Archive for the ‘Prophecy and Mystery’ Category

Israel is God’s Preeminent Nation on Earth


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)

Right Division in the Final Analyses

Dr. Mike Johnston

Israel’s Tribulation is NOT for the Body of Christ made clear by studying Scripture rightly divided (2 Tim. 2:15). Right division encompasses two programs designed by God (prophecy and mystery) covering three time periods (time past, but now, ages to come) [1] that have both existed “since the world began”. Denominations exist due to conflating prophecy and mystery, which invariably leads to disorder and deception. [2]

Prophecy (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21) [3] came through the prophets featuring events primarily surrounding Israel’s coming kingdom on earth; while the mystery (Rom. 16:25) [4] was unknown to the prophets and given initially to Paul concerning the church Body of Christ promised an inheritance in heaven where we are now spiritually seated there with Christ. [5]

In this treatise, we further learned that Israel is the preeminent earthly nation and God’s prophets were His messengers guarding and guiding her through 5 unilateral covenants promising perpetuity of lineage (Abrahamic Covenant), land (Land Covenant), Law (Mosaic Covenant), Lordship (Davidic covenant), and longevity (New Covenant). Prophecy – via progressive mention or revelation – reveals this kingdom under Christ the Messiah will last on Earth 1000 years (revealed in Rev. 20:2-7) in 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). Its location is Jerusalem, city of David (2 Kings 14:20), the blessed Zion of God (Isa. 30:19). All of this later confirmed and offered by John the Baptist, Christ, and the twelve disciples (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 10:7; John 1:45; see Gal. 2:7-9) in their preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom.

However, in that the Jews rejected the kingdom before it could begin, [6] God decreed judgment on Israel expressly to prepare and purify her, earth, [7] and collaterally the Gentile nations supporting Israel prior to the Kingdom. We see a foreshadowing of this judgment in the Book of Judges which tells the story of a loving God retrieving a rebellious nation: “And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not” (Judges 2:20-22-bold added).

Scholars refer to this period of judgment on Israel as the doctrine of the Tribulation. Beginning with Moses [8] the prophets through a continuing stream of progressive revelation outlined Israel’s Tribulation very clearly (study Isaiah 24-26; Jer. 30-31; Ezekiel 34-48; Dan. 12; Revelation 6-20). They defined and described it with names such as, the time of (Jacob’s) trouble (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15); day of His wrath (Psa. 110:5; Isa. 13:9; Ezek. 7:19; Zeph. 1:15; Rev. 6:17; 11:18; 14:10);  and a number of other euphemisms which they linked to the day of the Lord (Isa. 2:12; 13:6, 9; Joel 2:1; see Isa. 13:9, 13; Ezek. 7:19). Jesus further clarified it with events he personally named “tribulation” and “great tribulation” (Matt. 24:21, 29).

If you are a defender of right division between Israel and the church Body, you obviously know the opponents of objective based interpretation too often for too long gotten away with the slip shod wrangling and rearranging of inspired writ in order to sell books to the naïve that support their forejudged conclusions. It’s hardly a surprise that while a chasm of disagreement exists between them, they find great communion in angrily attacking the PreTrib rapture as the lone satanic teaching.

The simple theme and a simple thing

The theme of this book is simple: Right division of Scripture proves that Israel’s Tribulation is NOT for the Body of Christ. The primaries in the Tribulation are Israel and collateral Gentile nations. NOT the church Body.

What our adversaries showcase in their studies is not just an inability to interpret from context, but an inability to exercise good reason also known as common sense. The church couldn’t be included in Israel’s Tribulation. The prophets didn’t know about us and never mentioned us because we were a mystery hidden from them and every other human on earth until the Lord Jesus revealed it to Paul [9] centuries later.

Still not convinced? Let’s verify the facts.

To begin with, I have listed most every passage of Scripture dealing with the time of Jacob’s trouble – aka Jacob’s/Israel’s Tribulation – in this book. You can verify what I’m telling you by studying each of the passages in full context. The church Body is NOT visible in any of them. Moreover, the Holy Spirit used the word church – or churches – 117 times in the King James Bible. It would have been a simple thing for Him to use it in any of the scores of Tribulation passages we’ve looked at.

Still, our opponents claim without apology or authority their position is correct because they ostensibly have Scriptural proof that the church Body is on earth during Israel’s Tribulation. If they are correct, we should be able to verify it with an exhaustive King James concordance such as Strong’s that lists every word in the KJV.

Look up the word church and Body of Christ and study carefully every passage listed. Neither one appears within the context of a single Tribulation passage. That should settle the question but it hasn’t. Our opponents – many who are dazzling disputants (Rom. 16:18) [10]– demand that you to redefine the words “saints”, “elect” and “disciple” to include the Body of Christ even though in context of THE Tribulation they are referring to Israel NOT the church.

Let’s be very clear.

If the church Body of Christ is in Israel’s Tribulation, the Holy Spirit who could have clearly identified us went to great lengths to keep us indisputably knowing it. Israel is indisputably there. The Gentiles nations are also indisputably there, but NEVER the church Body. The fact that He didn’t indisputably identify us on earth at that time is significant to all participants in an honest discussion. The only way Paul’s mystery Body is ever included in Israel’s Tribulation is when rapture haters diddle with context to win an argument rather than be fair with the truth. Over the years this has allowed them ballyhoo how they “win” rapture debate when in fact they don’t tell the truth, they twist it.

Bearing false witness

Our adversaries swear on their Bibles the church Body is in Israel’s Tribulation without the conclusive Scriptural evidence to prove it. Before dismissing this as a matter of personal interpretation, consider the ramifications if this were a court of law.

Let’s suppose you witnessed a crime that a man you hated was charged with. Although you didn’t actually see his face, the crooked prosecutor asked you to testify that you did. Would you succumb to your feelings and assist the prosecutor in convicting a man without evidence simply because you loathed him?

In all honesty, this wouldn’t merely be you offering your interpretation. This would be you bearing false witness.

[1] Time past (Eph. 2:11-12; but now (Eph. 2:4); ages to come (Eph. 2:7).

[2] This is what the cults do, ie SDAs, JWs, Mormons, Romanists, etc.

[3] As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: (Luke 1:70).

[4] Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, (Romans 16:25)

[5] Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, (Ephesians 1:20). And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (Ephesians 2:6)

[6] Daniel predicted the exact day of Messiah’s rejection leaving a final week yet to be fulfilled (Dan. 9:24-27).

[7] Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. (Isaiah 13:13). But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. (Jeremiah 10:10)





[8] When thou [Israel] art in tribulation and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days  (Deuteronomy 4:30- bracket comment added).

[9] The prophets didn’t know anything about the mystery church Body. Study carefully Romans 16:25; Ephesians 3:1-9; Colossians 1:26).

[10] For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:18)



These articles are available for your edification, and research. The Pre-Trib Perspectives Journal is a publication of the Pre-Trib Research Center. These articles are made available courtesy of Evangelist Donald Perkins and According To Prophecy Ministries.

By: Larry V. Crutchfield

” Darby is convinced that without the atoning work of Christ, man must bear the guilt of his sin, and remain at a distance from God without knowledge of Him or of His love.

Few today who would identify themselves as Fundamentalists have ever heard of John Nelson Darby or the Plymouth Brethren. Yet as Ernest R. Sandeen correctly observes in The Roots of Fundamentalism, “much of the thought and attitudes of those who are known as Fundamentalists can be mirrored in the teachings of this man.”1

Darby flourished at a time when the winds of higher criticism were sweeping through the established churches of the British Isles. Christians firmly rooted in orthodoxy were appalled to see unregenerate clergy not only paid out of state coffers, but openly attacking the inspiration and authority of the Word of God. A general disenchantment and despair over the state of the organized church caused many to withdraw and seek fellowship elsewhere.


A number of movements sprang up to bid for the moral high ground of biblical Christianity. One of these was the Bible society movement begun in 1804 with the establishment of the British and Foreign Bible Society in London by a group of theologically conservative Anglicans. Another was the ill-fated anti-liberalism Oxford movement which itself became entangled in an anti-Reformation Romanism. Yet another reaction against the established church, which was to leave its important but largely anonymous signature upon the Fundamentalist movement of a later time, was the movement begun by the “brethren” who were to eventually become known for their meetings at Plymouth. The chief architect and theologian of this movement was the Irish clergyman, J. N. Darby.


John Nelson Darby, namesake of family friend and famed British admiral, Lord Nelson, was born in London of Irish parents on November 18, 1800. Ireland furnished the backdrop for his earliest years of development and education. In 1819 at the age of eighteen, Darby graduated from Trinity College Dublin as a Classical Medalist.

Brilliant, gifted, and with all the right connections, Darby had been groomed for and was practically assured a successful career in law. But a deep spiritual struggle gripped the budding young barrister in his eighteenth year and caused him to abandon that profession after only one year of practice between 1822 and 1823. Darby’s spiritual odyssey lasted until 1825 when he received ordination as deacon in the Church of England. The following year, he was elevated to the priesthood and assigned a curacy in remote County Wicklow, Ireland.

Taking up residence in a peasant’s cottage on a bog, Darby covered the great untamed expanse of his ecclesiastical responsibility on horseback in the manner of John Wesley. His gentleness of spirit and saintly bearing and conduct quickly earned him a place in the hearts of his poor parishioners. So committed was Darby to the instruction of the peasantry in the Word of God that he was seldom found at his own humble dwelling before midnight. His labors did not go unrewarded. Although he expended most of his modest wages and personal inheritance on the local schools and charities, by Darby’s on account Catholics were “becoming protestants at the rate of 600 to 800 a week.”2 Darby’s standard of reward and gain was always in terms of souls won for the kingdom, never silver added to the purse.

For some time the young circuit-riding cleric had been troubled by the condition of the established church, but his demanding duties had prevented any decisive action. He was to receive time for undisturbed reflection on the issue, however, when his horse bolted during one journey through the parish, throwing its rider with tremendous force against a doorjamb. The ensuing lengthy convalescence from the required surgery in Dublin, served as an incubator for Darby’s discontent.

Darby says, “During my solitude, conflicting thoughts increased; but much exercise of soul had the effect of causing the scriptures to gain complete ascendancy over me. I had always owned them to be the Word of God . . . the careful reading of the Acts afforded me a practical picture of the early church; which made me feel deeply the contrast with its actual present state; though still, as ever beloved by God.”3 After only twenty-seven months with the Church of England and thoroughly dissatisfied with what he viewed as rampant Erastianism and clericalism, Darby sought fellowship and ministry outside the established church.

Eventually, Darby made the acquaintance of a group of like-minded believers, members of the Church of England in Dublin, and met with them for prayer and Bible study during the winter of 1827-28. It was this group which would later become known as the Plymouth Brethren. The two guiding principles of the movement were to be the breaking of bread every Lord’s Day, and ministry based upon the call of Christ rather than the ordination of man. While Darby was not the founder of this group, he quickly emerged as its spiritual leader and dominant force.

By 1840, the Plymouth movement had grown to 800 strong and would reach more than 1200 within the next five years. Even though Darby disliked denominational labels, preferring rather the simple biblical designation “brethren,” it was perhaps inevitable that these “brethren” who met at Plymouth, should become known as the “Plymouth Brethren.”

Many other Brethren groups formed in Britain and subsequently in other parts of the world. As a result of his extensive travels, Darby himself was responsible for the spread of Brethren doctrine to other countries. He made several trips to preach and teach in Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Holland. Between 1859 and 1874, Darby made six trips to the United States and Canada where he ministered in all the major cities and in some of the smaller ones as well. Included also in Darby’s itinerary were visits to the West Indies and New Zealand.

Wherever Darby went, he never tired of expounding his views on the doctrine of the church and future things. He was convinced both that the organized church was in a state of ruin and that Christ’s return to rapture the saints and establish the millennial kingdom was imminent. While Darby’s call for a radical response to the apostate condition of the church was met with relative indifference, his teachings on eschatological themes were heartily embraced and provided much of the substance for the Bible conference movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But more than any one doctrine, it was Darby and the Brethren’s fundamental orthodoxy that appealed to Bible believing Christians everywhere.


Any portraiture of Darby the man must be painted in sharp black and white tones, never in shades of gray. He was a man of incredible intensity. First and foremost, he was intensely committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was his only love and all-consuming passion. He cared for little that this world had to offer. Though meticulous in personal cleanliness, for example, Darby wore only simple clothing and those to the point of shabbiness. It is said that on one occasion while he slept, some kindly friends seized the opportunity to substitute new clothing for old. Upon waking, Darby donned the new apparel without remark or even apparent notice.

Darby was kind and humble in nature and his compassion and generosity towards the poor was without bounds. He observed that “Christ preferred the poor; ever since I have been converted so have I. Let those who like society better have it. If I ever get into it . . . I return sick at heart. I go to the poor; I find the same evil nature as in the rich, but I find this difference: the rich, and those who keep their comforts and their society, judge and measure how much of Christ they can take and keep without committing themselves; the poor, how much of Christ they can have to comfort them in their sorrows. That, unworthy as I am, is where I am at home and happy.” Darby in no way felt intellectually ill-equipped for cultivated society, it was just that given the choice, he rejected it all in preference for the cross.4

Kindly in disposition and humble in spirit though Darby was, his absolute devotion to the Word of God and demand for unflinching fidelity to its truth, as he understood it, made him ready prey for controversy. His limitless patience with the honest ignorance of the poor and unlearned was legendary. But so was his wrath against those among the well educated who played fast and loose with the truth of the gospel of Christ.

A full twenty-five years after one “heterodox teacher” had felt the brunt of Darby’s indignation, he was to write, “J.N.D. writes with a pen in one hand and a thunderbolt in the other.” But as Darby’s biographer, W. G. Turner points out, “it was only fundamental error which roused his deepest grief and indignation, his patience with honest blunderers being proverbial.”5

If ever the epithet, “fighting Fundamentalist” applied to anyone, it applied to J. N. Darby. At the same time, it is true that Darby derived no pleasure from controversy and often expressed his love for the object of his more potent polemics. But in his view, faced with a choice between peace on the one hand and truth on the other, there could be no alternative but to defend the truth.

Wherever Darby went, whether peasant’s home or hallowed halls of Oxford, his nobleness of character, keenness of mind, dedication to Christ, and commanding presence made him the focus of attention. The great Bible teacher and preacher, G. Campbell Morgan recounts as one of the “cherished recollections” of his boyhood his encounter with Darby who had come to visit his father. “He vividly recalls the almost reverential awe that lay upon him in the presence of that truly great man, and how the awe gave place and the reverence remained, when the visitor spoke kindly to him about his studies.”6


Darby is called by many the father of modern dispensational theology, a theology made popular first by the Scofield Reference Bible7and more recently by the Ryrie Study Bible. It is a theology that has gained wide influence through the publications and educational efforts of institutions like Dallas Theological Seminary and Moody Bible Institute. Yet while Darby is the center of almost every controversy over the origin of this theological system, his works are little known and seldom read. This is true among the critics and champions of dispensational theology alike. This neglect is unfortunate, for Darby is credited with much of the theological content of the Fundamentalist movement. There is little doubt too, that Darby had a tremendous part in the systematization and promotion of dispensational theology.

Today, however, Darby’s theological distinctives have virtually been reduced to his doctrine of the church in ruins, the premillennial return of Christ–with special emphasis upon Israel and the church’s role in that kingdom age–and the rapture of the church. As important as these doctrines are in Darby’s theology, they were but an outgrowth of other doctrines which must be considered the bedrock of his and the Brethren’s teaching. It is the bedrock upon which orthodox Christianity has stood since Pentecost and upon which Fundamentalists made their stand shortly after the turn of the century.

Inspiration and Infallibility of Scripture

Darby was unswerving in his belief that the Bible was the inspired, infallible Word of God, absolutely authoritative8 and faithfully transmitted from the original autographs.9 If the world itself were to disappear and be annihilated, asserts Darby, “and the word of God alone remained as an invisible thread over the abyss, my soul would trust in it. After deep exercise of soul I was brought by grace to feel I could entirely. I never found it fail me since. I have often failed; but I never found it failed me.”

Once questioned as to whether he might not allow that some parts of the New Testament may have had only temporary significance, Darby retorted, “‘No! every word, depend upon it, is from the Spirit and is for eternal service!'” Darby felt compelled to affirm his fidelity to the Word of God because “In these days especially . . . the authority of His written word is called in question on every side . . . “10

Deity and Virgin Birth of Christ

On the deity of Christ, Darby is no less compromising than he is on the place of Scripture in the believer’s life. “The great truth of the divinity of Jesus, that He is God,” says Darby, “is written all through scripture with a sunbeam, but written to faith. I cannot hesitate in seeing the Son, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, the First and the Last, Alpha and Omega, and thus it shines all through. But He fills all things, and His manhood, true, proper manhood, as true, proper Godhead, is as precious to me, and makes me know God, and so indeed only as the other, He is ‘the true God and eternal life.'”11 If Christ is not God, concludes Darby, then “I do not know Him, have not met Him, nor know what He is.”12 As one of the truths connected with the person and work of Christ, Darby cites the “miraculous birth of the Saviour, who was absolutely without sin . . .”13

Substitutionary Atonement

Just as the doctrine of the deity of Christ is written all through the Bible, Darby maintains that the propitiation secured by the sacrificial death of Christ “is a doctrine interwoven with all Scripture, forms one of the bases of Christianity, is the sole ground of remission–and there is none without shedding blood–and that by which Christ has made peace; Col. 1:20.”14

Darby is convinced that without the atoning work of Christ, man must bear the guilt of his sin, and remain at a distance from God without knowledge of Him or of His love. But thankfully that is not the case, for as Darby points out, “There is death in substitution–He ‘bore our sins in his own body on the tree’–‘died for our sins according to the scriptures’ . . .”15

Resurrection of Christ

For Darby, “the Person of Christ regarded as risen,” is the pivot around which “all the truths found in the word revolve.”16 “Many have, perhaps, been able, in looking at the Church’s hope in Christ,” says Darby, “to see the importance of the doctrine of the resurrection. But the more we search the Scriptures, the more we perceive, in this doctrine, the fundamental truth of the gospel–that truth which gives to redemption its character, and to all other truths their real power.” It is the victory of Christ over death which gives the certainty of salvation.17 It is the resurrection, asserts Darby, which “leaves behind, in the tomb, all that could condemn us, and ushers the Lord into that new world of which he is the perfection, the Head, and the glory.”18 Consequently, this doctrine characterized apostolic preaching.19

Return of Christ

Darby believed that it was essential that the church have a right hope. That hope he understood to be the second coming of Christ. At his coming, Darby maintained, Christ would take the saints to glory with Him, to become the bride, the wife of the Lamb.20

Darby insists that “Nothing is more prominently brought forward in the New Testament than the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.” He points out that it was the promise of Christ’s return which was first offered to the sorrowing disciples as they witnessed the ascension of their Lord as recorded in Acts 1:11. Furthermore, says Darby, “It was not at all a strange thing–immediately after conversion to the living God–‘to wait for his Son from heaven, even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come.'”21

In light of the foregoing, John F. Walvoord, president emeritus of Dallas Theological Seminary, is certainly correct in saying that “Much of the Truth promulgated by fundamental Christians to-day had its rebirth in the movement known as the ‘Plymouth Brethren.'”22

Darby’s Influence

It should be evident from the foregoing that there is a distinct connection between the doctrines of the Brethren and the Fundamentalists who rose to challenge modernism shortly before and especially after the turn of the century. Well before publication of The Fundamentals: A Testimony of Truth in 1909, the Brethren were proclaiming the same basic truths of Scripture and staunchly defending them against all comers. The very character of Brethren fellowship and beliefs is such that to entertain liberal doctrines would destroy the movement altogether.

Many of the greatest Fundamentalist leaders of the past have openly acknowledged their indebtedness to the teachings and ministry of Darby and the Brethren. After securing the writings of C. H. Mackintosh, the man most responsible for popularizing Darby’s works, D. L. Moody said, “if they could not be replaced, [I] would rather part with my entire library, excepting my Bible, than with these writings. They have been to me a very key to the Scriptures.”23

  1. C. Gaebelein, contributor to The Fundamentals and one of the most potent influences on the life and doctrine of C. I. Scofield, says of Darby and other Brethren writers, “I found in his writings, in the works of William Kelly, Mcintosh [Mackintosh], F. W. Grant, Bellett, and others the soul food I needed. I esteem these men next to the Apostles in their sound and spiritual teachings.” In the same breath Gaebelein speaks of four saints named John who will be present at that great celestial meeting when Christ returns–John Calvin, John Knox, John Wesley, and John Darby.24

William Kelly, Darby’s closest friend and greatest student, never tired of admonishing others to “Read Darby!” With some fifty-three volumes to his credit–including everything from a complete translation of the Bible to a volume of verse–there is much of Darby to read.

John Nelson Darby continued to serve and proclaim his Savior both with the written and spoken word until his departure to be with Him on the 29th of April, 1882. And no matter what subject he addressed, one theme always came to the fore–Jesus Christ. Just a few days before his home-going Darby wrote in a final letter to the Brethren, “I can say, Christ has been my only object; thank God, my righteousness too . . . Hold fast to Christ.”


1 Ernest R. Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970; reprinted., Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1978), p. xix.

2 W. Blair Neatby. A History of the Plymouth Brethren (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1901), p. 16.

3 Darby as quoted in W. G. Turner, John Nelson Darby (London: C. A. Hammond, 1944), p. 17. 4 Turner, p. 77.

5 John Nelson Darby, Letters of J. N. Darby, 3 vols., reprint ed. (Sunbury, Penn.: Believers Bookshelf, 1971), 1:205. 6 Turner, p. 31.

7 John Harries, G. Campbell Morgan, The Man and His Ministry, p. 27; quoted in Turner, p. 78.

8 For a full treatment of the relationship between Darby and Scofield’s dispensational doctrines, see Larry V. Crutchfield’s The Origins of Dispensationalism: The Darby Factor (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1992).

9 John Nelson Darby, Collected Writings of J. N. Darby, 34 vols., ed. by William Kelly (Sunbury, Penn.: Believers Bookshelf, n.d.), 23:13.

10 Ibid., 23:31. 11 Ibid., 1:38. 12 Darby, Letters, 1:28-29.

13 Darby, Collected Writings, 33:82. 14 Darby, Letters, 2:432.

15 Darby, Collected Writings, 33:82. 16 Darby, Letters, 3:102.

17 Ibid., 1:47. 18 Darby, Collected Writings, 3:147.

19 Darby, Letters, 1:47. 20 Darby, Collected Writings, 3:147.

21 Darby, Letters, 2:361. 22 Darby, Collected Writings, 27:306.

23 John F. Walvoord, review of An Historical Sketch of the Brethren Movement, by H. A. Ironside, in Bibliotheca Sacra, 1942, p. 378.

24 Sandeen, p. 173.

25 A. C. Gaebelein, Half a Century (New York: Our Hope Publication Office, 1930), p. 85.

26 Turner, p. 80.

Dr.Thomas Ice, is a good friend of Evangelist Perkins and this Ministry. Tommy’s page will be up-dated on a regular basis, so keep visiting his page. You can respond to his articles via his email given below.

Dr. Thomas Ice: Heads up The Pre-Trib Research Center. The Pre-Trib Research Center is a “think tank” committed to the study, proclamation, teaching and defending of the Pretribulational Rapture (pre-70th week of Daniel) and related end-time prophecy. Editor: Thomas Ice, : Send correspondence to Rev. Thomas Ice, Executive Director, Address: Pre-Trib Research Center, P. O. Box 14111, Arlington, TX. 70694-1111


Anti PreTrib Rapture antagonists are in reality bearing false witness

Excerpted from Israel’s Tribulation is NOT for the Body of Christ by Dr. Mike Johnston

I began my research for this treatise about 40 years ago. In this our final analysis, I want to wholeheartedly reaffirm my conclusion that Israel’s Tribulation is NOT for the Body of Christ. Admittedly, acknowledging that first required a willingness to abandon the convention and reevaluate Scripture through the lens of right division which led to the right conclusion.

Right division encompasses two programs God designed that have existed “since the world began”: prophecy[1] for Israel and a kingdom on earth, and the mystery [2] of the church Body of Christ in heaven spiritually seated. Conflating prophecy and mystery leads to hermeneutic chaos and heresy. [3]

In this treatise, we learned that Israel is the preeminent earthly nation and God’s prophets were His messengers guarding and guiding her through 5 unilateral covenants promising perpetuity of lineage (Abrahamic Covenant), land (Land Covenant), Law (Mosaic Covenant), Lordship (Davidic covenant), and longevity (New Covenant). Prophecy – via progressive mention or revelation – reveals this kingdom under Christ the Messiah will last on Earth 1000 years (revealed in Rev. 20:2-7) in 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). Its location is Jerusalem, city of David (2 Kings 14:20), the blessed Zion of God (Isa. 30:19). All of this proclaimed from the writing and preaching of God’s inspired prophets (Luke 1:68-80; Acts 3:12-26); later confirmed and offered by John the Baptist, Christ, and the twelve disciples (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 10:7; John 1:45; see Gal. 2:7-9) who preached the gospel of the Kingdom.

However, before the Kingdom begins, God decreed judgment on Israel expressly to prepare and purify her, earth, [4] and the Gentile nations supporting Israel prior to the Kingdom. Jeremiah, Daniel, and Zephaniah all called it “the time of (Jacob’s) trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15). We see a foreshadowing of this judgment in the Book of Judges which tells the story of a loving God retrieving a rebellious nation: “And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not” (Judges 2:20-22-bold added).

Beginning with Moses [5] the prophets through a continuing stream of progressive revelation outlined Israel’s Tribulation very clearly (study Isaiah 24-26; Jer. 30-31; Ezekiel 34-48; Dan. 12; Revelation 6-20). They defined and described it with names such as, the time of (Jacob’s) trouble (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15); day of His wrath (Psa. 110:5; Isa. 13:9; Ezek. 7:19; Zeph. 1:15; Rev. 6:17; 11:18; 14:10);  and a number of other euphemisms which they linked to the day of the Lord (Isa. 2:12; 13:6, 9; Joel 2:1; see Isa. 13:9, 13; Ezek. 7:19). Jesus further clarified it with events he personally named “tribulation” and “great tribulation” (Matt. 24:21, 29).

As clear as this is, the enemies of contextual interpretation wrangle and rearrange inspired writ to suit their own purposes. This has produced chaos as seen in the variety of rapture positions each angrily proving the other wrong. An unbiased approach to the Bible trusts “every word of God is pure” (Prov. 30:5) and selected and inspired by God for insertion precisely within a context with a caveat against alteration. I’m sorry to say this is NOT true of rapture contrarians that modify the setting to support outcomes, which prohibit interpretations unavailable to them in any other way. I’ll give you an example.

The theme of this book is simple: Right division of Scripture proves that the Tribulation is for Israel and the Gentile nations. The church is NOT included because the prophets didn’t know about us and never mentioned us; we were a mystery hidden from them. Let’s be very clear. It would have been a simple thing for the Holy Spirit to place the word church in the Tribulation passages. Israel is there. The Gentiles nations are there, but NEVER the church Body. The fact that He didn’t identify us on earth at that time is significant. The only people including us are our adversaries taking unauthorized liberties with Scripture by placing us in Israel’s Tribulation where we don’t belong and we can’t be seen. Let me illustrate.

If you witnessed a crime that a man you never saw was charged with, would you lie under oath and claim you saw him even though you hadn’t? This isn’t merely your interpretation; it’s bearing false witness.

[1] As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: (Luke 1:70).

[2] Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, (Romans 16:25)

[3] This is what the cults do, ie SDAs, JWs, Mormons, Romanists, etc.

[4] Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. (Isaiah 13:13). But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. (Jeremiah 10:10)

[5] When thou [Israel] art in tribulation and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days  (Deuteronomy 4:30- bracket comment added).

Fake News about the rapture

Dr Mike Johnston

Deceivers are a coagulation of corruption gathering everywhere. Most recognizable and insidious is the lying liberal media hiding behind the First Amendment directed by a cabal of deviants committed to propagating a godless political agenda based on Leviticus 18 values using intimidation and prevarication as their stock in trade to get there. Its deserved title is fake news and more and more American’s like fiddle man Charlie Daniel’s are recognizing it and speaking out against it: “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.”

In all honesty, when the term fake news began appearing in the 2016 presidential election, I wasn’t that surprised. Several years ago, I heard Rush Limbaugh explain the phenomenon to a dismayed caller concerned about the puzzling effectiveness of despicable defamations marshaled against innocent people while casting truth to the wind,

“The evidence is irrelevant; it’s the seriousness of the charge that matters.”

Since the seriousness of an accusation now takes precedence over its truthfulness, by default it enforces it. This not only empowers deceivers with a ready tool for destruction, it renders a defense impossible for honest men. To wit, Mark Twain was correct in lamenting, “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.”

Mr. Twain’s axiom is the essence of this chapter highlighting its predictable expectation. For all who think it could never happen to us, it not only can, it already has. A shocking fake news story infiltrated the church some 40 years ago, lacking reliable evidence to support it and yet was believed and ballyhooed simply because of the seriousness of the charge …

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

Considering the incalculable number of Christians holding forth the PreTrib rapture as the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13), this is a very serious allegation. I know because I witnessed its damage first hand. However, while I was for a period deceived by this, over time I began spotting inconsistencies in the argument warranting a closer investigation, which ultimately produced the following summary observation:

This 1830 rapture origin allegation is itself a recently concocted giant hoax.

I discovered it originated with a disgruntled and delusional rapture-loathing reporter named Dave MacPherson (DM). I use the word delusional cautiously but purposely. While DM has every right to his opinion. He does not however have the right to invent his own facts when stating it. That isn’t scholarship. It’s scandalous. How his conscience allows him to get away with this is I’m afraid a testimony to Paul’s warning: “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; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:1-2).

PreTrib Rapture Videos

PreTrib Rapture Apologetics



Matthew 24 explained by Pastor Robert Breaker:

The PreWrath Rapture? by Pastor Robert Breaker:

The Rapture by Pastor Robert Breaker:

The Scofield Bible, John Nelson Darby, Margaret MacDonald, and Dave MacPherson’s lies discussed by Pastor Billy Crone:

Pastor Billy Crone series:

What is the Rapture (4 part) – Andy Woods:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

The Rapture Gap- Bill Salus, Gary Stearman:

Bill Salus series:

The Reason for the Rapture- Gary Stearman, Bob Ulrick:

Reviewing the Facts about Israel’s Tribulation

Dr. Mike Johnston

You may have gathered from what you’ve read that Israel’s Tribulation is a highly disputed Bible doctrine. Retrospectively, over the past forty years I’ve found opinions surrounding it such as its name, length, participants, purpose, and timing of the Lord’s return, to be vacuous, vicious [1] and extremely varied. This need not be if Bible teachers will employ sound hermeneutics rather than self-serving hubris.

From the first mention [2] in Deuteronomy 4:30-31 through Revelation 19, the Tribulation is pictured as a time of trouble for Jacob, and Jacob is Israel (Gen. 32:28; Deut. 31; Jer. 30-31; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15). God designed it to ultimately lead His rebellious, stubborn hearted Jewish people into repentance preparatory to the establishment of the Davidic Covenant Kingdom (2 Sam. 7:16; Rev. 20) in Jerusalem.

One can be sure, “in that day” (Isa. 2:11, 17, 20; 11:11; Jer. 30:8; etc); “the day of the Lord” (Isa. 2:12; 13:6; 13:9; Jer. 46:10; etc), “a day of darkness and of gloominess” (Joel 2:2), the wayward, blind, and slumbering Israel (Rom. 11:8) will awaken to find herself once again on center stage fulfilling Daniel’s seventieth week (Dan. 9:24-27), (study Isaiah 2; 24; Joel; Zephaniah, Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; and Revelation 6-19), currently on hold. The Tribulation week will be followed by the Revelation of Jesus Christ predicted for Israel “in time past” (Zech. 14:4; Matt. 24:29-31; 25:31-46; Acts 14:16; Rev. 19:11-21) to occur in the “ages to come”.

Now keep at the forefront of your thinking that understanding right division God placed in Scripture is a prerequisite to arriving at right conclusions. This author – along with numerous scholars – has identified Israel’s future time of trouble as Israel’s Tribulation (Deut. 4:30; Isa. 24; 26; Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15; Matt. 24:21, 29; Rev. 7:14). Moreover, it is significant to note that every prophet discussing it invariably consigned it to Israel (study the descriptions in Isaiah 2; 24; Jeremiah 30-31; Hosea. 5:15; Joel; Zeph. 1:15). Unless you understand the connection prophecy brings to Israel’s Tribulation and her earthly Kingdom – which are completely separate from the church Body – you will have nothing from which to base right division and will remain as doctrinally destitute as most of the writers filling bookshelves with their groundless supposition presuming what they can never prove.

With that, allow me reiterate what Scripture reveals from cover to cover: There isn’t a verse anywhere in the Bible clearly and indisputably placing the Body of Christ on earth during Israel’s Tribulation without redefining the words “saints” and “elect” and “disciples ”which in context of Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and Revelation clearly identify Israel. Now, using this as a backdrop, we must continue to Biblically reject the crass manipulation that exists in the PreTrib antagonist writings beginning by misrepresenting as untrue the fact that Israel’s Tribulation has been – from the beginning – prophesied for Jacob, aka Israel; NEVER for the Body of Christ (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:21, 29; Isa. 2; 24; Jer. 30-31; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15).

Israel’s Tribulation is one of the most misunderstood doctrines in the Bible. As an eschatological theme, we know Israel’s Tribulation part of Israel’s prophecy program, given to her in “time past” [3] (Eph. 2:11) to be fulfilled in the “ages to come”[4] (Eph. 2:7). However, trying to make sense of it apart from understanding God’s purpose for it, is like trying to assemble a 1000 piece puzzle with no picture and pieces missing.

Here’s the dilemma driving our opponents to distort the truth about us and the PreTrib rapture position we interpret from right division.

If the church Body of Christ is present on earth even for a moment of Israel’s Tribulation (Deut. 4:30; Isa. 24; Jer. 30-31; Joel; Zephaniah; Matt. 24; Rev. 6-19), the Holy Spirit went to great lengths to keep us from knowing it. To wit, while we can easily identify Israel and the anti-Semitic Gentile nations here during “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; see Deut. 4:30-31; Isa. 2; Jer. 30-31; Dan. 7-12; Joel 2; Zeph. 1), the heavenly Body of Christ – which is 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). Let the record show, there isn’t a verse anywhere in the Bible clearly and unequivocally placing the Body of Christ on earth for a single moment of Israel’s holocaust without redefining the words “saints” and “elect” and “disciples” which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse and Revelation are specifically linked to Israel.

Here is our chart at the conclusion of these next three chapters.


the Elect Nation



Spokesmen: Prophets and Peter
Time Past – Ages to come

Genesis-John and Hebrews-Revelation
Gospel of the Kingdom – Circumcision

Tribulation – time of Jacob’s trouble

Looking for the Revelation after Tribulation

the Body of Christ


Spokesman: Paul
But now

Gospel of Grace – Uncircumcision

Looking for the Rapture before Tribulation

Returning with Jesus in the Revelation

[1] For merely disagreeing on the timing of the rapture, I’ve been insulted, cussed out, had my salvation impugned, as well as my intelligence. I’ve even been threatened with bodily harm, all by men who claim to be bearers of truth as “new creatures” in Christ.

[2] 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.

[3] This covers Genesis through John with historical narrative through Mid Acts.

[4] This covers Hebrews through Revelation.

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