by Paul Benson
Here in the state of Montana (USA) when folks are concerned about the well-being of someone there is a procedure in place where you can notify the proper authorities, and they do what is called a wellness-check. And if it seems there is a reasonable cause for concern that person is transported to a medical facility for an exam to determine the condition of their health.
In the Christian Community there is a growing concern for a fella that goes by the name of Pre. T. Rapshur. His delusional ramblings and unsteady gait (as well as a serious vision problem) has led many to seriously question his condition, and wonder if possibly he is a danger to the public at large. Due to this concern Mr. Rapshur was recently sent in for an examination. Here are the results:
The attending Physician was a Dr. Theos Logos (a well respected pillar of the community). His findings are as follows:
Dr. Logos: Upon initial examination the patient seemed to be in somewhat reasonable health, but as the exam continued serious problems became readily apparent.
OBSERVATION: Patients legs are weak and wobbly.
The Pre-trib rapture doctrine rests upon two main pillars; The doctrine of Imminent Return and the notion that the time of Tribulation is the wrath of God (and that as we are not appointed to suffer God’s wrath the Church will be removed before that time). Neither of these assumptions is supported by the Word of God. In fact both are refuted by it!
THE TWO THOUSAND YEAR OLD ‘IMMINENT’ RETURN!
The doctrine of ‘imminent return’ is based upon a false claim that supposedly God revealed to the Apostle Paul Christ’s return for the Church was imminent (could, and was likely to, happen at any second). They say that not only did God reveal this to Paul but that he promoted that notion, taught it to his followers, and included it in his writings we know as Scripture.
This falsehood can easily be shown incorrect by looking at a prophesy given by Jesus to the Apostle Peter.
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. John 21:18
The Lord Jesus clearly prophesied Peter would die as an old man.
The resurrection / catching away of the Church could NOT take place before this prophesy was fulfilled. And since Paul and Peter both died in Rome in the ‘Neronian purge’ of A.D. 67-68, the ‘rapture’ could not have been imminent during the life and ministry of Paul. God did not reveal to him something that was not true! The doctrine of imminent return is founded upon a theory clearly proven false by the Scriptures. For a deeper look at this error see this article: Bible Proof The Pre-trib Rapture Theory Is False
TRIBULATION EQUALS WRATH?
The second pillar of the pre-trib theory is also easily proven false by the very words of the Lord Jesus himself. The notion that the great tribulation is the Wrath of God would make the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:21 into a lie, and we know Jesus spoke only words of truth. The pre-trib promoters would have you read those words as follows:
For then shall be great tribulation (THE WRATH OF GOD), such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. Matthew 24:21
Jesus said this great tribulation, whatever it is, would be the worst expression of it that ever was, or ever would be!
That means it would have to be the greatest expression of God’s wrath that ever was, or ever will be; and that is absolutely not true. It would have to be worse than the wrath that destroyed the world in Noah’s day, worse than the wrath Jesus will express at his Return after that tribulation, AND be worse than the wrath of Hell and the eternal Lake of Fire! Could that possibly be true? Come on people, let’s put our brains in gear and let out the clutch! For more on this false claim of the great tribulation being God’s Wrath see this article: Is The Great Tribulation God’s Wrath?
So we see that Dr. Logos was right. Mr. Rapshur’s legs are indeed VERY wobbly; it is amazing he is still upright and mobile!
Dr. Logos: OBSERVATION: The patient suffers from serious vision problems: nearsightedness as well as selective recognition (may be self-imposed).
In addition to being too nearsighted as to see the Church in the tribulation, or them facing the Mark of the Beast, Pre-trib teachers cannot see the Church on earth in Revelation from chapters 4-22 even though there is clear evidence to the contrary. See Revelation 6:9; 12:17; 14:12; 20:4 etc.. In Revelation it speaks of those who have the testimony, or faith of Jesus, and die ‘in the Lord’. To say this is not the Church is willful blindness. (In addition it does not mention the Church by name in Heaven also in those chapters! Is that proof that they are not there either? According to their standard they would disprove their own theory!)
THE ELECTION DECEPTION
One of the easiest of their errors to disprove is their concept of the elect of God. In order for their theory to remain afloat they must declare National Israel as the elect of God apart from the Body of Christ. But the problem they face is the Bible is very clear that we (the Church along with a remnant of Jewish believers) are all ONE in Christ. WE are the Elect! (A simple word search on elect /election in the N.T. clearly proves this.)
The only passage in the New Testament that uses the word ‘election’ in regard to Israel is in Romans 11; and that chapter clearly teaches Israel (except for a believing remnant) was cut off from (but definitely called by God to return to) their election by unbelief. A pre-trib believer purposely turns a blind eye to most of Romans 11. Please understand that THEY HAVE TO because what it teaches would absolutely destroy their belief system! They isolate verses 25-29 and insert a false notion into those verses and then, twisting them, claim them as ‘proof’ national Israel is currently in good standing as the elect of God. But it is deception, and a willful ignorance.
(NOTE: As the gifts and calling of God are without repentance Israel is called to return to their position as the elect. And a large number of them soon will! Maybe sooner than you think! ALL the promises of God to them will be fulfilled in Christ. Each and every one!)
If you read the WHOLE chapter it teaches Israel was cut off (from the Olive tree) by unbelief; except for a believing remnant who are joined (NOT replaced) by the Church (grafted into the Olive tree). And when a portion of Israel (1/3?) turns to Christ they will be grafted back in again (as members of the Body of Christ) and regain the status of Election. A careful prayerful reading of Romans 11 proves this clearly! The pre-trib promoter is FORCED by his doctrine to turn a blind eye to the full context of the chapter as a proper regard for it would destroy his theory. Did I mention this is willful ignorance? (Oh my, I guess I already did. Sorry!)
This selective vision is evident throughout the pre-trib teachings. Time and time again the Apostles refer to the Church as the elect of God! For more on the clear Bible truth that the Body of Christ is the Elect of God please see this article: The Identity Of The Elect In Matthew 24.
Dr. Logos: OBSERVATION: The mental state of the patient seems to be also problematic. Confusion as to factual accounts and vivid hallucinations are plainly evident. Dementia is strongly suspected.
Surprisingly many prominent pre-trib teachers will readily admit there are no verses in the Bible which come right out and plainly state that doctrine. That it has to be presupposed, and then you can see where it is ‘implied’ in a great number of passages. This practice of ‘doctrine by implicit reference’ has spawned many a false teaching over the years. The pre-trib theory is just one of them.
Due to lack of Scripture passages to support their teaching they are forced to insert their doctrine into verses which have no actual bearing upon what they are claiming. This practice leaves one wondering who dreamed up these fantasies.
THE GREAT ESCAPE
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Revelation 3:10
This verse from Revelation chapter 3 is reportedly one of the strongest ‘proofs’ of the pre-trib theory, but a close and honest examination of it shows no evidence whatsoever the verse is a promise to escape the great tribulation or is even speaking about the end-times at all. Think on this a minute here! Would the Bible use phrases such as ‘the hour of temptation’ and ‘to try them’ when speaking of an outpouring of God’s wrath? God’s wrath does not tempt or try his enemies, it DESTROYS them! To say Rev. 3:10 is a promise of a pre-trib rapture is a feeble grasping at straws. I guess desperate doctrines must resort to desperate measures. For a conclusive examination of the deluded notion this verse is about escaping the great tribulation check out this: Is Revelation 3:10 A Promise To Escape The Great Tribulation?
THE ARMIES OF HEAVEN
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. Revelation 19:14
Another verse they insert their errant theory into is this one also from Revelation. Their ‘proof’ centers around the idea that because these armies are wearing white, and so is the Bride of Christ in Rev.19:8, this means these armies are also the Bride of Christ. (I wonder if Mr. Clean is also part of that army? He wears white too!) And, they further suppose, if they are coming out of Heaven with Jesus at the Second Coming there would have to have been a prior rapture event to get them into Heaven thus proving a pre-trib rapture.
But once again we have a verse which in no way would bring you to that conclusion if a presupposed theory were not imposed upon it. The Bible clearly teaches our God as the LORD of Hosts. The theologians down through the centuries have stated that phrase is referring to the angelic host. There is nothing about Revelation 19:14 that suggests anything different.
The Bible does not teach anywhere that believers are the armies of Heaven. And when you consider all the passages that describe Jesus returning to earth accompanied by the angels of Heaven the subject of this verse becomes quite clear. A deeper analysis of this mistaken notion is discussed here: Who Are The Armies Of Heaven With Jesus At His Return?
THE MYSTERY OF THE AGES
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1Corinthians 15:51-32
There is no where in the Scriptures that teaches an instantaneous disappearance of the Body of Christ!
We’ve all seen the movies and their dramatization where suddenly all the believers vanish, and leave behind a pile of clothing; but the concept is NOT Biblical. A thorough look at 1Cor. 15 shows the concept of the catching away to meet Christ is not mentioned even once in the entire chapter. The subject matter is clearly the resurrection of the dead; and the transformation to the body which happens at that time. It says we will be CHANGED in the twinkling of an eye, nothing about a vanishing act.
To state the phrase ‘in the twinkling of an eye’ is talking of a ‘POOF-we are outta here!’ rapture event resembles more of a hallucination than proper bible exegesis. A pattern of resurrection and ascension is clearly shown us by our Lord Jesus. Did he vanish and leave behind a pile of clothes on the ground? No! He ascended visibly. (Acts 1:9-11) There is nothing in Scripture to indicate our ascension should be any different than his! First the Head; then the Body. (1Cor. 15:20-23)
This passage (1Cor. 15:51-52) is also used to promote the falsehood that a pre-tribulation rapture was the ‘mystery of the ages’ that God revealed to Paul. But the truth is the mystery of the ages is actually the indwelling of the believer by Christ, and that the end result of that would be the transformation into an immortal state. A full refutation of the teaching that the rapture is that ‘mystery’ can be found here: The Rapture Is NOT The Mystery God Revealed To Paul!
These three examples of the delusional thinking fostered by the pre-trib theory are just a sampling of the shameful treatment the Word of God receives in the promotion of that falsehood. They continually INSERT their theory into verses of Scripture, which in their rightful context would make no such statement, and then claim their theory is found through out the pages of the Bible. But a thorough examination of these ‘proofs’ shows them to be no proof at all! The Bible does NOT teach a pre-tribulation rapture, NOR two comings of Christ in the end-times! Let’s get it right!
Dr. Logos: CONCLUSION: Prognosis for this individual is not encouraging. Recovery to a healthy condition is not a reasonable expectation. Recommend patient be permanently removed from society in the interest of public safety.
If the pre-trib doctrine were a person, he would be in the psychiatric ward of a nursing home handcuffed to a bed (and probably receiving hospice care). If that teaching were an animal it would be put out of its misery – euthanized for the good of society!
What does it say about the state of modern Christianity that such a sickly, unbalanced, deceiving, and dangerous teaching would be so enticing to so many? Are WE nuts?
God help us!
NOTE: Due to time and space issues, this report on the well-being of Mr. Pre T. Rapshur has been abbreviated. If you need more information on his condition please consult the following files: The Pre-trib Rapture Theory
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