Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Tribulation Or the Day of the Lord? — Revisited

Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. (2 Thess. 2:1-2)

We all agree that somebody, somewhere, was messing with the Church of Thessalonica, and that it appears that some of the Thessalonians may have been duped into wondering if the Day of the Lord had already come. But Paul reassured them that this was not only a false claim, but that it was, in fact, impossible.

So we’ve made it this far in agreement with our pre-trib brothers, but this, unfortunately, is where the agreements end. As we look at what John Walvoord wrote in the late 1970’s, keep in mind that he is working on the assumption that the Tribulation begins at the opening of the first seal. Also, pay close attention and notice how he flip flops with his terminology.

"The situation described in 2 Thessalonians 2 indicates that the teaching that the church would go through the Tribulation was already being advanced by certain teachers whom Paul opposed in this passage…It becomes evident that there were already those who taught that the Church would go through the Tribulation, or as it is here described, the Day of the Lord. It is most important to observe that Paul labeled this a false doctrine and urged the Thessalonians not to be deceived by this teaching. The passage clearly implies that Paul had taught them that they would not enter the Day of the Lord and that the rapture would come before the final persecutions of the saints.” (The Rapture Question, John Walvoord, 1979, p. 238)

Walvoord inserts the term "the Tribulation," when the passage in question says no such thing. In 2 Thessalonians Paul spoke of "the Day of the Lord." In altering the phrase from "Day of the Lord" to "the Tribulation," Walvoord misleads many readers into believing that the apostle Paul is teaching the Thessalonians that they should "not be quickly shaken from [their] composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the [Tribulation] has come (2 Thess. 2:2)."

It’s nothing less than deception, though unintentional, when Walvoord inserts the term “the Tribulation” where the Scripture says, “Day of the Lord.” The term “the Tribulation” cannot be applied to the text instead of “the Day of the Lord” if one wants to remain biblical. “The Tribulation” is caused by the abomination of desolatioin that takes place in the midpoint of the 70th Week (Dan. 9:27), while the Day of the Lord cannot begin until after the triple sign in the sun moon and stars according to Joel 2:31, which we know doesn’t take place until after the Tribulation according to Matthew 24:29.

Notice the simple order of events:

The Abomination of Desolation

when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. (Matt. 24:15-16)

Then the Tribulation

For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. (Matt. 24:21)

The Sign in the Skies is After the Tribulation

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, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Matt. 24:29)

The Day of the Lord is After the Sign in the Skies

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

When this term, “the Tribulation” is applied by Walvoord, the automatic conclusion is made that Paul was informing the Thessalonians that “the Tribulation” couldn’t have started because the pre-trib rapture had not taken place yet! And if you care to read his book, this is exactly what Walvoord asserts, and continues by claiming that Paul is teaching the Thessalonians that post-trib is a false teaching. What a sneaky, slight-of-hand maneuver.

What’s funny though, is the fact that Walvoord (along with all pre-trib teachers) ignores that the passage would still be teaching that the “Tribulation” will not come unless the man of lawlessness is revealed. This completely contradicts his claim that the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord begins at the beginning of the 70th Week. Even when the words of the Scripture are altered, the end result is still far from a pre-trib rapture. Don’t be misled.

Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed… (2 Thess. 2:1-3)

3 comments:

Recovering said...

ooo...pretty picture below your archive links...very cool.

H. L. Nigro said...

Pretrib teachers will argue that the pretrib belief goes back to the early church, that this is what was taught by the church fathers, but if you read their writings, they all expected the Antichrist to arise and persecute the church before the return of the Lord. Consider just Hyppolytus, writing in 220 A.D." "When the times are fulfilled, and the ten horns spring from the beast in the last [times], then Antichrist will appear among them. When he makes war against the saints, and persecutes them, then may we expect the manifestation of the Lord from heaven." All of the writings from the early church fathers were similar. So they understood exactly what Paul was saying in his letter to the Thessalonians. It is only today, 2,000 years later, that we are trying to second-guess him.

Katherine Hall said...

I was pre-trib for over 30 years, until a deacon in my church introduced me to prewrath. It is so right on!!! I'm enjoying reading your postings.