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Rapture loathing Dave MacPherson didn’t tell the REAL story

Dave MacPherson’s the Rapture plot: weighed and found wanting by Frank Marotta

Since the early 1970’s, Dave MacPherson has aggressively attacked the pretribulation rapture by attributing its origin to Margaret Macdonald, whom MacPherson considers to be occult influenced. He claims J.N. Darby derived the pretribulation rapture from her and this was done secretly, lest the true origin of the rapture be discovered. MacPherson develops this idea in his books The Incredible Cover-Up and The Great Rapture Hoax. It has been successfully demolished in works by R. A. Huebner, Thomas Ice, and Gerald Stanton,1 to name a few.

MacPherson’s Seventh VersionMacPherson’s latest book is The Rapture Plot. It claims to reveal “. . . the most astounding historical revisionism of the past century” (p. 138). The plot is that brethren scholar William Kelly used his periodical The Bible Treasury to conceal that J.N. Darby took the pretribulation rapture from the Irvingites. This was accomplished by alleged misrepresentations of Irvingite prophetic views in Kelly’s 1889-1890 articles on the Catholic Apostolic Church. In these same articles Kelly is alleged to have created a smoke screen by emphasizing Irvingite heterodoxy. Then in 1903 (13 years later), having discredited the Irvingites, Kelly was able to credit Mr. Darby with pretribulationism in his article, “The Rapture of the Saints, Who Suggested It, or rather on what Scripture?” This “plot” is considerably more dull than his Margaret Macdonald material and is equally lacking in any substance. That an orthodox Christian such as William Kelly should write articles exposing a contemporary heterodox sect should surprise us no more than a Christian periodical of today printing articles exposing Mormonism. Nor is it shocking that an ardent pretribulationist as Kelly would defend the history and doctrine of the rapture. We fail to see any plot at all.

In our research on Catholic Apostolic and Irvingite works, we have never found a claim that anyone outside their group “stole” their doctrines. Consider the Catholic Apostolic apologist William Bramley-Moore, a contemporary of William Kelly. In his work The Church’s Forgotten Hope, (asignificant work never discussed by MacPherson) Bramley-Moore skips over Margaret Macdonald and credits John Asgill in 1703 as “. . . the only individual who, since the Reformation [until 1830] had given a clarion testimony” to the hope of translation (p. 251)! We will not manufacture a “plot” or “cover-up” regarding the failure of MacPherson and others to credit Asgill. (Asgill taught that individual translation was possible, similar to Enoch or Elijah. His view is distinct from pretribulationism.) More relevant to our discussion, Bramley-Moore never claimed the brethren or anyone else “stole” the Irvingite prophetical views.

Recently, the most extensive critical analysis ever produced on Irvingite doctrine declared that they were still primarily historicist, while Darby and the Brethren had become futurist. Further, Columba G. Flegg notes that the Brethren teaching on the rapture and the present invisible and spiritual nature of the church,

were in sharp contrast to Catholic Apostolic teaching, . . . There were thus very significant differences between the two eschatologies, and attempts to see any direct influence of one upon the other seem unlikely to succeed-they had a number of common roots, but are much more notable for their points of disagreement. Several writers [referring specifically to MacPherson] have attempted to trace Darby’s secret rapture theory to a prophetic statement associated with Irving, but their arguments do not stand up to serious criticism.2

Historical DeficienciesMacPherson professes to be a historian (p. 233). His work is lacking in historical method. Consider his claim that William Kelly, as editor of Darby’s Collected Writings, manipulated them. Regarding Darby’s Notes on Revelation (1839) MacPherson writes:

We’ve previously noted that a chart (listing no artist or date) accompanying this work shows the church in heaven no later than Revelation 4 -additional manipulation and further contradiction of Darby’s Revelation 12 basis! (p. 152)

I have inspected a xeroxed copy of the 1839 edition of this work published by Central Tract Depot, London. The chart in question is there and shows the church in heaven in Revelation chapter 4! MacPherson’s speculation is without foundation. A true historian would inspect the original source materials before making the claims that MacPherson does. He is governed by an agenda, not a desire for unbiased historical research.

Here are a few of the many deficiencies that I found in The Rapture Plot:

1. MacPherson states that the key symbol of the pretribulation rapture for Margaret Macdonald is the catching up of the two witnesses of Revelation 11 (p. 47-49). If this is true, one wonders if MacPherson has ever read Revelation 11. Before the witnesses are caught up (verse 12), the beast makes war with them and kills them (verse 7). Thus the two witnesses go through tribulation before they are killed, raised and caught up. So if Macdonald’s teaching is based on this passage, she is certainly posttribulational! Actually, there is no doubt that the woman who said, “The trial of the Church is from Antichrist” was posttribulational.

Morgan Edwards and the Rapture2. Recently it has come to light that the 18th century Baptist Morgan Edwards held to a pretribulation rapture (see Pre-Trib Perspectives Sept/Oct 1995). If MacPherson were to regard Morgan Edwards as pretribulational, then both his Macdonald “cover-up” and his Kelly “plot” would be for naught. In The Rapture Plot he recklessly labels Edwards a posttribulational historicist. He writes: “. . . it’s obvious that Edwards interpreted these 1260 days [of Revelation 11] as years” (p. 266). This is a blatant falsehood. Edwards wrote in his Two Academical Exercises:

When these witnesses will appear is hard to say; for though their time of prophesying in saccloth [sic] is 1260 days or three years and a half (allowing thirty days to a month) yet they may preach out of sackcloth long before; for the 1260 days refer only to the time that the holy city and the outer court of the temple shall be trodden under the foot of the Gentiles (or Antichrist and his army) viz. 42 months, which make exactly 1260 d

ays, allowing 30 to a month (Rev xi.2). . .” (p. 19)

It is clear from the above that Edwards does not believe the two witnesses had appeared yet. The preaching in sackcloth are 1260 literal days; if they were years (clearly they are not from the context) then they had not as yet begun, which is unlike historicism in any form. The “prophesying out of sackcloth” that Edwards speculates the two witnesses will perform is before Revelation 11:2. Edwards is futurist and literal in his consideration of prophetic time in Revelation 12:7-11 (p. 8), Daniel 8:14 (p. 20), Daniel 12:12,13 (p. 21), Revelation 12:14 (p. 23), and Daniel 12:11 (p. 23).

3. MacPherson writes on p. 267 of The Rapture Plot:

Edwards’ basis for holding to a rapture three and a half years before the second advent (and a future millennium) may well have been the Revelation 11 witnesses on whom he focused. This chapter has a period of three and a half days (verses 9, 11) that historicism can view as three and a half years. Since the spirits of these dead witnesses conceivably go to be with Christ during the same days, days preceding the final advent-historicist Edwards could see in this symbol a rapture three and a half years before the same advent.

Compare this with Morgan Edwards:

Another event previous to the Millennium will be the appearing of the son of man in the clouds, coming to raise the dead saints and change the living, and to catch them up to himself, and then withdrawing with them, as observed before. This event will come to pass when Antichrist be arrived at Jerusalem in his conquest of the world; and about three years and a half before his killing the witnesses and assumption of godhead. (Edwards, p. 21)

MacPherson’s speculation is without foundation; Edwards distinguishes the saints caught up from the two witnesses, both as to time (the saints caught up three years and a half before the witnesses killed) and identity. Edwards identifies the witnesses as Elijah and the Apostle John (Edwards, pp. 17-19); MacPherson fails to inform his readers of this fact. The catching up of the witnesses is after the three and a half days (verse 12), not before. MacPherson also fails to inform his readers of Morgan Edwards linking the rapture to I Peter 4:17, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (Edwards, p. 7)

4. MacPherson concludes his section on Morgan Edwards by writing:

Edwards’ scheme of a rapture three and a half years before the end of a 1260-year tribulation has the same tiny gap a futurist would have if he were to teach a rapture three and a half days before the end of a 1260-day tribulation! Since such a futurist view would be seen as a posttrib view, Edwards (who had the same small percentage) should be classified as a historicist posttrib! p268)

There is a footnote attached which states:

Edwards saw a rapture at the extreme end of the tribulation. The mathematics works out as follows: 3.5 years/1260 years = 0.0027 or 0.27% remaining. That means 99.73% of the tribulation was already past before the rapture. Hardly a pretrib rapture! (p. 268)

As already shown, Edwards did not teach anything like a 1260 year tribulation. Nor was he a historicist. Nor was he “posttrib.” But let us apply the same mathematics to some of his alleged pretribulationists. First, consider John Hooper, a contributor to The Morning Watch. MacPherson speaks of “Hooper’s pretrib rapture” (p. 200). He also writes of Hooper as “a historicist who saw the final advent in about 1868, Hooper had 37 remaining years where he could fit in between Revelation 16 and Revelation 19…” (p. 200). Let us perform a calculation: 37 years/1260 years = 0.0294 or 2.94% remaining. That means at least 97.06% of the tribulation was already past before the rapture (assuming Christ could come immediately). Hardly a pretribulational rapture! Perhaps Dave MacPherson will tell us at what number between 97.06% and 99.73% complete we transition from pretribulational to posttribulational. Or perhaps MacPherson could admit Hooper as posttribulational. Next, let us consider the woman whom MacPherson labels as the first pretribulationist: Margaret Macdonald. He wrote on p. 49 of The Great Rapture Hoax:

Margaret, however, had

been influenced by historicism and the year-day theory involving 1260 years. . . If only one-tenth of 1260 years remained unfulfilled in her view, she could still believe in a future Antichrist; he would have a total of 126 years in which to do his dirty work.

MacPherson is gracious in allowing 126 years remaining in Margaret’s mind. Especially since she identified Robert Owen, a contemporary, as the Antichrist (The Rapture Plot, p. 53). But applying the same mathematical formula that would mean 90% of the tribulation was complete for her! Applying the same method MacPherson does to Morgan Edwards would make her “hardly pretrib!”

5. The importance MacPherson places on The Rapture Plot reveals his spiritual condition. He writes on p. 234:

The real test is ahead. If pretrib promoters ignore or twist this book’s documentation, and if their only bottom line is a continuing flow of funds, then I won’t be surprised if God views them collectively as an “Achan” (Josh. 7) and allows a national or even international money collapse!

This statement is incredible. Ignoring The Rapture Plot leads to an international money collapse! This extreme notion indicates the mentality under which MacPherson operates.

It is significant that MacPherson is the lone “historian” who has argued a connection between Macdonald and Darby. Considering that there have been numerous historical examinations of both the Irvingites and the Brethren, yet MacPherson stands alone in exposing the “plot,” is rather a testimony to polemical bias, not the facts. Those anti-pretribulationists who have adopted MacPherson’s revision have done so merely on the basis of his word, not as a result of original research.

ConclusionDave MacPherson’s The Rapture Plot is a defective work which distorts history. There is no plot. It misrepresents godly men such as Darby and Kelly. It fails to prove the Irvingites were pretribulational in the 1830s. It is completely inaccurate concerning Morgan Edwards’ teaching. The Rapture Plot has the same character as MacPherson’s previous works. Christians who desire to feed their souls on truth would be well advised to avoid his works. W

Endnotes1R.A. Huebner, The Truth of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Recovered (Millington, NJ: Present Truth Publishers, 1976). Huebner, Precious Truths Revived and Defended Through J.N. Darby, Vol. 1 (Morganville, NJ: Present Truth Publishers, 1991). Thomas Ice, “Why the Doctrine of the Pretribulational Rapture Did Not Begin with Margaret Macdonald,” Bibliotheca Sacra (Vol. 147; April-June 1990), pp. 155-68. Gerald Stanton, Kept From The Hour, 4th. edition, (Miami Springs, FL: Schoettle Publishing, 1991).

2Columba Graham Flegg, ‘Gathered Under Apostles’ A Study of the Catholic Apostolic Church (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), p. 436.


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The Rapture and Revelation an overview of 1 and 2 Thessalonians

The Rapture and Revelation
an overview of 1 and 2 Thessalonians

Dr. Ted Horton
(Graduate of PMI Center and Calvary Christian schools)

We can find the Apostle Paul discussing the pre-tribulation rapture or the Second Coming of Christ (and by context alluding to the pre-tribulation rapture) in every verse of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. Paul was encouraging the church in the first epistle with the Blessed Hope. In the second letter we find that the church in Thessalonica had been led to believe that they had missed the Day of Christ, NOT the Day of the Lord as many new versions translate 2 Thessalonians 2:2. Even going back to the Greek we see that the word is “Christos,” so it is properly translated Christ. But I am getting ahead of myself. The Bible of course would be the King James Bible.

1 Thessalonians

CHAPTER 1-1Th 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. – Here we see a picture of the PTR as we are waiting on Christ to return for us. We have been delivered by our salvation from eternal wrath and the church that will be present when it is time for Daniel’s 70th Week to commence will be delivered from that wrath.

CHAPTER 2- 1Th 2:19 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? – When the Lord returns bodily to the earth, the church will be coming WITH Him. We will be with Him because He took us up in the PTR.

CHAPTER 3- 1Th 3:13 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.—Again, when the Lord returns He will come WITH ALL His saints. This is because He will have already gathered them.

CHAPTER 4- 1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. – This shouldn’t require much commentary. The Lord is personally returning for His saints. This MUST be PTR as during the Second Coming the saints are all with Him.

CHAPTER 5- All of chapter 5 should be read, but here are some highlights:
1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.—Notice here Paul says Day of the Lord. This is much different from the Day of Christ that will be used in 2 Thessalonians. The Day of the Lord is dealing with The Time of Jacob’s Trouble and the Millennial Kingdom and is much longer than a 24 hour day. The Day of Christ is the Rapture and happens in an instant. Terms that relate to the Day of the Lord that you will see often are night, thief, darkness, overtaken, wrath, etc. The church has words associated with it such as light and day; the church is never used in conjunction with wrath, night, or thief.

1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. – Study the pronouns of Chapter 5. You will see they, they, they and then all of a sudden, ye. Paul is distinguishing between the two groups; between the world and the church.

1Th 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.—Here it is again: they, sleep, night. Then we see the word but. But is a subordinate conjunction and when we see it we know that we are about to read something of a different tone or scope than what came before it. They (the world, the lost, unbelieving Israel) sleep in the night BUT us (believers, the church) are of the day!

1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.—God has not appointed US (who is us again? The church!) to wrath. We will live with Him. We are to take comfort in that. The comfort, by context is the Blessed Hope, the PTR!

1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.—These believers will have been long dead in body when Christ returns, and they will be with Him and we know that they will rise first from what we read earlier. So that again demands a PTR for them to get new bodies that they may be WITH Him at His coming.

2 Thessalonians

CHAPTER 1- 2Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,– We will be at rest with the Lord when it is time for Him to return because the saints will have been taken up. We are with Him so that we can return with Him.

CHAPTER 2- 2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,– Chapter 2 gives a good timeline of the Tribulationon and you will notice that before it ever begins the Lord comes for us and we are gathered together unto Him.

CHAPTER 3- 2Th 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.—The Church has been waiting for His imminent return for 2,000 years. With proper exegesis of Daniel, Revelation, the Olivet Discourse, and the Pauline Epistles we can see that this 7 year period is for Israel and that the church will be removed sometime before it begins.

Fake News about the Rapture

Dr. Mike Johnston

Mark Twain observed, “It’s easier to deceive people than it is to convince them they have been deceived.” Never has this been truer than it is today.

Deception made its debut 6000 years ago when Satan used it as a ploy to seduce Adam and Eve away from God’s Word (Gen. 2:15-17; 3:1-6). Today the devil’s patent trickery has become the international delusion Jesus, Paul, and Peter warned that it would:

“Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matt. 24:4). “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13). “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Peter 2:1-2).

I believe we are approaching the apex of these prophecies. Serving as evidence, are hypocritical media[1] liberals invoking their First Amendment rights to promote a perverse Leviticus 18 agenda while litigating against the free speech rights of patriots exposing them.

Blowing the whistle on media mendacity, Charlie Daniel’s warned, “The news is not about news anymore. It’s about protecting some people, destroying others and shoving a socialist agenda down the collective throats of America.” What America’s fiddle man described is a sneaky tactic called fake news that was unmasked and named during 2016 Presidential election.

It gained steam in 1925 when Adolph Hitler released Mein Kampf. The con which was later perfected by Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels involves telling a lie so “colossal” that no one would ever conceive of a person possessing “the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” [2] I think Rush Limbaugh had this in mind when he stated, “The truthfulness of an accusation is not nearly as important as the seriousness of the charge.”

This is precisely the strategy employed in 1973 with the release of an incendiary paperback purporting the following unfounded but colossal allegation:

“The PreTrib Rapture is a Giant
Hoax that didn’t exist until 1830”

There are several things required for defamation of this magnitude to deceive anyone. First, it requires an element of truth to twist, which it does. Second, it requires numbers of people possessing marginal knowledge of the truth twisted, which there are. Third, there must be an unapologetic truth twister who refuses to relent even when faced with conflicting evidences will grit his teeth and carry the lie all the way from conception to deception; and we have one. In this case, that man’s name is Dave MacPherson.[3]

MacPherson is a mean spirited [4] rapture-loathing book peddler renegade who portrays himself as an “investigative reporter” stumbling on a cover up regarding the PreTrib rapture. The truth is, he nothing more than an architectural academic connecting a few dots he created.

Now let me hasten to say at the outset, I’m not opposed to anyone having an opposing opinion about the rapture; all of us are entitled to make our own assumptions. What irks me is the deceitful manner in which MacPherson lays claim to journalistic integrity while inventing facts to substantiate conclusions he can’t prove in any other way. Where I come from, that isn’t scholarship, that’s scandal. After much research, my assessment of MacPherson is in line with the following scholars review of “The Rapture Plot”: “Blinded by his rush to a preordained conclusion, his analysis of those sources is clouded by a hateful style which prevents much of what he says from being taken seriously.” [5]

In the end, astute readers will find it ironic if not hilarious that all MacPherson’s drum-thumping about a vast rapture cover up is eclipsed by discovering he has personally presided over a cover up hiding the fact he has no evidence to prove it.

Dave’s Incredible Cover-Up

MacPherson’s chicanery has existed in manuscript form over four decades. The fact is while DM is expressly livid with proponents of PreTrib rapture, he neither does scholarship nor himself any favors by misrepresenting history. His Houdini like specialty is illusion whereby he makes fiction appear to be factual with the stroke of a keyboard and the hope his “evidence” draws no scrutiny which most of the time in the sphere of rapture antagonism, proves to be true.[6]

My initial exposure to his material occurred a few years after I came to Christ. [7] I’ve since studied his scheme with more intensity. My research reveals that preparation for his ruse began in 1953 with what he calls “a jolting encounter with the rapture”. [8] From that, Dave presents himself as an innocent victim of mean PreTrib rapture people. This includes his expulsion from BIOLA College for arguing the merits of the Post Trib rapture in a PreTrib school. [9] Entering at this juncture are escalating signs of clinical paranoia as he begins to blame every evil in his life [10] on the rapture and its teachers, including but not limited to, a drunken binge in Mexico, a tragic car accident, his mom’s death, his sister’s inability to have more children, the demonic possession of his dog Wolf, and all his father’s pastoral woes. [11] Believe it or not, Dave goes so far as to blame hundreds of thousands of deaths in Communist China to the rapture.

Armed with acrimony – and a Goebbels-like determination to eliminate rapture teachers – his mission statement has ostensibly centered on the wholesale destruction of the “blessed hope” – aka rapture (Titus 2:13) – along with the good reputations of every person on earth promoting it. This he began in 1973 by publishing what is essentially the same document with cosmetic changes which has now become a multi-volume fantasy franchise using incendiary titles like “The Rapture Plot”, “The Incredible Cover Up”, “The Great Rapture Hoax”, “Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin”, “Late Great Pre-Trib Rapture”; et al.

MacPherson’s shtick in every book – beaten like a jungle drum, but never proven – is that the rapture is a pervasive fraud with an elaborate cover up hiding a dubious origin he pretends [12] didn’t exist until 1830. [13] That, he alleges, was the year a demon-possessed charismatic member of Edward Irving’s[14] Catholic Apostolic Church by the name of Margaret MacDonald [15]  conjured it up in a vision; recorded and published later by her apostolic husband Robert Norton then stolen by a Plymouth Brethren scholar we’ll discuss in a moment, John Nelson Darby.

Now bear in mind, there are two published versions of Miss MacDonald’s vision; both provided by her husband. [16] The second one was glommed onto by MacPherson because it was redacted slightly making it more palatable to MacPherson’s mythos. What follows, is excerpted from the first record of the alleged utterance.

“I saw the people of God in an awfully dangerous situation. Now will the wicked one be revealed with all power…It will be a fiery trial…Nothing but what is of God will stand…I said, Now shall the awful sight of a false Christ be seen on this earth; and nothing but Christ in US can detect this awful attempt of the enemy to deceive…This is the trial through which those are to pass, who will be counted worthy to stand before the Son of Man…The trial of the Church is from Antichrist … Oh be filled with the Spirit – have the light of God within you, that you may DETECT Satan…” This was the unedited first recording of Miss MacDonald’s vision published in 1840. Note that she warned the church about contending with Antichrist NOT escaping from him in a PreTrib rapture. What you may not know is her vision was a slightly redacted in another version [17]that appeared twenty-one years later. This redacted version is the one DM seized upon in order to arrive at his crafty conclusion. [18]

Let’s think logically here. If Darby stole an original idea from Margaret MacDonald or anyone else for that matter, why is everyone except MacPherson and his gang silent about it? No one – including himself, Robert Cameron [19] or Samuel Tregelles [A] (possibly the man Dave “borrowed” the germ for his idea from), nor any of their cronies – has ever provided a shred of credible proof demonstrating Darby or Scofield stole the rapture from under Miss MacDonald’s nose.

Now we see a problem. In order to sell his books, MacPherson must convince his customers – without substantive proof – he has new evidence Darby stole the PreTrib rapture from Miss MacDonald (who remained silent about it) – rather than getting it from the Bible three years earlier as Darby and extant records maintains. Therefore, since historical documentation won’t support MacPherson invented invectives, he simply plays Houdini by convincing his audience that he is right and the historical records are wrong.

But there are many inconvenient records disproving Dave’s allegations. Does he admit his cover up, or conceive of and carry out the character assassination of the main witnesses against him.

Being who he is, Dave opts for the latter option.

There is a frightening resemblance between Dave’s determination to hang a rapture origin cover up on Plymouth Brethren[20] scholar John Nelson Darby [21]  and Joseph Stalin’s secret police chief Lavrentiy Beria who bragged, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime”.

Devoid of any compassion, conviction, or constraint, MacPherson’s wages all-out war on Darby  by framing him as a compromising theological thug who jettisoned his integrity to pilfer and plagiarize MacDonald’s demonic vision [22] – then share it with CI Scofield – another deceased nemesis he excoriates – to use in his reference Bible.[23] All of this rumored by MacPherson to be part of an arcane scheme Darby, Scofield[24] and ultimately the Plymouth Brethren apparently cooked up in some dank, dimly lit room for no earthly reason other than the indescribable joy they all shared knowing they were deceiving innocent Christian people.

What you’ve read is what research reveals. It’s out there and you can find it very easily. Personally, by the time I got to this point in my investigation, I’d completely changed my mind about MacPherson’s credibility. The evidence speaks for itself that his work amounts to nothing more than unscrupulous historical revisionism; and I’m not alone in believing that.

Plymouth Brethren scholar Roy A. Huebner, another victim of the MacPherson hate syndicate, accused DM of what amounts to sloppy scholarship for “Using slander that J. N. Darby took the (truth of the) pretribulation rapture from those very opposing, demon-inspired utterances.”  Huebner proves that MacPherson essentially had confused the statements of a number of people in a rush to go to print without solid research confirmation (concluding) … There is much the reader is not aware of and the writings of dozens of theologians would take more time than we can take here to refute the writings of journalist Dave MacPherson. [25] (parenthesis added)

Evidence against MacPherson’s supposition is heavy. While you are certainly free to believe his unsubstantiated appeals, you are joining others who do so simply on the merits of MacPherson’s urging. Godly scholars from every rapture position have studied and refuted his rogue ruminations about Darby and MacDonald for instance simply by comparing actual history with the unsubstantiated claims he continues to retail.

Commenting on MacPherson’s unverified link between Darby and MacDonald or her charismatic connections, PreTrib opponent Ernest R. Sandeen declares, “This seems to be a groundless and pernicious charge. Neither Irving nor any member of the Albury group advocated any doctrine resembling the secret rapture. . . . Since the clear intention of this charge is to discredit the doctrine by attributing its origin to fanaticism rather than Scripture, there seems little ground for giving it any credence.”[26]

After years of research, PreTrib opponent John Bray came face to face with the truth regarding the unverifiable accusations against John Darby’s alleged association with a charismatic occultist, and offered this, “[John Darby] rejected those practices, and he already had his new view of the Lord coming FOR THE SAINTS (as contrasted to the later coming to the earth) which he had believed since 1827. It was the coupling of this “70th week of Daniel” prophecy and its futuristic interpretation, with the teaching of the “secret rapture,” that gave to us the completed “Pre-Tribulation Secret Rapture” teaching as it has now been taught for many years. . . . (and) makes it impossible for me to believe that Darby got his Pre-Tribulation Rapture teaching from Margaret MacDonald’s vision in 1830. He was already a believer in it since 1827, as he plainly said.”[27]

German author Max S. Weremchuk has produced a comprehensive biography on Darby entitled John Nelson Darby: A Biography. “Having read MacPherson’s book . . .” says Weremchuk, “I find it impossible to make a just comparison between what Miss MacDonald ‘prophesied’ and what Darby taught. It appears that the wish was the father of the idea.”[28]

Another staunch researcher Pastor Billy Crone arrived at the same conclusion after traveling abroad trying to uncover any truth that Darby pilfered the rapture as alleged by MacPherson. He also affirmed there is NONE to be found. [29]

A highly suspicious Plymouth Brethren researcher Frank Marotta put it in perspective I think, “It is significant that Dave MacPherson is the lone ‘historian’ who has argued a connection between MacDonald and Darby. Considering that there have been numerous historical examinations of both the Irvingites and the Brethren, and DM stands alone in exposing the “plot,” is rather a testimony to polemical bias, not the facts. Those anti-pretribulationists who have adopted DM’s revision have done so merely on the basis of his word, not as a result of original research.” [30]

Even Hank Hanegraff agrees with the testimonial evidence: “According to Darby himself, however, his dispensational doctrines originated neither from an ecstatic utterance in Edward Irving’s congregation nor from the vision of a Scottish lassie named Margaret MacDonald. Rather, they evolved from the hypothesis that Scripture is replete with two distinct stories concerning two distinct people for whom God has two distinct plans.”[31]

So where did Darby get his rapture theology? Plymouth Brethren F.F. Bruce – no friend of the PreTrib position – I believe is very close to exact truth by stating it was “in the air in the 1820s and 1830s among eager students of unfulfilled prophecy; (therefore) direct dependence by Darby on Margaret Macdonald is unlikely.” (F. F. Bruce, Review of The “Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin” in The Evangelical Quarterly, (January – March 1975), p. 58). [32]

I’ll quote two other reliable researchers with impeccable credentials who dug up, digested, and dismantled most of the wild misrepresentations about the PreTrib rapture and its proponents MacPherson has ever made.

In Kept from the Hour, Dr. Gerald Stanton makes this observation:

“It will immediately be apparent that his book titles are provocative, if not abusive. There has been no “cover-up” or “hoax,” for Pretrib authors and leaders have arrived at their conclusion from Biblical exegesis rather than from any presumed history of the doctrine, and most certainly with no desire to defraud. Furthermore, to attack the morality and integrity of fellow believers just to further an eschatological opinion is a disgrace to the Name and cause of Christ.”

Another observation of MacPherson’s distortions comes from the late Dr. John Walvoord[33],

“The whole controversy as aroused by Dave MacPherson’s claims has so little supporting evidence … one wonders how he can write his book with a straight face. Pretribulationists should be indebted to Dave MacPherson for exposing the facts, namely, that there is no proof that MacDonald … originated the pretribulation rapture teaching.” [34]

The bottom line is that Dave MacPherson’s anti-PreTrib rapture enterprise comes from the pen of an angry man, blinded by rage, and incapable of fairness with facts inconvenient to his conclusions. The result is the shadowy sham he created, consisting of a bevy of books, teaching the same thing, yet all of them collectively proving nothing except there’s a market in the church for conspiracy theories delivered with high levels of emotion even though non evidential.

Consider with me this writer’s final observation:

“Macpherson’s thesis has been rejected by many competent scholars who are not pre-trib. Men like F.F. Bruce, John Bray, Timothy Weber, and others have found his conclusions untenable. MacPherson misleads his reader by mentioning F. F. Bruce as a good friend of his without letting the reader know that Bruce, a Brethren scholar who rejected pre-trib, totally discarded the rapture plot idea (p. 40). The fact of the matter is that the real test of whether the pre-trib rapture is correct doctrine is not its historical origin but its exegetical support from the Bible. MacPherson’s book provides no help in this area.”[35]

Men of God MacPherson Mocks and Maligns

In the final analysis, Dave MacPherson’s scholarship consists of nothing more than hate filled attacks from assumptions underwritten by a daisy chain of vastly unknown bibliographical references all underwriting him and his dubious sources. What’s equally troubling is his rowdy refusal to be civil by insisting everyone disagreeing with him is by default in league with Lucifer. Nastiness notwithstanding, here’s a small list of unimpeachable Biblical scholars MacPherson by default consigns to heresy if not to Hell purely and simply for disagreeing with his crass, clumsy conclusions.

Isaac Watts, JN Darby, CI Scofield, John Gill, Morgan Edwards, DL Moody, RA Torrey, Clarence Larkin, Lewis Sperry Chafer. William R. Newell, J. Vernon McGee, David Jeremiah, Lehman Strauss, Merrill Unger, Dave Reagan, Sir Robert Anderson. Charles Swindoll, Jerry Falwell, Jack Hyles, John Walvoord, Charles Ryrie, Dave Hunt, Noah Hutchings, J. Dwight Pentecost, Zola Levitt, J. Randall Price, Dave Breese, Jimmy DeYoung, AC Gaebelein, MR DeHaan, JR Church, HA Ironside, Gary Stearman, Tommy Ice, Hal Lindsey, Ed Hindson, Grant Jeffrey, Chuck Missler, Jack Van Impe, and many more. [36]

The following links provide a partial list of rapture information from Biblical scholars who have themselves thoroughly researched and refuted most every misrepresentation, misquote,  and misapplication MacPherson has made over the past 40 years of attacks against the “blessed hope”.

  • Church, JR (deceased) Founder of Prophecy in the News

https://prophecyinthenews.com/articles/pretribulation-rapture-taught-by-early-church/

  • Ice, Dr. Thomas: Director of the PreTrib Research Center

http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/myths-of-origin-pretribulationism-part-1

http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/rapture-myths

  • Examining a PreTrib Rapture Statement

http://www.grantjeffrey.com/article/examining_an_ancient.htm

  • Marotta, Frank: Brethren scholar

http://www.according2prophecy.org/macphers.html

  • Missler, Dr. Chuck: Byzantine Text Discovery: Ephraem The Syrian

http://www.khouse.org/articles/1995/39/

  • Reagan, Dr. David: Director of Lamb & Lion Ministries

http://christinprophecy.org/articles/in-defense-of-the-pre-tribulation-rapture/

https://www.raptureforums.com/rapture/origin-pre-tribulational-rapture/

  • Strandberg, Todd: Director of Rapture Ready

http://www.raptureready.com/faq-did-dave-macpherson-invent-the-false-history-of-the-pr-trib-rapture/

  • Stunt, Timothy CF: Brethren scholar

http://brethrenhistory.org/qwicsitePro/php/docsview.php?docid=415

  • Wilkinson, Dr. Paul: Brethren scholar

http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/left-behind-or-led-astrayexposed-long-version

 

NOTES

[1] The media admits over 90% of them support Democrats in elections. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2014/05/06/just-7-percent-of-journalists-are-republicans-thats-far-less-than-even-a-decade-ago/?utm_term=.b8704f1259f3

[2] Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. I, Chapter 10. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_lie

[3] Be sure to study Brethren scholar Timothy Stunt’s extensive expose on the underhanded tactics MacPherson employed to arrive at his conclusions: http://brethrenhistory.org/qwicsitePro/php/docsview.php?docid=415

[4] This brief bio is a response in kind to MacPherson’s relentless mean spirited attacks against good men and women simply for disagreeing with him.

[5] Source: http://our-hope.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/ReviewMacPherson.pdf

[6] BTW, this isn’t this called LYING? Check the records yourself if you still refuse to believe me.

[7] I was saved April 24, 1975 at seven thirty in the morning.

[8] DM claims to have had a jolting encounter with the Rapture in 1953. (Rapture Hoax p. 3)

[9] He learned this tactic from his father who was himself a recent convert to the Post Trib rapture ruse.

[10] My friend, if this doesn’t qualify for insanity, let’s at least call it “intellectual insolvency”.

[11] http://www.raptureready.com/faq-did-dave-macpherson-invent-the-false-history-of-the-pr-trib-rapture/

[12] MacPherson offers what he swears is proof, but since he is the only person that has stumbled onto the sources, scholars have concluded his “findings” are NOT to be trusted.

[13] Dave lied. The invention of the internet allows us to explore archives of writings from the early church fathers discussing the coming of Christ to remove His church.

[14] Edward Irving was a Scottish clergyman, generally regarded as the main figure behind the foundation of the Catholic Apostolic Church which believed in modern day apostles and sign gifts. In other words they were charismatics. [THE TRIBULATION OF CONTROVERSY: A REVIEW ARTICLE Timothy C. F. Stunt]

[15] Margaret MacDonald was born in 1815 in Port Glasgow, Scotland and died around 1840.[1] She lived with her two older brothers, James and George, both of whom ran a shipping business.[1] Beginning in 1826 and through 1829, a few preachers in Scotland emphasized that the world’s problems could only be addressed through an outbreak of supernatural gifts from the Holy Spirit.[2] In response, Isabella and Mary Campbell of the parish of Rosneath manifested charismatic experiences such as speaking in tongues. Around 1830, miraculous healings were reported through James Campbell, first of his sister Margaret MacDonald and then of Mary Campbell (through James’s letter to Mary).[3] Shortly thereafter, James and George MacDonald manifested the speaking and interpretations of tongues, and soon others followed suit in prayer meetings. These charismatic experiences garnered major national attention. Many came to see and investigate these events. Some, such as Edward Irving and Henry Drummond, regarded these events as genuine displays from the Holy Spirit. Others, including John Nelson Darby and Benjamin Wills Newton, whom the Plymouth Brethren sent on their behalf to investigate, came to the conclusion that these displays were demonic. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_MacDonald_(visionary)

[16] “It is only with some difficulty that one can identify what MacPherson calls her ‘pretribulationist’ teaching in the transcript of 1840, and when in 1861 Norton quoted from her prophecy he omitted the passage which referred to ‘the fiery trial’ which ‘will be for the purging and purifying of the real members of the body of Jesus’—a passage which clearly assumes that Christians will go through the tribulation.” [THE TRIBULATION OF CONTROVERSY: A REVIEW ARTICLE Timothy C. F. Stunt]

[17] This editing was performed by her husband who wanted to give her credit for a PreTrib vision.

[18] The first account which was a full account of MacDonald’s utterance was published in 1840 in Robert Norton’s Memoirs (pp. 171–76). The second account appeared 1861 with some words removed in The Restoration of Apostles and Prophets pp. 15–18. In order to further the anti-PreTrib rapture scheme, these two accounts were conflated by MacPherson in his book The Incredible Cover-up (p. 151–54)

making it appear to reach a conclusion context would not allow].

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_MacDonald_(visionary)

[19] American Robert Cameron in 1922 wrote a book against pretribulationism that centered his attack against the doctrine of imminence.[2] Early in his book he penned a chapter that ask: “Could Christ Have Come At Any Moment?”[3] Throughout Cameron’s lengthy chapter[4] be cites what he believes are items that would have to take place before any return by Christ, thus nullifying, in his mind, the any-moment doctrine of imminency as advocated by pretribulationists. Cameron believes that imminency “is opposed to the whole of the New Testament.”[5] Source: http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/imminence-and-rapture-part-1

[20] Pastor Darby is known as the father of modern dispensationalism. MacPherson’s hatred for dispensationalism (calling it a heresy) stems from his refusal to rightly divide the Word and allow Israel her rightful place in God’s overall economy. His writings are inexorably anti-Semitic.

[21] In his commentary on Revelation, William R. Newell called Darby the greatest interpreter of the Bible since Paul – http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/proph/newelltr.pdf. A collection of Darby’s writings are available at Plymouth Brethren archives: http://www.plymouthbrethren.org/byauthor/5/john_nelson_darby

[22] Researcher Billy Crone traveled to Europe including Scotland where he discovered Darby no doubt heard about MacDonald’s 1830 charismatic manifestation, but considered them demonic and not of God. It also appears in the book by Wilkinson, Paul Richard (2007). For Zion’s Sake: Christian Zionism and the Role of John Nelson Darby. Paternoster. pp. 192–93.

[23] If Darby laid claim to MacDonald’s vision – which incidentally was partial mid trib and post trib, why didn’t Scofield give him credit?

[24] MacPherson loathes both Darby and Scofield. For a clear report on the life of Scofield, may I suggest Dr. Robert Sumner’s piece: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/dispen/canfield.pdf

[25] Source: http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/mar2015/pastorbob329-2.htm

[26] Source: http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1101&context=sor_fac_pubs

[27] John Bray, The Origin of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Teaching, pp. 24-25, 28

[28] Max S. Weremchuk, John Nelson Darby: A Biography (Neptune, N. J.: Loizeaux Brothers, 1992). P242. Source: http://www.pre-trib.org/data/pdf/Ice-Part2-MythsoftheOrig.pdf

[29] Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOWX5EZfgBk

[30] Quoted from: http://www.according2prophecy.org/macphers.html. There is a wealth of info unveiling the mocking MacPherson.

[31] I disagree with Hanegraaff on some important doctrinal issues such as Covenantal Theology. With that caveat, I offer this for consideration from his perspective. Hank Hanegraaff,. Apocalypse Code. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), 46.

[32] http://www.raptureready.com/faq-did-dave-macpherson-invent-the-false-history-of-the-pr-trib-rapture/

[33] Respected theologian and former President of Dallas Theological Seminary.

[34] More information available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret: MacDonald: (visionary)

[35] Analysis of The Rapture Plot: http://our-hope.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/ReviewMacPherson.pdf

[36] Once again, if you buy MacPherson’s narrative, you have to believe as he does that he’s the chosen and enlightened one and EVERY ONE else including this list of renowned PreTrib Bible scholars are half baked malevolent morons deceiving the church with the devil’s lie.

Appendix [A]
Excursus on Tregelles

Tregelles (in 1864) made the claim that the pre-trib teaching arose from an utterance in Irving’s church:

“But when the theory of a secret coming of Christ was first brought forward (about the year 1832), it was adopted with eagerness…I am not aware that there was any definite teaching that there would be a secret rapture of the church at a secret coming, until this was given forth as an ‘utterance’ in Mr. Irving’s church, from what was there received as being the voice of the Spirit. But whether any one ever asserted such a thing or not, it was from that supposed revelation that the modern doctrine and the modern phraseology respecting it arose.” (Tregelles, “The Hope of Christ’s Second Coming,” 1864)

Tregelles does not document this “utterance.” G.H. Lang therefore writes:

“No evidence is available that any of the Powerscourt circle took the idea of a secret rapture from the Irvingite utterances, no evidence beyond Tregelles’s assertion, and for this he gives no proofs.” (“The Disciple,” 1954)

In “The Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin,” (1973), Dave MacPherson does his best to make his own far-fetched idea “believable.” He attempts to link the origin of the pre-trib rapture view with a young lady named Margaret McDonald. However, he fails considerably in offering any evidence that this young lady influenced anyone on ANY Biblical subject (other than perhaps, whether or not Apostolic gifts were reviving). To start with, she was in Scotland (not England, where Irving’s church was located). As to M. McDonald’s particular “revelation,” she appears to teach that the “Spirit-filled” will be “kept” from deception in the MIDST of the Trib (i.e. the post-trib view)! She has the faithful (including herself) on earth when the Antichrist is revealed:

“I saw the people of God in an awfully dangerous situation. Now will the wicked one be revealed with all power…It will be a fiery trial…Nothing but what is of God will stand…I said, Now shall the awful sight of a false Christ be seen on this earth; and nothing but Christ in US can DETECT this awful attempt of the enemy to deceive…This is the trial THROUGH which those are to pass, who will be counted worthy to stand before the Son of Man…The trial of the Church is from Antichrist. It is by being filled with the Spirit that we shall be kept. I frequently said, Oh be filled with the Spirit – have the light of God within you, that you may DETECT satan…” (emphasis mine)

It is obvious that by being “kept,” McDonald means Christians are kept from DECEPTION while the Antichrist is manifested!

McPherson erred by stumbling onto a book written by Robert Norton in 1861 which claimed that Margaret McDonald originated the pre-trib rapture view. The book was titled, “The Restoration of Apostles and Prophets in the Catholic Apostolic Church” (i.e. Irving’s movement). In 1852, Norton wrote “Reasons for Believing the Lord has Restored to the Church Apostles and Prophets.” By 1861, the pre-trib rapture view was a well-established doctrine among premillennialists. Isn’t it reasonable to conclude that Norton (a member of the Catholic Apostolic Church) would greatly desire to argue that something “significant” originated from someone exercising a restored “Apostolic” gift? Notice his words in describing Margaret McDonald’s supposed “revelation” of the pre-trib rapture (i.e. two-stage coming):

“Marvelous light was shed upon Scripture, and especially upon the doctrine of the Second Advent BY THE REVIVED SPIRIT OF PROPHECY. In the following account by Miss M.M…we see first the distinction between the final stage of the Lord’s coming…and His prior appearing…” (emphasis mine; MacPherson, p.47)

Sadly, Norton (1807-1883) was simply a victim of his own wishful thinking. He read into M.M.’s “revelation” in order to argue that “marvelous light” (i.e. the pre-trib rapture teaching which was WIDESPREAD among prophecy students at the time) had come forth from his own restoration movement. Why would he need this type of prop? Because the majority of Christians at the time thought his movement was inspired by the Devil and that Norton himself was “fanatical”! How advantageous it would be to argue that the prized teaching in regard to the two stages of the Lord’s Coming was first manifested by someone with a supernatural gift. Yet, he failed in offering anything other than his own assertions to validate his claims. MacPherson repeated the mistake (for different reasons). –Pastor Joey Faust; Source: http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Believer%27s%20Corner/Doctrines/rapture_history.htm

 

Not a single Bible verse indisputably placing Body of Christ on earth during Israel’s Tribulation

Dr. Mike Johnston

There isn’t a verse anywhere in the Bible clearly and indisputably placing the church Body of Christ on earth for a single moment during Israel’s coming Tribulation without pulling from context and redefining the words “saints”, “elect”, and “disciples” which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and Revelation refer to Israel. The evidence for this leaps from the pages of the King James Bible rightly divided (2 Tim. 2:15).

Revelation for Israel, Rapture for the Church Body

Dr. Mike Johnston

 

Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.  (4)  He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the Earth, that he may judge his people.  (5)  Gather my saints together unto me [see Matt. 24:31 [1]] ; those that have made a covenant [Abrahamic] with me by sacrifice.

(6) And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah”

(Psalms 50:3-6).

A contrarian clique represented in the current rapture debate suffers from the same passing blindness Israel surrendered to 2000 years ago (Rom. 11:25). In that state, they refuse to accept right division between Israel and the church Body and the subsequent distinctions. For instance, why is it such an insurmountable task for our opponents to understand the Rapture as a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51-52) when in fact the entire church Body is a mystery (Rom. 16:25) having no connection to the Revelation outlined progressively by the prophets to Israel? Those who insist on placing the church Body in the middle of it sound eerily familiar to a group Paul addressed:

“But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile” (Romans 2:8-9).

Understanding right division God placed in Scripture is a prerequisite to arriving at right conclusions and clears up the Rapture confusion completely. Let’s be clear. We are not afraid of Biblical truth verified via Scripture; something every student has access to yet numbers are unwilling to avail themselves. I’ll explain the untoward upshot of this in the last chapter.

As we’ve seen, Israel’s Tribulation throughout the Bible is part of God’s prophecy program for Israel and Earth (Isa. 2; Jer. 30-31; Joel; Zeph; Rev. 3:10; 6-19). It precedes the Messianic Kingdom prophesied throughout the OT. [2] This time of trouble (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15) is Israel’s Tribulation which originated in the prophecy program is Covenant related. It was initially revealed by Moses in a prophecy specifically for Israel in the latter days, (Deut. 4:30-31).

This is a simple three-point synopsis of Israel’s Tribulation:

  • It is punishment [3] of Israel’s enemies as well as Israel (Deut. 30:7; 32:43; Isa. 2:19-21; Isa. 13; 24; 34; 30-31; Dan. 7; 12:1; Joel 2; Zephaniah, see 1:15; Matt. 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21; Rev. 6-19);
  • It is positioning Israel back under Abrahamic Covenant(Gen. 15-17; Deut. 4:30-31),
  • It is preparing Israel – and in a collateral sense, the Earth – (Jer. 30-31; Ezek. 20:37; 22:18-22; Zeph. 1:14-18) – for the Revelation of the Messiah and the Jewish (Millennial) Kingdom promised in perpetuity through the Davidic Covenant(2 Sam. 7:8-16).

Please take careful note. Every Bible reference to Israel’s Tribulation speaks of at least one of these three important things while NEVER mentioning the Body of Christ which was a mystery completely hidden from the prophets (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:2-9; Col. 1:26).

We can easily identify Israel’s Tribulation as a major change component prophesied to her for the latter days. In his monolithic treatise on Systematic Theology, Dr. Lewis Chafer described Israel’s Tribulation as “one of the major highways of prophecy, which may be traced through Scripture as follows: Deu_4:29-30; Jer_30:4-7; Dan_12:1; Mat_24:9-26; 2Th_2:1-12; Rev_3:10; 6:1-19:6. See also Psa_2:5; Isa_2:10-22; Isa_13:9-16; Isa_24:21-23; Isa_26:20-21; Isa_34:1-17; Isa_43:1-6; Isa_49:15-24; Jer_25:29-38; Eze_30:3; Amo_5:18-20; Oba_1:15-21; Zep_1:7-18; Zec_12:1-14; Zec_14:1-4; Mal_4:1-4.

(The Tribulation) is the period known as Daniel’s seventieth week (Dan_9:24-27), the order of events being the same in Daniel as in Matthew 24 and in 2 Thessalonians 2. The final week or heptad is seven years in duration, which is proved by the fact that it was exactly 69×7 years between the order to rebuild Jerusalem and the cutting off of Messiah. This remaining seventieth “week” of years belongs to Israel’s age and will be characterized by the same general conditions as obtained in the past Jewish age. The time is to be shortened a little (Mat_24:22). It is known as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer_30:4-7) out of which Israel will be saved. The great tribulation is the time of God’s unavoidable judgments on a Christ-rejecting world (Psa_2:5). It is characterized by:

  1. The removal of the Holy Spirit together with the Church from the Earth (2Th_2:7).
  2. The casting of Satan into, thus restricting him to, the Earth (Rev_12:9-12).
  3. The development of sin which was hitherto restrained (2Th_2:11).
  4. The rule of the man of sin (Joh_5:43).
  5. Termination by the second coming of Christ, the battle of Armageddon, and the smiting stone of Daniel 2.”

Revelation and Rapture Distinctions

A wrong division of the Bible will not tolerate making a distinction between the Lord’s return to Israel with the church Body, or His return for us preceding Israel’s Tribulation – an event prophesied for Israel in the latter days (Deut. 4:30-31). From the beginning when Moses first announced it, there has never been any mention of or allusion to the Body of Christ because we didn’t exist except as a mystery in the complexities of God’s heavenly program. Bear in mind, the God who created us as a provisional mystery during this prophecy interim, had already planned our mystery escape before the prophecy clock would resume for Israel. It is known as the Rapture and as we’ll see, it is as distinct from the Revelation as the Body of Christ is from the nation Israel.

Study Scripture. The Revelation was a well-attested future hope of Israel with a progressive prophetic basis for understanding. The Rapture, however, is a mystery [4] NOT known by the prophets and only revealed to the Body of Christ by Paul.

The Revelation of Christ involves His return to Israel and Earth. The Rapture by Christ involves Jesus taking the Body of Christ to heaven. Currently Israel awaits the final seven years of Daniel’s prophecy followed by the Kingdom (Dan. 7), the Body of Christ looks for Christ our Deliverer who promised to take us to Heaven (John 14:2-3; see 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 3:10;). The removal of the church Body via the Rapture will occur once “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25), allowing the prophecy clock to resume at Daniel’s 70th week where Israel’s Tribulation and the final preparations for the Kingdom can once again get underway following the Revelation of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. “But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel” (2 Chronicles 6:6).

Now let’s ask ourselves a question: Why is this even disputed?

In a sentence, conflation lends confusion, which leads to contention. Paul’s warning is direct, “But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile” (Romans 2:8-9).

The Revelation is Prophecy for Israel

What we are witnessing today is a mixing together of the prophecy program for Israel with the mystery program for the church Body and posturing against the differences. I’m reluctant to admit (from sheer embarrassment) the vast numbers of Bible teachers who are not only acrimonious adversaries of the mystery (study carefully the destructive outcome of this- 2 Pet. 3:15-17) [5], they are stubbornly combative in their opposition to it, even though Scripture is very clear about the two distinct program outcomes of prophecy and mystery. Prophecy is for Israel progressively revealed by the mouth of God’s holy prophets since the world began (Acts. 3:21). The Revelation – known by Christians as the Second Coming – is part of Israel’s established prophecy program. Dr. Rice writes: “There is more said in the Bible about the second coming than there is about the first coming. The restoration of Israel, the putting down of evil, the establishment of a reign of righteousness, the end of war, the end of disease-all these wait on the return of Christ. The events of prophecy cluster around, precede, or follow the return of the Saviour.” (The Second Coming of Christ in Daniel, 1935). It concerns Israel’s future Kingdom in the “ages to come” and her King, the Messiah (Psa. 102:16; Isa. 66:15-18; Dan. 7:13-14; Zech. 14:3-4; etc).

Messiah’s coming to Earth of course originated with God’s servants the prophets and centers around the establishment of the Davidic Covenant Kingdom in Jerusalem. Progressive revelation teaches us it will occur at the completion of Israel’s Tribulation (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:29) also known as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7), Daniel’s seventieth week (Daniel 9:24-27, “the day of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:12; 13:6,9; 34:8; Jeremiah 46:10, etc), a “time of trouble” (Dan. 12:1), and “the hour of temptation” (Rev. 3:10). This Revelation of the Messiah to Israel was well known; the Rapture of the Body of Christ – a mystery hidden from the prophets – was NOT.

The Distinction and Description of Messiah’s Revelation to Israel:

The Revelation of the Messiah is a monumental event witnessed and experienced by the world (Rev. 1:7). Study carefully the Revelation verses below in their relation to Rapture verses because the prophets NEVER described the Revelation in the fashion Paul described the Rapture. In an article entitled The Glorious Appearing of Christ, Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost wrote: “When the Son returns in glory (Rev. 1:13-16 He is fulfilling His God given role as Judge (John 5:27). He is portrayed in that role throughout the book of Revelation. Christ is the one (Rev. 5:5) who looses the series of judgments described in the breaking of the seals (Rev. 6:1-17) and the blowing of the trumpets (Rev. 8:2-9:21) . . .  Upon the Second Coming, He will assemble living Israel for judgment (Matt. 24:31; 25:1-30) and will judge living Gentiles to determine who will enter the covenanted kingdom.”

Here are some of the prophetic Revelation verses describing this event

1 Chronicles 16:33 “Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the Earth.”

Job 19:25-26 “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the Earth:  (26)  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:”

Psalms 50:3-6 “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.  (4)  He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the Earth, that he may judge his people.  (5)  Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.  (6)  And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.”

Psalms 96:13 “Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the Earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.”

Psalms 102:16 “When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.”

Isaiah 26:21 “For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the Earth for their iniquity: the Earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”

Isaiah 66:15-18 “For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.  (16)  For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.  (17)  They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.  (18)  For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.”

Daniel 7:13-14 “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  (14)  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

Zechariah 14:4-5, 9 “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.  (5)  And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the Earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.  (9)  And the LORD shall be king over all the Earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.”

Matthew 24:29-31 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:  (30)  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the Earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  (31)  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

1 Thessalonians 2:19 “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?”

Jude 1:14-15 “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, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

Revelation 1:7  “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the Earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”

Revelation 19:11-15 “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  (12)  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  (13)  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  (14)  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  (15)  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”

The Rapture is a Mystery for the Body of Christ

The church Body is a mystery that was unknown to the prophets (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:1-9). Since they didn’t know about us, never mentioned us, and there isn’t a verse anywhere in Scripture indisputably identifying us here, how could we possibly be included in Israel’s Tribulation with God’s elect Israel (Isa. 45:4) and the unsaved nations of the world?

Answer: We aren’t! God shrouded the Body of Christ in mystery (Rom. 16:25). The Rapture is a mystery event experienced by the mystery church Body alone.

The distinct Rapture description – including its imminency – from Paul

I had to laugh some time ago when I was involved in a very heated “discussion” with a delusional anti-PreTrib man who charged me with being a “stinking liberal” for believing in the PreTrib rapture. Excuse me, while believing in the imminent rapture doesn’t itself make a person conservative, I’ve never found in 40 years one liberal that is PreTrib.

Let’s look at some verses discussing the Rapture of the church Body of Christ

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  (52)  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Galatians 1:4 “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver (pluck out, rescue- Strongs) us from (ek) [6] this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:”

Philippians 3:20-21 “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  (21)  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

Philippians 4:5 “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”

1 Thessalonians 1:10 “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18  (13) “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  (14)  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  (15)  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  (16)  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  (17)  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  (18)  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

1 Thessalonians 5:9 “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”

1 Thessalonians 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 “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.”

2 Thessalonians 3:5 “And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.”

1 Timothy 6:14  That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 Timothy 2:18 “Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.”

2 Timothy 4:1 “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing (Rapture) and his kingdom (Revelation)”

2 Timothy 4:8 “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”.

QUICK COMMENT: Second Timothy 4:8 is a very compelling proof that the church Body will be removed BEFORE Israel’s Tribulation because it promises a “crown of righteousness” (2 Tim. 4:8) for all who “love His appearing”. Now think about this! Who in their right mind wouldn’t love and long for His appearing if they had to endure the persecution, plundering, pillaging and possible torture and martyrdom facing Earth dwellers during Israel’s Tribulation bloodbath? This fact alone would render this crown worthless! Titus 2:13 “Looking for that blessed hope, [7] and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” 

Chart: Rapture and the Revelation

RAPTURE

Unrevealed and not predicted in O.T. Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:51 – “mystery” compare Eph. 3:9 – “which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God”)
Christ comes in the air (1 Thess. 4:16-17)
Christ comes for His saints (1 Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-56) and returns to Heaven (John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:14).
Christ claims His bride (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-27)

Only His own people see Him (1 Thess. 4:17-18; Phil. 3:20; Titus 2:13)

 

A wedding ceremony will occur following this coming (Rev. 19:7; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-27)

 

Christ coming as the bright and morning star (Rev. 22:16)
Translation of living believers to Heaven (1 Cor. 15:51-52; John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18)

A time of blessing and comfort (1 Thess. 4:18; 5:11)
Earth not judged (John 14:3; 1 Cor. 15:51-53; 2 Thess. 2:1 – no mention of judgment)

 

Imminent (any moment), signless – (Phil. 3:20; 4:5; Titus 2:13; 1 Cor. 16:22; Rev. 3:11; 22:12. 20)

 

Believers only are involved with this coming (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor.15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18)
Occurs before God’s wrath  (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:4, 9; Rev. 3:10 – “keep thee from the hour”)
Marks the commencement of God’s day of wrath on Earth (1 Thess. 5:1-9).
Tribulation begins following this coming (1 Thess. 1:10; 2 Thess. 2:1-3; Rev. 3:10; Rev. 6-19)

No mention of Satan (1 Thess. 4:13-18)

 REVELATION

Revealed and predicted often in O.T. Scriptures (Isa. 9:7; 11:4; 26:19-21; 63:1-4; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:9-12; Zech. 14:1-9; Ma. 4:2-3)

Christ comes back to Earth (Zech. 14:4)
Christ comes with His saints (Zech. 14:5; 1 Thess. 3:13; Jude 14) and returns to Earth (Rev. 19:11-14).
Christ comes with His bride (Rev. 19:7-9; 11-14)

Every eye shall see Him – visible to entire world (Matt. 24:27; Rev. 1:7)

 

A wedding feast will occur following this coming (Rev. 19:9; Matt. 22:1-14; Lk. 14:12-24; Isa 25:6)

 

 

Christ comes as the sun of righteousness (Malachi 4:2)
Transfer of unbelievers to judgment (Matt. 24:37-41; 25:31-46; 13:41-42; 3:11-12)

A time of Earthly destruction and judgment (2 Thess. 2:8-12; Matt. 24:51; 25:46)
Earth judged (Rev. 16:14-20; 19:15; Isa. 11:4)

 

Follows definite predicted signs (signs occurring during Israel’s Tribulation Period – Matt. 24:29-34)
All humanity is affected by this coming (Matt. 24:1-25:46 – Israel and Gentile nations)

 

Occurs “after the Tribulation of those days” (Matt. 24:29-30) – 7 years later
Marks the culmination of God’s day of wrath on Earth (Joel 2:31; Rev. 19:15)

Millennium begins following this coming (Rev. 20:1-3; Matt. 13:41-43; Daniel 7:13-14; 12:2-3)

Satan is bound (Rev. 20:1-3)

 

Paul’s Mystery

When Paul introduced the mystery rapture, he did so as a well-educated duly connected ex-member of the powerful, prestigious Jewish Sanhedrin and graduate of the tutelage of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). This is where he received an extensive study of the prophets and OT Law including the hope of a future resurrection (Psalm 2:5-9; Isa. 2:1-4; 26:19-21; Dan. 12:2; see his commentary in 1 Cor. 15). This hope – aside from the liberal Sadducees (Matt. 22:23) and their followers – continued to dominate religious thinking on through the time of Christ (John 11:24).

With unassailable educational credentials, Paul unveiled the Rapture resurrection of the church as a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51-53; see 1 Thess. 4:13-18), to the mystery people (the Body of Christ)- (Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12, 27; Eph. 3:3-9; 5:32). This he revealed as part of the dispensation of the mystery we are now in (Eph. 3:2-4; see also Romans 11:25; 16:25; First Corinthians 2:7; 15:51; Ephesians 1:9; 3:3,4,9; 5:32; 6:19; Colossians 1:26,27; 2:2; 4:3; 1 Timothy 3:9). All who know Christ when He returns will go with Him back to Heaven (John 14:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). Question: Are you sure you know Christ as your Saviour and Lord? If not, ask Him into your life today.

The Galatian Judaizers

Paul made much of the distinction between his gospel (good news) message and that of his predecessors with claims he received it by special revelation (Gal. 1:11-12; see Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:3). With that, he taught a distinct separation between the nation Israel and the Body of Christ and that our salvation in Christ excluded the pronouncements made in Israel’s Law and prophecy specifically to her, because our dispensation is distinctly[8] “not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). These prophecies include Israel’s Tribulation given her in time past to occur in the ages to come – aka the latter days (Deut. 4:30; see progressive revelation in Isaiah; Jeremiah; Dan. 9:24-27; Joel; Zeph 1; etc). The Body of Christ was NOT known to the prophets who never mentioned us. We have to be removed BEFORE this chaos begins.

A reference to this appears in Paul’s letter to the Galatian church – troubled by Judaizers trying to force God’s plan for Israel upon the Body of Christ just as many false teachers do today. He wrote, “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver [Strong’s: Grk exaireō means to tear out; pluck out, rescue] us from [Strong’s: Grk this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father” (Galatians 1:4). Although this can be interpreted as an act of separation from the world, comparing Scripture with Scripture as a hermeneutic requisite provides some interesting PreTrib rapture consistency:

  • The Restrainer (Holy Spirit) will be taken out of (Grk: ek) the way (2 Thess. 2:7)[9]
  • Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from (Grk. ek) the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the Earth” (Revelation 3:10).

Daniel, prophecy and the Revelation

Daniel’s book predicts events swirling around the end times leading to the Revelation of Jesus Christ. The Gentile nations as well as Israel are clearly identified then appear later in Revelation, the fulfillment. Currently the prophecy clock awaits resumption at the 70th week. This cannot happen with the church body on earth because Scripture reveals God never operates simultaneously in His programs. Israel’s Tribulation is part of the prophecy program predicted to her as a prerequisite to the Kingdom, therefore the clock can’t resume while the mystery Body of Christ is here.

To further confirm our absence, God’s word proves the church Body of Christ is NEVER MENTIONED anywhere on earth during this time. While this alone should convince our opponents, it hasn’t. They continue pumping out propaganda in books quoting one another while ignoring this truth. Verify this for yourself. There are admittedly “words” that could be interpreted to be the Body of Christ, contextual use disqualifies it as inconclusive. Therefore, the only deduction making sense is that the church Body which appeared as a mystery (Rom. 16:25) after Daniel’s prophecy clock stopped after the 69th week must be removed in a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51; see 2 Thess. 2:7) in order to restart that prophecy clock at the 70th week.

That event is imminent; it’s the Rapture of the church in the heavenlies by Christ and it removes us before Antichrist [10] is revealed and the time of Jacob’s trouble begins with the signing of a seven year covenant of peace (2 Thess 2:6-8; see Dan. 9:27).

Chart: distinctions between Israel and the Church

 

Israel, a Nation Church, a Body
Prophecy – Earth Mystery – Heaven
Gospel of the Kingdom Gospel of Grace
Prophets of Israel Apostle to the Gentiles (Paul)
Focus on Israel Focus on the Church
Revelation with the Church

(to deliver Israel from Antichrist enemies and establish the Millennial kingdom)

Rapture for the Church

(to deliver us from Israel’s  Tribulation and bring us to Christ in Heaven- John 14:1-3)

Trumpet of angels (Mt 24:31) Trumpet of God (1 Thess. 4:16; Rev 4:1)
Gathering together on Earth

(Mt 24:31; 25:32-33; Mk 13:27)

Catching up into heaven
(1 Thess. 4:17)
He sends His angels to gather the elect

(Mt 24:31; Mt 25:31-32)

The Lord personally gathers His Church
(John 14:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:15-17)
All who survive Israel’s Tribulation

(Mt 25:31-33)

Only the saved
(1 Thess. 4:14)
Trumpet without voice
(Mt 24:31)
Voice of the archangel
(1 Thess. 4:16)
To the Earth (Zech 14:4) In the air (1 Thess. 4:17)
Both sheep and goats are gathered

(Mt 25:31-33)

Only saints are gathered
(1 Thess. 4:14-17)
Signs abound

(Mt 24; Mk 13:24; Acts 2:17-21)

No signs

(Titus 2:13; 1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-5:3)

A horrible time where all tribes mourn

(Joel 2; Rev 1:7)

A blessed hope and comfort

(John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:18; Titus 2:13

All who are alive at this time on Earth
(Mt 24:26; Rev 19:11-16)
Them which sleep, we which are alive
(1 Thess. 4:15-17; 1 Cor. 15:51)
No mention of resurrection of church saints, only Tribulation saints (Mt 24-25; Rev 20:4) Resurrection of dead church saints

(1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:16)

Comes on a horse (Rev 19:11-16) Comes on His own (1 Thess. 4:16)
The elect are on Earth

(Mt 24-25)

The Church is in Heaven

(Rev 1:12;20 cp. 4:1-5; 19:7-9)

Sheep and goat judgment

(Mt 25:31-33)

Judgment Seat of Christ

(Rom 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10)

Gathered from four winds (Mk 13:27) Gathered unto the Lord (1 Thess. 4:17)
Separation of mortal people for entrance into the Kingdom (Mt 25:31-36) Translation of saints into immortality

(1 Cor. 15:51-53)

Christ returns with His saints (Zech 12:5; 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; Jude 14-15) Christ returns for His saints

(1 Thess. 4:16)

A well-known fact Called a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51)
Leaves them on the Earth

(Mt 25:31-34; Rev 20:6-7)

Takes us to Heavenly mansions

(John 14:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18)

Israel and Gentiles are judged according to works (Mt 25:31-46) Church judged for rewards

(1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10)

Not a friendly encounter

(2 Thess. 1:7-8; Jude 14-15; Rev 19:11-21)

Meet  the Lord on friendly terms

(1 Thess. 4:17)

 

[1] And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:31)

[2] Here is an expressive listing of OT and NT references to the Kingdom: 2 Sam. 7:16; Psalm 85; 86:9; 89; Isa 2:2-4; 11; 14; 35; 52; 60; 62; 65; Jer 33; Ezek 33:21-36:38; 34:11-31; 37:21-28; 40-48; Dan. 2:44; 7:13-14, 26-27; Hos 3; Amos 9; Micah 4-5; Zech 2:4-13; 8; 9:10; 14:9; Matt. 25:34; Rev 11:15; 20:1-7.

[3] For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion (Isa. 34:8).  For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates (Jer. 46:10).

[4] The definition of the word mystery given by Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of English Words is “a profound secret; something wholly unknown or something kept cautiously concealed, and therefore exciting curiosity or wonder . . . in religion, anything in the character or attributes of God, or in the economy of divine providence, which is not revealed to man.” Both the Body of Christ and the Rapture fit this description perfectly.

[5] And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (2 Peter 3:15-17)

[6] Ek is also used in Rev. 3:10 by the Lord in His promise to the Philadelphia church: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from (ek) the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the Earth.”

[7] In a ten point PreTrib Rapture apologetic article, brother Geoffrey Grider, Editor of Now the End Begins, offers this: THE RAPTURE IS THE ‘BLESSED HOPE’ WHILE THE SECOND COMING IS A DAY TO BE GREATLY FEARED. We start with this one first because it is the one difference most overlooked in a study of the differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming. In Titus 2:13, talking about the Rapture, Paul calls it “the Blessed Hope”, a day of great comfort and joy. But in Amos 5:18, talking about the Day of the Lord, which is in fact the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, God tells us that it is a day of “great woe”, and greatly to be feared! Now, how can the Rapture and the Second Coming possibly be the same? Read Joel 3 for more on the ferocity and woefulness of the Second Coming. Paul calls the Rapture of the Church the “day of Christ”. The Second Coming is called the “day of the Lord”. The day of Christ is to be looked forward to, the Day of the Lord to be feared. If you are someone who believes the Bible, then I could stop this article right here as I have established my case well beyond the shadow of any doubt, reasonable or otherwise. But for  you who are ” fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” then we have added another 9 rock-solid reasons why the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ cannot be the same event. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV) – The Rapture

“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.” 2 Thessalonians 2:2 (KJV) – The Rapture

“Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.” Amos 5:18 (KJV) – The Second Coming (Revelation)

“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” Isaiah 13:9 (KJV) – The Second Coming (revelation). Source: http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/the-bible-believers-guide-to-understanding-the-differences-between-the-rapture-and-the-second-coming/

[8] A dispensation is simply a period of time whereby God deals with man differently than in other periods. Example, Adam was told NOT to eat from a particular tree; Noah was told to build an ark; Abraham was told to go to Canaan, and so forth.

[9] May I reiterate by comparing Scripture with Scripture. The Greek word for “out of” Paul used here is “ek” which is the same Greek word the Lord Jesus used in Rev. 3:10 when promising to keep the church “from the hour of temptation” we know to be the tribulation (Deut. 4:30; Jer. 30-31; etc.

[10]Antichrist, aka the beast. This “Beast” is the “little horn” of (Dan_7:24-26), and “desolator” of (Dan_9:27), the “abomination of desolation” of (Mat_24:15), the “man of sin” of (2Th_2:4-8), Earth’s last and most awful tyrant, Satan’s fell instrument of wrath and hatred against God and the Jewish saints. He is, perhaps, identical with the rider on the white horse of (Rev_6:2), who begins by the peaceful conquest of three of the ten kingdoms into which the former Roman empire will then be divided, but who soon establishes the ecclesiastical and governmental tyranny described in Daniel 7, 9, 11; Revelation 13. To him, Satan gives the power which he offered to Christ. (Mat_4:8); (Mat_4:9); (Rev_13:4). (Old Scofield Study Bible)

It’s Israel’s Tribulation after all

Dr. Mike Johnston

The tribulation – as it is most commonly known (Moses: Deut. 4:30; Jesus: Matt. 24:21, 29; and John: Rev. 7:14) – is also called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15), and “the hour of temptation” (Rev. 3:10. From beginning to end, it is prophesied to Israel (Deut. 4:30), and primarily for Israel (Jer. 30-31; Dan. 12:1, Zeph. 1:15; Matt. 24:21, 29). Its purpose is to punish sin and sinners, and prepare earth and Israel for the Revelation of the Messiah and the Jewish Davidic Kingdom following (2 Sam. 7:16; Isa. 11; 65; Matt. 25:34; Rev. 20). While the prophets revealed the tribulation as a horrific but integral component in the Day of the Lord (Isa. 2:12, etc ), it was Daniel’s prophecy where its duration was revealed as the final week of seven years in his seventy week prophecy (Dan. 9:24-27; see Rev. 11:2-3; 12:14). To wit, while we can easily find Israel and the anti-Semitic Gentile nations on earth during “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15), 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). In fact, since God’s inspired prophets never mentioned or associated the Body of Christ with Israel’s tribulation one time, it would appear every attempt to place us here during this time is nothing short of an agenda driven attack on “the blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) demonstrably devoid of integrity and Biblical authority. In summary, there isn’t a prophecy or a single verse anywhere in the Bible conclusively identifying 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. In lieu of this, we are convinced that the Body of Christ will not go through Israel’s tribulation!

Israel is God’s Preeminent Nation on Earth

Cover

Dr. Mike Johnston

3 Israel is God’s Preeminent Nation on Earth

“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).

The greatest obstacle to Biblical exegesis comes from not recognizing the division between God’s prophecy program for Israel and mystery program for the Body of Christ. In fact, until one understands this, they will depreciate Israel’s Earthly preeminence by mixing the two programs together which leads to hermeneutic chaos.

Understanding right division God placed in Scripture is a prerequisite to arriving at right conclusions. To begin with, Israel is God’s only Covenant nation (Ex. 19:5; Psa. 119:9). She enjoys a divinely appointed exclusivity not shared with any other nation on the planet. She is elect (Isa. 45:4), she is a peculiar treasure (Ex. 19:5; Deut. 14:2; Psa. 135:4; 1 Pet. 2:9), and she is blessed and protected (Gen. 12:2-3). [1] Treating Israel maliciously [2] is the equivalent of touching the apple of His eye (Zech. 2:8). No other nation has enjoyed Israel’s rich Earthly history and no other nation can claim her glorious Earthly future. Israel is special in every way.

Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer concurs,

“An elect, 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.” (Systematic Theology, 1948)

Israel was Chosen for a Kingdom

“The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the Earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee” (Deuteronomy 28:9-10).

“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 …” (2 Samuel 7:23)?

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:5-6).

“Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both” (Zechariah 6:13).

Prophecy proves Israel is very special to God, and His prophets have always guided and guarded her (Amos 3:7; Luke 1:70; Acts 3:12-26). Beginning in Genesis and continuing through the first half of Acts [3] – a prophetic pattern is progressively dispensed [4] regarding the Earthly Jewish kingdom and Israel’s Messiah King. Here’s an overview of God’s prophecy program leading to Israel’s Kingdom.

  1. An Earthly Kingdom has been on God’s agenda from the beginning (Gen. 1-2; Jer. 23:5-6; Matt. 25:34).
  2. God’s will and His Word have been revealed through God’s inspired servants the prophets (2 Kings 9:7; 17:13; Ezra 9:11; see especially Amos 3:7).
  3. Israel exists from prophecy spoken by the mouth of His holy prophets since the world began (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21).
  4. God chose and Covenanted with Abraham (Gen. 15:18; 17:1-14) commissioning him as prophet (Gen. 20:7) and the father of Israel (Gen. 17:5; Deut. 9:5; Matt. 3:9; Luke 1:55; etc) whereby blessing would flow through his family, from His calling to her Kingdom (Gen. 12:1-8; 13:14-18; 15; 17; see Ex. 19:5; etc). [Jesus is the ultimate blessing].
  5. Over the years, God expanded the Abrahamic Covenantfour times to include Kingdom laws (Ex. 20:1 – 31:18);  land (Deut. 30:1-10); and a Jewish born King with a New Covenant Constitution for the Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:8-16; Matt. 5-7; Jer. 31:31-40).
  6. God specified Israel’s Kingdomwould commence following a 490 year prophecy of seventy weeks of seven years broken into two parts: 483 years and 7 years that the nation Israel herself must fulfill (Dan. 9:24-27).
  7. “When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4) who offered Israel her Kingdom, and was rejected precisely at the end of the 69th week just as Daniel prophesied (Luke 1:32-33; Matt. 4:17; Dan. 9:244-26).
  8. Israel has been diminished (Rom. 11:12) and exists today in spiritual blindness (Rom. 11:25). As such, Daniel’s seventieth weekis currently on hold until “he who now letteth … be taken out of the way” (2 Thess. 2:7) which will occur when “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25) and “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph 1:15) aka Israel’s Tribulation (Deut. 4:30-31; Matt. 24:21, 29; Rev. 7:14) begins.
  9. The Revelation of JesusChrist occurs in Israel immediately “after Israel’s Tribulation of those days” (Matt. 24:29) to consummate the Covenant’s by inaugurating the thousand year Millennial Kingdom in Jerusalem (2 Sam. 7:8-16; Ezek. 34:11-31; Zech. 14; Rev. 19:11-20:7).
  10. With Israel’s Covenants fulfilled concerning the Kingdom – and bear in mind they MUST BE – eternity will begin.

Right Division and Israel’s Kingdom

When the Word is rightly divided, we find that it is Israel, not the church, that was promised a coming kingdom of heaven [5] which occupied much of the preaching of the prophets (Luke 1:68-80; Acts 3:12-26), John the Baptist, Christ and the twelve disciples (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 10:7; see Gal. 2:7-9). It will one day emerge in fulfillment of the unconditional Davidic Covenant which was built upon the Abrahamic (Gen. 17). Prophecy – via progressive mention or revelation – reveals this kingdom will last on Earth 1000 years (revealed in Rev. 20:2-7) of unprecedented peace (Micah 4:2-4; Isaiah 32:17-18), joy (Isaiah 61:7, 10), comfort (Isaiah 40:1-2), prosperity, and health (Amos 9:13-15; Joel 2:28-29). It’s location is Jerusalem, the blessed Zion of God (Isa. 30:19).

It’s important, therefore, that we understand God’s purpose for Earth – revealed thoroughly in prophecy – is a kingdom in Israel: “All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints [Jews] shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. (Psalms 145:10-13 – my comment in brackets).

Prophecy for Earth ——————->Kingdom in Israel

Time past Ages to come
Genesis – John Hebrews – Revelation
1st Coming of Christ to Israel 2nd Coming of Christ to Israel
King and Kingdom rejected King and Kingdom received

Prophecy tells us the glorious appearance of the Messiah to Earth [6] to establish Israel’s kingdom under the lineage of David in the city of Jerusalem (Isa. 24:23; Mic. 4:7).

The fact is, the inauguration of Israel’s Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:8-16) has been in the works for thousands of years. The Lord Jesus revealed its commencement following what’s termed “the sheep and goat judgment”: “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). Therefore, when studying the Kingdom, keep in mind the following factors revealed by God through the prophets:

  • It is for Israel that the Earthly kingdom was “prepared from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34) and through whom the Messiah was born and to whom He was presented, rejected, and yet one day will return to fulfill the Lord Jesus’s prophetic prayer, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in Earth…” (Matt. 6:10).
  • It is to Israel the Lord Jesus explained this Davidic CovenantKingdom will be inaugurated following His visible Revelation in Jerusalem (Matt. 24; see Zech. 14; Rev. 1:7; 19:11-21) “immediately after the Tribulation” (Matt. 24:21, 29). [7]
  • It is Israel to whom God’s prophets presented five covenants [8] guiding and guaranteeing her future on Earth, including a lineage, land, laws, and a Lord – King – that began with the Abrahamic Covenant(Gen. 15:18) and will continue through the Millennium.

In our next section, we’ll learn that Israel’s Kingdom is Earth’s destiny and five unilateral Covenants guarantee this by leading Israel from her calling to the Kingdom.

Israel’s 5 Covenants
Guide and Guarantee her Kingdom

Purposes for Israel and the promises God made with Israel are hers exclusively and everlastingly. [i] These are unveiled beginning with the calling of Abrahamic and the first Jewish Covenant. From there, five Covenants tell the story of God’s forever-elect Israel. While scant numbers of Bible students have stopped to realize this, fewer have really factored in just what this means. Below is a summary of the five covenants and their relationship to the coming King and Kingdom in Israel. [9]

The Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:1-4; 13:14-17; 15; 17:1-8) – the Kingdom Family is Chosen

“In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates … And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after” (Genesis 15:18; 17:7). [10]

This Covenant is the foundation of all 5 Covenants. In seed form, it provided blessing for the nation Israel from which the Kingdom would come. By divine decree, Abraham received posterity, prosperity, perpetuity, and property which included the title deed to the land of Canaan, future home of the Earthly kingdom. The blessing of Israel to the world notwithstanding, Christianity owes everything to this Covenant. The prophets of God, the majority of writers of the inerrant Word (the Bible), and foremost on the list our precious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ have all come through God’s Covenant with Abraham.

While Israel has violated this Covenant with Abraham many times, it has never been revoked. It played a major prophetic role in Christ’s first coming (Luke 1:72; Acts 3:24-25) and has often served as the basis for God rescuing Israel. “If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.” (Leviticus 26:40-42) (see Ezekiel 16:60)

The Mosaic Covenant (Ex. 20:1 – 31:18) – the Kingdom Nation is Assembled and its Laws are Enacted

Kingdom Laws written on tables of stone will during the Kingdom be written in the fleshly tables of the heart.

Abraham believed God which was imputed to him for righteousness. The Law was given through Moses as its mediator for the purpose of governing Israel’s (national) relationship with God. It was mainly made up of (a) the commandments, the express will of God, (b) the judgments, the social and civic life of Israel, (c) and the ordinances. This system ceased when the mystery Body convened and the Temple was destroyed. Once the mystery church is taken in the mystery rapture, Daniel’s seventieth week will begin and this legal system will again be in place and the third temple will be rebuilt to host sacrificial Levitical Judaism (Dan. 9:27; 2 Thess. 2:4).

The Land Covenant (Deut. 30:1-10) – Title Deed to Kingdom Land is Guaranteed

It is an unconditional guarantee that Israel’s Kingdom will be located in the Covenant land [11] of Israel. This is a great assurance given the aggressive actions by the UN and Islamic nations who are trying to steal Jerusalem from Israel (study Zech. 12-14).

“And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers” (Deuteronomy 30:5-9).

Israel was driven from Jerusalem in 70 AD by Roman armies destroying the city and the Temple. In the latter days God promises to restore her to the land – including a third temple (2 Thess. 2:4) – and the commensurate blessing given Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the original Covenant (see Deut. 4:30-31; Lev. 26:42; Ezek. 16:60; etc). We see this coming to pass on May 14, 1948 when Israel once again became a functioning nation poised for her prophetic future. [12]Praise the Lord!

The Davidic Covenant  (2 Sam. 7:4-16; 1 Chron. 17:3-15) – the Kingdom and the King’s seed are established in Perpetuity

God promised David in perpetuity that his seed – ultimately the Lord Jesus – would occupy a perpetual throne in Jerusalem.

“(David) He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. (2 Samuel 7:13-16)

The New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-40)
– the Kingdom people in their Kingdom land, with the King’s Seed on the throne obeying Kingdom Laws now written on the heart

It is a New Covenant with Israel in contrast with the old (Mosaic, “which they broke,” Jer. 31:32). Christ Jesus is the Mediator (in His blood) of this New Covenant which was inaugurated at the cross and is described in Scripture as, “enacted on better promises” (Heb. 8:6). The Mediator of this covenant has become, for all mankind, “the source of eternal salvation” (Heb. 5:9) to all who obey Him; as well as the cornerstone and Head of the Church (Eph. 2:20-22; Col. 1:18; Eph. 5:23) which is being built during this dispensation; individuals called out from both Jews and Gentiles alike. Ultimately and literally, this new covenant with its unconditional and eternal blessings will be established with NATIONAL Israel at Christ’s second advent to Earth. Now before discussing His second advent, let’s discuss His first.

God’s Prophets Progressively Reveal
Israel’s King and Kingdom

Prophecy concerns Israel primarily (Hos. 12:10; Luke 1:70; 24:25; Acts 3:21). It is to Israel the Lord speaks, “Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the Earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted” (Isaiah 49:8-11).

“Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet …

(Jesus Christ) shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Matthew 1:22; Luke 1:32-33). The Lord Jesus revealed that this Kingdom has been a major component in God’s prophecy program for Earth since creation: “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you [13] from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).

Israel’s Kingdom is God’s plan revealed to the prophets and initially revealed in part to Abraham. When God promised to bless Abraham as a blessing to the world, Christ was in view. When the Lord Jesus appeared in Israel offering the Kingdom, Israel’s leaders mocked and maligned His ministry and message while devising what they hoped would be a final plan for destroying both.  Notwithstanding, Christ perfectly fulfilled all prophecy [14] about His first coming and He will fulfill all prophecy about His seconding coming just as literally. He was and is God in the flesh (Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Matt. 1:23; John 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:16; etc). In that capacity, He is the Premier Personage (Gen. 3:15; Deut. 18:15-19) of Scripture, seen in every one of the 66 inerrant books. Christ was incarnated on Earth (Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Matt. 1:23) for Israel as the representative of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 15-17; Acts 3:13) to fulfill the Davidic Covenant (Matt. 4:17) to be administered under a New Covenant (Jer. 31:31; Heb. 8:8-13; 12:24) in the coming Kingdom.

Jesus Conducted Messianic Ministry to Israel

The Lord Jesus – of all who have ever lived on Earth – understood the difference between Israel and the Body of Christ. His ministry purpose spotlighted His nation. However, Bible teachers – pastors included – often open the Bible at Matthew and begin misleading their congregants with Kingdom teaching from Christ that while profitable for us is NOT personally to us. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer adds some forceful clarity here:

“There is a very dangerous and entirely baseless sentiment abroad which assumes that every teaching of Jesus must be binding during this age simply because He said it. The fact is forgotten that the Lord Jesus, while living under, keeping, and applying the Law of Moses, also taught the principles of His future Kingdom, and, at the end of His ministry and in relation to His Cross, He also anticipated the teachings of grace. If this threefold division of the teachings of Jesus is not recognized, there can be nothing but confusion of mind and consequent contradiction of truth” (cited by Miles Stanford in his article, “The Teachings of the Kingdom”).

Understand. This Kingdom is covenanted to Israel and although Jesus is our Lord and Saviour by faith (Rom. 10:9-10, 13), He is uniquely the Jew’s Messiah. He was manifest at a time designated by God through prophecy (Matt. 2:23; Gal. 4:4). “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet” appears 14 times reinforcing all God promised (Matthew 1:22; 2:15,17,23; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; 13:35; 21:4; 22:31; 27:9,35; Acts 2:16; Romans 4:18). “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven [ii] is at hand … But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 4:17; 15:24).

So vividly significant was the Lord’s ministry to Israel that it was a shock to the disciples (Luke 18:31-34) when He explained His death and resurrection to them. In fact, Peter took Him and began to rebuke Him after which the Lord harshly corrected him(Mark 8:32-33). However, after Jesus revealed the mystery to Paul, he confirmed the Lord’s primary mission was to in fact to Israel, stating, “Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision[15] for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers” (Romans 15:8-itallics added).

Remember, until the shedding of blood, the Old Covenant was in force. Therefore, all of Christ’s ministry was conducted under an Old Testament setting underwritten by messages He preached concerning Israel’s Kingdom that when misunderstood leads to all manner of misapplication:

  • 4: Jesus began by preaching the Jewish Kingdom to Jews
  • 5-7: Jesus taught the principles of the Jewish Kingdom to Jews
  • 6:10: Jesus prayed “thy kingdom come . . . in Earth” in the presence of the Jews
  • 13: Jesus gave parables of the Jewish Kingdom to Jews
  • 21-23; 26-27: Jesus presented the Jewish Kingdom to Jews
  • 24-25: Jesus promised[16] He would return to establish the Jewish Kingdom to Jews. As a side note, in Matthew 24:29 the Lord predicted He would return to set up the Kingdom immediately after the time of Tribulation which originated in the prophecy program for Israel. When studied in context, Christ gave the Olivet Discourse to describe the holocaust in Jerusalemprior to His return. Even so, this single verse in Matthew 24:29 continues to be the premier “gotcha” moment used by anti-PreTrib proponents who ignore setting to advance their argument. Question: Since the Olivet Discourse is incessantly quoted to “prove” a post-Tribulation rapture, would it matter that the entire teaching was delivered from a strict Old Covenant setting where the Body of Christ wasn’t known and was never in view? If you answered no, then the remainder of this treatise will be meaningless because your study system is outcome based eisegesis rather than objective based exegesis.

Israel Diminished at
Rejection of Christ’s Kingdom

“Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, [17] And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the Earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities” (Acts 3:24-26; see Gen. 12:1-3; 22:18).

With the above in mind, remember that Daniel’s prophecy of 490 years (Dan. 9:24-27) was specifically to and for Israel, leading to the Kingdom. It codified for her a future involving seventy weeks [18] of seven years that must be fulfilled by Israel “thy people” (Dan. 9:24-27). Later, when Christ presented His Kingdom to the lost sheep of Israel in fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy, He was cut off at the seventieth week just as Daniel predicted (see Dan. 9:25-27), causing the diminishing and ultimate blindness of Israel (Rom. 11:12, 25) while leaving one week of seven years that according to the prophetic word must be fulfilled by Israel, “thy people” (Dan. 9:15, 16, 19, 24; 10:14; 12:1). Once again, prophecy verifies God’s message and messengers. Everything predicted about the first coming of the Lord Jesus came true. Therefore, if you had no more evidence than that, Christ’s incarnation on Earth and subsequent Kingdom offer provide proof of the absolute trustworthiness of the Bible. However, Israel rejected the pure and accepted the profane, ignoring God’s specific warnings such as this from Ezekiel, “Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity” (Ezekiel 5:11). Israel’s diminishing occurred after three corporate rejections of Christ and His Kingdom in Jerusalem before the High Priest.

Israel had three Davidic Covenant Kingdom offers

  • Jesus offered the Kingdom to Israel (Matt. 4-20, 22-27. Rejection beginning with the Triumphal entry (Matt. 21), by religious leaders (Matt 23), later by High Priest and elders (Matt. 26:3, 51, 57, 58, 62, 63, 65). Executed by crucifixion (27)
  • Peteroffered the Kingdom to Israel (Acts 2-4) Rejected by High Priest and religious leaders (Acts 4:1, 6, 23; 5:17, 21, 24, 27) Imprisoned (Acts 5; 12) and later executed by crucifixion

(from history, not recorded in the Bible)

  • Stephen offered the Kingdom to Israel (Acts 7). Rejected by High Priest, leaders, and people (Acts 7). Executed by stoning (Acts 7).

Paul observed the diminishing while extolling the result, which accrued to our benefit as a Body of Christ, “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness” (Romans 11:11-12)?

The Disciples’ Questions about the Covenant Kingdom

From the three kingdom offers and rejections we discussed in the previous section, Israel diminished with her prophetic destiny set aside (Dan. 9:24-27; Rom. 9-11). Make no mistake, Christ’s kingdom rejection and subsequent crucifixion landed a blow to His followers. However, it didn’t change Israel’s ultimate future, which was foremost on the minds of His closest disciples who continued to inquire about it right to the end.

First question(s) about the Kingdom

The disciples knew that the Earthly Covenant Kingdom in Israel is God’s program outlined by the prophets. They preached the Kingdom with Jesus for about three years or so. In the end, He was rejected and their hopes dashed. The Olivet Discourse was a private briefing to four of Jesus’ closest men: Peter, James, John, and Andrew (Mark 13:3) who asked Him concerning the establishment of the Kingdom just been rejected by the elders of Israel.

It bears noting that these men were patriotic Jewish converts following Christ. In simple understandable terms, they were recognized ministers of the circumcision aka the Jews – (Gal. 2:6-9), awaiting the Kingdom with many others (study Matthew – John; Acts 3). Keep in mind that Christ’s ministry to the disciples and Israel was Old Covenant and Kingdom oriented.

From the beginning, Christ sent these Disciples to the lost sheep of the house of Israel to preach the gospel of the kingdom and gospel of circumcision (Matt. 10:6-7). The fact is, when Jesus explained His death and resurrection, it came as a total shock to the disciples (Luke 18:31-34). Moreover, they knew NOTHING about the mystery Paul preached involving the Body of Christ (Rom. 16:25; Gal. 1:12; 2:6-9; Eph. 3:1-9; study Peter’s words carefully in 2 Pet. 3:15-17) so they were NOT concerned with it. Their focus was the national interests of Israel concerning Christ’s final return to establish the Davidic Covenant Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:8-16; Matt. 24:3; see Acts 1:3-6). Dr. William MacDonald stresses this: “We must remember that these Jewish disciples’ thinking revolved around the glorious age of the Messiah on Earth. They were not thinking about Christ’s coming for the church; they knew little if anything about this phase of His coming. Their expectation was His coming in power and glory to destroy His enemies and rule over the world.” (Believer’s Bible Commentary, 1995)

The setting – vital to exegesis – is very clear:

  • These four men were ministers of the circumcision (to Jews)
  • They were primarily concerned about the Earthly Covenant Kingdom promised to Israel
  • They knew nothing about the mystery Bodyof Christ revealed later to Paul (see Acts 9; study carefully Peter’s explanation and warning – 2 Pet. 3:15-17)

Therefore, unless gripped by an agenda, it’s incumbent upon us to be honest with the setting.

These Jewish patriots were pre-Pauline meaning they were primarily concerned about the Kingdom. Since that’s an established fact, why would the Lord Jesus insert information into His answer about the mystery Body of Christ that these men didn’t know about, didn’t ask about, and didn’t exist at the time anyway?

Answer, He wouldn’t. The fact is, these men were asking questions as Jews concerned about the future Davidic Covenant Kingdom up until the day He ascended.[19] In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus outlined the signs describing Israel’s Tribulation (Matt. 24:4-28), and His return at the conclusion of it to separate sheep from goats for the Kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world:

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, [see Appendices for a chart of these occurrences] and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the Earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other … When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 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 24:29-31; 25:31-34). [comments in brackets and bold emphasis are mine]

Final question about the Kingdom

The Book of Acts is transitional from prophecy to mystery and reveals the disciples with Christ at the end of His 40 day post-resurrection ministry. These men at this point were still pre-Pauline in their thinking. They knew nothing about the mystery Body of Christ (Gal. 1:12; 2:6-9; see also 2 Pet. 3:15-16) which wouldn’t be revealed until after Paul’s conversion (Acts 9). Their concern centered around Israel’s Kingdom grounded in the five Covenants promised to Jews (2 Sam. 7:8-16). In that setting, they asked:

“Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6)?

He told them to wait for the enabling power from on high (see Joel 2; Acts 1:8) to carry the kingdom message to the world (Matt. 28:19-20). Ten days later the power arrived.

Joel’s prophecy to Israel [20] was fulfilled in Jerusalem on Pentecost (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:17-21) signaling the last days had begun. With the kingdom message fresh on his heart, and overflowing with the fire of the Holy Spirit, Peter preached a soul-stirring message to the Jews: Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem (Acts 2:14) highlighting prophecies regarding the Messiah King Christ in OT history.

While some repented, the leaders did not and hope for ratifying the Covenant of the Davidic Kingdom that began with Abraham was rejected for the second time. God later used the heartfelt preaching of Stephen (Acts 7) but for the third time Israel rejected her King and God’s messenger was murdered. This final act of corporate rejection formed a dark spiritual blindness in Israel (Acts 28:26-28; Rom. 9-11; 2 Tim. 1:11) while at the same time halting the 70 week prophetic calendar abruptly at the final week, and drew back the curtain for the mystery program Jesus revealed to Paul that had been completely hidden from the prophets and separate from Israel since the world began (Rom. 16:25).

Pause to consider what you’ve just read about Israel’s historical tie to her future.

With Scripture as our irrefutable evidence, we continue to maintain that no person having trusted the Lord Jesus Christ in this current dispensation will have to endure God’s Tribulation judgment on Israel because the church Body of Christ is part of the mystery program that was unknown by the prophets, and never mentioned by the prophets. In fact, the church Body isn’t clearly identifiable on Earth during Israel’s Tribulation in a single verse of Scripture without redefining the words “saints” and “elect” and “disciples” which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and Revelation connected in some way to Israel or her Tribulation proselytes.

Review of God’s Covenant Kingdom Plans

God chose to bless Abraham and His family [nation of Israel, Jews] as the source of blessing: “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 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[21] (Genesis 12:2-3). God went on to Covenant with Abraham as the foundation of four Covenants to follow.

David’s seed, which is from the lineage of Abraham, was Covenanted the throne forever:

“And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever” (2 Samuel 7:16). “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:5-6).

Daniel saw the Kingdom given to Israel at the Revelation of the Messiah (Christ): “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed … But the saints of the most High [Jews] shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever … Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High [Jews]; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom … And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High [Jews], whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:13-14, 18, 22, 27).

Christ came as the Son of Abraham and of David to fulfill the Covenant and claim the throne: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of AbrahamThy kingdom come. Thy will be done in Earth, as it is in heaven … ” (Matthew 1:1; 6:10).

The Covenant, the Kingdom, and the King were summarily rejected on the day Daniel predicted (Dan. 9:24-25). King Jesus was crucified, yet resurrected, and after forty days of further kingdom instruction (Acts 1:3) – ascended to heaven, and a seat at the right hand of God. Prompted by questions from four Jewish patriots (Peter James, John, and Andrew – Mark 13:3) wondering when Christ would inaugurate Israel’s Kingdom, Jesus promised to return at the end of Israel’s Tribulation (Matt. 24:29; see Zech. 14:4-5; Rev. 19:11; etc) to set up the Covenant kingdom Israel had rejected (Matt. 21-27).

This kingdom rejected at Christ’s first coming, Israel blindly waits at His second coming.

Please keep open your King James Bible for the next chapter so you
can study in context every verse and passage of Scripture I’m going to provide.

[1] 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 12:3)

[2] This will become a frightening reality to all the cavalier anti-Semitic Earth dwellers in the last days here with Israel during her Tribulation holocaust. Zechariah made very clear those who seek harm for Israel would be more kindly served while standing in a puddle and grabbing a 22,000 volt power line.

[3] Bear in mind Acts is a transitional book, from prophecy to mystery about midway through.

[4] God dispensing His truth over time in a variety of ways to a variety of people is known as dispensationalism. As the truth was given, individuals were held accountable for obeying it. Example, Adam was told not to eat from a particular tree. Noah was told to build an ark. Abraham was told to go to Canaan, and so on.

[5] The phrase “kingdom of heaven” – which is a term used for the Earthly Davidic Kingdom – is used exclusively by the Lord Jesus 33 times in the Book of Matthew; the Gospel proving to Israel that Jesus was her Messiah and the Kingdom (of heaven) was at hand (Matt 4:17). Moses introduced this (Deuteronomy 11:21).

[6] Dan. 7:13-14; Zech. 14:1-4; compare Matt. 24:29-31; Rev. 1:7; 19:11-21.

[7] It’s important to know that the tribulation constitutes an unprecedented period of punishment, and purification of Israel (Isa. 2:19-21; Isa. 13, see v13; Isa. 13; 24; Jer. 30-31; Dan. 7; 12:1; Joel 2; Zephaniah, see 1:15); Matt. 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21; Rev. 6-19) in preparation of the establishment of the Davidic Covenant Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:16; Rev. 20) in Jerusalem following the Revelation of Jesus Christ predicted for Israel in time past (Zech. 14:4; Matt. 24:29-31; 25:31-46; Rev. 19:11-21) to occur in the ages to come. From Genesis to Revelation, whenever the tribulation is mentioned, it is Israel’s and NOT for the Body of Christ, aka the church.

[8] The 5 Covenants God made with Israel unilaterally are as follows:   1. Abrahamic Covenant (God called a family He could bless and that would be a blessing), 2. Mosaic Covenant  (God formed a nation with Laws), 3. Land (Palestinian) Covenant  (God gave Abraham the land and promised Israel would possess it), 4. Davidic Covenant  (God promised the nation a righteous King and an everlasting Kingdom), and the5. New Covenant  (God promised a better covenant established on better promises resting on an accomplished redemption securing the perpetuity and future conversion of Israel).

[9] These are Jewish Covenants. They were NOT made with the Body of Christ.

[10] The strength of this Covenant brought the Lord to Israel’s rescue many times in history: And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

(Exodus 2:24; see Lev. 26:42, 45, etc). Once again, the Covenant is the hope of Israel’s future: I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant (Ezek. 16:60; everlasting covenant is also referred to in Psa. 105:10; Isa. 24:5; 55:3; 61:8; Jer. 32:40; Ezek. 37:26; Heb. 13:20).

[11] “The royal land grant that was given to Abraham and his seed through Isaac and Jacob, with an everlasting and unconditional covenant.” Cursed by Mike Evans p80.

[12] Her future is guaranteed in prophecies, not the least of which is Daniel’s seventy weeks which Israel must fulfill (study Daniel 7, 9, and 12 carefully). Scholars teach this seventieth week of seven years will begin at some future point when a sinister figure called Antichrist brokers a pseudo-peace covenant with God’s Covenant people for seven years (see Dan. 9:27) setting in motion once again the prophecy calendar and the beginning of the Tribulation, or time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15).

[13] The context here is the sheep and goat judgment by Christ. The word “sheep” is a colloquialism associated with Israel (Jer. 50:6; Matt. 10:6). Bear in mind that while Paul mentioned in Romans 8:36 being “accounted as sheep for the slaughter”, it was a quote from Psalm 44:82 which is a simile of innocence.

[14] He was first mentioned as the seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15 then progressive revealed throughout the Bible. Moses spoke of Him as a coming Jewish Prophet: “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken … I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18; see Acts 3:22-23)

[15] Paul distinguished his ministry from Peter’s thusly, “But contrariwise . . . the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter” (Galatians 2:7- italics added).

[16] Anti-PreTrib zealots make a case from nothing here. Since Christ’s offer to set up the Davidic Covenant Kingdom had been rejected out of hand (Matt. 21-23) Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to the Lord Jesus privately to ask when He would inaugurate the Davidic Covenant Kingdom in Israel (Mark 13:3-4). His response forms the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24-25) focusing on signs of the tribulation – aka time of Jacob’s trouble (Deut. 4:30; Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1) immediately preceding His Revelation return as King of kings to Israel. Bear in mind, Peter, James, and John were exclusive ministers of the circumcision (Gal. 2:7-9).

[17] Ultimately, the great blessing God promised Abraham is available to all of us who have trusted Abraham’s seed the Lord Jesus for our salvation. Yet while we are beneficiaries of this blessing, we were not the original target of the prophecies structuring the Covenant (Rom. 9-11). Israel is.

[18] Daniel is the Rosetta Stone for prophetic understanding; especially the Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation. Therefore the significance of the seventy weeks from Daniel 9 mustn’t be understated because it predicted the rejection of Christ to the day which immediately stopped the 70 week prophecy clock and allowed for the mystery to be revealed through Paul (Rom. 16:25). “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people [Jews] and upon thy holy city [Jerusalem], 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 and King], and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (Daniel 9:24). The first 69 weeks were fulfilled exactly as planned for Israel, and so will the final week. In other words, the entire 70-week prophecy spoken by Daniel is for Israel which includes the final week. The Body of Christ was not seen, is never mentioned, and will not be here during the time of Jacob’s trouble regardless of how desperate men are to place us here.

[19] Remember the Jewish mind is kingdom oriented. To them, this meant the end of the current world system and the inauguration of the Davidic Kingdom on Earth.

[20] Pentecostal Charismatics wrongly assign this to the church under our new dispensation which has resulted in many heresies, including the Latter Rain Manifest Sons of God blasphemies. Request Latter Rain booklet explaining this.

[21] Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the Earth be blessed. That blessing refers to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Appendix [i]

Excursus on God’s Everlasting Relationship to Israel

And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.  (Leviticus 16:34)

Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant.  (Leviticus 24:8)

And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.  (Numbers 25:13)

And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,  (1 Chronicles 16:17) And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:  (Psalms 105:10)

But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.  (Isaiah 45:17)

Appendix [ii]

Kingdom of Heaven vs. Kingdom of God

 

Moses introduced the kingdom of heaven: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the Earth. (Deuteronomy 11:21)

 

At Matthew 3:2, Dr. CI Scofield offers this comparison:

 

(1) The phrase, kingdom of heaven (literally, of the heavens), is peculiar to Matthew and signifies the Messianic Earth rule of Jesus Christ, the Son of David. It is called the kingdom of the heavens because it is the rule of the heavens over the Earth (Mat_6:10) The phrase is derived from Daniel, where it is defined; (Dan_2:34-36); (Dan_2:44); (Dan_7:23-27) as the kingdom which the God of heaven will set up after the destruction by “the stone cut out without hands,” of the Gentile world-system. It is the kingdom covenanted to David’s seed (2Sa_7:7-10) described in the prophets; and confirmed to Jesus the Christ, the Son of Mary, through the angel Gabriel (Luk_1:32-33).

 

(2) The kingdom of heaven has three aspects in Matthew:

 

(a) “at hand” from the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist (Mat_3:2) to the virtual rejection of the King, and the announcement of the new brotherhood (Mat_12:46-50).

 

(b) in seven “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,” to be fulfilled during the present age (Mat_13:1-52) to which are to be added the parables of the kingdom of heaven which were spoken after those of Mt. 13, and which have to do with the sphere of Christian profession during this age;

 

(c) the prophetic aspect — the kingdom to be set up after the return of the King in glory. (Mat_24:29-25); (Mat_24:46); (Luk_19:12-19); (Act_15:14-17).

 

Dr. Scofield offers further clarification at Matthew 6:33:The kingdom of God is to be distinguished from the kingdom of heaven in five respects:

 

(1) The kingdom of God is universal, including all moral intelligences willingly subject to the will of God, whether angels, the Church, or saints of past or future dispensations (Luk_13:28-29); (Heb_12:22-23) while the kingdom of heaven is Messianic, mediatorial, and Davidic, and has for its object the establishment of the kingdom of God in the Earth

 

(2) The kingdom of God is entered only by the new birth (Joh_3:3); (Joh_3:5-7) the kingdom of heaven, during this age, is the sphere of a profession which may be real or false.

 

(3) Since the kingdom of heaven is the Earthly sphere of the universal kingdom of God, the two have almost all things in common. For this reason many parables and other teachings are spoken of the kingdom of heaven in Matthew, and of the kingdom of God in Mark and Luke. It is the omissions which are significant. The parables of the wheat and tares, and of the net (Mat_13:24-30); (Mat_13:36-43); (Mat_13:47-50) are not spoken of the kingdom of God. In that kingdom there are neither tares nor bad fish. But the parable of the leaven (Mat_13:33) is spoken of the kingdom of God also, for, alas, even the true doctrines of the kingdom are leavened with the errors of which the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Herodians were the representatives.

 

(4) The kingdom of God “comes not with outward show” (Luk_17:20) but is chiefly that which is inward and spiritual (Rom_14:17) while the kingdom of heaven is organic, and is to be manifested in glory on the Earth.

 

(5) The kingdom of heaven merges into the kingdom of God when Christ, having put all enemies under his feet, “shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father” (1Co_15:24-28). (Scofield Reference Bible, 1917)

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