The Rapture Doctrine
Q. What proof do you have that there will be no rapture before Christ returns?
A. There has been considerable interest in the rapture doctrine here in Norway recently when one of the most prominent evangelists in the country, Hans Bratterud, declared on TV that he could find no evidence for a pre-millennial rapture doctrine in the Bible, a position the New Covenant Church has been maintaining for years. Others seem to be following his clarion call to reject this false teaching.
The Bible teaches that there will be a 7-year Tribulation period during which the Anti-Christ will take political control of the world and persecute the saints (all true Christians) and the Jews (Rev.15:1-9), and gain the victory over them (Rev.13:7). God, we are told, will avenge the blood of the saints slain by the Great Whore (Rev.19:2b). It follows, quite naturally, that if the saints are overcome and slain during the great tribulation that they cannot possibly have been "raptured" to heaven. They were on the earth the whole time!
This is a most critical doctrine because it affects the way we live the Gospel. Those who believe in an imminent rapture have a tendency to be careless with their spiritual lives and will be quite unprepared for what is to come. Those who are preparing to pass through the Great Tribulation will, by contrast, be ordering their lives accordingly. Pre-tribulation rapturists understandably include most of the "Holy Spirit Movement" adherents (see The Holy Spirit Movement & the Toronto Blessing).
New Covenant Christians have been preparing actively to go through the Tribulation. We believe there will be two kinds of Christians who will pass through the Tribulation: (1) Those who are called to secret Firstborn Colonies around the world where the nucleus of the Millennial Government will be prepared for when Christ will return; and (2) Those who remain to actively witness in the world. They will belong to no particular "denomination" but will belong to secret networked house groups such as obtain today in China where Christians continue to be persecuted and tortured. By the time the Great Tribulation gets under way all Church denominations will have effectively disappeared, apart from the "Church of the Whore of Babylon", a kind of super Ecumenical Catholic Church which, though claiming to be Christian, will be New Age, to which also false denominations will swear allegiance and become absorbed into.
The New Covenant Church has, as its primary call, the establishment of Firstborn Colonies or "Cities of Refuge" (see Josh.21:13) though it will be involved in the house group ministry also. We are preparing for the Millennium -- are you?
This page was created on 16 October 1997
Last updated on 26 February 1998
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