New Covenant Ministries
The Great Escape?
by Bryon McMillon
The pre-trib teaching that is so commonly taught today, promises believers that a resurrection of the just will take place prior to the great tribulation. Jesus, in Matthew 24 places the timing of His return after this time of trouble. In verse 31 we read that Jesus sends His angels to gather His people unto Himself. In the parable of the wheat and tares, Jesus explains that the angels do the gathering at the resurrection of the just. So, it is plain that the resurrection of the just occurs at, Jesus glorious, visible, bodily return in the clouds after the great tribulation, at the last trump (7th), when every eye shall see Him. The pre-trib doctrine places another resurrection called "the rapture" in Matthew 24 where Jesus never mentioned any. To accommodate this doctrine, the body of Christ must be divided into two parts, a pre-tribulation church and a tribulation church. There must also be a 2nd secretive return of the Lord, yet we have the testimony of the Lord, His angels, and His apostles that His return will be a glorious event that shocks the world. (Matt. 24:30, 26:64, Mark 13:26, 14:62, Luke 21:27, Acts 1:11, 1 Thes. 4:17, Rev. 1:7) Yet, many still contend that there must be a "rapture" to deliver the church from the tribulation and the verse, (Rev. 3:10) "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" is often quoted to support their views.
However, there are many problems in applying this verse to this generation. (1) The verse is addressed to the church in Philadelphia. (2) Does not mention the great tribulation. (3) A generation involved in the "falling away" would not qualify in any case. (4) Does not refer to a "rapture." (5) No other generation of believers was delivered from tribulation by means of a "rapture." In order to explain away the obvious presence of the saints on the earth during this time it is assumed that these believers must be Jewish, yet the scriptures teach that the Church, "the commonwealth of Israel," is made up of both Jews and Gentiles, the Gentiles having been grafted into the "good Olive Tree." Ephesians 2:11-14 "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." Pre-trib creates a division in the body of Christ between Jew and Gentile, (Read Galations 3: 27-29 and Colossians 3:11) that contradicts the fact, that both have been made one body in Christ. Jesus Himself, is the only way by which Israel is restored. Are some pre-tribers suggesting that Jews can be saved apart from accepting Jesus? (That would be the rankest of heresies!) The Bible, does not teach more than one resurrection for the just, it is always spoken of in the singular. If this event takes place before the great tribulation, how are the tribulation saints to receive resurrected bodies? How are these saints even born again if the Holy Spirit has left?
Promoters of pre-trib admit that this doctrine is not revealed by any particular verse, and claim that it must be deduced from a careful analysis of many verses. Let us examine another verse commonly used. (2 Thes. 2:7) This verse tells us that a restrainer, identified only as "he," is taken out of the way allowing the mystery of iniquity full expression in that "Wicked" previously called "the man of sin." The Bride of Christ is referred to as "she" not "he" so the restrainer cannot be the Church. It is claimed that the Holy Spirit is this restrainer, yet in Daniel we read that the angels of God are in the business of suppressing demonic powers attempting to control earthly rulers. If the Holy Spirit is indeed taken out of the world (along with the Church) then the tribulation saints are left in the impossible position of being victorious while evangelizing the world, all without the aid of the Holy Spirit. Note, that this verse doesn't even say "taken out of the world" but rather "taken out of the way." If, the first phrase was actually intended; then, why would the 2nd have been used? It is claimed, that use of the word "church," ceases partway through the book of Revelation indicating that the Church has been removed. The word "Church," meaning the entire body of Christ, is never mentioned at all in the book of Revelation; it is only used to refer to the local churches in Asia. This fact, renders this claim, foolish, as it fails to note that the saints of God are mentioned throughout the book of Revelation. These highly problematic methods of interpreting scripture can hardly produce proof. And are not, these examples considered to be some of the strong points. ???
(A) Where did this doctrine come from? (B)What are the consequences of embracing it? (C)Who will benefit if Christians suddenly find themselves under heavy persecution having believed that Jesus had exempted them from such? The following answers should be more than sufficient to send any Christian back to his or her Bible for a second look.
(A) Although this teachings' past was clouded in obscurity the following facts have surfaced. Dave MacPherson in his book "The Incredible Cover-up" traced the doctrine to the 1830 prophetic utterance of a young Scottish lass named Margaret MacDonald, however it has since been discovered that her pastor Edward Irving had translated a book by a Jesuit priest (Emanual Lagunza) called "The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty", that teaches pre-trib. He published his translation of Lagunzas' book written in 1812, in 1827, three years before Margarets' now famous prophesy. The Jesuit Emanual Lagunza wrote under the assumed name of Rabbi Yuan Yosafat Ben Ezra ( a converted Jew) knowing full well that Protestants would not accept teaching from a Catholic priest. Converted Jewish scholars were however treated with great respect and their views given serious consideration by believers in that day.
Irving however, knew that Lagunza was a Jesuit as he documented such in the preface to the book. The statement from Lagunzas' book reads, "when the Ruler returns from heaven to earth upon His coming forth from heaven, and MUCH BEFORE His arrival at the earth, He will give His orders, and send forth His command as King and Elohim Omnipotent; which is signified in these words: with a shout with the voice of the Son of Elohim, those who shall hear it, shall forthwith arise, as saith the evangelist St. John . . ." Do you suppose that this Catholic priest posing as a born-again Jew was speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? Irving was removed from the pulpit in 1832 for writing a tract suggesting that Jesus had a sinful nature. (He helped establish a new church called the Catholic Apostolic Church that appointed (?) 12 apostles, himself being considered an angel.) (This cult movement, now called the New Apostolic Church (Irvingites) that claims 8,000,000+ members worldwide, adopted many Catholic practices, including the worship of the Virgin Mary.) Edward Irving later lost his credentials (1833) in the Church of Scotland.
Even so, some of the Brethren embraced this Catholic doctrine, even though it was denounced by many saints including George Mueller, William Booth and Charles Spurgeon. Dr. S.P. Tregelles, a Brethren who rejected this new teaching wrote "I am not aware that there was any definite teaching that there should be a Secret Rapture of the Church at a secret coming until this was given as an utterance in Mr. Irvings' church . . ." and "It came not from the Holy Scriptures, but from that which falsely pretended to be the Spirit of Elohim." Many sincere men of God have promoted this doctrine knowing little of its' past. There is evidence that some individuals deliberately obscured pre-tribs' past by not attributing its' source to the individuals they received it from. Such was the case with J.N. Darby. Please note that the word "rapture" is a Latin word once used to describe occultic body levitations that were taking place in Catholic convents and monasteries. (Why is the word "resurrection" being displaced by this word?)
Even though this teaching continues to be aggressively promoted by televangelists and through many books, movies etc., ($$$) there is an exodus that has many pre-trib promoters seriously concerned. Grant Jeffery, in a desperate attempt to stem the tide , lifted passages, out of context, from a very old book by Pseudo-Ephraem. The teaching actually means, that Pseudo-Ephraem expected the Lord to deliver the saints from the tribulation; by taking them into the wilderness. (Rev. 12:6 & 14) The following statement from his sermon puts the others in context, "But those who wander through the deserts, fleeing from the face of the serpent, bend their knees to God, just as lambs to the adders (udders) of their mothers, being sustained by the salvation of the Lord, and while wandering in states of desertion, they eat herbs." This is not the first time Grant Jeffery has distorted old manuscripts to suit his purposes.
This doctrine certainly carries a strong emotional charge (seducing spirits) and it is definitely comforting, but only until the planned Inquisition by the Church of Rome and its' beast of burden, the New World Order comes into effect during WW 3. (The thwarted Russian invasion of Israel where 5/6ths of their forces are destroyed.) (Maybe tomorrow?) (But not later than 2003!) (Could it be that communism is the beast that had the wound by a sword and yet lived?)
(B) What effect is this teaching likely to have upon Christians, apart from the obvious disappointment and confusion that will occur when they find themselves under attack by a communist controlled United Nations. ( Communism and the Russian Communist revolution were created by the Illuminati and financed by the Roman Catholic Church.) ( The communists betrayed Rome, but Rome got revenge years later when their latest protegé, Hitler attacked Russia.) <>Well, it should be obvious that these Christians will be ill prepared to ride out the storm. ( Consider well, that an unprecedented number of Chinese converts who were taught pre-trib, fell away when the communists took over and waged a horrendous inquisition against them.) ( Read what happens in Matthew 24.)
When you consider that Mary and Joseph were warned of God to flee to Egypt because of Herods' attempt to kill Jesus, does it make sense to believe that the Lord wouldn't warn His people, so that they are not caught off guard as the juggernaut NWO beast attempts to roll right over top of them! Failure to respond, would be like standing in the road watching a big truck bearing down on you, and not stepping aside. What would God have you to do? It is indeed a noble thing to be martyred for Jesus name, but it should be in the course of serving the Lord and not out of ignorance of His word or in defiance of His warnings as laid out in prophesy. Remember that Paul fled his persecutors and did not deliver himself up until he knew the Lord intended him to. We read in the book of Revelation where the Bride of Christ flees into the wilderness, into a place prepared for her of God. Note, that these saints didn't stand around waiting for a "Rapture" nor did they accommodate the man of sin by leaving themselves in a position to be easily arrested or killed. These saints, no doubt, were doing the will of God; what about you?
There are even now, many Christians who are either setting up in, or moving into the wilderness to prepare in advance for a massive wave of refugee Christians trying to escape the tyranny of the New World Order. Will they be burdened by one more that was taken in by Satans' cruel hoax? The choice is yours, do nothing and discover the truth the hard way, or do some serious praying, and searching of the scriptures, so that you will be in a position to aid others during Satans' futile attempt to crush the Church. (There isn't much time!) He cannot win because even if he could kill every Christian on the earth, which he can't do, the saints of the Lord Jesus (PRAISE THE LORD!) are coming back in glory to rule with Him.
(C) Who would stand to profit if multitudes of believers are caught off guard during the man of sins' attempt to wipe out the true believers in Christ Jesus? Well, obviously the Wicked one himself and his master Satan. (That would make his plan to exterminate the Christians rather easy!)The scriptures also inform us that the "Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth" was drunken with the blood of the saints. The Catholic Church intends to renew its' age old program to wipe Protestantism off the face of the earth! The Jesuit order is under oath to do just that! This wicked fraternity was established for this purpose and they have used every deception imaginable to place themselves in a position to finish their master plan and establish the Pope as supreme ruler over the nations.
The Lord, however has a much better plan that includes the total destruction of this false church at the hands of the ten kings of the NWO. So this brings us back full circle to the Jesuit Lacunza, and his pre-trib doctrine. Alberto Rivera, an ex Jesuit, was murdered, because as a faithful servant of God he sounded out a warning of the true intentions of Rome. He attributed the present success of pre-trib to, the intense penetration of Jesuit teachings into the bible colleges. Many Freemasons (occultists) have filled the pulpits under the patronage of the Illuminati. This same Illuminati was founded by no less than Ignatius Loyola, the first Jesuit General. (Rev. 18:2) Teachers in the New Age Movement have vowed that they would create their occult based New World Order by infiltrating the churches and subverting such to bring their plans to completion. This would explain many of the strange doctrines, phenomena, prophecies and ecumenical movements claiming to be of God. (Note, that John Wimber held his first official meeting as pastor, in a Masonic Lodge, and sitting therein on one of the two thrones.) (Were these thrones placed there in honor to the man of sin and his false prophet?) The Lord, speaking of "Babylon" in Rev. 18:23&24, says of her ". . . for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived." And ". . . in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." and Rev.18: 4
". . .Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
It is obedience to the Lord, and abiding in the Lord, (ABIDING IN THE TRUTH AND IN THE LOVE OF GOD) that will protect us from these plagues in the end time, not a "rapture." ( The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth; lies proceed from another spirit -Satan.) Until the Lord, withdraws His offer of salvation through repentance and belief in Jesus, His full wrath is not poured out upon the world. That offer expires at the resurrection of the just and all the calamities that descend prior to that are warnings of His wrath, yet to come. The Lord plans to protect His people from these plagues as He did in Egypt prior to the Exodus, as a testimony to the world. Even so, many will follow the antichrist, that "Wicked," whose number is 666. The Lord is awakening us, to see the Mystery of iniquity at work as Satan brings together the various parts of his scheme, to rule the earth through the man of sin. Any acceptance of the "Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth" and her doctrines of demons will poison you and darken your understanding of the truth of Gods' Word. The grace of the Lord Jesus be upon all those who love Him in sincerity and truth.
(This manuscript may be freely copied and circulated provided no alterations are made and no funds solicited.)
Not all the views expressed in this article are
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Published in 2001 by NCCG
Copyright © 2001 by Light of Life Ministries, Email address: [email protected]
This page was created on 9 June 2001