The Incredible Rapture Trap
One Man’s Testimony
As a believer in Jesus Christ, and a person who has been fascinated with Bible Prophecy for many decades, I find I’ve made more mistakes in searching out the truth of the subject than I care to admit. As soon as the subject of the Rapture is brought up, people begin to take sides almost immediately. Others, acutely aware of just how divisive the issue actually is, try to avoid it, usually with the very flawed argument that we should not be divided over “non-essentials.” Neither approach is appropriate.
The LORD has allowed me to traverse the perilous path of prophecy, and over the years, I’ve been blessed to see how the very conflict itself – between Pre-Trib and Post-Trib -- is a cleverly calculated ruse which is virtually guaranteed to yield a bad ending, regardless of the position one chooses to adopt. Thus, with the previous statements as prologue, I can testify as to my own journey through the treacherous territory of Bible Prophecy. Further, as even the most persuasive argument towards any position is useless without the Spirit of God moving in a person’s heart and mind, I recognize my task is to simply shine the light of truth – and then I will have fulfilled everyone’s Scripturally defined obligation.
“I have made [all believers] a watchman…but if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them…his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand” (Ezekiel 3:17, 33:6).
Even though my closest friends and family were among the many millions of people whose lives were favorably touched via those propagating the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine, my Christian conversion did not occur amidst such a presentation of prophecy. I was in jail at the time, and had become internally convicted concerning my sinful nature. As I privately concluded I desperately needed the salvation offered through Jesus Christ, my family members had simultaneously made public decisions for Christ in an evangelical church, which urgently espoused Christian conversion before the supposedly imminent Pre-Tribulation Rapture occurred.
After my emancipation from the confines of the county jail, I attended services at the rapture laden fellowship with my family members; and although I accepted the Rapture doctrine in the absence of any contrary Biblical literacy, differing Spiritual paths eventually emerged. In retrospect, there was always a difference between my relationship to God, and my brethren’s membership in the Church.
I ultimately found multiple Scriptural references that were inconsistent with the Pre-Trib Rapture narrative – even as I developed an aversion to the unconvincing answers I received from those who I perceived knew more than me. The path to Post-Trib from my presumed Pre-Trib orientation was not all that difficult – but as this was almost 40 years ago, it never occurred to me I might be running down a road that was diabolically designed centuries before my Spiritual rebirth.
Predictably, virtually everyone around me stuck with their Pre-Tribulational Rapture indoctrination, and I encountered a widespread (and baffling) reticence to going against the grain of Pre-Trib – even though the Scriptural case against the doctrine was clearly conclusive. Simple verses, such as where Christ tells us that He will raise the dead in Him on “the last day” (references to the phrase “the last day” relative to the resurrection occur 6 times in the Gospel of John alone), plainly contradict the supposed idea “the dead in Christ will rise” (I Thessalonians 4:16) 7 years before the last day. Such texts (and many others) cogently eliminated the possibility of the secret Rapture.
The classic defense of Pre-Trib, which states Christians should not be divided over “non-essentials,” melted away when Rapturists – who were clearly programmed in a cult-like fashion – told me the “elect” who were gathered to Christ “immediately after the tribulation” were those who were “left behind,” at the Rapture, but turned to Christ during the tribulation (Matthew 24:29, 31). Since these verses defined who is saved (and who is not saved), common sense dictates such prophecies are hardly non-essential.
However, even as I realized that Pre-Trib was in the same class of error as the multitude of other gospels which presented “another Jesus” (II Corinthians 11:4), I also noticed how those in the Post-Tribulationist camp universally refused to follow Christ’s Scriptural admonitions, which mandate how a true believer is to respond to those peddling error.
“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (II John 1:10, 11).
The independent stance generated by a willingness to depart from fellowship with those in severe error invited antagonism from all sorts of quarters. The antipathy to the Rapturists drew the attention of adjacent error-ridden theologies, which sought to convert me to their particular heresy. For instance, I repeatedly encountered Christian Identity adherents, which falsely claimed certain Europeans are actually descended from the so called Lost Tribes – an errant position which provides a platform to inject an unscriptural racial component into salvation.
Finding the posturing of Seventh Day Adventists exceedingly deceitful, as they posed as just another Protestant denomination, I came to see you can’t trust anyone except Christ and His Word. Increasingly at odds with Post-Tribulationists who were actually quite comfortable with the apostasy of their friends in the prison of Pre-Trib, I suspected my understanding of Spiritual things was still relatively shallow – until the shining light found in the Words of Christ provided the primary clue to understanding.
I had been examining all the various views of prophecy, such as Post-Millennialism, Preterism, and the Pre-Wrath Rapture of the church (a variation on Mid-Trib wherein Christ supposedly Raptures the believers shortly before the wrath of God is poured out), when I finally heard the voice of Christ in the following verse:
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
In other words, when you really understand the true nature of the Kingdom of God, which Jesus said is “within you” (Luke 17:21), the truth of prophecy will open up, and “all these things [which would have to include understanding] shall be added unto you.”
As was frequently the case in my Spiritual sojourn, residual aspects of the doctrines of the group I’ve come to refer to as the Rapture Cult inaccurately skewed many of my perceptions, When I discovered the kingdom of God does not arrive in the last days, but actually arrives with Jesus Christ, I was well on my way to a deeper understanding. For example, in Daniel’s prophecy of the four kingdoms of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome (in Daniel’s 2nd chapter), the text flatly tells us the Kingdom of God will be set up during the Roman Empire:
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed” (Daniel 2:44).
This left open the possibility that those who state that all prophecy was fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD were on the right track. However, the LORD revealed the prophetic parallel of Daniel’s Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome was predicted to rise in the lion, bear, leopard and diverse beast prophecies of Daniel 7 – and years of research have conclusively shown the lion is the British Empire, and the bear was the Soviet Union, even as the Third Reich of Germany fulfilled the imagery of the leopard. This directly points to America as the “diverse” beast empire – and this enormous truth (which embraces Futurism) destroys the Preterist Apostasy (which falsely suggests the tribulation occurred two thousand years ago) – along with a host of other faulty presumptions.
It turns out that the shift to a Post-Tribulational Rapture is the fail safe position of the Rapture Cult, as it retains the central Rapturist lie that Israel and the Church are separate entities. Pre and Post Trib positions both embrace Jewish primacy, whereas God’s promise to Israel was and is fulfilled in the heavenlies, through the present reality of Christ – who reconfigured Israel into “a Spiritual house” (I Peter 2:5) two thousand years ago.
“Israel” consists of blood bought former Jews in the flesh, and flesh and blood former Gentiles who were joyously grafted in to the body of Christ – and there is no distinction between them.
“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
Those who say that Israel has yet to be saved, are inadvertently denying that Jesus is the Christ, as the very definition of “the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 30:15) is He who redeems Israel. The Apostle John addressed those who denied that JESUS CHRIST is the one who redeemed Israel, through His flesh and blood incarnation, and subsequent sacrificial death.
“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (II John 1:7).
Leaning on the fraudulent concept that we need to understand the ancient Jewish mind (as espoused by the heretical Hebrew Roots movement), the so called “Church” now expects a physical redemption of the modern Jewish people – which is the identical position held by the ancient Christ rejecting Jews. This is the “other gospel” (Galatians 1:9) which says “all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26), when the Apostle was actually indicating that all who receive the Spirit of God in Jesus Christ are the recipients of the LORD’s promise to redeem Israel – a fulfillment that is cumulative as it occurs whenever a lost soul responds to the Spiritual regeneration which only occurs in Christ.
The pivotal issue in the Kingdom of God is the identity of Christ and the identity of Israel. The so called “Church” did not replace Israel (a system called replacement theology), nor does it rotate with Israel (as in Pre, Mid, Post Trib, or any other Jewish Supremacist system). Since God’s righteousness required that He keep His promise to redeem Israel, it matters not whether one is Pre-Trib or Post-Trib, as both positions see the salvation of Israel in the same errant vein as the ancient Christ rejecting Jews.
Dispensationalists (the technical term for the Rapture Cult) falsely claim the “Church” is invisible in the Old Covenant, and was something never seen by the prophets. This is a semantic circumvention of the truth, as the Bible says God the Father provided the prophets with the Scriptural blueprint for the arrival of the body of Born Again Israel -- and because those who claim Jesus did not finish the work of the redemption of Israel (John 19:30), they are inadvertently calling the Lord a liar.
“This is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son…he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son”
The Bible says that “record” is found in the words of the prophets which the Father inspired, “and this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (I John 5:11).
In effect, when we deny that Jesus accomplished His mission, and His mission clearly “sent [Him to redeem] the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:6) through his death and resurrection, we are denying that Jesus is the Christ.
“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son” (I John 2:22).
This passage tells us that if we believe not that Christ fulfilled the role of redeemer to Israel, we are denying the Father as well as the Son, because the Father sent the prophets to tell us that through his physical stripes we are healed.
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him…he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities…and with his stripes we are healed. He was taken from prison and from judgment…for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people [obviously Israel] was he stricken” (Isaiah 53:1, 5, 8).
The “healing” of Israel does not occur when Jesus returns on a white horse to “save” flesh and blood Israel from the modern state’s enemies. It occurred two millennia ago because of the obedience of Jesus to the will of the Father, whose “record” stated that “with his stripes we are healed.“
Thus, the Rapture Cult – Pre and Post-Tribulationists -- both confess they are not partakers of the salvation of Israel, for they assert that it has not occurred, thereby denying the precious sacrifice of God’s only Son, which brought about the salvation of Israel – a redemption which was generated through His priceless work on the cross.
-- James Lloyd
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