Land



(2 Sam. 7:16)


The Covenant King



(Heb. 8:8)


The Covenant Kingdom

(1) Abrahamic Covenant: The Abrahamic Covenant triggers God’s subsequent Jewish Covenants, leading to the final New Covenant. In this original Covenant, God called the family of Abraham to become a nation through which land was given, laws were given, a Kingdom was promised and a King would come.

(2) Mosaic Covenant: God formed a nation to host the Kingdom with Kingdom Laws written on tables of stone. Blessing was in proportion to obedience.

(3) Land (Palestinian) Covenant:[11] God gave instructions guaranteeing Israel would possess her homeland for the Kingdom.

(4) Davidic Covenant:  God promised the nation a righteous King for His everlasting Kingdom.

(5) New Covenant: God promised a better – everlasting- Isa. 61:8 Covenant with His Laws written on the tables of the heart. This is the final Covenant that will exist throughout the Millennial Kingdom reign of Christ. It’s established on better promises than the Old Covenant, resting on an accomplished redemption [the Old was not] securing the perpetuity and future conversion of Israel. The Body of Christ does, however, share in the blessings of the New Covenant, as the blessings of this covenant are spiritual rather than physical.

May I point you to Dr. Chafer’s explanation in the annotation below.[12]

God’s overarching program for the ages is to receive glory and honour and power through His creation (Rev. 4:11). Israel was the nation He chose to showcase His love, power, and sovereignty. All other entities are subordinate to Israel’s covenants outlining God’s plan for earth.[13]

The five Covenants God made with Israel collectively guarantee her a Kingdom as part of His overarching plan for the earth and every one of them were given to her unilaterally by inspired messengers of God.

Time Past: Israel rejected the Kingdom and King

Arno Gaebelein writes: “Now if Israel had accepted the testimony of John, and had repented, and if they had accepted the King, the Kingdom would have come, but now it has been postponed till Jewish disciples will pray again in preaching the coming of the Kingdom, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is done in heaven.” That will be after the church has been removed to the heavenly places. The history of the Kingdom is given in the second chapter. The Gentiles first, and Jerusalem does not know her King and is in trouble on account of Him.” (Annotated Bible, 1919)

Israel’s corporate rejection and execution of Jesus was more than just an evil act. It was the scheduled postponement of God’s earthly kingdom promised in the Davidic Covenant – for a future day dispensationalists[14] believe is upon us now. Studying the events leading to the rejection of Christ reveals a religious cabal consisting of scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and other fascist hypocrites who plotted to cut off the Messiah as Daniel predicted (Daniel 9:24-26). In all irony, Israel’s leaders – always quick to make others believe they were scholars – should have known the Messiah from their OT studies. They didn’t and as such, received a stinging reprimand from Lord Jesus which appears to have alluded to the coming Tribulation (see full explanation in Annotation below [15], “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes … “ (Luke 19:42).

However, even with Israel’s most favored status as an earthly nation, there’s a problem keeping her from receiving the ultimate promised Kingdom: national repentance!

But now: Israel exists as a disobedient Nation

“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel” (Exodus 19:5-6).

Although somewhat hidden in plain sight, Abraham’s calling reinforces the Biblical division between the stars (heaven) and the sand (earth) that has unfolded before us today. This earth-heaven blessing began when he had his Isaac who in turn had two sons, Jacob and Esau. Jacob whom God renamed Israel (Gen. 32:28) had 12 sons which Scripture often refers to as the twelve tribes collectively known 647 times specifically as the “children of Israel.” It is this collective family – the children of Israel – that are the elect of God with whom God promised to bless if she would obey Him, and chastise her when she didn’t (study carefully Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28).

During her history, Israel has cycled from a relationship to rebellion and back again several times as seen in the Book of Judges: “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed. Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them” (Joshua 2:11-16).

The unspeakable rejection of her Messiah and resultant international displacement is a major reason Christians buy the lie that the church has replaced Israel. She hasn’t! This teaching is called Replacement Theology and it originates – as Christ revealed – in the synagogue of Satan (Rev. 2:9; 3:9). Hitler used similar rationale with infamous consequences. So have Romanists. What the perpetrators of this evil ruse refuse to understand is this: Performance is NOT God’s standard for standing. It’s based on divine imputation (Psa. 32:2; Rom. 4:6-24; etc) Sovereignly, and Providentially rendered (Deut. 7:6-8). Therefore, though imperfect a people as the world has ever seen, from the beginning Israel remains a peculiar treasure (Exod. 19:5; Deut. 14:2; Psa. 135:4; 1 Pet. 2:9) chosen by God for regal purposes that no doubt seem unfair to the world.

Ages to come: Israel’s King and Kingdom

From our studies, we’ve learned that Israel is an elect nation called, blessed, and protected by God through five contracts called covenants. Abraham was the first man identified as a Hebrew.[16] At the time he received the First Jewish Covenant, he had no idea what lay ahead for his progeny and no extended history to which he could refer when judging the future. Moreover, there is no indication he fully understood the broad implication of his family being as “the stars of the heaven” and “the sand which is upon the sea shore” (Gen 22:17). He was simply called by God to believe, and except for a few foibles, he did.

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, [17] as it is in heaven” (Mat 6:10). Christ’s words here are part of what’s been termed “The Lord’s Prayer.” They were taught to Jews during His Sermon on the Mount where He outlined principles that will exist in Israel’s Kingdom. It is prophecy, it was under the Old Covenant, it concerns earth, and it is expressly for Israel. It has no bearing on the church and those claiming otherwise are deceived men who can become deceivers (2 Tim. 3:13); a special danger to those who insist on dividing the Bible between the OT for Israel and the NT for the church. These are the ones that automatically assume that the moment Christ appeared, the church is implicated. That simply isn’t true.

When Christ came to earth 2000 years ago, it was to Israel for the purpose of fulfilling the Davidic Covenant by setting up the Kingdom in Jerusalem. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people” (Mat 4:23). The Gospel accounts focus primarily on the Lord’s Messianic Mission to “the lost sheep of Israel” (Jer. 50:6; Matt. 10:6; 15:24). Paul confirmed the Jewish nature of Christ’s calling: “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers” (Rom 15:8). [18] Using signs and wonders – proving He was the Promised One (Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Luke 7:22) Jesus revealed Himself as the Messiah who had come to set up the “kingdom of heaven” [19] on earth. This of course was the kingdom covenanted to David and his seed (2 Sam. 7:16), prefigured by Daniel (7:13-22) and prophesied by John (Rev. 19-22). In lieu of that, both the Lord Jesus and John the Baptist heralded the arrival of the Davidic Kingdom by preaching a clear invitation to Israel: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17). Israel’s stiff-necked religious leaders – steeped in tradition revolving around greed – refused the offer and made nefarious plans for disposing of the King [20] with nary a heart to repent.

Israel and earth are connected and prophecy is often explaining or enhancing the coming King or the kingdom. Prophecy for Israel occurs either in “time past” or the “ages to come.” Israel’s earthly greatness is founded on eternal promises (Rom. 9:4; 15:8) – called Covenants which are encapsulated in a body of ordinances. Beginning with the Abrahamic Covenant – God assured him of an expansive posterity in a promised land (Gen. 12:1-5; 15:18; Gal. 3:16) bequeathed by God. Along with a large progeny and beautiful land with established laws governing her, God promised Himself as Messiah to Israel, leading the nation into world prominence, power, and peace everlasting (Daniel 2:44-45, Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7, Jeremiah 23:5). This was one of the Covenants Christ came to fulfill (Luke 1:70-80). With that, God also revealed the lovely Jerusalem as the capital city and the place He wanted the earthly kingdom located (Gen 13:15, Deut 34:4, Psalm 37:22, 102:21; Isa 2:2-4; 4; Zech; Matt 5:5,). The Lord Jesus revealed through the sheep and goat judgment that this kingdom has been in the works from the beginning of creation: “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).

Once again, we need to bear in mind throughout this treatise the Bible truth that God’s overarching blueprint for earth is a Kingdom in Israel. Everything in between is an explanation or enhancement of that plan:



(Mystery/Church/Body) Jewish Kingdom
“Time past”
“But now”

(Eph. 2:13)

“Ages to come” (Eph. 2:7)


Let’s juxtapose what we’ve just learned. When you study Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, the path to God’s blessing is very clear. So is the path to judgment. While Israel will forever be God’s elect nation – He can’t – and won’t – bless sin. God promised Israel,

“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit … and I will give peace in the land” (Leviticus 26:3-4, 6).

Then He added this, “But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times [21] more for your sins” (Leviticus 26:14-18).

Looking in “time past”, this waywardness didn’t begin at her rejection of Christ. It developed much earlier. Richard Milne of Probe Ministries offers insightful comments, “Israel’s history demonstrates that when they broke the laws God gave them, they experienced exactly the results God predicted would happen if they were unfaithful. No other nation has prophesied its own downfall with such accuracy. Thus history demonstrates how accurately God predicted what would happen to Israel if they disobeyed His laws. And what did God predict? To summarize nearly a hundred verses, Israel’s disobedience brought wasted effort in labors; natural disasters such as drought, blight, and locusts to their crops; and disease and death to their animals and themselves. Their enemies would defeat them in battle and besiege their cities, resulting in plague, famine, cannibalism, and starvation. They would be scattered to foreign countries. There some would die; others would live in constant fear of both real and imagined disasters, or turn to other gods. They would be sold as slaves. Their numbers would decline greatly, as they suffered from fearful plagues, prolonged disasters, and lingering illnesses. What an amazing list of disasters!”

Let me be clear. Every Christian should be praying for Israel, God’s elect. However, to support her and pray for her doesn’t negate reality; while chosen, she isn’t perfect. As such, beginning with Abraham God began promising blessing for obeying as well as punishment for disobeying (see Gen. 22:18; Lev. 26; Deut. 28). As a direct result of Israel’s defection, she has been set aside to await national chastising via “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) we also know as Daniel’s seventieth week. During this scheduled Tribulation God will make the adjustments necessary in Israel’s heart to finalize all the Covenants He made beginning with Abraham. Bible students who keep God’s love of Israel and His plans for her earthly Kingdom as the vanguard for interpreting Scripture – such as we are doing with this Tribulation trilogy – are far more capable of construing once obscure passages by keeping in mind the following short list:

  • Israel is a holy [set apart by God] nation by election, the most important in history.
  • Israel is at the forefront of eighty percent of the Bible and subject of all non-Pauline prophecy.
  • Israel has been promised an earthly kingdom and reigning Messiah.
  • Israel is in a covenant relationship with God that guarantees her future and guides her to it.
  • Israel’s imperfection requires a disciplinary measure which is the reason there is a Tribulation coming upon earth (Deut. 4:30; Jer. 30-31). [22]

“For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished” (Jer. 30:11). “The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it” (Jer 30:24).

With the Covenant promise of a coming Kingdom and King, Israel’s current disobedience must be dealt with in order to secure her future. We’ll discuss God’s remedy Tribulation – “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) in the next chapter.

[1] Make no mistake here regarding her entity or ethnicity. There isn’t a shred of Scriptural corroboration for the Body of Christ supplanting Israel in God’s plan for earth, and those who do this in any form teach Replacement Theology -a rank anti-Semitic heresy the Lord Jesus said originated in “the synagogue of Satan” (Rev. 2:9; 3:9). Israel is the epicenter of prophecy. She looks forward to the coming to earth of the Messiah from the lineage of David, to the city of Jerusalem (Isa. 24:23; Mic. 4:7), in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:16), following “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:24-27; Matt. 24-25; Rev. 19-20) God designed to bring her back from rebellion against Him to a relationship with Him (Zeph. 1:14-18; 2; Jer. 30-31).

[2] Many verses reinforce this blessing God made to the Patriarch Abraham. “Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?” (Genesis 18:18; see 22:17-18; 24:1; Gal. 3)

[3] Since the Bible is the best interpreter of itself, I can think of only two reasons why so many prophecy teachers   refuse to compare Scripture with Scripture when drawing a conclusion. First, they fail to recognize the importance. Second, it often refutes their ruse. Take for instance the word elect which is one of two “proof text” words misused most often by anti-PreTrib debaters. Please don’t misunderstand my candor, but I understand how easy it has been for end time’s authors to hoodwink folks that have been led to believe all their Christian life that the church has the exclusive use of the word elect when in reality it does not. In the Old and New Testaments, the primary focus of the word elect is Israel.   The First Mention in the Bible links it to Israel’s precious Messiah (Isaiah 42:1) then using the hermeneutic of Progressive Mention (Revelation) Principle we discover in the very next verse that Israel is God’s elect (Isaiah 45:4). Interestingly, the Lord Jesus used this word in the Olivet Discourse when He answered a question about when He would return to set up the Kingdom. He added this to His sterling description of the Tribulation which we know was prophesied for Israel by Moses in Deuteronomy 4:30. Jesus said: “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:22). Although the Olivet Discourse is a continuation of the Old Covenant narrative and uniquely framed in a Jewish setting, rogue Bible teachers choose to consign the word elect used here to the Body of Christ so it fits their unprovable presumption. Since most Christians aren’t serious Bible students these teachers can delude them with impunity. Not only is this shoddy hermeneutics, it has been used too long as a cruel means to steal the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13)   from the heart   of novice or naïve believers who take the word of man without checking the word of God.

[4] Total prophets number about 56. Not all were writing prophets, however.

[5] Today unrepentant sodomites strut the streets of Jerusalem in full defiance of the Biblical warnings given to the Fathers. Note the prophetic significance in Revelation 11:8. Pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem.

[6] Now let’s pause for a moment to comment on the unequivocal qualifier just mentioned. Signs – which included prophecy – confirmed the message by conforming the messenger (Ex. 3:20; 4:8-9; Heb. 2:4; Acts 4:29-31; 14:3; 15:32; 2 Cor. 12:12 etc). In so doing, God’s people knew who to trust. Any violation or deviation of any of these things by any prophet resulted in disqualification and death (Deut. 13:5; 18:20). You would NEVER see God’s prophets parading around in front of a TV camera raising money like the mendacious merchandisers extant today (2 Pet. 2:1-3). In this dispensation “faith cometh by hearing … the Word” (Rom. 10:17. Christians don’t need prophets or signs to confirm the Bible. We are called upon to believe it, and act upon it – period. In light of this, after Revelation (95-96 AD) – the final book of the canon – was completed, the prophetic office ceased.

[7] Heaven and earth are mentioned in the Bible at least 156 times together.

[8] In Hermeneutics, the first time a subject is mentioned in the Bible is how it stands connected in the mind of God throughout Scripture. This is called the Law of First Mention, or First Mention Principle.

[9] She originally became a nation following the Exodus from Egypt under Moses in the 15th century BC. In God’s economy Jerusalem has been and always will be her capital.

[10] The subject of divine covenants is of solemn importance in that they require bloodshed.

[11] Land Covenant wherein God bequeathed the title deed to Canaan that her Islamic enemies are incessantly trying to steal from her. Read Zech 12 carefully!

[12] Dr. Chafer comments on the New Covenant: There remains to be recognized a heavenly covenant for the heavenly people, which is also styled like the preceding one for Israel a “new covenant.” It is made in the blood of Christ (cf. Mar_14:24) and continues in effect throughout this age, whereas the new covenant made with Israel happens to be future in its application. To suppose that these two covenants—one for Israel and one for the Church—are the same is to assume that there is a latitude of common interest between God’s purpose for Israel and His purpose for the Church. Israel’s covenant, however, is new only because it replaces the Mosaic, but the Church’s covenant is new because it introduces that which is God’s mysterious and unrelated purpose. Israel’s new covenant rests specifically on the sovereign “I will” of Jehovah, while the new covenant for the Church is made in Christ’s blood. Everything that Israel will yet have, to supply another contrast, is the present possession of the Church—and infinitely more.

[13] While the Body of Christ is certainly a benefactor to these five covenants, none of them were made with us; they are all purposefully Jewish.

[14] In short, dispensationalism is distinguished by three key principles:  (1) a clear distinction between God’s plan for Israel and God’s plan for the Church; (2) a consistent and regular use of a literal principle of interpretation; and (3) the understanding of the purpose of God as His own glory rather than the salvation of mankind only.

[15] Luke 19:42-44 “Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.  (43)  For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,  (44)  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

[16] Abram was from the Noahic line of Shem [Semites] and Eber [called Heber, or Hebrew] (Gen 11:10-26; 14:13)

[17] Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. (1 Chronicles 29:11)

[18] The promises were made unto the Jewish fathers; they have no bearing on the mystery Body of Christ which is distinct by decree and dispensation.

[19] Kingdom of Heaven is only mentioned in Matthew, which is the gospel of the King and His Kingdom. See references: Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 5:3,10,19,20; 7:21; 8:11; 10:7; 11:11,12; 13:11,24,31,33,44,45,47,52; 16:19; 18:1,3,4,23; 19:12,14,23; 20:1; 22:2; 23:13; 25:1,14

[20] The rejection of Christ led to the later destruction of Jerusalem (70 AD), Jewish banishment from the land and into many foreign nations of the world who accused and abused them.   Yet, it was in this condition – resulting from the rejection of Christ as Messiah – where they existed as a people without a country until a Spirit driven movement called Zionism surfaced at the end of the 19th century, steered by Theodore Herzl, that led to reconstituting the nation of Israel in her own homeland on May 14, 1948. It is to this nation – and Jerusalem in particular – the Lord Jesus will return to set up His Davidic Kingdom under a New Covenant written on the hearts of His people.

[21] In the Bible, time, times and a half is 3-1/2 years (Dan. 7:25; 12:7). It’s very possible God placed a reference to the seven years of the Tribulation here. Remember, it was Moses who first revealed it to Israel (Deut. 4:30).

[22] The Tribulation is for Israel. It is punitive and preparatory. It has no bearing on the Body of Christ except in the writings of those who understand it least.

The Tribulation and Day of the Lord are for Israel

Dr. Mike Johnston

The Day of the Lord – including the Tribulation – is for Israel, NOT for the Body of Christ. To begin with, Israel and the Body of Christ are not the same. Neither are God’s plans for them. God’s plan for Israel is from prophecy and concerns Christ returning to earth in a spectacular event called the Revelation – to inaugurate His Davidic Covenant Kingdom in Jerusalem (2 Sam. 7:12-16; Matt. 24-25; Rev. 19-20). This plan was “spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21; see Luke 1:70). For instance, Daniel prophesied that the Kingdom would begin immediately following Israel’s fulfillment of seventy weeks of seven years (Dan. 9:24-27). One week is still missing. God’s plan for the Body of Christ is completely different. It concerns our heavenly inheritance, not an earthly kingdom. Since the prophets didn’t know about us, the Lord Jesus revealed this program to Paul as a mystery “kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25; see Eph. 3:3-9). In that it began as a mystery, it will likewise disappear in a mystery called the Rapture; an any moment event whereby Jesus returns for us in the air to snatch us from earth (1 Thess. 4:16-17) and take us back to Heaven to be with Him (John 14:2-3). This will occur when “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25). Once we are gone, a time of God’s wrath begins upon earth (Isa. 2; 24-26; Joel 2; Zeph. 1; Matt. 24; Rev. 6-19; etc). Moses: Deut. 4:30; the Lord Jesus: Matt. 24:21, 29; and John: Rev. 7:14 called it the Tribulation. Scholars see it as Daniel’s Seventieth Week (Dan. 9:26-27), a time of trouble (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15), and “the hour of temptation” (Rev. 3:10) which will come upon the world. The key to understanding the Tribulation purpose and participants is found in prophecy. From the beginning the subject has been Israel (Deut. 4:30). Its purpose is to punish sin and sinners (Jer. 30-31; Zeph. 1; Joel; Rev. 6-19) and prepare earth and Israel for the Revelation of the Messiah and the Jewish (Millennial) Kingdom promised to Abraham on through David in perpetuity through Covenant (Judges 2:1; 2 Sam. 7:8-16), and sealed with an oath (Psa. 89:3-4, 20-37; see Luke 1:31-33).

In summary of the Day of the Lord including the Tribulation we can easily find Israel and the anti-Semitic Gentile nations on earth during this “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15). However, the heavenly Body of Christ – which has been promised deliverance from this divine punishment (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). To wit, there isn’t a prophecy or a single verse anywhere in the Bible conclusively identifying the church 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 or Tribulation converts. In light of these factors and others we are convinced that the Body of Christ will not go through Israel’s Day of the Lord and seven-year Tribulation!

Calvinism revealed and refuted line upon line

One of the clearest, and most concise refutations of the heresy of Calvinism I’ve ever found.

By Jim Gordon.

It opens …

Where is the love of God in Calvinism?

Let’s look at the words John Calvin himself:

God – arranges all things – He has decreed that they are so to happen – All events take place by His sovereign appointment. Would this include sin? Does God “will” man to sin? Calvin answers “yes!

Scripture clearly proves that God by His eternal and immutable counsel determined once for all those whom it was His pleasure one day to admit to salvation, and those whom, on the other hand, it was His pleasure to doom to destruction. [Does this contradict the clear statement of Scripture, “The Lord…is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9)?]


Those, therefore, whom God passes by He reprobates, and that for no other cause but because He is pleased to exclude them from the inheritance which He predestines to His children. [Are sinners really excluded from heaven and damned in hell merely because such pleases God? What about where the Bible says, “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezek. 33:11)?]


Now since the arrangement of all things is in the hand of God – He arranges – that individuals are born, are doomed from the womb to certain death, and are to glorify Him by their destruction. [Where is the love of God in this? Doesn’t this sound contrary to God’s Word?]

Response to a PreTrib rapture antagonist

March 17, 2018 1 comment


Prophecy-Mystery-ENHANCEDDr. Mike Johnston

Response to a PreTrib rapture antagonist …

This isn’t the first time I have read this anti-PreTrib rapture analysis. It appears in books and blogs all over the internet posted by various people who are obviously in league with you. Unfortunately, it is still just as chaotic and confusing as ever. It would be very helpful if you would rethink your presentation and perhaps provide a chronological order to it with a chart depicting what you are trying to say. That said, what I could decipher reiterates the past 40 years of eschatology study “discussions” with prophecy teachers who claim an epiphany as converts from the historic PreTrib position and are now waging a vendetta to shoehorn the unknown heavenly mystery Body of Christ (Rom. 16:25) into God’s well known earthly prophecy program given to Israel (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21), which includes “the time of Jacob’s trouble” aka Israel’s (great) Tribulation (Deut. 4:30-31; Dan. 9:24-27; 12:1; Zeph. 1:15; Matt. 24:21, 29; Rev. 11-19; etc), where we can’t be seen, are never mentioned, and frankly don’t belong.

The confusion in all anti-PreTrib arguments originates from wrongly dividing the Bible. To begin with, the NT didn’t begin until AFTER the crucifixion (Heb. 9:16-17) which means the Lord Jesus’ teaching was under a Jewish Old Covenant setting. This includes Matthew 24 verse 29 which every attack against the PreTrib rapture presents as their premier “gotcha” moment.

Right division of the Bible begins by understanding God is overseeing two overarching programs: one for heaven, the other for earth (Gen. 1:1). God’s program for heaven was unknown. It involves the mystery Body of Christ and our inheritance there in heaven with Christ (Eph. 1:3, 20; 2:6) “kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25). His program for earth, however, was well known. It involves prophecy for Israel concerning the Davidic Covenant Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:16), aka the Millennial Reign of Christ, prepared “from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34) that has progressively unfolded “by the mouth of the prophets since the world began” (Luke 1:70; see Acts 3:21). The prophets exposed and explained five Jewish Covenants God made with Israel to guard her and guide her earthly pilgrimage beginning with the calling of Abraham through the inauguration of the Kingdom. Moses, who first prophesied of a coming Tribulation for Israel also linked it to renewed obedience to the Covenant (Deut. 4:30-31; see Exod. 2:24; 19:5; Lev. 26:41-46) which he warned was the key to continued blessing and possessing the Covenant Land required for the Kingdom (Lev. 26; Deut. 28). However, timing for this Covenant Kingdom was unknown until Daniel codified the final 490-years into a prophecy calendar of seventy weeks of seven years with two stipulations: it MUST be fulfilled by “thy people” (Israel), and it MUST involve “thy holy city” (Jerusalem). (Dan. 9:24-27).

When the Lord Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago, it was precisely as Daniel – and the prophets – had predicted (Dan. 9:24-27; see Matt. 26:56; see Acts 3:18-26). His mission was to inaugurate the Davidic Covenant Kingdom (Luke 1), so He preached the gospel of the kingdom to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 4:17, 23; 15:24). However, Kingdom prophecy was put on hold when the King was “cut off” (Dan. 9:26) precisely at Daniel’s 70th week. This left one final seven-year period still to be fulfilled by Israel before the Kingdom can begin. Christ clarified the 70th week in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:21, 29) where He called it “great tribulation.” This same phrase was later used by John in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 7:14) which describes it from commencement (Rev. 6) through to its conclusion (Rev. 19) and the return of the Lord of Glory – Israel’s Messiah –  to earth to establish His Kingdom “immediately after (Israel’s) Tribulation” (Matt. 24:29; 25:31-34; Rev. 19:11).

Now herein lies the crux of our thesis: Prophecy assigns the Tribulation to Israel (Deut. 4:30) as purification and punishment before the Kingdom (Isa. 24; Jer. 30-31; Joel; Zephaniah; Matt. 24; Rev. 6-19). If the church Body is on earth during Israel’s Tribulation, the Holy Spirit went to great lengths to keep us from knowing it. The Body of Christ – which is positionally seated “in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3; 2:6) was unknown to the prophets and hidden from their prophesies. The Body of Christ has no place or purpose for being here and, to wit, there isn’t a verse anywhere in the Bible clearly identifying us on earth for a single moment of “Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15) without redefining words like “saints” and “elect” which in the Tribulation Trilogy (Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and Revelation) studied in its Jewish Setting specifically refer to Israel.

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