How Some Christian Leaders Deceive
The Church About The Rapture
Rock of Offence Special Commentary
Exposing Another False Teaching That Attacks
A Major Fulfillment of Christ's Salvation
This is Part 3 of a three-part Bible study.
Click on the appropriatle link to access
the other parts.
The Church Obtains It's Complete
Salvation At The Rapture
In this commentary we are not trying to create controversy about some obscure event called "the rapture" just to be controversial. Contrary to some popular, yet wrong teaching, this topic is far from something obscure or unimportant. The rapture or what is also called "The Translation of the Church" IS THE COMPLETION OF CHRIST'S SALVATION FOR THE BELIEVER LIVING IN THE AGE OF GRACE. As we previously learned in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10, Paul referred to it as "OBTAINING SALVATION THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST". The meaning of the word "translation" is simply A CHANGE THAT TAKES PLACE FROM ONE SPHERE OF EXISTENCE TO ANOTHER. We can see something similar occur in nature when a caterpillar encases itself in a cocoon and emerges some time later as a beautiful butterfly. Paul used similar terminology in 1 Corinthians 15:50-55 (previously quoted) when he told believers in the Church that, "WE SHALL ALL BE CHANGED". The Holy Spirit through Saint Paul was telling us that WE SHALL ALL BE CHANGED (or translated) from our present mortal state (flesh and blood) to an incorruptible and immortal state that is able to inherit God's Kingdom. When Jesus died on the cross, his mortal body, which was subject to death, was placed in the grave. However, three days later God resurrected Him with a new incorruptible and immortal body THAT IS NO LONGER SUBJECT TO DEATH. JESUS CHRIST WAS THE FIRST TO EXPERIENCE THIS "TRANSLATION" (OR CHANGE) WHILE IN THE TOMB. THIS IS THE REASON JESUS IS REFERRED TO AS, "THE FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD".
Saint John reveals this truth when he said :
"Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, AND FROM JESUS CHRIST, THE FAITHFUL WITNESS, THE FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD, AND THE RULER OVER THE KINGS OF THE EARTH. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." (Revelation 1:5-6 NKJV -- Emphasis Added)
If God's Word tells us that there is a "firstborn from the dead", then there is also a second, third, (and so on)...born from the dead. If you're a believer, your number is in there, somewhere. Otherwise, the term "firstborn" makes little sense. Living Christian believers, also referred to as "the body of Christ" in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 12:27 and Ephesians 4:12), will experience THE SAME KIND OF CHANGE THAT OCCURRED TO CHRIST AT HIS RESURRECTION. This happens at a future event commonly called "the rapture" (or what Jesus called "the escape"). Why? Christian believers represent Christ's body on the earth and are destined to possess the same kind of body as their incorruptible and immortal Lord. Regardless of how incredible this all sounds, BELIEVERS IN CHRIST MUST BE CHANGED (OR TRANSLATED) to fulfill what the Bible promises. The translation (or rapture) will happen whether your church teaches it or not. Why? God's reputation is at stake. Becoming like our Lord Jesus Christ, which includes receiving the same type of body He now possesses, IS GOD'S ULTIMATE PLAN AND WILL FOR HIS BELIEVING PEOPLE.
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, HE ALSO PREDESTINED TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, THAT HE (JESUS CHRIST) MIGHT BE THE FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BRETHREN. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, THESE HE ALSO GLORIFIED." (Romans 8:28-30 - Emphasis Added)
"But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, EVEN SO IN CHRIST ALL SHALL BE MADE ALIVE. BUT EACH ONE IN HIS OWN ORDER: CHRIST THE FIRSTFRUITS, AFTERWARD THOSE WHO ARE CHRIST'S AT HIS COMING. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power." (1 Corinthians 15:20-24 - Emphasis Added)
The translation (or rapture) EXISTS AS A MAJOR FULFILLMENT OF NEW TESTAMENT SALVATION THAT JESUS PAID FOR, IN BLOOD, AT THE CROSS. THE WHOLE BODY OF CHRIST (THE ENTIRE BELIEVING CHURCH) WILL PARTICIPATE IN THE RAPTURE. Contrary to some popular false and out-of-context Bible teaching, this soon-to-occur "translation" is not something given to a "chosen few" as a reward for exceptional Christian service, faithfulness and holy living. While these attributes are all good things every believer should seek to incorporate into their life, the Bible warns that they are not qualifications for participation in the rapture. All believers are justified freely by Christ's blood (Note: the word "justified" means that God treats such an individual as if they had never sinned). Those with a high degree of Christian performance AND THOSE DEFICIENT IN THESE THINGS - (BOTH GROUPS AND EVERYONE IN BETWEEN) ARE COMPLETELY AND FREELY JUSTIFIED BY FAITH IN CHRIST'S REDEEMING BLOOD.
"...BEING JUSTIFIED FREELY BY HIS GRACE THROUGH THE REDEMPTION THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS, whom God set forth as a propitiation BY HIS BLOOD, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:24-26 -- Emphasis Mine)
It is this "free justification" and our "paid-in-full" redemption that qualifies ALL BELIEVERS IN CHRIST to participate in the rapture of the Church. Scripture refers to it as "the believer's blessed hope" (Titus 2:11-14).
Any pastor, evangelist, minister or apostle, regardless of how well-intentioned, who claims that the Bible does not teach about the rapture (or omits the topic from their sermons and teachings) is guilty of distorting a central truth of Christ's salvation. It's an act that can lead Christian believers and whole congregations astray in their faith. These kinds of misguided teachings or sermons, regardless of its source, are labeled as a "perversion of the gospel" in the New Testament. It carries a perverting influence because it attempts to redefine Christ's salvation by maligning the offensive and divisive elements - treating them as non-essential and unimportant. The Apostle Paul warned that the act of "perverting the gospel" also carried a curse (Galatians 1:6-9). He uses the term “accursed”, which suggests that it causes Divine rejection to fall on the guilty Christian minister. Paul constantly opposed the popular "Bible teachers" of his day who taught this kind of misleading Christian theology. It is why we can never trust that all ministers who claim they are serving Christ (including those trained in seminary) are truly giving us the authentic Gospel. Believing that all ministers represent the Lord Jesus Christ because they seem sincere and loving or have good intentions is a fatal mistake; which has claimed many victims down through Church history. Unfortunately, the perverted gospel that Paul warned about is now a mainstream influence in the world-wide Christian Church.
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; AND AVOID THEM. FOR THEY THAT ARE SUCH SERVE NOT OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, but their own belly; AND BY GOOD WORDS AND FAIR SPEECHES DECEIVE THE HEARTS OF THE SIMPLE (SPIRITUALLY INEXPERIENCED)." (Romans 16:18 -- Emphasis Added)
Additional Thoughts Before Ending This Study
We must briefly touch on a few of the things that drive some ministers to discredit or attempt to undermine the Church's salvation at the translation/rapture - or view it with contempt. Once again, this should never be viewed as some "fringe" or minority influence. It's something very dominant and mainstream in the world-wide institutional Church.
We can't properly study the subject of the rapture unless we understand the source of the massive confusion in the church. Unfortunately, this involves "looking beneath the surface" and going deeper than most people want to go. We must always base our faith on God's Word (the rule-book for our faith), which makes it necessary to examine what Scripture has to say. However, in this situation, a topic like the rapture cannot be properly addressed in a couple paragraphs. There are numerous "theological systems" that dominate the Christian church AND OPERATE BY STEALTH. These systems of theology each interpret Scripture in a different way. They tend to act as a "filter" that various churches and their congregations use to make sense of the Bible.
Here's the problem :
If this "theological filter" is faulty then your interpretation of Scripture will also be faulty. When dealing with the doctrine of Christ's Salvation, this sets up a disastrous situation. This is why we must have at least a surface understanding of these "methods of interpretation" in order to answer certain questions.
Three of the most dominant systems of theology in the institutional Christian Church are :
- Reformed Theology (and its countless variants
of Calvinism and Replacement Theology)
From this list, we will not discuss Catholicism, in order to keep these comments as brief as possible and to limit our discussion to the Protestant side of the Christian Church.
Note: To keep from adding more confusion, the reader should understand that all comments here are generalized. Otherwise, our response would be the size of a 150 page book that few people would read. This particular topic has been the "flash-point" of a spiritual war that's been raging for hundreds of years INSIDE THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. However, regardless of the restrictions, we can still get an understanding of the problem.
Mishandling the Word of God
Produces Religious Teachings
and Dangerous Beliefs that
God Ultimately Rejects
Our website tends to carry a counter-cult and an apologetic flavor. For those unfamiliar with the terms, it means that we oppose teachings, which are said to be Bible-based, but are actually established on a misapplication of Scripture. Misapplying or twisting the text of the Bible is a practice used by powerful religious cults to ensnare and enslave its members. Unfortunately, these same methods are also used within the mainstream institutional Christian Church, often described as "spiritual authority abuse". The Holy Scriptures exist as the only authoritative source for understanding God's instructions and intentions toward the human race. There are rules of context that govern the way God's Word is to be handled. Paul referred to the observance of these rules as "rightly dividing the Word of Truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). If we manipulate Scripture and use it out-of-context, we can make God appear to say things - which He does not say. In skillful hands, God (through the Scriptures) can be made to say anything a preacher or church leadership wants Him to say. This practice can place an entire congregation (or even a whole denomination) under spiritual bondage without their knowledge.
These methods began to show up shortly after Christ's crucifixion in the first century. Acts chapter 15 records a situation, where a group of "believing Pharisees" insisted that obedience to Old Testament Law must be included in Paul's Gospel of Grace as a requirement to obtain salvation. The entire apostolic leadership of the Church (led by James, the Lord's half-brother) came together to consider the matter. After much discussion, they condemned the doctrine and sent out an official letter warning the churches. These "believing Pharisees" refused to abide by the council's ruling and spread their teachings wherever Paul traveled. Their teaching nearly destroyed the Galatian Church. To address the error, Paul wrote his "Epistle to the Galatians" and fought this "pharisaical theology" throughout his entire ministry.
We believe God placed this story in the canon of Scripture because it represents a dangerous counterfeit Christian theology, which would eventually dominate Christ's Church in the future and lead many astray; as it did with the Galatian congregation. After some 1900 years, it is now fully integrated into both Catholicism and Protestantism (under different names and labels). The error involves mixing the tenants of Old Testament Law with New Testament Grace. It then turns the mixture into a corrupt and misleading third kind of theology. Paul warned that God's Word had to be "rightly divided" in order to teach God's truth. However, Pharisaical theology uses the forbidden method of teaching God's Word - UNDIVIDED. This popular way of believing the Bible not only corrupts major doctrines of the Christian faith, but also perverts the principles governing how eternal life is received and kept.
We won't cover its role in Catholicism in this study. Under Protestantism, the influence is found under different names such as; Reformed theology, Covenant theology, Calvinism and various types of Christian fundamentalism. In order to keep things simple, we will just refer to it as; Reformed theology.
Additional information is available at
the following link:
Why The Term "Christian Fundamentalism"
Causes So Much Confusion
Reformed theology and its countless variants view the entire Bible as having one uniform message. In other words, those who embrace its teachings believe that the way God interacts with the human race in the Old Testament generally remains the same in the New Testament after the cross. This view is empowered by the belief (to a greater or lesser degree in some mainline churches) that Israel was eternally rejected by God for their sin of crucifying Christ and was PERMANENTLY REPLACED with the New Testament Christian Church. As a result, many "reformed ministers and teachers" believe that the current nation of Israel is permanently and divinely cursed and should be destroyed for their sin. This theology blinds them to the fact that the restoration of the nation of Israel, which occurred in 1948 is a powerful fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Reformed ministers and their followers believe the Christian Church is currently "The New Israel" and Christian believers are the new "spiritual Jews".
(Note: We do not hold this view because it violates the context of Scripture and distorts Christ's Salvation)
Through this permanent rejection of Israel, reformed ministers and their followers sincerely believe that God transferred the entire Old Testament spiritual program of the Law to the Christian Church. This popular belief is known as "Replacement Theology" and operates in a majority of churches that embrace various expressions and flavors of Reformed Theology. Once again, this influence dominates most mainline Protestant denominations (and also Roman Catholicism). However, the way God deals with our sin - and how the Holy Spirit operates RADICALLY CHANGED AFTER THE CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST AND THE DAY OF PENTECOST. THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WARNED HIS DISCIPLES ABOUT SOME OF THESE CHANGES SHORTLY BEFORE HIS CRUCIFIXION. The Apostle Paul provides even more insight into these changes in his “Epistles to the Church”. Yet, Replacement/Reformed ministers continue to teach the Bible as if little change has taken place. They act as if the program of the Holy Spirit and how He interacted with Israel in the Old Testament continues pretty much the same with the New Testament Church (after the cross). THIS IS WHY REFORMED THEOLOGY IS OFTEN DESCRIBED AS HAVING ONLY ONE UNIFORM MESSAGE - AND VIEWS THE BIBLE AS HAVING ONLY ONE SPIRITUAL PROGRAM. If something is "uniform" THEN IT'S THE SAME THROUGHOUT.
Reformed theologians use an interpretation method called "allegorizing (or spiritualizing) Scripture" to make the Bible fit their traditions and doctrine. This is nothing more than misapplying Scripture by ignoring or abusing its context. It misleads its followers into believing that the New Testament is just a continuation of the Old Testament religion of Judaism, which was originally given to Israel, but is now reassigned to the Church. As a result, it destroys God's intended context in the Scriptures. This method of interpretation is responsible for many dangerous distortions involving God's intentions toward the Christian believer. It is also responsible for a majority of the attacks against the authentic Gospel of Christ, WHICH IS BASED ON NEW COVENANT GRACE (OR THE UNMERITED AND UNDESERVED FAVOR OF GOD). Reformed theology carries out these attacks by redefining the word "Grace". This skillfully modified message is presented as "the fundamental truths of the Bible", which can mislead entire congregations. Even though it is dominant in the world-wide institutional Christian church, we consider Replacement/Reformed Theology as a misleading religious system that can take believers astray in their faith. Why? It redefines important doctrines of the Christian faith (through spiritualizing Scripture), which are meant to be understood by a "literal" interpretation of the Bible.
Why the Tenants of Reformed Theology Opposes
the Pre-tribulational Rapture
Many of the verbal assaults against the Pre-tribulation rapture originate from what we call, Pharisaical religion (based on the rejected doctrine of the "believing Pharisees" in Acts chapter 15), which shares many of the same beliefs as modern-day Reformed theology. Keep in mind that these two theological belief systems is the core of "Christian fundamentalism", which exists under countless names - and influences thousands of churches. Scripture reveals that God will use what Jesus called, "the tribulation of those days" (also known as "Jacob's Trouble") to restore Israel back to Himself in the last days. But, Pharisaical religion and Reformed theology takes the forbidden liberty of merging Israel's Old Testament program of the Law (Judaism) with the Church's New Testament program of Grace (or the unmerited favor of God). One reason the merging of these programs (Law and Grace) takes place is a refusal to acknowledge this future restoration, which God promises to Israel through an everlasting and unbreakable covenant. This refusal is based on the belief that Israel is "permanently rejected" by God; meaning that any restoration back to God can never happen. This is why the merging (or transfer) of programs is thought to be correct. As if things aren't confusing enough, there is one more chapter to this twisted story, which answers many questions. As part of the transfer/merging of programs - the Church (because it is now thought to be "the New Israel) must assume old Israel's role during the Tribulation as an expression of God's will. According to the convoluted way various Reformed theologians think, it means any teaching about a pre-tribulational rapture for the Church (its removal before the tribulation) must immediately be condemned as heresy.
Many of the tenants of Reformed theology, operating under a different name, are what nearly destroyed the Galatian Church of the first century and was condemned by both Paul and the entire apostolic leadership of the Church. Some theologians refer to it as "the Galatian Error" or "Galatian religion". This is why these well-intentioned, yet misguided theologians (and their followers), think it's the will of God for the Church to go through the tribulation. Why? They believe that the Church is now "The New Israel", which is a dangerous violation of Biblical context. Paul warned that this wrong way of believing the Bible, "perverts the salvation of Christ". This is why those who embrace Pharisaical religion (or what some call Galatian Religion and Reformed theology) consider the Pre-tribulation rapture teaching to be a heresy. They strongly object to the belief that Christ's blood-bought Church (or God's worthy people) are exempt and allowed to escape God's future judgment against the world's sin. This same objection is what also drives their offensive attacks aimed at anyone who believes in the Church's pre-judgment or pre-tribulational escape. Yet, few of them seem to care that their accusations of heresy are directed at a truth taught by our Lord Jesus Christ and later by Paul in his epistles. It also reveals one other disturbing problem; they don't really believe in the completed work of Jesus Christ, "the Lamb of God, who took away all our sin". It raises serious questions about the validity and truthfulness of their salvation doctrine - and gives new meaning to Paul's warning; "Let no man deceive you by any means".
Note: In any casual discussion of this subject it's easy to get tangled in a confusing web of various names and labels. In our commentaries the names; Reformed theology, Galatian error, Galatian religion, Calvinism and Treadmill religion all have deep roots in we call the "pharisaical theology" of the first century (found in Acts chapter 15), which was exposed and condemned by the apostolic leadership of the Church in Acts chapter 15.
Paul does not agree that God has
permanently rejected Israel - as
Reformed theologians claim. He
also confirms that the plan to
restore Israel back to God remains
on track. For this reason, the
belief that the Christian Church
is "the New Israel" is proven to
be both dangerous and false.
"I say then, hath God cast away his people (The Jews)? GOD FORBID. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. GOD HATH NOT CAST AWAY HIS PEOPLE WHICH HE FOREKNEW." (Romans 11:1-2 - Emphasis Added)
“For I do not desire, brethren, that you (Christian believers living today) should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. AND SO ALL ISRAEL WILL BE SAVED….” (Romans 11:25-26 - Emphasis Added)
These statements and the truths they
contain were made several years
(some think 7-10 years) after Jesus
was crucified. It proves that God's
promise to restore Israel remained
intact after the cross.
Additional information is available at
the following link:
Avoiding The Error Of Replacement Theology
Galatian Religion (Galatian Error)
is Given a New Name and Reintroduced
Into The Christian Church
According to the Scriptures, the Old Testament program of Israel and the New Testament program of the Church are two separate and different administrations (or dispensations) that must never be treated the same OR MERGED TOGETHER. Contrary to popular reformed and Calvinistic preaching;
GOD HAS NOT PERMANENTLY REJECTED
ISRAEL, RESULTING IN THE REASSIGNMENT
OF THEIR SPIRITUAL PROGRAM TO
When reformed theologians fail to “rightly divide” the Word of Truth (as Saint Paul taught in 2 Timothy 2:15), they take the two spiritual programs of the Bible (involving Israel and the Church) AND MERGE THEM TOGETHER INTO ONE PROGRAM. They drop the name Israel - because they believe the Jews are no longer included in God's purposes - and refer to their new modified program as "the Church". In other words, they keep the name "Church", but change its definition and operating principles. An effort is then made to "rewrite the text of the Bible". Whenever the name Israel occurs, they replace it with the word "Church". The name swapping is deceptively performed in Bible teachings and sermons (both spoken and written) WITHOUT ALERTING THEIR LISTENING AUDIENCE.
We have no problem calling the practice of rewriting Scripture "demonic", regardless of how much it offends others. This theology is a gross violation of Biblical context and is nothing more than the reinvention of Galatian religion (Paul said it represented “a different gospel”), which was rejected by the apostolic leadership of the first century church. The reader should be aware of the following: What we call "Galatian religion" in our commentaries is similar to the rejected doctrine of the believing Pharisees recorded in Acts chapter 15. Once again, the same error traveling under multiple names and labels is what keeps the average Christian believer spiritually off balance and in the dark.
The Bible condemns this kind of interpretation method as something that perverts God’s original intention and redefines the principles of our salvation through Christ. As a result, Paul warned that God assigns a curse on all who preach this kind of distorted doctrine (Galatians 1:6-8). Saying it another way; IT’S A SPIRITUALLY ILLEGAL PRACTICE THAT CAUSES GOD TO TAKE SEVERE DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST THE PREACHERS AND THEIR DEVOTED FOLLOWERS. Just because many churches choose to call this “merging of administrations” - fundamental Bible teaching doesn’t change the fact that God condemns it as something that does not come from Him. Instead of keeping these programs separated (or as Saint Paul called it - rightly divided) - as the rules of Scriptural context demands - it mixes Israel’s Old Testament program of the Law with the Church’s New Testament program of Grace (God’s unmerited and undeserved favor) and reinvents the Church as “The New Israel”. It creates a new, yet false spiritual program that its adherents claim is God’s original purpose and intention. Yet, it only appears to be Biblical because the context of Scripture is either misapplied or ignored altogether (often referred to as “spiritualizing or allegorizing Scripture).
A vast majority (but thankfully not all) of modern-day Christians are guilty of engaging in this forbidden man-made religious system from the first century. As we repeatedly state in our commentaries; this is a generic mainstream theology in the institutional Christian Church that changes its name to avoid detection and crosses nearly all denominational lines. It’s not some kind of minor influence from a fringe movement or sect. It’s dangerous because it corrupts our faith in Christ, which carries many disastrous spiritual consequences. It accomplishes all these objectives, while tricking church members into thinking they’re committed Bible-believing Christians. Because of the danger, the leadership of the early church, especially the Apostle Paul, understood this theology to be a serious error, which essentially leads us astray. It was sometimes referred to it as “faith in another Jesus”. Paul warned the early church to constantly be on guard against it. Yet, we are told by some church leaders in the modern-day unity movement that we’re all children of God and that it’s just “a difference of opinion”.
We recently discovered a commentary from C.I. Scofield, who produced the popular “Scofield Reference Bible” and sounds a sober warning to the institutional Christian Church. We are not necessarily students of Scofield. Yet, we find that his writings reinforce the subject of this commentary.
“In contrast to Reformed theology is Dispensationalism. Dispensationalism says that to find the believer’s rule of life you must go not to Mount Sinai, but to Mount Calvary. Mount Sinai is powerless to justify a person and Mount Sinai is also powerless to sanctify a person. The law is not the believer’s rule of life. Something else is. The Scofield Bible states this position very clearly: "The test of the gospel is grace. IF THE MESSAGE EXCLUDES GRACE, OR MINGLES LAW WITH GRACE AS THE MEANS OF JUSTIFICATION OR SANCTIFICATION, OR DENIES THE FACT OR GUILT OF SIN WHICH ALONE GIVES GRACE ITS OCCASION AND OPPORTUNITY, IT IS 'ANOTHER' GOSPEL, AND THE PREACHER OF IT IS UNDER THE ANATHEMA OF GOD."
[From "Footnote #6" in the SCOFIELD REFERENCE BIBLE under Galatians 1:6--Emphasis Mine.]
“Most of us have been reared and now live under the influence of Galatianism. PROTESTANT THEOLOGY IS FOR THE MOST PART THOROUGHLY GALATIANIZED, in that neither the law or grace is given its distinct and separate place as in the counsels of God, BUT THEY ARE MINGLED TOGETHER IN ONE INCOHERENT SYSTEM. The law is no longer, as in the divine intent, a ministration of death (2 Cor. 3:7), of cursing (Gal. 3:10), or conviction (Rom. 3:19), because we are taught that we must try to keep it, and that by divine help we may. Nor does grace, on the other hand, bring us blessed deliverance from the dominion of sin, for we are kept under the law as a rule of life despite the plain declaration of Romans 6:14.” -- C.I. SCOFIELD --
Additional information is available
at the following link:
The Spiritual Revolution of Christ
The popular and accepted practice of merging these spiritual programs of Israel and the Church is what makes many Bible teachers reject any idea that Christian believers will escape “the tribulation of those days” (as Jesus called it). Their rejection is contrary to what both Jesus and Paul taught about the end times because it’s based on the tenants of a false theology. When we learn the purpose for the Tribulation, we discover that it’s sent as a form of intense judgment designed to bring the Jews (Israel), who rejected and crucified their Messiah, back into relationship with God. Why is He bringing Israel back? They were only temporarily set aside and were never permanently rejected because of an "everlasting and unbreakable covenant" made with Abraham and his decedents (the Jews and modern-day Israel) in the book of Genesis.
once again, the two Scriptures,
where Paul exposes the common
misconception propagated by the
the countless expressions of
reformed theology and Galatian
religion - are quoted below.
"I say then, hath God cast away his people (The Jews)? GOD FORBID. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. GOD HATH NOT CAST AWAY HIS PEOPLE WHICH HE FOREKNEW." (Romans 11:1-2)
“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. AND SO ALL ISRAEL WILL BE SAVED….” (Romans 11:25-26 - Emphasis Added)
Distorting The Purpose
Of the Tribulation
The tribulation judgments are directed at
Israel and the rest of the nations that
rejected the salvation of God’s Son.
THE CHURCH (ALL TRUE BELIEVERS IN CHRIST)
ACCEPTED HIS SALVATION AND DOES NOT NEED
TO BE JUDGED FOR THIS SIN.
NOTE: THE "CHURCH" BEING TALKED ABOUT HERE
IS NOT THE SAME AS THE INSTITUIONAL CHRISTIAN
CHURCH OF THE WORLD.
Unlike Israel, the Church believed in Christ (who is both the Jewish Messiah and our Lord) and received His salvation. It is this characteristic of having “received Christ” that makes the Church what it is. THIS IS WHY JESUS PROMISED THAT THERE WAS AN ESCAPE THAT GOD PROVIDES FOR “THE WORTHY ONES”. They are the ones, who did not reject, but placed their faith and trust in Him.
After the cross, “the worthy ones” are all those who are freely justified by receiving God’s gift of eternal life. (Romans 3:24-26)
Jesus Christ as, “The Lamb of God that took
away the sin of the world” – completely
took away all the sin of the Church and made
them “worthy to escape the judgments of
Reformed theology, Calvinism and all its countless related expressions considers the Church (to a greater or lesser degree) to be “the New Israel” - and the believer to be “the new Jew”. This is why they believe that the New Israel must go through the Tribulation - because both God and Scripture supports the idea of "Israel" being in the Tribulation.
Yet, the "New Israel" of Reformed theology and Calvinism is not the one God was talking about - because the Church can never replace Israel ...because God never permanently set Israel aside.
However, by ignoring the context of the Bible, they're trying to make God say something, which He never said. Through the religious distortions of Reformed theology, they are tricked into thinking God has permanently rejected the Jews (Israel) and that Christ's Church has now taken Israel’s place and assumed their role in Scripture.
As a result, those who believe and teach about the Church’s escape, WHICH IS THE FULFILLMENT OF HER SALVATION - are laughed at and ridiculed. The rapture is belittled and mocked - and called “the great snatch”. Christians, who believe in a pre-tribulational rapture are accused of “skipping out on the will of God for them in the tribulation" by choosing to believe in escapism. They mock and call the escapees “deceived religious nuts” and insist that the Bible doesn't teach an “escape before judgment” (or a pre-tribulational rapture). However, the only thing these “religious nuts” are guilty of – is choosing to believe what Jesus said about “the tribulation of those days”. What rational person wouldn’t want to escape the horrors of the tribulation IF GOD MADE A WAY OF ESCAPE – AS BOTH JESUS AND PAUL SAID THAT HE DID? I always thought the real “religious nuts” were the ones who wanted to go through this horrific time period, thinking it is God’s will for their life because they mistakenly believe that Jesus didn’t finish the work for their salvation at the cross. Unfortunately, if they continue to mislead Christians in this way, they just might get their wish.
There’s something seriously wrong with so-called “Christian ministers” who malign and mock someone because they desire to believe something Jesus said - that was good news. Maybe this is why Paul taught that their theology was not only misguided but “demonically inspired” and warned that God has placed a curse on their ministry and those that follow them (Galatians 1:6-8). C.I. Scofield warned that they were “under the anathema of God”, which means denounced, banished or accursed. Folks, I don’t know about you, but this is terrifying - and a vast majority of the institutional Christian Church ignores the existence of this warning and lives in a type of dangerous “spiritual denial”. Because their “Reformed theological filter” has a serious flaw, they remain blind to the liberating facts, even when these truths are being revealed by our Lord Jesus Christ.
A Dispensational View of the Bible
We agree with both Jesus and Paul that the Bible is divided into two major "administrations" or spiritual programs THAT MUST NEVER BE MIXED TOGETHER. Another name for this view is "dispensationalism", which is in direct opposition to the uniform message of Reformed Theology. The Old Testament represents Israel's Old Covenant administration (or dispensation) -- and the New Testament contains the Church's New Covenant administration (or dispensation). For the sake of brevity, I will not discuss the details of dispensationalism in this commentary, except to say that it represents a "literal" interpretation of the Bible, which keeps the Divine context of the Holy Scriptures intact. The Bible is designed by God as "dispensational". That alone makes it important.
Rather than the "uniform view of Bible history" found in Reformed Theology, Dispensationalists correctly believe that Biblical history is divided into different dispensations or administrations. In each dispensation, God sets out to accomplish something totally different. For example: The rules and principles that govern salvation under Old Testament Law are vastly different than the rules and principles that govern salvation under Christ's New Covenant that didn't begin until after the cross. Reformed theologians teach a "sameness" or uniformity of God's program in the Bible for man throughout history, while Dispensationalists reveal the unique differences between each Divine administration. Reformed Theology spiritualizes Scripture to achieve agreement with the Biblical text. Dispensationalists use a "literal" interpretation of the Scripture, which makes it difficult to "theorize and speculate" their own interpretation to achieve Scriptural harmony. When Paul warned his disciple Timothy to "rightly (or correctly) divide the Word of Truth", he was stating an important fact...THAT GOD'S WORD IS DIVIDED into two primary spiritual programs that must not be mixed together (2 Timothy 2:15). This is the essence of dispensationalism.
"For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles—IF INDEED YOU HAVE HEARD OF THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE OF GOD WHICH WAS GIVEN TO ME FOR YOU, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power." (Ephesians 3:1-7 - Emphasis and Clarifications Added)
When churches, denominations and ministers attempt to discredit (or leave out) the translation/rapture of the Church in their teachings, it is almost always due to the influence of one of the countless variants of Reformed Theology. We must remember: When Scripture is removed from its context, it still appears, to the undiscerning Christian believer, to be Scripture that carries God's authority. Few recognize that using a Scripture out of context either distorts or destroys God's original intention in the passage. This is how many types of false theology, masquerading as God's Word, continue to do great damage to the faith of God's children.
This is Part 3 of a three-part Bible study.
Click on the appropriatle link to access
the other parts.
Additional links are provided to commentaries
with more information.
Christ’s Redemptive Work at the Cross Exempts All
True Believers in the Church from God’s Judgment
The Disinformation Campaign Against The
Escape From Judgment
Has The Rapture Become Your Worst Nightmare?
A Warning About Violating
The Prime Directive of the
Authentic Gospel of Christ
We Also Recommend The Following Audio/Video Presentations
IMPORTANT NOTE: Our recommendation of these links should not
be understood as complete agreement with all beliefs of
the author, who also may not agree with everything we teach.
Vanished (Pt. 1) By Dr. David Jeremiah [YouTube Video]
Vanished (Pt. 2) By Dr. David Jeremiah [YouTube Video]
Vanished (Pt. 3) By Dr. David Jeremiah [YouTube Video]
The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Of The Church
By Dr. Ed Hindson [YouTube Video]
Why The Church Will Not Go
Through The Tribulation
By J. Vernon McGee (Audio)