Monday, February 27, 2006

Pre-wrath is Meat and Potatoes

Some have tried desperately, with some success, to convince people that pre-wrath is a confusing position and next to impossible to understand. I believe this is a very inaccurate assessment made by those who are very confused themselves. Pre-wrath is a meat-and-potatoes position for meat-and-potatoes-people, and a plain reading of a few select passages easily sums up the doctrine. Pre-wrath can be broken down to its very bare essentials so that anyone can understand it in under five minutes. Set your watch.

Matthew 24 informs us that, at some unknown time in the future, “the abomination of desolation” (v. 15) will take place. Following the abomination, “there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world” (v. 21).

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky. (v. 29)

[And then all] “will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect. (v. 30)

The gathering mentioned in verse 30 is the rapture of the Church as seen in 1 Thessalonians (and other places):

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. (1 Thess. 4:16-17)

The sign in the sun, moon, and stars, as mentioned in Matt. 24:29, that proceeds the coming of Christ and the gathering of the elect from the great tribulation, is seen in Revelation to take place after the sixth seal is opened.

I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. (Rev. 6:12-13)

Because the rapture is shown to take place after the sign in the sun, moon, and stars in Matthew 24, we should also see evidence of a rapture after the triple sign in Revelation. And we do.

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands…

…Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?"

I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:9,13-14)

So why is this position called pre-wrath? Because we believe that, at an unknown time in the future, God will gather His bride before He distributes His end times wrath.

After the rapture of the Church has taken place, the wrath of God that is contained within the Day of the Lord will begin. We know that the Day of the Lord cannot begin until after the sixth seal is opened and the signs appear in the sky. The prophet Joel made this clear for us:

The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. (Joel 2:31)

Pre-wrath Timeline

1. Abomination of Desolation
2. Great Tribulation
3. Triple Sign at Sixth Seal
4. Christ’s Coming and Gathering of the Elect
5. Day of the Lord/God’s Wrath (contained in the trumpet and bowl judgments that follow the seven seals)

In conclusion, yes, the pre-wrath position is simple, but is it also important? I believe the answer is yes, and no. It is helpful to place everything into a neat and orderly package, name the package in order to give it distinction from the other packages, and present it to others for their evaluation. This is especially true when the other packages are full of erroneous claims that have great potential to hinder an individual’s understanding of God and His plan, among other things. But I’m not one that believes we need to be overly concerned with names and titles, or that we need to have a name for every belief we hold. So, yes, the pre-wrath position is important, but not a necessity.

I believe the important factor within the rapture debate that everyone must understand is this: Christ followers have been given a promise to suffer (Phil. 1:29), no matter what a certain new belief systems teaches. The final generation is not exempt from suffering and gets no special escape ticket from the Great Tribulation, but Christ will come for us when it’s time.

Speaking of time—check your watch.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Advice Column

Dear Dave,

I need help. I love my pastor and the people at my church. I’ve been going there a long time and don’t want to go anywhere else, but the pastor is in the middle of a four week message centered on the pre-trib rapture…and I’m MAD! I can’t seem to get over it. What do you think I should do?



Dear Christy,

If a person is afraid to speak in front of a group, the advice that people give is to view the audience in their underwear. For more than one reason, you may not want to visualize your pastor in his underwear, but I suggest you try picturing him with a milk mustache while he’s teaching the pre-trib theory next Sunday morning. This may help lighten the mood you’re experiencing. But I’m not a trained professional, so you may want to seek a second opinion.


Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins

Friday, February 24, 2006

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Pre-tribulation Theory is an Old Belief? Pseudo-Ephraem says, "No!"

I understand that there’s been mass marketing involved when it comes to spreading the teaching of the pre-tribulational rapture theory. It began in the early 1900’s with the Scofield Reference Bible, and it slowly gained momentum until things exploded in 1970 with Hal Lindsey’s book, The Late Great Planet Earth. And of course, we all know about the Left Behind phenomenon.

But still, at times, I have trouble understanding how the majority of Americans are completely unaware of the origins of the pre-tribulational rapture theory, or of the fact that there is not a single historical document that references a belief in a pre-trib coming of Christ before the late 1820's. When compared to the entire history of the Church, pre-trib truly is Pop Culture.

Many have tried to manipulate documents in attempts to prove that the theory existed long ago, and many have believed the slick maneuvers. There’s a few books that come to mind that address this issue like “First the Antichrist,” by Bob Gundry, or the painful read “The Rapture Plot,” by Dave MacPherson, but I believe the best piece I’ve read is found at The Last Trumpet.

There, Tim Warner covers the document known as “Pseudo-Ephraem,” the best known “evidence” for an historical document that supposedly shows an early pre-trib belief. It’s fairly lengthy, but very good.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Tribune’s Purpose

It’s my desire that this blog be a safe place where friends can send their friends and feel comfortable knowing that they will not be insulted. There are countless individuals within the American church system that “know” that the pre-trib theory is Biblical simply because everyone in their environment has told them that it is. The Pre-wrath Tribune is dedicated to objecting to this conclusion, and is committed to presenting teachings that demonstrate why environmental majority is not necessarily the best place to receive doctrine.

Top Five Purposes of The Pre-wrath Tribune:

1. To help those adhering to the pre-tribulation rapture theory understand why many believe the theory is not based on biblical evidence.

2. To help those who already hold to a pre-wrath or post-trib belief. To present, clarify, and articulate reasons for what they already know to be true so that they can, in turn, better articulate it to their friends.

3. To present and simplify the pre-wrath position and topics pertaining to, but not limited to, the study of prophecy.

4. To advance the truth about Christ’s return in these important times and to create thought that broadens our view of God so that we may know Him more fully (there is much more involved in the study of prophecy than the simple issue of the timing of His return).

5. To stick it to The Man.*

Certainly somebody, somewhere, will get mad while visiting The Pre-wrath Tribune, but in my years of debating this subject I have come to conclude that this is, at times, unavoidable. All I can do is my best. Join me, invite your friends, link the Tribune to your site, and help advance the cause. Have fun, post a lot, and come back often.


*The Man — The invisible puppeteer operating the strings. The entity with the power; with influence. The one with the ability to hold you back and keep you down in your attempt to pursue spiritual growth and biblical understanding. He is the 21st century American religious system; the Left Behind phenomenon; the Papacy; the dispensational system established in the 1800's; the extreme, hyper-zealous Religious Right movement; etc.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


A regular reader from Moab, Utah just became visitor # 666 today (see stats counter). Congratulations! You will receive The Pre-wrath Tribune at absolutely no cost for one year. Click here to view your prize.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Albrecht Durer

I’ve placed my favorite apocalyptic art piece at the bottom of this blog as a permanent footer. It’s a sixteenth century “woodcut” by Albrecht Durer (1471-1528 AD) entitled “The Opening of the Fifth and Sixth Seal,” and is an obviously fitting piece for The Pre-wrath Tribune. Check it out along with his other work.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Seventieth Week Challenge

Dear pre-trib believer,

The Church did not experience the first 69 weeks (Dan. 9:20-27). We agree on this. But you take things one step further and say that because the Church was not there for the first 69, it cannot be in the final 70th week, either. Can you find a single passage in the Bible that supports this claim?



Wednesday, February 15, 2006

List of All Previous Posts (Newest posts on top)

Matthew 24 Isn't Literal?
The Beast Empire—More "Was" and "Is" Dilemmas: Part 8
The Beast Empire—Was the Beast "Was" or "Is?": Part 7
God is Finished With Israel?
The Beast Empire—A Visual of the Beast That Will Come
New Pre-wrath Book!
The Beast Empire—The Mystery Beast that Will Come: Part 6
The Beast Empire — Six Headed Chart
New Web Site
Polls, Visitors, Statistics and Search Words
The Beast Empire—Seven Heads: Part 5
The Beast Empire—Charts
The Beast Empire—The Ten Toes After What?: Part 4
Pre-wrathers Are Brighter Than Jesus?
Romney, Huckabee and Mormonism
The Beast Empire—Timing the Ten Horns: Part 3
The Beast Empire—Daniel's Beasts: Part 2
The Beast Empire—Daniel's Statue: Part 1
A Question About Daniel's Dream
The Next Pres?
It's Official: John Hagee HAS Gone Mad
The Rapture Recorder
The Jews and the Arabs: Where it Began and Where it Will End
His Return: Imminent?
Is Revelation Chronological?
A Case for the Prewrath Rapture
Seals, Trumpets and Bowls: Chronological or Concurrent?
Is Israel the Fig Tree? Did Christ Promise to Return to Our Generation?
Far Be it From God That He Should Have a Son!
A Great Conversation With an Extreme Liberal
9/11/01 and Beyond
Old Thoughts Revisited
Christ is Coming This Week!
Complete Control of Temple Mount?
Lunar Eclipse
I Can't Help It
Promises: A Movie You Must See
A Question From a Reader
Parousia Magazine
Erika: 1990-2006
Timing the Two Witnesses
A New Thought on the Word "Church" in Revelation
Don't Ignore the Details: Revelation Does NOT Reveal Who Jesus Is
Revelation Chart
It's Gettin' Hot in Here (Global Warming)
Da Vinci Hype (The Movie)
History Lesson
Satan: Who is He?
Is This Guy Nuts?
Matthew 24 / Revelation 6 Chart
The Position of the Early Church
The Scroll
Armageddon and More
The Big Lie?
Future Hopes Eagerly Awaited And Applied
Reader Response
The "Overcomers" Overcome by Being Overcome
The Foolish Nation, Jealousy, And Redemption
The Crucifixion—The Complete Picture
The Tribulation Or the Day of the Lord? — Revisited
2 Thessalonians 2
The Tribulation Or the Day of the Lord
Seven Year Tribulation—No Such Thing
The "Tribulation" Challenge
Pre-wrath Is Meat and Potatoes
Advice Column
The Pre-tribulation Theory is an Old Belief? Part 2
The Pre-tribulation Theory is an Old Belief?
The Tribune’s Purpose
Albrecht Durer (Art)
The Seventieth Week Challenge
Ruth Graham's Thoughts
Dear Tim LaHaye,
Before or After What, When?
Corrie Ten Boom On Tribulation
Money Making Marketing Machine

Revelation Unsealed (Book review)
Revelation 3:10 — Pre-trib Foundation
Top 10 Verses That Teach Pre-trib
What The Bible Says About The Rapture
1 Peter 2:20-21
Left Behind Soundtrack, Confusion and Irony
The Church Is Not In Rev. 4-18?
Foolish Nation
The Seals Are God's Wrath?
What, Or Who, Is The Church?
Taking Tim To Task
So When Is His Wrath?
Why Isn’t God’s Wrath Mentioned?
The Biggest Sign Not Mentioned?
Love Grown Cold
True Rumors (Pre-trib's origin)
Silly, Silly Rumors (Nobody believed the 70th Week was unfulfilled until recently?)
Matthew 24 And 1 Thessalonians Compared
Pre-wrath Big Picture
Parousia Magazine
Gather and Return to Me
Who Is the Overcomer?
Who Are The Elect In Matthew 24?
Preterists Turn Jesus Into A False Prophet
Find That Bible Verse Challenge
Are Matthew 24 And Luke 21 The Same Teaching? Part 3
Are Matthew 24 And Luke 21 The Same Teaching? Part 2
Are Matthew 24 And Luke 21 The Same Teaching? Part 1
The Invisible Christ Challenge
Christ will come in our generation?
The "Any Moment" Challenge
Overcome By Grace
Pre-trib is supposed to comfort us?
He could come at any moment?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ruth Graham's Thoughts

Click the above image to view a larger version of the letter Ruth Graham (Billy's wife) sent to a certain post-tribber many years ago.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dear Tim,

I do give Tim LaHaye a hard time, but it's always concerning his teachings, and never his motives or heart. I want to make sure that pre-trib readers know that though I strongly disagree with their end times position, I understand that this is a minor issue in comparison to salvation.

About a year ago I sent a letter to Tim LaHaye, along with a copy of my book. I decided I would share this letter with you today. While I'm certainly adamant that there is not a single passage to support his position, the below letter correctly displays how I really feel about Tim LaHaye, and all who disagree with me. People are more important than doctrinal issues, and when it all comes down to the bottom line, I'm a harmless fuz-ball.

Dear Tim,
I wanted to send my book to you a while back but didn’t know how to get a hold of you, but recently an internet friend (Donald Salerno, Revelation Unsealed) found your address for me. I’m sending my book to you out of courtesy, because after all, "Who Will Be Left Behind And When" is a critique of the pre-trib position using your name and teachings throughout the book. I’m sorry I didn’t get it to you before it was released.

I did my best not to attack you personally (see page 15) and tried to simply use references from your teaching books as examples. I would be honored if you read my book, but I certainly understand if you don’t.

We obviously strongly disagree on the rapture issue, but I know, and am thankful, that we agree on the most important foundational salvation issues. I look forward to the debate being over and to the time when you and I can literally sit at His feet together and laugh about all the things we were both wrong about!


Dave Bussard

Friday, February 10, 2006

Before or After What, When?

This is a one-and-a-half page excerpt from a previous post that was fifteen pages long. I know many will not read a fifteen page blog entry, but I feel that this portion of the teaching is important to understand for more than one reason. And, of course, this is an attempt to get you to read the original post in its entirety. I think it's worth your time, but then again, I am rather biased on this issue.

After Christ baits them with His comments about the temple’s destruction (in Luke 21:6), the disciples ask the obvious question: “Teacher, when therefore will these things happen? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place (Luke 21:7)?”

Both Matthew and Luke now give us Jesus’ exact same response about the birth pains in reply to their question. He said that many will come in His name, claiming to be the Christ, and will mislead many. He taught that there will be wars and rumors of wars. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines.

There can be no mistake about it. The birth pains mentioned in Matthew and Luke are one and the same.

But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. (Matt. 24:8-9)

Notice that, in Matthew, Jesus says that there will be birth pains and then they will be delivered up to tribulation, death, and hatred. But what does Luke say?

But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name's sake. (Luke 21:12).

…will put some of you to death and you will be hated by all. (v. 16-17)

What “things” are Jesus talking about when He says, “But before all these things?” They could be nothing other than the birth pains He mentioned in the previous verse (including the “terrors and great signs form heaven”, which we will get to later).

In Matthew, Jesus clearly taught that the birth pains would take place first and “then” they would be delivered up to tribulation, hated, and killed. But, in Luke, Jesus tells them that “before all these things” [the same birth pangs mentioned in Matthew 24], they would be persecuted, hated, and killed.

Matthew 24 = Birth pains and then tribulation/hated/killed
Luke 21 = Persecution/hated/killed and then birth pains

There is no possible way that a particular event could take place before and after the birth pains, and therefore it’s impossible that these two accounts are speaking of the same event. There’s only one answer that smoothly harmonizes this dilemma.

In Luke, Jesus speaks to His disciples at the temple during the day and answers their question about when the temple will be destroyed. In verses 12-23, He informs them of the details of the upcoming event that were to take place before the birth pains. We now know this event happened in 70 AD when the Romans attacked Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, and dispersed the Jews among the nations.

Matthew 24 verses 3 through the end of the chapter records what Jesus spoke to the disciples later that evening on the Mount of Olives, answering their question that pertained to His coming and the end of the age. He taught them about what would take place after the birth pains—the final persecution of the elect initiated by the “abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet.”

It fits together quite nicely. The disciples and other listeners had heard earlier that day about the destruction of the temple and about some of the events of the end (Luke). The disciples had thought about it the rest of the day, piquing their curiosity, and later that evening they came to Him privately and asked, “When will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age (Matthew)?”

It appears, in Matthew, as though the disciples assumed the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple were linked to His coming and the end of the age, but there should be no doubt—Jesus implied no such thing. He simply answered the portion of their question pertaining to the end. He gave them what they really wanted to know at that time.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Corrie Ten Boom On Tribulation

The world is deathly ill. It is dying. The Great Physician has already signed the death certificate. Yet there is still a great work for Christians to do. They are to be streams of living water, channels of mercy to those who are still in the world. It is possible for them to do this because they are overcomers.

Christians are ambassadors for Christ. They are representatives from Heaven to this dying world. And because of our presence here, things will change.

My sister, Betsy, and I were in the Nazi concentration camp at Ravensbruck because we committed the crime of loving Jews. Seven hundred of us from Holland, France, Russia, Poland and Belgium were herded into a room built for two hundred. As far as I knew, Betsy and I were the only two representatives of Heaven in that room.

We may have been the Lord's only representatives in that place of hatred, yet because of our presence there, things changed. Jesus said, "In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." We too, are to be overcomers – bringing the light of Jesus into a world filled with darkness and hate.

Sometimes I get frightened as I read the Bible, and as I look in this world and see all of the tribulation and persecution promised by the Bible coming true. Now I can tell you, though, if you too are afraid, that I have just read the last pages. I can now come to shouting "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" for I have found where it is written that Jesus said, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things: and I will be His God, and he shall be My son." This is the future and hope of this world. Not that the world will survive – but that we shall be overcomers in the midst of a dying world.

Betsy and I, in the concentration camp, prayed that God would heal Betsy who was so weak and sick. "Yes, the Lord will heal me,", Betsy said with confidence. She died the next day and I could not understand it. They laid her thin body on the concrete floor along with all the other corpses of the women who died that day.

It was hard for me to understand, to believe that God had a purpose for all that. Yet because of Betsy's death, today I am traveling all over the world telling people about Jesus.

There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days. Most of them have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution. In China, the Christians were told, "Don't worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated – raptured." Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly, "We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution rather than telling them Jesus would come first. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when the tribulation comes – to stand and not faint."

I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the world has already entered into the tribulation. There is no way to escape it. We are next.

Since I have already gone through prison for Jesus' sake, and since I met the Bishop in China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think, "Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation." Then I write it down and learn it by heart.

When I was in the concentration camp, a camp where only twenty percent of the women came out alive, we tried to cheer each other up by saying, "Nothing could be any worse than today." But we would find the next day was even worse. During this time a Bible verse that I had committed to memory gave me great hope and joy. "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you; on their part evil is spoken of, but on your part He is glorified." (I Peter 3:14) I found myself saying, "Hallelujah! Because I am suffering, Jesus is glorified!"

In America, the churches sing, "Let the congregation escape tribulation", but in China and Africa the tribulation has already arrived. This last year alone more than two hundred thousand Christians were martyred in Africa. Now things like that never get into the newspapers because they cause bad political relations. But I know. I have been there. We need to think about that when we sit down in our nice houses with our nice clothes to eat our steak dinners. Many, many members of the Body of Christ are being tortured to death at this very moment, yet we continue right on as though we are all going to escape the tribulation.

Several years ago I was in Africa in a nation where a new government had come into power. The first night I was there some of the Christians were commanded to come to the police station to register. When they arrived they were arrested and that same night they were executed. The next day the same thing happened with other Christians. The third day it was the same. All the Christians in the district were being systematically murdered.

The fourth day I was to speak in a little church. The people came, but they were filled with fear and tension. All during the service they were looking at each other, their eyes asking, "Will this one I am sitting beside be the next one killed? Will I be the next one?"

The room was hot and stuffy with insects that came through the screenless windows and swirled around the naked bulbs over the bare wooden benches. I told them a story out of my childhood.

"When I was a little girl, " I said, "I went to my father and said, "Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ." "Tell me," said Father, "When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?" "No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train." "That is right," my father said, "and so it is with God's strength. Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ. He will supply all you need – just in time…"

My African friends were nodding and smiling. Suddenly a spirit of joy descended upon that church and the people began singing, " In the sweet, by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore." Later that week, half the congregation of that church was executed. I heard later that the other half was killed some months ago.

But I must tell you something. I was so happy that the Lord used me to encourage these people, for unlike many of their leaders, I had the word of God. I had been to the Bible and discovered that Jesus said He had not only overcome the world, but to all those who remained faithful to the end, He would give a crown of life.

How can we get ready for the persecution? First we need to feed on the word of God, digest it, make it a part of our being. This will mean disciplined Bible study each day as we not only memorize long passages of scripture, but put the principles to work in our lives.

Next we need to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Not just the Jesus of yesterday, the Jesus of History, but the life-changing Jesus of today who is still alive and sitting at the right hand of God.

We must be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is no optional command of the Bible, it is absolutely necessary. Those earthly disciples could never have stood up under the persecution of the Jews and Romans had they not waited for Pentecost. Each of us needs our own personal Pentecost, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We will never be able to stand in the tribulation without it.

In the coming persecution we must be ready to help each other and encourage each other. But we must not wait until the tribulation comes before starting. The fruit of the Spirit should be the dominant force of every Christian's life.

Many are fearful of the coming tribulation, they want to run. I, too, am a little bit afraid when I think that after all my eighty years, including the horrible Nazi concentration camp, that I might have to go through the tribulation also. But then I read the Bible and I am glad.

When I am weak, then I shall be strong, the Bible says. Betsy and I were prisoners for the Lord, we were so weak, but we got power because the Holy Spirit was on us. That mighty inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit helped us through. No, you will not be strong in yourself when the tribulation comes. Rather, you will be strong in the power of Him who will not forsake you. For seventy-six years I have known the Lord Jesus and not once has He ever left me, or let me down. Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him, for I know that to all who overcome, He shall give the crown of life. Hallelujah!

-Corrie Ten Boom-1974

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Money Making Marketing Machine

I knew the Left Behind series was backed with a power packed, money making marketing machine (and a slice of cheese), but even I didn't suspect that they would commercialize their agenda to this extent . They have come out with the Left Behind Board Game! Below is the game’s description. Do you think it's funny, angering, or a good way to teach children about Christ's coming?
Game description:

Imagine having friends and loved ones all around you suddenly disappear in the blink of an eye. Paralyzed with fear in a state of mass confusion, you struggle desparately to make sense of what's just happened. Then you've been Left Behind! This exciting board game has two parts. The first is prior to the Rapture and the second is after the Rapture. It is the classic contest between good and evil. Answer questions correctly or even deceive other players with false confessions and earn tokens. These tokens are of great value in the second part of the game (which starts without warning). This is when Carpathia enters the game and causes individual players to band together forming the Tribulation Force. From this moment on, the goal is to work together to defeat Carpathia or face elimination. This unique game can give players a heightened awareness of the "end times." For ages 10 to adult. For 2-6 players.

Revelation Unsealed

I recommend that everyone that loves the study of prophecy read the book, “Revelation Unsealed,” by Donald Salerno. I had a good conversation with him about a year ago. Not only is he a normal, down to earth guy, he is more knowledgeable than your average writer when it comes to the book of Revelation. The book had slight editing problems, but don't let that detract you from its content. It's well worth your time.

The above link will take you to where you may read reviews about the book, but if you're interested in buying the book, I would suggest you click here to go directly to the publisher. I believe this may enable Don to receive an extra buck, or so, per book purchased.

And double Kudos to Don. He also gave me Tim LaHaye’s address so that I could send him my book. I sent him a copy along with a nice letter. I never heard back from him.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Revelation 3:10 — Pre-trib Foundation

The seven churches in the beginning of Revelation each receive a letter coming from the mouth of Jesus. Each letter addresses that church’s present state, as well as a future promise, both of which are relevant to us in this lifetime. The promises given to these churches are based on the same principle as the promises given to men like Abraham in Hebrews 11, meaning that they didn’t get to see them fulfilled in their lifetimes, but they will be fulfilled in the future.

Within the letter directed to the Church of Philadelphia is one of only two verses in the entire Bible that appear to teach that we will not experience the final persecution in the last days. But appearances can be deceptive, especially when we’ve been brainwashed by pre-trib scholars, pastors, books, and movies that have repeatedly told us what this particular passage means.

Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth (Rev. 3:10, NASB).

It is a complete assumption that the “hour of testing” we will be “kept from” is the 70th Week, or the Great Tribulation. When the entirety of the Bible contradicts this interpretation, it seems more than unlikely that this is what an isolated passage would be teaching.

I suggest that most have been wrong about this hotly debated section of scripture, including those who believe as I do – that we will not escape the future suffering. I even have to admit that I was wrong about this passage when I first wrote my book, wasting ten pages (pp. 87-97) analyzing the Greek meaning and the pre-trib interpretation. No such elaborate linguistic gymnastics are necessary.

While I formerly showed that that the translation, “keep you from the hour of testing,” can also be translated (according to the Greek), “preserve you while within the hour of testing,” I now reject that this is what the passage is conveying. I believe that the test has absolutely nothing to do with the Church, or the “tribulation saints,” as the pre-trib theory would call them. The test is not for the followers of Christ, but for enemies of God. The test is not the 70th Week in its entirety or the time span of the Great Tribulation, but rather, the Day of the Lord.

Think about it. If those who hold the pre-tribulation position can assume the “test” is the entire 70th Week, why can’t we just as easily assume the “test” is not the 70th Week, but strictly the Day of the Lord? There is nothing within the passage clearly answering what the “test” actually is, but there is a hint that is usually overlooked, and helps us to avoid jumping to conclusions based on complete assumptions. Notice who the test is for in Revelation 3:10.

…I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

The test is for “those who dwell on the earth.” “Yeah, so what,” you say. There are many keys within the language in the book of Revelation, and “those who dwell on the earth” has a distinct meaning that goes far beyond a simple statement concerning people living on planet earth. The phrase, “those who dwell on the earth,” is used 9 times in Revelation, and each time it is referring to those who are the enemies of God and worshipers of the beast.

All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain (Rev. 13:8).

How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth (Rev. 6:10)?

See also: Revelation 8:13, 11:10, 13:12, 13:14 (twice), 17:2, 17:8

I’ve been wrestling with this concept on and off for about a year, and the other evening, a few months ago, the simplicity of it hit me when I read the following verses. It became obvious that the test is, in fact, the Day of the Lord, and is for those hostile towards God.

When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also (Rev. 6:9-11).

We know from the above passage that God is not “judging” or “avenging” the blood of the martyrs, and is therefore not pouring out end-times wrath during the seals as pre-trib teachers would claim. But I believe there is more going on here. WHY isn't God judging or avenging the martyrs' blood by distributing wrath upon "those who dwell on the earth?" Because it's not about THEM yet! God clearly tells the martyrs to rest – or, as the NIV more accurately translates it, “wait” – until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed was completed. THEN He will judge “those who dwell on the earth.”

Up to this point in the 70th Week, the followers of Christ have been the ones suffering, but this will soon change so that the “earth dwellers” will become the objects of suffering. It is no coincidence that the sixth seal follows His promise to avenge the death of His martyred servants and judge “those who dwell on the earth.”

I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand (Rev. 6:12-17)?"

We know because we have seen the sign in the sun, moon, and stars that the Day of the Lord will soon follow, for the prophet Joel informed us that this sign would take place before the Day.

The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes (Joel 2:31).

The fact that the Day of the Lord cannot take place until after the sign in the sun, moon, and stars verifies that the time period previous to this is not aimed at the enemies of God, “those who dwell on the earth.” Never is there a biblical mention of end-times wrath that will precede the Day of the Lord. It is always the Day of God that evil men are warned about when the subject is concerning God’s wrath.

Since the Day of the Lord has not begun before the sixth seal, no wrath is being poured out upon the “earth dwellers,” and He is not judging or avenging the blood of the martyrs, so the “test” for them couldn’t possibly be under way, no matter what pre-trib teachers proclaim. But once the sixth seal is opened, the triple sign in the sky is displayed, and the sky opens up like a scroll, it is time for the earth dwellers to fear. It’s time for them to hide themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, and from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, because the time has come—it is NOW about THEM! The hour of testing has arrived to test “those who dwell on the earth.”

I have connected the two passages in question to simplify what I believe is being taught.

…“How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”…And they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also...Then God will avenge their blood by throwing those who dwell upon the earth into the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test them.

And fortunately we will be “kept from” the hour of testing, because we will be rescued from the wrath to come (1 Thess. 1:10). When we see the triple sign in the sky we will know that our redemption draws near (Luke 21:28). The sky will split apart (NASB) and recede (NIV) like a scroll (Rev. 6:14), and relief will be given to the afflicted as Christ is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels (2 Thess. 1:7). Christ will gather us from the furthest end of the earth to the furthest end of the heaven (Mark 13:27), and His presence will make the inhabitants of the earth fear for their lives and recognize that the wrath of God has come (Rev. 6:16). The test will begin, and all who have worshiped the beast will fail the test and pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day (2 Thess. 1:8-9)!

For added detail and possibilities, I suggest the following three articles.

An Analysis of Revelation 3:10

The Promise of Revelation 3:10

Earth Dwellers Identified

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Top 10 Verses That Teach Pre-trib


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