(I sometimes get correspondence from readers who cannot understand why I make such ado over the pre-trib rapture teaching and all it’s associated notions. They accuse me of everything from being divisive and damaging to the Body of Christ to being unloving and hurtful toward people. I recently received one of those ‘What’s the harm in believing and teaching a pre-trib position?’ comments; and since this article pretty thoroughly addresses that question I thought I would repost it. P.B.)
by Paul Benson
As a teacher in the Body of Christ, and called to be a watchman, I spend considerable time researching and writing on false teachings. One of the primary issues I am led to address is the error called ‘the Pre-tribulation Rapture of the Church’. I have written two books and numerous articles rebuking that falsehood with a major focus on examining each element of that teaching for biblical support. The answer is always the same. There really is none. The Bible does NOT teach two comings of Christ NOR a ‘pre-trib’ rapture. It is a provable falsehood; an invention of man.
While my efforts normally center on exposing the pre-trib theory as error, and then encouraging folks to believe and accept only what is plainly stated in their Bible, in this article I would like to focus on the damage done by embracing and teaching that myth. It is not a benign misunderstanding; nor merely an opinion as to the timing of an event. It is a cancerous seduction presenting grave dangers; many of which are not readily apparent. In my effort to bring these dangers to light I have enlisted the help of some like minded folks. I polled them as to their thoughts on what these dangers are; and I found their insights very thought provoking; as I am sure you will too.
I sent an e-mail to numerous brethren which I will post in a section below along with their responses in full for those interested. For this writing I have pulled out key points from each to list and comment on which show the danger and damage of the pre-trib theory. Here they are:
HIS POINT: It denies the completed work of Christ.
JOHN: 1.) It attacks the finality and supremacy of Christ. 2.) It claims that God was satisfied with the blood of bulls and goats.
The idea that the Jews will go back to the Mosaic Law (after the rapture) is to trample upon the idea that Jesus was the completion of the Law – the final sacrifice.
PAUL: A large number of pre-trib believers have very little understanding of the theology they are promoting. The Scriptures clearly teach the Old Covenant was abolished; it was done away with! It was nailed to the Cross (put to death) with Christ. Pre-trib / dispensational theory takes the Old Covenant down off the Cross, un-abolishes it, and puts it back in service so the ‘tribulation Saints’ can be saved in like manner as the O.T. Saints were (or so they think).This sets aside the Cross of Christ and declares there is another way of salvation; which is absolute heresy! There is NO salvation outside of Christ. NONE!
HIS POINT: Antisemitism.
JOHN: To claim that the Jews will come to Christ AFTER the rapture is to claim that God loves the Jews less than anyone else.
PAUL: I have long felt there were clearly elements of antisemitism in dispensational / pre-trib theology, but it is seldom pointed out. Like the Jews have a second class salvation or something. Like the Bride doesn’t deserve the trials and hardships of the tribulation (God’s wrath they say) but the Jews do?
I have heard many people use the ‘proof’ Jesus would be a wife beater if he put his Bride thru the tribulation; BUT what they miss is dispensational theory (erroneously) teaches God has TWO Brides! One for Christ (the Church), and one for Jehovah (the Jews). So Jehovah God beats his wife; but Jesus does not; is that it? GET REAL!
This comes from their perversion of the concept of ‘election’; but there is really only ONE elect Bride; and God allows her to earn great reward for enduring the persecution of Antichrist’s war on the Saints. (Also, quite strangely, they place the Jews on earth with Christ for the 1000 years, but place the home of the Bride of Christ in Heaven with the Father. How does that fit?) THANKS JOHN!
Richard H Perry www.lastdaysmystery.info
HIS POINT: It cultivates an atmosphere of ignorance.
RICHARD: One of the most dangerous effects of the extremely popular Pre-Trib theory is that it makes Christians think that they do not have to study prophecy about the Time of the End and Christ’s return – because they won’t be here. Today, we find that Christians are ignorant and uninformed about the End Time, because they do not read and study Scripture.
PAUL: Excellent point! Sadly, at least 75% of the Christians I know fit that profile! This is a clear-cut example of the damage the pre-trib theory does to those who embrace it. I see this like a self fueling fire. Their ignorance of the Scriptures allows the error to take root; and the very nature of that teaching (don’t worry about those days, you’ll never see them) fosters the continuance of that ignorance; so the door remains open for further deception. The cure? Study the Scriptures; and question all teaching in light of those Scriptures. Demand scriptural support for EVERY major element of doctrine. When put to that standard the pre-trib theory falls apart like a sand castle hit by a big wave: Bye-Bye! THANKS RICHARD!
Patrick Brixen author of ‘Pre-tribulation Rapture: Truth or Fable?’
HIS POINT: Faltering faith.
PATRICK: When the great persecution (tribulation) does happen some will wake up and see that they have believed a lie, others will fall away. Cory Ten-Boom’s testimony of what happened to the Church in China is a template of what will repeat itself in the future.
PAUL: Patrick makes two significant points here. First, a point I have been harping on for years that there will be a large amount of people who will falter in their faith when confronted with extremely grievous times and hard decisions they were told they would never face. Those who are promising people they will never see the mark of the beast, and Antichrist’s war on the Saints, will stand before God on Judgment Day and give account of those lost souls who were stumbled by their false teachings.
Second, as sister Ten-Boom stated we have already seen the damage this falsehood does in the adverse way it affected the Body of Christ during the horrible purge and persecution under Mao Zedong. History teaches many Chinese Christians, taught by western missionaries they would be raptured out before anything like this would happen, stumbled and fell away from their faith as multiple millions were slaughtered around the nation. And the surviving Pastors who taught this error lived out their lives shunned by the Church as false teachers. What a stigma to have to bear! THANKS PATRICK!
James Bailey is a businessman, author, and web host of the popular Z3NEWS website.
HIS POINT: The damage of date setting.
JAMES: Not all of the pre-tribbers, but some of them, fall for the false claims the rapture is coming next month. Then when it doesn’t happen they just push the date back, but the nonsense never ends.
PAUL: Very important point, James. Clearly an area of extensive damage done by the pre-trib myth. It is readily evident the discouragement that has been inflicted upon so many by the foolishness of date setting. Lord knows how many folks have lost faith when the one who ministered the Gospel message to them gave them a false bill of goods about an impending rapture. Many who foolishly had placed their foundation upon the teachings of a man, true as they might have been, have given up on the whole message when that preacher went astray into the falsehood of date setting and ruined his credibility.
And to those who would say you cannot blame the pre-trib rapture doctrine for the date setters. Not true! If people were obeying the true admonition of Jesus’ parable of the fig tree (explained here), and were wisely looking for the signs he gave to show the season of his Return, they would not be engaged in such foolishness in the first place. THANKS JAMES!
Daniel Cox http://posttribrapture.org/ Daniel is a long time believer from the U.K., and author of ‘Commentary on the Book of Revelation’ (available for free download at his site.)
HIS POINT: Dereliction of duty.
DANIEL: The third tragic outcome, if there was any truth in the pre-tribulation delusion, would be that a rapture that they wait and hope for, would surely mean that they would evacuate our poor, sad Earth just when it needed the Saints of God the most. A thoughtful, prayerful reading of REV. 14 V. 9 -11, makes plain the awful fate of those who take the 666 mark of the beast. If just one soul could be persuaded not to succumb to the wiles of the Antichrist, or the pseudo miracles of the False Prophet, and take the cursed mark, any cost or sacrifice would be worthwhile. “We’re outa here” is not for me.
PAUL: These words, from a man who has been serving God as long as I have been alive (I’m now 60), truly exemplify the heart of our Savior. And thus expose the carnal self-focused nature of the pre-trib teaching. How our Lord must cringe at the way his glorious Gospel has been turned into an ear-tickling rendition of ‘The Prosperity and Preservation of Self’.
Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this: that a man would lay down his life for a friend.” Why would we NOT want to be here in so great of a time of need? What is wrong with the western Church that we can not recognize the pre-trib teaching as a shameful illustration of our self-love; and our unwillingness to take up the Cross to follow Christ, even into great hardships and tribulation. God help us, please! THANK YOU BROTHER DANIEL.
The Greatest Danger: The Curse Of God In Revelation 22:18-19!
PAUL: The greatest danger faced by those who embrace and teach the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine comes, not from the ill-effects of that teaching, but from God himself! The Word of God in Revelation 22:18-19 unmistakably pronounces a curse upon all those who add to, and take away from the book of Revelation; and the pre-trib theory clearly does both!
Many would consider this an outlandish statement, and even most who believe it are too timid to declare it publicly, but there will be people in Hell over their association with, and promotion of, the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine! Most Christians incorrectly state this is not a salvation issue, but for many (and God knows which are which) it will be exactly that. God did not close the book of Revelation with the warning of a curse just to be dramatic. Those words are not ambiguous, nor are they hyperbole. People who fail to heed those words will suffer the consequences clearly given there. Do not doubt it.
In recent months after an extended time of prayer and study on this issue, seeking for a greater clarity, the LORD opened up to me a deeper understanding of the satanic nature of, and strategy behind, the pre-trib rapture hoax. And it is Satanic! Although the Devil desires to spread error and deception any way and every way possible, we need to understand there is a deeper agenda at work. And it has to do with his obsessive desire to dominate the Church of God, and defeat it through Antichrist’s war on the Saints.
FOOD 4 THOUGHT: When Balak, king of Moab desired to conquer the Israelite army, he knew the only way he could do so was to get the blessing of God removed from them (Numbers 22-24). Under God’s blessing they were unbeatable. Using Balaam’s advice he accomplished that goal; and the people of God came under the curse of disobedience, suffering greatly for it. Satan has enacted a similar strategy in this end-time generation to get God’s people out of sync with him; and now, because of embracing deception, multitudes are entering the final years of this age under a curse of disobedience, and most will be easily defeated.
I examine the pre-trib teaching in light of the words of Revelation 22, and the grave danger presented, in an article titled:
I hope that you would PLEASE read it, and give it serious consideration. It could very well save your soul if you have embraced and are teaching that doctrine.
I trust you have found this article thought provoking. Sometimes stepping back a bit, and examining the effects of a doctrine, can be quite useful in determining its correctness or lack thereof. There is just no denying the damage that has been done, and certainly will be done in the days ahead, by the pre-tribulation rapture hoax. Let’s wake up and discern the deception.
Let’s make sure this seductive and unbiblical pre-trib rapture myth gets LEFT BEHIND!
May God guide us all into his perfect truth.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Here is a list of the articles I have written examining this false teaching; and showing that its various elements have no foundation in the Word of God: THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE THEORY
I also encourage you to examine the writings of those who contributed to this article by following the links next to their names above.
I welcome your input. If you would like to share comment or criticism please feel free to do so in the section below. Overly long comments may be edited for length. Also I will not post the false teachings of others.
Thank you for visiting my site.
HERE IS THE E-MAIL I SENT OUT SEEKING INPUT:
Hello Brother ________;
As those who know me are quite aware, I spend a good deal of time combating false doctrine in general and the pre-trib rapture theory specifically. I am working on an article titled: The Damage And The Danger: Why The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Myth Needs ‘Left Behind’!; and I thought I might reach out to other like-minded folks for their input.
Although most of my efforts concerning the pre-trib rapture hoax focus on showing the incorrectness of that teaching, I wanted to put together something which addresses the effects of that teaching on a persons belief system, current perspective, also future effects / damage done etc.; as well as maybe the attitude / viewpoint / repercussions etc. of the Father himself.
As someone who deals with this subject matter I was wondering if you had any points you see need addressed in this area of the danger and ill effects presented by embracing that myth.. Not so much a lengthy expounding of thought, but maybe more along the lines of bullet point concepts you see as vital.
As the Scripture says ‘in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established’ I thought some quotes / opinions of others might make this article somewhat more impacting. Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this aspect of the pre-trib error (damage) you would like to express.
Blessings in Jesus Christ;
HERE ARE THE RESPONSES I RECIEVED IN FULL:
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You honor me with this question! But, I’m betting that there isn’t much that I could offer that you don’t already have covered. But, I’ll give it a shot, anyway.
But, before I begin, a warning… A lot of false teaching gets started by examining the ‘dangers’ of a certain doctrine. I often hear things like… “If we let people believe THAT then [INSERT CALAMITY HERE] will happen!” Everything from alchohol to predestination to contraception to mowing the lawn on Sunday… there’s always someone who is horrified at what might happen if a certain interpretation or activity is allowed.
An example is in one of my many peeves – the use of grape juice during the Lord’s Supper. Jesus used wine, as did Paul. Paul even told Timothy to drink wine. And, the only way that you can actually HAVE grape juice is to boil it immediately after it has been squeezed. Yet, we persist in using grape juice, out of the horrifying thought that alcohol would be consumed.
All of that doesn’t mean that we don’t talk about the dangers of a certain idea, but the ‘dangers’ are a distant second to our devotion to the truth.
Okay, having issued that ‘caveat’ let me think through those pre-trib dangers:
1. It attacks the finality and supremacy of Christ. The idea that the Jews will go back to the Mosaic Law is to trample upon the idea that Jesus was the completion of the Law – the final sacrifice.
2. It claims that God was satisfied with the blood of bulls and goats. This is an argument against Dispensationalism. Dispensationalism argues that there are discrete (ie., self contained) ‘dispensations’, that each dispensation was sufficient for God. I’ve always wondered why people are surprised by my claim that Jesus died for all who came before, not just for all who would come after. And yes, Jesus died for Abraham, Moses, David, Adam, etc.
3. It negates Luke 21:36.
– Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
4. It adds to Revelation and causes believers to suffer the wrath of God:
– Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
5. Sloppy interpretation – since there is no verse in the Bible that describes a pretrib rapture, you must use ‘sloppy interpretation’ to make it work. Well, sloppy interpretation leads to even MORE sloppy interpretation elsewhere in the Bible.
6. Prosperity Gospel – pretrib-ism promotes the idea that God does not want you to suffer. Accordingly, suffering is bad, and there must be something wrong with you, if you suffer. That flies in the face of what Christians have suffered for centuries:
– 2 Timothy 3:12 – Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shallsuffer persecution.
Ultimately, this pretrib folly is man-centric and not God-centric.
7. Antisemitism – this is a weak argument, but follow me a bit on this one. To claim that the Jews will come to Christ AFTER the rapture is to claim that God loves the Jews less than anyone else. I find that to be strange when the Jews, and the rest of Israel, feature so prominently in the Bible. Paul spoke of them as the ‘natural branches’ not the wild ones like you and me.
8. Distortion of the WHOLE Bible – the Bible is a complete entity. It fits together perfectly, so that when you distort one part, that distortion ripples throughout the Bible. I could delve deeper into the foolishness of Dispensationalism, and pick out each distortion that twists the Bible.
But, my gag reflex is too strong.
Ultimately, all of this is rebellion, and the thought of that always brings my mind to this verse:
– 1 Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
The thought of that makes me shiver, as I think that it does for you. May we always submit to the will of God. Always.
Keep up the good work, Paul. I look forward to seeing what you write.
Yours in Christ,
Richard H Perry www.lastdaysmystery.info
One of the most dangerous effects of the extremely popular Pre-Trib theory is that it makes Christians think that they do not have to study prophecy about the Time of the End and Christ’s return – because they won’t be here. They’ll be hanging out with Christ in heaven during Daniel’s 70th ‘seven’ and the Great Tribulation.
Today, we find that Christians are ignorant and uninformed about the End Time, because they do not read and study Scripture. Also, because Pre-Trib is so popular pastors are afraid to teach or talk on the topic. They have become the End Time (1 talent) Pastors mentioned in the parable of the Talents, they are hiding God’s Word on the topic. PS: Notice that the 5 Talent servants put their talent to work immediately, which only the apostles could have done.
Blessings and God’s speed;
Richard H. Perry
Patrick Brixen Author of Pre-tribulation Rapture: Truth or Fable?
Hi Paul, I have been pondering your question for a couple days now and I really cant come up with any thing that I would call a new perspective on the pre trib fallacy, that being said, I think the worst that will happen to the pe tribbers is that they will have a continuing expectation of being “raptured out of here” before any real bad stuff begins to happen to us believers. Even when the real persecution does happen here many will still believe it, and the risk to life and limb will not change their minds, because its” any day now”. Some will wake up and see that they have believed a lie, others will fall away.
Cory Ten-Booms testimony of what happened to the church in China is a template of what will repeat it self in the future. The important thing when it begins to happen is to encourage one another to endure to the end, of the last day or your life.
Have you been seeing all the junk on the web about marshal law, the USA getting nuked, how about getting invaded by China and or Russia after another great depression with massive earth quakes and tsunamis. Don’t forget the EMP. All just around the corner… So many false dreams and visions. The Lord will prove who are false and who are truly speaking from the Lord.
Well, I gave you my opinion – Pat the Painter
James Bailey is a businessman, author, and web host of the popular Z3NEWS website.
I am glad to hear you are helping people get free from the pre-trib nonsense. Not all of the pre-tribbers, but some of them fall for the false claims the rapture is coming next month. Then when it doesn’t happen they just push the date back, but the nonsense never ends. Even right now there are many posting comments on Z3 about the rapture coming in 2017. If they knew the scriptures and all that must happen before the rapture they could avoid getting duped.
James Bailey – Z3news.com
Daniel Cox website posttribrapture.org/
Hello again dear brother Paul,
Just a few comments reference your project which we trust will reach some of the many who are living in a “Fools Paradise”, which is no paradise at all, in fact completely the opposite.
1. The deluded pre-tribbers are living in a perilous condition of a false security. Their false belief is that they will be raptured out of any pressure or trouble, and certainly out of the time of Antichrist`s great persecution that we know as the Tribulation. There is not a single scripture to support their error. They depend totally on “one-liners” such as “The Lord would never pour out His wrath on His Church” conveniently forgetting that the Tribulation is Satan`s Wrath not God`s. Another such “Sound-bite” is that the Tribulation is “The time of Jacob`s trouble”, and will only impact the Jews, again conveniently forgetting that when Jeremiah penned those words more than 650 years would pass by before the Church was to come into being. 1 THESS. 5 V. 1 – 11. makes plain there are definitely two groups; the “watchful” and the poor deluded “sleepers” who are as unaware of what is unfolding before their befuddled eyes so as to make them like drunken men. Surely, a perfect description of the deluded pre-tribbers.
2. The second rotten fruit of the delusion is that the Saints of God who have bought into the deceit are totally unprepared both spiritually and mentally for the awesome, awful days to come. The “watchful”, will see the day coming and will prepare. Some small human precautions maybe, but not as the “Survivalists” who, as a couple who contacted me via the web-site quite recently, in spite of all my pleas and advices, they had moved to the wilds of Canada, holed up with stockpiled food for 3 1/2 years or was it seven, to be on the safe side. There they were sitting and waiting. The mans beard could be quite long before the balloon goes up!
3. The third tragic outcome, if there was any truth in the pre-tribulation delusion, would be that a rapture that they wait and hope for, would surely mean that they would evacuate our poor, sad Earth just when it needed the Saints of God the most. A thoughtful, prayerful reading of REV. 14 V. 9 -11, makes plain the awful fate of those who take the 666 mark of the beast.
If just one soul could be persuaded not to succumb to the wiles of the Antichrist, or the pseudo miracles of the False Prophet, and take the cursed mark, any cost or sacrifice would be worthwhile. “We’re outa here” is not for me.
4. Finally, just a couple of scriptures from the multitude in God`s precious Holy Word. In my reading this morning I read of what is surely the raptured Saints, “I beheld , and lo a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands”, (REV. 7 V. 9). we see them again in REV. 15 V. 2, “I saw…..them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his mark, and over the number of his name”. These are surely the victorious children of God who had borne the pressures and fires of the Tribulation and overcome. Further, MATT 24 V. 29 – 31, begins “Immediately after the Tribulation”, and then follows the account of the sun, moon, stars and the heavens being impacted, the sign of the Son of Man, the tribes of the Earth in mourning, that same Son of Man coming in the clouds, and the “last trump”, and the gathering of the elect from the four winds. This Matthew scripture alone, totally destroys and explodes any credence that the pre-tribulation rapture delusion could possibly have.
Almost sixty years of study and reflection has convinced me that there can only be one biblical conclusion. It is that the rapture will take place “IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION”.
Hope this is something of what you wanted.
Daniel & Lin.