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The Church by Clarence Larkin

December 7, 2018 Leave a comment

Clarence Larkin

DISCLAIMER: Larkin does not hold to the Mid Acts Dispensational position of PMI. Some editing in [brackets].

[God is overseeing two overarching programs for reconciling both earth and heaven to Himself. The prophecy program features Israel and a coming earthly kingdom having been spoken by the mouth of the prophets since the world began (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21) and the mystery program featuring the body of Christ and our inheritance with Christ in heaven that was hidden until Jesus revealed it to Paul (Rom. 16:25).

“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.” (Col 1:18 KJV)]

  1. [The church] is not a continuation of the “Jewish Dispensation” under another name.

As we have seen in the chapter on the Jews, the Jews have been shunted to a sidetrack that the “Main Line” may be clear for the passage of the Church. Jesus said-“The Law and the Prophets are until John.” If the Scriptures put Moses and Law in one Dispensation and Christ and Grace in another let us respect the Divine order and not join together what God has put asunder.

  • It is not “The Kingdom”

John the Baptist came preaching that the “Kingdom of Heaven” was “at hand” and Jesus sent out the Twelve and the Seventy to do the same, but the Jewish people rejected their King, and the setting up of the Kingdom was postponed. There cannot be any Kingdom until the “Nobleman Farmer” who has gone into a “far country” to receive the Kingdom returns. Luke 19:11-13

  • It is a “Mystery”

The Kingdom was no mystery. The Old Testament prophets describe it in glowing terms. But there was something that was a Mystery” to them, and that was what was to come in between the “Sufferings and Glory” of Christ. 1Pet. 1:9-11.

That is, between the Cross and the Crown. Jesus intimated that there was to be something that He called the “Church, ” but He did not say when it should appear, or what it would be like. Matt. 16:13-15.

The “Mystery of the Church” was first revealed to Paul.

“For this cause I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of ‘The Dispensation of the Grace of God’ which is given me to you-ward; how that by revelation He made known unto me ‘THE MYSTERY’ which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that THE GENTILES should be fellow heirs and of THE SAME BODY, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel….. according to the ‘Eternal Purpose’ which He purposes in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Eph. 3:1-3

  • It is a “Called Out” Body [Assembly]

The word Church comes from the Greek word “ecclesia” which means “Assembly” or a congregation of “called out ones.”

But the word is not used exclusively as to the Church. Israel was an “ecclesia” or an Assembly of people “called out” from other peoples and nations, and is called in Acts 7:38, “The Church in the Wilderness.”

Any Assembly of worshipers banded together as a church or congregation is an “ecclesia.” Matt. 18:17; 1Cor. 14:19, 1Cor. 14:35.

While Israel is a “called out body” it is a “National Body,” composed exclusively of the descendants of Abraham, but the Church is not a “National Body” for it is [a heavenly body] not composed of the people of any one nation, but of individuals from every kindred, people, tribe and nation.

That Israel and the Church are distinct and separate and cannot be blended, is clear from the fact that their “election” was made at different dates, and that the “election” of the Church antedates the “election” of Israel, for Israel was chosen in Abraham from the foundation of the world (Matt. 25:34), while the Church was chosen in HIM (Jesus) BEFORE the Foundation of the World. Eph. 1:4-6

  • It is the “Body of Christ”

In Eph. 1:22, 23 we read-

“And hath put all things under His feet, and gave HIM (Jesus), to be the HEAD over all things to the Church which is His BODY.”

The context shows (vs. 20), that this “Headship” was not possible until Jesus had been raised from the dead, and seated at the right hand of the Father. The Church, therefore, could not have been in existence before there was a Head, for God does not make headless things. The Church then is the Body of which Christ is the Head.

In 1Cor. 12:12, 13 we are told how this “Body” is formed.

“For as the body is one, and hath many members; and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into One Body, whether we be Jew or Gentile, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into ONE SPIRIT.”

From this we see that it is the “Baptism of the Spirit” that incorporates us into the “BODY OF CHRIST.”

Therefore there could be no Church until the “Day of Pentecost.” Acts 1:4-5; Acts 2:1-3

  • It is to be the “Bride of Christ”

At present the Church is a virgin espoused. Paul said to the Church at Corinth, “I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste VIRGIN to Christ.” 2Cor. 11:2.

In Christ’s day an espousal was as sacred as a marriage. The First Adam had his Bride, and the Second or Last Adam must have His Bride. In Gen. 2:18, Gen. 2:21-23, we are told how the First Adam got his Bride.

“The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and with the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made (builded) He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man.”

Now Jesus during His life on the earth as a man, abode alone, but a deep sleep-the sleep of death-fell on Him, and out of His wounded side, as the result of the Atonement He made on the Cross, there came that from which the Church was formed, and to which the Holy Spirit gave life on the Day of Pentecost; so that, as Adam said of Eve-“This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, ” so we can say of the Church-“We are members of His Body, of his Flesh, and of his Bones.” Eph. 5:29-31 [1]


[1] Adapted from Clarence Larkin’s great book, “Dispensational Truth” chapter 11 – edits in [brackets].

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Bible Brief from Right Division

November 2, 2018 Leave a comment

Dr. Mike Johnston

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2Ti 2:15 KJV). This Bible Brief provides an overview of the Scriptures, rightly divided.

When “God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1), He also established two programs with ordinances to govern them (Jer. 33:25).[1] These programs operate separately, never simultaneously.

God’s prophecy program was well known. It features Israel as God’s elect nation on earth through the seed of Abraham involving a covenant with him concerning a coming Jewish King and kingdom (2 Sam. 7:13-16) the Lord progressively unfolded through “the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:21; see Luke 1:70). [2]

Conversely, His mystery program was unknown until the Lord Jesus revealed it to Paul (Gal. 1:11-12). It features the church as the Body of Christ and it focuses on heaven and our inheritance there with Christ “kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25).

Immediately following creation, God’s focus is on the establishment of an earthly Kingdom. God’s spoken word to Adam placed him in a beautiful Garden of bountiful blessing (Gen. 2). However, this didn’t set well with Satan who lusted for power (Isa. 14:12-14). Therefore, knowing Adam had the word of God to guide him, his only recourse was to retranslate the Word [3] hoping to cause some confusion and rebellion. It worked. Eve was deceived leading to Adam’s sin of eating from the only tree God had forbidden (Gen. 2:15-17; 3:1-7). Man fell, and Satan claimed a temporary victory as “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4).

On the heels of the fall, Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden. However, Kingdom plans were not lost. Foreknowing man’s disobedience, the Lord had formulated redemption’s plan (Rev. 13:8) which involved Himself as Redeemer of man and Ruler of the Kingdom man forfeited (Gen 3:15-21; see Isa. 7:14; 9:16-17). Over time, God sent inspired messengers called prophets (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21) to systematically reveal His plans through five Covenants made with Israel unilaterally. These Covenants – all building upon the initial Abrahamic Covenant – were paramount in guiding her, guarding her, and governing her [4] from the calling of Abraham on through the Davidic Kingdom (Gen. 12; Matt. 25:34; Rev. 21-22). The 5 Covenants are:

  1. The Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 15:18): God promised Abraham’s family would become a nation, in a promised land.[5]
  2. The Mosaic Covenant (Ex. 19:25): God constituted the 12 tribes into the nation of Israel giving her Laws and leaders to govern her.
  3. The Land Covenant (Deut. 30:3): God promised Canaan to all of Israel in perpetuity for the Kingdom.
  4. The Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:16): God promised a royal seed from the tribe of Judah in the bloodline of David to rule over the earthly Kingdom.
  5. The New Covenant (Jer. 31:31; see Matt. 26:28; Heb. 8:8): God provided a way for Israel to be permanently reconciled to God in the land, under the Messiah, during the earthly Kingdom located in Jerusalem where His Law would be written upon her heart. [6]

These 5 Covenants form a contiguous prophetic conglomerate featuring Abraham’s Covenant family, under Covenant Law, in Covenant Land, seeking the Covenant King and Kingdom (Heb. 11:8-10). However, although it was well known in an historical sense, it’s date certain was unknown until Daniel codified it into a final 490-year prophetic calendar of seventy-weeks of seven years (Dan. 9:24-27) with two vital stipulations: (1) it MUST be fulfilled by “thy people” (Israel), and (2) it MUST involve “thy holy city” (Jerusalem) (Dan. 9:24-27).

Two-thousand years ago precisely as Daniel had predicted (Dan. 9:24-27; see Matt. 26:56; see Acts 3:18-26) the incarnate God, our Lord Jesus, appeared on earth (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23) in response to the prophets to inaugurate the Davidic Covenant Kingdom (Luke 1). In that capacity, He preached “repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17) to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 15:24). However, Daniel’s prophecy contained a slight hiatus that was fulfilled when Messiah was “cut off” (Dan. 9:26) and crucified, in accord with a veiled prophecy of redemption given to Adam in Genesis 3:15 and pictured in Isaiah 53.

Research experts such as former head of Scotland Yard Sir Robert Anderson have calculated Christ’s rejection by Israel occurred precisely at Daniel’s 70th week leaving one future seven-year period (week) to be fulfilled by Israel before the Jewish Kingdom can begin. Scholars tell us this week begins when “the prince that shall come” – “that Wicked” (2 Thess. 2:3-12) aka the Antichrist (1 John 2:18) – in some manner brokers a seven-year covenant for Israel in the Middle East (Dan. 9:26-27).

Then will begin a kingdom preparatory judgment on Israel that Moses called “tribulation” (Deut. 4:30), the prophets call “the time of [Jacob’s] trouble” (Jer. 30:7; see Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15), and John the Baptist referred to as “the wrath to come” (Matt. 3:7). All and all, it is the day of Lord (Joel 2) named first by Joel, that was so firmly established for Israel’s future, the other prophets confirming Joel simply had to call it “that day” (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea). Zechariah is very clear about this period: “That day [is] a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,” (Zep 1:15 KJV) (see also Amos 5:18, 20; Isa. 13:9-11 [7]).

Jesus explained this time of wrath epoch in one of the final messages to His Jewish disciples. It’s called the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21), and it came in response to urgent pleas from Peter, [8] James, John, and Andrew (Mark 13:3) – faithful followers all standing firm on the Covenant promises for Israel’s Kingdom – begging Him to tell them when He would return to inaugurate it (Matt. 24:3; see Acts 1:6). During this briefing, the Lord revealed a series of disastrous signs – more fully revealed by John the Revelator almost 60 years later (Rev. 6-19) – preceding it: First, He linked His message to the Jewish prophet Daniel by referring to the “abomination of desolation” which occurs midway in the Tribulation (Dan. 9:24-27; Matt. 24:15). Second, He twice linked it to Moses’ maiden prophecy which serves as the first mention of a coming Tribulation for Israel (Deut. 4:30-31; Matt. 24:21, 29). Third, He completed His sermon with details of His return to earth immediately following Israel’s Tribulation to establish “the Kingdom prepared (primarily for Covenant Israel) from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34).

From the creation of earth to the Kingdom on earth, this is a Bible Brief you should learn to explain.

[1] “Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant [be] not with day and night, [and if] I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth;” (Jer 33:25 KJV)

[2] Except for Romans-Philemon which focus on the Body of Christ, the entire Bible is to Israel and the nations in contact with her.

[3] Modernists do this today in concerted effort to impugn God’s Word to English speaking people, the King James Bible.

[4] Study carefully the strict stipulations laid out in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28.

[5] References are from the Old Scofield Reference Bible, available from PMI for a gift of $34. Stamps are welcome.

[6] Notice there is no Pauline or body of Christ Covenant. All 5 of these were given to Israel specifically.

[7] “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. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” (Isaiah 13:9-11 KJV) “And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:” (Revelation 6:16 KJV) “And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast [it] into the great winepress of the wrath of God.” (Revelation 14:19 KJV)

[8] Keep in mind Peter’s mission was NOT to the mystery Body of Christ which was yet a mystery. His ministry was to Jews as the apostle to the circumcision (Gal. 2:7-9).

Bible Brief

Right Division Overview from Genesis to Revelation

Dr. Mike Johnston

When “God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1), He also established two programs with ordinances to govern them (Jer. 33:25).[1] These programs operate separately, never simultaneously.

God’s program for earth was well known, revealed through prophecy. It features Israel as God’s elect nation on earth, promised a coming Jewish King and kingdom (2 Sam. 7:13-16) that was progressively unfolded from “the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:21; see Luke 1:70). [2]

Conversely, His program for the church was a mystery, unknown until the Lord Jesus revealed it to Paul (Gal. 1:11-12). It features the church as the Body of Christ and it focuses on heaven and our inheritance there with Christ “kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25).

Immediately following creation, God’s focus is on the establishment of an earthly Kingdom, with instructions spoken to Adam, the heir and steward of its bounty and beauty (Gen. 2). However, Satan lusted to rule (Isa. 14:12-14) but knew he must get man to relinquish his assignment so he provided his own contradictory translation of God’s Word [3] which deceived Eve and caused Adam to sin by eating from the only tree God had forbidden (Gen. 2:15-17; 3:1-7).

Not long after, Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden. However, Kingdom plans were not lost. Foreknowing man’s disobedience, the Lord had formulated redemption’s plan (Rev. 13:8) which involved Himself as Redeemer of man and Ruler of the Kingdom man forfeited (Gen 3:15-21; see Isa. 7:14; 9:16-17). Over time, God sent inspired messengers called prophets (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21) to systematically reveal His plans through a prophecy panorama that included five Covenants made with Israel unilaterally. These Covenants – all building upon the initial Abrahamic Covenant – were paramount in guiding her, guarding her, and governing her [4] from the calling of Abraham on through the Davidic Kingdom (Gen. 12; Matt. 25:34; Rev. 21-22). The 5 Covenants are:

  1. The Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 15:18): God promised Abraham’s family would become a nation, in a promised land.[5]
  2. The Mosaic Covenant (Ex. 19:25): God constituted the 12 tribes into the nation of Israel giving her Laws and leaders to govern her.
  3. The Land Covenant (Deut. 30:3): God promised Canaan to all of Israel in perpetuity for the Kingdom.
  4. The Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:16): God promised a royal seed from the tribe of Judah in the bloodline of David to rule over the earthly Kingdom.
  5. The New Covenant (Jer. 31:31; see Matt. 26:28; Heb. 8:8): God provided a way for Israel to be permanently reconciled to God in the land, under the Messiah, during the earthly Kingdom located in Jerusalem where His Law would be written upon her heart. [6]

These 5 Covenants form a contiguous prophetic conglomerate featuring Abraham’s Covenant family, under Covenant Law, in Covenant Land, seeking the Covenant King and Kingdom (Heb. 11:8-10). However, although it was well known in an historical sense, it’s date certain was unknown until Daniel codified it into a final 490-year prophetic calendar of seventy-weeks of seven years (Dan. 9:24-27) with two vital stipulations: (1) it MUST be fulfilled by “thy people” (Israel), and (2) it MUST involve “thy holy city” (Jerusalem) (Dan. 9:24-27).

Two-thousand years ago precisely as Daniel had predicted (Dan. 9:24-27; see Matt. 26:56; see Acts 3:18-26) the incarnate God, our Lord Jesus, appeared on earth offering to inaugurate the Davidic Covenant Kingdom (Luke 1). In that capacity, He preached “repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17) to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 15:24). However, Daniel’s prophecy contained a slight hiatus that was fulfilled when Messiah was “cut off” (Dan. 9:26) and crucified, in accord with a veiled prophecy of redemption given to Adam in Genesis 3:15 and pictured in Isaiah 53. Research experts such as former head of Scotland Yard Sir Robert Anderson have calculated Christ’s rejection by Israel occurred precisely at Daniel’s 70th week leaving one future seven-year period (week) to be fulfilled by Israel before the Jewish Kingdom can begin. Scholars tell us this week begins when “the prince that shall come” – in some manner – brokers a seven-year covenant for Israel in the Middle East (Dan. 9:26-27). Then will begin a kingdom preparatory judgment on Israel the prophets call “the time of [Jacob’s] trouble” (Jer. 30:7; see Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15). Joel was the first to name it the day of Lord (Joel 2; Isa. 2:21;), followed by other prophets – some simply calling it “that day” (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, etc) who warned it would be a time of darkness (Amos 5:18, 20), wrath, and trouble (Zeph. 1:15; Isa. 13:9-11[7]). This catastrophic period was outlined by Jesus from the Mount of Olives (Matt. 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21), in a sermon that came in response to urgent questions from Peter, [8] James, John, and Andrew (Mark 13:3) regarding the timing of His return to instate the Davidic Kingdom (Matt. 24:3; see Acts 1:6) promised, presented, and yet rejected out of hand by Israel’s leaders.

During the Olivet Discourse, the Lord Jesus outlined a bevy of disastrous signs related to Israel and her prophets. First, He linked His message to the Jewish prophet Daniel by referring to the “abomination of desolation” which Daniel placed about midway in the Tribulation (Dan. 9:24-27; Matt. 24:15). Second, He linked it to Moses’ maiden prophecy which serves as the first mention of a coming Tribulation (Deut. 4:30-31) by using that very term twice (Matt. 24:21, 29). Third, He completed His sermon with details of His return to earth immediately following the Tribulation to establish the Kingdom. As a testament to Biblical continuity, this same epoch period was called Tribulation by John (Rev. 7:14) who described it in detail, from its commencement in Revelation 6 through to its conclusion in Revelation 19 at the return of the Lord Jesus as Messiah to Jerusalem, Israel to install the long awaited Davidic Kingdom in fulfillment of the 5 well known Covenants concerning God’s program for earth and Israel that the four disciples knew about and had initially inquired about, that had been “spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:21; see Matt. 25:31-46).

[1] “Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant [be] not with day and night, [and if] I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth;” (Jer 33:25 KJV)

[2] Except for Romans-Philemon which focus on the Body of Christ, the entire Bible is to Israel and the nations in contact with her.

[3] Modernists do this today in concerted effort to impugn God’s Word to English speaking people, the King James Bible.

[4] Study carefully the strict stipulations laid out in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28.

[5] References are from the Old Scofield Reference Bible, available from PMI for a gift of $34. Stamps are welcome.

[6] Notice there is no Pauline or body of Christ Covenant. All 5 of these were given to Israel specifically.

[7] “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. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” (Isaiah 13:9-11 KJV) “And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:” (Revelation 6:16 KJV) “And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast [it] into the great winepress of the wrath of God.” (Revelation 14:19 KJV)

[8] Keep in mind Peter’s mission was NOT to the mystery Body of Christ which was yet a mystery. His ministry was to Jews as the apostle to the circumcision (Gal. 2:7-9).

The Sabbath Belongs to the Hebrews

Dr. J. Vernon McGee

THE SABBATH DAY OR THE LORD’S DAY — WHICH?

 

One man esteemeth one day above another;
another esteemeth every day alike.
Let every man be fully persuaded in
his own mind.
 (Romans 14:5)

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore, the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.(Exodus 20:8-11)

The Sabbath day is Saturday. It is the seventh day of the week according to our calendar. Furthermore, the Sabbath day has never been changed to Sunday.

The present-day controversy over which day of the week Christians should observe hinges upon a false premise, which resulted in a warped and distorted viewpoint of the real meaning of the Sabbath day as found in the Word of God. Many Christians have a woeful misconception of why the church has always observed the first day of the week. Nothing but abysmal ignorance has permitted the protagonists of the Sabbath day to traffic in their legalistic system.

The question, “When was the Sabbath changed to Sunday?” is like the old chestnut asked of the man who was very much a Mr. Milquetoast: “Do you still beat your wife?” You cannot answer that question without getting into a peck of trouble. If you say, “Yes,” you are wrong. If you say, “No,” you are wrong, and you are immediately in difficulty. For the same reason, “When was the Sabbath day changed to Sunday?” is one of those questions that cannot be answered in a word or two since it is based upon a false premise. I am going to ask that you think with me as I deal with this subject, for I believe this to be one of the most important of the commandments, and it is essential that we understand what it means.

The Ten Commandments are given first in Exodus 20. They are repeated in Deuteronomy 5, but it is interesting to note that in no instance is this a repetition of the Law — it is rather an interpretation of the Law in the lives of the people and nation after forty years of experience with it in the wilderness. Therefore, all the commandments that we find given in Deuteronomy are identical to those given in Exodus with one exception: The fourth commandment, the one that has to do with the Sabbath day. Thereby hangs a tale, and this is something our legalistic friends never call to our attention.

Continue reading: https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mcgee_j_vernon/eBooks/sabbath-day-or-the-lords-day-which.cfm

The Church and Israel Differences in a Bible Overview

Dr. Mike Johnston

The church is as distinct from Israel as heaven is from the earth and the two separate programs God orchestrated from the creation of the world to govern them (Gen. 1:1; Jer. 33:25). [1]

His program for heaven involves the church Body which was unknown, revealed only to Paul as a “mystery kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25). Its theme is Christ in us (Col. 1:27) and our inheritance in heaven there with Christ (Eph. 1:6; 11, 14; 2:6; Col. 3:1-6). [2] His program for earth, however was well known. It involves prophecy for Israel’s earthly kingdom (2 Sam. 7:13-16) that was progressively unfolded “by the mouth of the prophets since the world began” (Luke 1:70; see Acts 3:21).

Immediately following creation, God’s focus is on the establishment of an earthly Kingdom with man as a steward of its bounty and beauty (Gen. 2). However, when man disobeyed God’s Word and ate from the forbidden tree (Gen. 2:15-17; 3:1-7), the Lord revealed His gracious predetermined plan featuring a coming Redeemer and triumphant Ruler (Gen 3:15-21; see Rev. 13:8) who would reconcile the world back to Himself (Rev. 21-22).

All of this inspired information flowed from God to His elect nation Israel (Isa. 45:4) through anointed messengers called prophets who progressively exposed and explained God’s will and His word concerning earth and Israel (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21). Their prophecies featured, among other things, five Covenants God made with Israel to guard her and guide her earthly journey spanning the calling of Abraham through the inauguration of the Kingdom. They included the selection of a special man (Abraham) who would be father to a special nation (Israel) [3]  with special Laws (Mosaic) governing them in a special land (Canaan aka Israel), from which a special ruler (Christ, the seed of David) would reign in a special Covenant Kingdom (Davidic). However, the prophets – including John the Baptist – predicted the Kingdom would be preceded by a time of wrath (Isa. 2; Jer. 30-31; Matt. 3:7; Rev. 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:10, 19; etc) first mentioned [4] by Moses as Tribulation in a maiden prophecy linking it to Israel’s return to the Abrahamic Covenant (Deut. 4:30-31; see Exod. 2:24; 19:5; Lev. 26:41-46). This Covenant relationship has always been a key factor in Israel’s continued blessing which includes her possessing the Covenant Land with the ultimate inauguration of the Kingdom in view (Lev. 26; Deut. 28). Nevertheless, timing for this Covenant Kingdom was unknown until Daniel codified the final 490-years into a prophetic calendar of seventy weeks of seven years with two fundamental stipulations: it MUST be fulfilled by “thy people” (Israel), and it MUST involve “thy holy city” (Jerusalem) (Dan. 9:24-27).

Therefore, when the Lord Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago, it was precisely as Daniel – and the prophets – had predicted (Dan. 9:24-27; see Matt. 26:56; see Acts 3:18-26). His mission was to inaugurate the Davidic Covenant Kingdom (Luke 1), so He preached repentance in the gospel of the kingdom to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 4:17, 23; 15:24). However, God knew that Kingdom prophecy would be put on hold when the King was “cut off” (Dan. 9:26) precisely at Daniel’s 70th week. This left one final seven-year period still to be fulfilled by Israel before the Kingdom can begin. This 70th Week of Daniel’s prophecy – also called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) was outlined by Jesus in a thrilling discourse from Mount Olivet.

Scholars call this teaching the Olivet Discourse. It began as a response to urgent questions from Peter, James, John, and Andrew (Mark 13:3) concerning the recently rejected King Jesus and His return to earth to inaugurate the Covenant Davidic Kingdom (Matt. 24:3; see Acts 1:6). Bear in mind, when Christ delivered this the New Testament in His blood was future making the entire discourse part of the Old Covenant narrative (Heb. 9:16-17). It had nothing to do with the mystery church Body of Christ which Christ didn’t mention to the disciples who had no frame of reference for anyway. Instead He described signs for a coming holocaust featuring Israel and using Moses’ term Tribulation (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:21, 29). This same word was later used by John (Rev. 7:14) in summing up Daniel’s 70th week of 7 years from commencement (Rev. 6) through to its completion (Rev. 19), when the Lord Jesus returns to earth in Jerusalem as Israel’s Messiah to install the Kingdom in fulfillment of the promises made in the 5 Covenants and the panorama of God’s word “spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:21 KJV).

Summary Reflection

Now, in light of what you’ve just read, please consider this summary observation. The Tribulation is for Israel (Isa. 2:12; 13:6; Joel 2; Zeph. 1; Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:21, 29). The entire period called “trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15) is for purification and punishment before the earthly Kingdom begins (Isa. 24; Jer. 30-31; Joel; Zephaniah; Matt. 24; Rev. 6-19). Israel’s prophets did not know about the church Body. We were completely unknown to them and thus never mentioned in any of their prophesies. To wit, there isn’t a single prophecy specifically naming us or placing us here on earth for a single moment of Israel’s trouble (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15) without redefining words like “saints” and “elect” which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and Revelation specifically refer to Israel or Tribulation converts.

[1] “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1 KJV). “Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant [be] not with day and night, [and if] I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth;” (Jeremiah 33:25 KJV).

[2] Peter pointed out how Jewish Christians struggled with Paul’s mystery to their theological detriment: “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 KJV)

[3] “For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.” (Isaiah 45:4 KJV)

[4] The Law of First Mention teaches that the first time a subject is mentioned in the Bible is how it stands connected in the mind of God throughout Scripture.

Watch the Christians dance to Dave MacPherson’s Huckster Hustle

Dr. Mike Johnston

It’s impossible to discuss the end times apart from the Tribulation and the rapture. It’s also impossible to discuss the rapture without hearing it’s a satanic hoax [1] never taught until 1830.

This of course is the huckster hustle popularized 4 decades ago by Dave MacPherson a neurotic, rapture-loathing reporter from Missouri. I’ve often thought of MacPherson like the neighbor’s Chihuahua that sneaks outdoors, piddles on your bushes, and grabs your pant leg when you try shooing him away.

The mainstay of MacPherson’s mendacity is his rowdy insistence that the church Body must participate in Israel’s Tribulation and everyone who doesn’t believe it is a Luciferian loon. This he continually contends in spite of the evidence disputing it leaving no question in anyone’s mind Dave isn’t in this for the facts; he’s in it for the fight!

Clearly Dave’s greatest ambition is the wholesale destruction of the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) and all proponents of it. Believe me, if you‘ve read MacPherson’s materials you know he exercises a vast amount of creative license to get there. This hatred however has corrupted his conscience since he blames the rapture and its teachers for virtually all of his misfortunes, beginning with his expulsion from BIOLA College for opposing it. This he complains caused him to go on a drunken binge in Mexico, followed at some point by a car accident, his mom’s death, his sister’s inability to have more children, the demonic possession of his dog, all his father’s pastoral woes; and on and on ad nauseum. In short, MacPherson lays on the shoulders of the “evil” PreTrib rapture and equally evil teachers every one of his misfortunes. [2]

That said, understanding Dave’s dark documented background will allow you to connect the dots leading to the inspiration for his incendiary irrationality.

The Malevolent MacPherson

In the 1970s, the crestfallen MacPherson [3] created the “straw man” rapture origin argument to help him fight against the PreTrib rapture; the nemesis he couldn’t defeat by simply using the Bible. He cultivated his con from the undocumented claims of Textus Receptus enemy and fellow truth twister Samuel Tregelles, to sculpt what has become a lucrative career featuring a multi-volume fantasy franchise under defamatory titles like “The Rapture Plot”, “The Incredible Cover Up”, “The Great Rapture Hoax”, “Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin” and “Late Great Pre-Trib Rapture,” etc.

Regardless of the cryptic title on the cover, Dave’s books all coalesce around one consistently unproven three step theme:

  1. The PreTrib rapture didn’t exist until 1830 [4]
  2. A demon possessed charismatic member of Edward Irving’s[5] Catholic Apostolic Church by the name of Margaret MacDonald – conjured it up in a vision [6]
  3. John Nelson Darby [a dispensational scholar who considered charismatics mystics and spiritualists anathema] embraced it as a revelation from God and pilfered [7] it for CI Scofield to publish in his reference Bible.

MacPherson is like the car salesman peddling autos he doesn’t possess hoping you won’t check the lot. In fact for over 40 years he’s expected others to trust a baseless allegation about a sinister plot Darby and Scofield cooked up in some – who knows where – dimly lit room to deceive Christians for no apparent reason other than the indescribable joy both men received from misleading people.

However, there are many problems associated with thesis. Let me list three:

First, Miss MacDonald’s “prophecy” doesn’t contain the indisputable elements required of a pre-trib rapture proponent. [8] In fact, if you read her prophecy you’ll find she believed in several raptures and that the church would suffer under Antichrist. Therefore, in order to get his theory in line with the narrative, MacPherson had to edit the two accounts of Margaret’s vision. This is softened to creative eisegesis in some circles. The one I fellowship with sees it as dishonest journalism and it’s practiced constantly by gainsayers (Titus 1:9).

Second, no one has ever demonstrated from historical records that Darby was influenced by MacDonald’s “prophecy” even if it had contained pre-trib elements – which it certainly did not.

Third, according to biographer historian Roy Huebner R. A. Huebner, “Precious Truths Revived and Defended Through J. N. Darby”, Vol. 1 (Morganville, N. J.: Present Truth Publishers, 1991), Darby clearly held to an early form of the PreTrib rapture by January 1827. This is a full three years before MacPherson’s claim of 1830.

So did – or would – Darby steal the PreTrib rapture teaching from a babbling charismatic whom he would have considered occult influenced? He didn’t because he wouldn’t! In fact, no one – including Tregelles, MacPherson, nor anyone in their league of loyal lackeys – has ever provided a shred of credible proof linking directly Darby or Scofield to plagiarizing MacDonald’s mystic utterances – except of course MacPherson. I’ll quote Brethren researcher Frank Marotta,

“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.” [9]

The verdict of this debate will turn on the evidence you’ve heard. If you’re outcome oriented, follow Dave; if you want an objective conclusion, you’ll reject him. After full consideration of MacPherson’s muttering, here’s the analysis by respected Theologian Dr. John Walvoord, “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.” [10]

[1] CAVEAT: The fact that they label satanic whatever they don’t agree with tells you about the content of their heart. Although I used to discuss the rapture with them, I finally came to my senses no longer give a moment to them

[2] http://www.raptureready.com/dave-macpherson/

[3] Dave has positioned himself and his father Norman as victims of the PreTrib rapture. First, as a pastor his dad flip flopped on the PreTrib rapture and was asked to resign the church he pastored. This, he said, ruined his life. Dave’s woes began when he was allegedly run out of a Bible college for teaching Post Trib rapture. My instincts tell me after reading Dave’s belligerent blustering; there is more to it than that.

[4] Roy Huebner documented that John Nelson Darby held a form of the Pre-Trib view by January of 1827, three full years before Dave MacPherson’s 1830 claim. His came from marking the distinction between Israel and the church, not from an occult influenced Scottish lass.

[5] 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]

[6] “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]

[7] If Margaret MacDonald is the originator of the PreTrib rapture, why are there no records of her contesting Darby’s theft?

[8] I’ve studied this carefully. There isn’t clear PreTrib teaching here and those who claim otherwise do so more from an agenda than they do academics. You may request a copy from PMI. Please include a SASE.

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

[10] More information available at

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret: MacDonald: (visionary)

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May 16, 2018: Here’s a “reasonable” response from a rapture hater to the above factual evidence:

“You’re an idiot if you believe in the rapture. There is absolutely ZERO biblical evidence for it, and Revelation clearly states there is no rapture . You spend more time on ad hominem attacks than you do proving your fault. Why are you trying to spread false hope for an event that won’t happen? Stop fooling yourself.”

Email: rjpel43@XXX.com

GIMMICK: “The Antichrist has to be revealed BEFORE the Rapture” GOTCHA!

Dr. Mike Johnston

Misinterpretation of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4. Nothing has to occur before the Rapture. The notion that the Antichrist must appear first was invented by PreTrib rapture opponents misinterpreting Second Thessalonians Two. Here’s the exact passage: “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken [1]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. Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 KJV)

Let’s develop the context here. Dr. Myron J. Houghton [2] adds this [my comments in brackets]:

“Paul is writing to the Thessalonian believers about the rapture. The false teaching which these three sources [spirit, word, letter] presented and which disturbed the Thessalonians was that “the day of Christ” had come. [The Day of Christ begins with the Rapture of the church. I’ll explain the difference shortly shortly]. This “day” refers to the time when Christ will directly intervene in human affairs by bringing destruction upon the world. Furthermore, the verb that is translated “is at hand” is in the perfect tense and thus signifies completed past action with present results. Thus, the false teaching was that the day of Christ the Lord had arrived and was now present[3] We know from 2 Thessalonians 1:4 that these believers were already suffering persecution, so this conclusion was not farfetched. Paul’s purpose, then, in 2 Thessalonians 2:3–10 is to show these believers that they were not in the Tribulation. [To demonstrate this] in v. 3, he states that two things must occur before the Tribulation can begin: (1) the “falling away,” and (2) the revelation of the man of sin.”

Tribulation Activities of the Man of sin, the Antichrist

Antichrist gains notoriety by brokering a 7-year peace treaty between Israel and her enemies (Dan. 9:27; see Rev. 6:2), perhaps involving Temple construction and restarting the Judaic sacrificial system.

[SIDE NOTE: Jews are overwhelmingly convinced Messiah will return to personally construct the Temple. Juxtapose this to Antichrist and you’ll be startled by the possible delusion he’ll present]

In the midst of Daniel’s 70th week, Antichrist will end the sacrificial worship system and commit an abominable act causing the desolation of Jerusalem (Dan. 9:27; 11:22, 28, 30) by entering the Temple and demanding to be worshiped (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4).

The Falling Away

Christians generally believe the falling away is a departure from the faith in the last days. While I believe this is true (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Pet. 2:1-2), I also believe this verse may contain a double entendre [4] I’ll tie together in a moment. Dr. Thomas Ice, prolific author, speaker, apologist, and President of the Pre-Trib Research Center, [5] challenged conventional wisdom by suggesting that the falling away Paul disclosed in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 may be a reference to a departing we call the rapture rather than a defection from the faith. The following Bible scholars have presented the same findings: E. Schuyler English[i]; Pastor Chuck Smith [ii]; Dr. David Hocking [iii] and Dr. Myron Houghton who offers the following:

“Two possible solutions have been presented as to the identity of the “falling away.” The first solution is the one traditionally given and is still the most popular view today. It understands the “falling away” as a great apostasy or departure from the faith. Almost any standard commentary will defend this position. For a detailed defense of this view see The Thessalonian Epistles by D. Edmond Hiebert. Basically the argument is that the Greek word translated “falling away” means a religious apostasy. The second solution which is possible understands the “falling away” as a reference to the rapture of the church. This view is defended by E. Schuyler English in his book, Re-Thinking the Rapture.

There are four reasons which, when taken together, seem to indicate that Paul was referring to the rapture when he mentioned this term.

Reason # 1: The word which is translated “falling away” can refer to a physical departure. Note that this argument does not say that the word always or even normally has this meaning. “Departure, disappearance” is the second meaning given for this Greek word in A Greek-English Lexicon, by Liddell & Scott, I, 218. Part of the problem here is that this word is used only twice in the New Testament——here and also in Acts 21:21, where Paul is told that some accuse him of teaching a departure from Moses. In this latter passage, this word is used in the sense of a religious apostasy. In the LXX (the Greek translation of the Old Testament), this word or an older form is found in Joshua 22:22, 1 Kings 21:13, 2 Chronicles 29:19, 33:19, Isaiah 30:1, and Jeremiah 2:19. In these cases, the word also has the idea of religious departure. However, either the context or a descriptive phrase is used to indicate that a religious apostasy is meant. Therefore it might be argued that the word itself was more general.

[Editor’s note: most King James advocates believe in a 7-fold refinement of the Bible (Psa. 12:6). Interestingly, apostasia was translated departure the first five refinements: the Tyndale Bible (1526); Coverdale Bible (1535); Matthews Bible (1537); The Great Bible (1538); and the Geneva Bible (1560)]

In the New Testament, the verb form of this word is used sixteen times (Luke 2:37; 4:13; 8:13; 13:27; 22:29; Acts 5:37,38; 12:10; 15:38; 19:9; 22:29; 2 Corinthians 12:8; 1 Timothy 4:1; 6:5; 2 Timothy 2:19; and Hebrews 3:12). Of the sixteen references, only three have reference to a religious departure, and these three are qualified by context (Luke 8:13) or by a descriptive phrase (1 Timothy 4:1—”from the faith” and Hebrews 3:12—”from the living God”). It is clear from some of the remaining references that a physical departure is meant (the angel who delivered Peter from prison departed from him—Acts 12:10, and Paul prayed that a thorn in the flesh might depart from him—2 Corinthians 12:8.) This word is translated departynge by William Tyndale (c. 1526), by Cranmer (1539), and by the Geneva Bible (1557). Beza (1565) translated it departing.

Reason # 2: The use of the definite article (“the”) lends support to the view that the falling away is the rapture. The basic function of the article “is to point out an object or to draw attention to it. Its use with a word makes the word stand out distinctly,” (Dana and Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, 137). Paul is not speaking of A falling away but THE falling away. In all probability, Paul is referring to some subject he has previously discussed with the Thessalonians. Robertson agrees with this use of the article in this verse. He states: “And the use of the definite article (the) seems to mean that Paul had spoken to the Thessalonians about it.” (Word Pictures in the New Testament, IV, 49). Now, if this is the use of the article in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, one would expect to find a place, either in 1 or 2 Thessalonians, where Paul previously referred to a departure from the faith. This writer knows of no such reference. However, there is previous reference to the rapture of the church in 1 Thessalonians 4:13–17 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1.

Reason # 3: Paul’s style of writing in this chapter also lends support to the idea that the “falling away” is the rapture. In verse 3, Paul states that two events must occur before the day of the Lord can come, namely (1) the “falling away,” and (2) the revealing of the man of sin. Paul’s reference to this second event seems to be more fully described in verses 8–9. If, indeed, this is Paul’s style, then verses 6 and 7, which describe the removal of the Holy Spirit and the church, would be a more detailed explanation of the first event in verse 3 (the “falling away”).

Reason # 4: Paul’s purpose in writing lends support to the view that the “falling away” is the rapture. Remember the setting. The Thessalonian believers were being persecuted for their faith, and they thought they were in the Tribulation. Paul writes to tell them that they can’t possibly be in the Tribulation because two things have to occur before the Tribulation can begin: the “falling away” and the revelation of the man of sin. If religious apostasy is a means by which Paul expects the Thessalonians to know whether or not they are in the Tribulation, then he has failed to prove his point because there has always been religious apostasy, even in the time of the apostle Paul, and the Thessalonians were not in a position to distinguish any present apostasy from “THE apostasy.” However, if Paul was referring to the rapture of the church, then the Thessalonians could know with certainty that they could not yet be in the Tribulation.”[6]

Dr. Ice quotes the experts parsing apostasia in the following excerpt:

“The Greek noun apostasia is only used twice in the New Testament. In addition to 2 Thessalonians 2:3, it occurs in Acts 21:21 where, speaking of Paul, it is said, “that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake (apostasia) Moses.” The word is a Greek compound of apo “from” and istemi “stand.” Thus, it has the core meaning of “away from” or “departure.” The Liddell and Scott Greek Lexicon defines apostasia first as “defection, revolt;” then secondly as “departure, disappearance.”

Gordon Lewis explains how the verb from which the noun apostasia is derived supports the basic meaning of departure in the following: The verb may mean to remove spatially. There is little reason, then, to deny that the noun can mean such a spatial removal or departure. Since the noun is used only one other time in the New Testament of apostasy from Moses (Acts 21:21), we can hardly conclude that its Biblical meaning is necessarily determined. The verb is used sixteen times in the New Testament. Of these sixteen only three have anything to do with a departure from the faith (Luke 8;13; 1 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 3:12).

The word is used for departing from iniquity (2 Tim. 2:19), from ungodly men (1 Tim. 6:5), from the temple (Luke 2:27), from the body (2 Cor. 12:8), and from persons (Acts 12:10; Luke 4:13).

It is with full assurance of proper exegetical study and with complete confidence in the original languages,” concludes Daniel Davey, [7] ‘that the word meaning of apostasia is defined as departure.’

Paul Lee Tan adds the following: “What precisely does Paul mean when he says that “the falling away” (2:3) must come before the tribulation? The definite article “the” denotes that this will be a definite event, an event distinct from the appearance of the Man of Sin. The Greek word for “falling away”, taken by itself, does not mean religious apostasy or defection. Neither does the word mean “to fall,” as the Greeks have another word for that- [pipto, I fall; TDI]. The best translation of the word is “to depart.” The apostle Paul refers here to a definite event which he calls “the departure,” and which will occur just before the start of the tribulation. This is the rapture of the church.”[8]

The Departing Entendre

We’ve just studied two positions held by scholars that seem distinct and yet I believe they are simultaneously and inextricably linked together. When church departs from earth in the Rapture we leaven being “church” buildings attended by apostate “Christians” that aren’t saved and have spent their lives in Satan’s work.

[1] Quoting the Introduction to Second Thessalonians from the Scofield Study Bible: “The Thessalonian converts were “shaken in mind” and “troubled,” supposing, perhaps on the authority of a forged letter as from Paul, that the persecutions from which they were suffering were those of the “great and terrible day of the Lord,” from which they had been taught to expect deliverance by “the day of Christ, and out gathering together unto him” (2Th_2:1). The present letter, then, was written to instruct the Thessalonians concerning the day of Christ, “and our gathering together unto him” 1Th_4:14-17 and the relation of the “day of Christ” to the “day of the Lord.” First Thessalonians had more in view the “day of Christ”; the present Epistle the “day of the Lord.”

[2] Author, lecturer, and Theology professor at Faith Baptist Bible College, Ankeny, IA.

[3] This would also mean they had not only missed the rapture, but the judgement seat of Christ where rewards (crowns) are awarded in heaven (Rom. 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10).

[4] A word or phrase having two meanings

[5] An organization he co-founded with the late Dr. Tim LaHaye. http://www.pre-trib.org/

[6] The Rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10 by Dr. Myron J. Houghton, Ph.D.

[7] [Professor Bible Exposition at Virginia Beach Theological Seminary]

[8] Apostasia: The Rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 by Dr. Thomas Ice.

[i] E. Schuyler English

It is well established that E. Schuyler English is thought to be the first pretribulationist to propose that the departure in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 was a physical departure and thus a reference to the pre-trib rapture.  However, history records that at least a couple of men thought of this idea before English series of article in 1950. J. S. Mabie is said to have presented the view that the departure refers to the rapture as early as 1859 during a prophecy conference in Los Angeles.  He later wrote his view in an article published in November 1895 in a periodical called Morning Star.  Another pre-English proponent of the departure as the rapture was John R. Rice in a book in 1945.

Source: http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/the-departure-in-2-thessalonians-23#_ednref11

[ii] Pastor Chuck Smith

The “day” referred to here is the Day of Judgment. “Falling away” comes from the Greek word for “depart.” This may refer to the Rapture of the Church, for the Day of Judgment will come after the Rapture. It may be a reference to people departing from the faith, for Paul spoke of another departure (1 Timothy 4:1) and used the same Greek word. However, in 1 Timothy Paul added the words “depart from the faith” instead of “depart” alone.

Source: The Blue Letter Bible

[iii] Dr. David Hocking

Dr. Hocking’s commentary on the Day of Christ the Lord from 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3.

[I transcribed and slightly edited this from a teaching video on the Antichrist and Day of the Lord by Dr. Hocking]. Regarding the start of the Day of the Lord and the appearance of the Antichrist.

The departure of church age believers will come first v3. (1) “except there come a falling away first.” The emphasis is interesting; this is the big event; and then that man of sin will be revealed, the son of perdition. (2) The Greek word for “falling away” is apostasia. Stasia is from a verb histemi, meaning to stand, apo means away from. It is translated normally “to depart.” It is used only twice as a noun: once here, and once in Acts 21:21. It is used 16 times as a verb, aphistemi.. Out of those 16 times as a verb, it is translated “depart” in 11 places. Remember after the temptation of Christ when the angels came and ministered to Christ? It says he “departed.” This is the same word. Well it doesn’t mean He departed or defected from the faith or apostatized. It just means He left. Eleven out of the 16 times it clearly means that someone just left; they departed. Once in Luke 8:13 it’s translated “fall away.” In Acts 5:37 it describes people who “drew away.”  In Acts 5:38 it reads “refrain from these men” meaning leave them.  Now turn to 1 Timothy chapter 4, verse 1: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” (1 Timothy 4:1 KJV). Depart is from the same Greek apostasia, but here you have a qualifying clause – “from the faith”. So here it is; apostasy in the traditional sense of the word, a religious departure. The problem is that if that is the intention of 2 Thessalonians 2:3, it’s strange that the man who wrote 1 Timothy 4 wouldn’t have put “from the faith” there if he meant religious departure. In other words, the very qualifying words “from the faith” describes what kind of departure it is, but there’s nothing like this in our text. There’s another problem. In our text in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 the definite article “the” in the Greek text is in front of “falling away”. Literally “the” departure which implies a specific departure which had to be just mentioned in the context. And as we study the context, where is the specific departure? It’s in verse 1, the rapture which would certainly hearken back to his first epistle when he discussed the great departure at the rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Now if I’m correct, and good men disagree, the point here is that if this were a religious apostasy, it would not be a good indicator since we’ve had a religious departure from the faith ever since the time of the New Testament. First, are things worse today than they’ve ever been? Absolutely! The departure we’ve witnessed from the faith is incredible. But we said that 40 years ago, also. We said that also 100 years ago. We said that also 200 years ago. So, if this is the indicator, which departure would be serious enough to THE departure? Do you understand what I’m saying? In other words, the classic translation of apostasia is departure, and if you are translating literally, that day won’t come – the Day of the Lord – until the departure comes first, and then the man of sin is revealed. I think this is the only way to make sense out of this passage. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlCgFmQMsIg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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