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“The Error of a Mid-Tribulation Rapture and wrong Methods of Interpretation”
by Art Sadlier   
February 3rd, 2017

As that which calls itself the Church of Christ slips further and further into apostasy there is an abandoning of sound doctrine including premillennialism.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1). That speaks of the present hour, we are watching New Evangelicals departing from sound doctrine and slipping into new age contemplative meditation which involves opening themselves up to demon spirits and doctrines of devils.

The following is an excerpt from a news item which confirms the present falling away from the sound doctrine that fundamentalist held to so faithfully in the past.

Quote – “Filmmaker, evangelist and bible prophecy teacher Joel Richardson says it is a time of change for the church, especially when it comes to teachings about the End Times and the rapture. The author of the New York Times bestseller “The Islamic Antichrist” recently appeared with Joe Schimmel on Rick Wiles’s TruNews radio program to discuss what he believes is the false doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture.”

Quote – “The pre-tribulation school of thought has been an important force in American Christianity for decades, with proponents such as Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice. This school holds believers will be raptured before the great tribulation during the End Times, thus avoiding it. In contrast, Richardson believes the rapture will not occur until during the tribulation period. Thus, believing Christians will not be spared the persecution and calamities of the End Times.”

Richardson believes the bulk of American Christians are moving in his direction. It seems he is correct in that estimation.

The issue is not what men think, the issue is not whether it is fair or not, the issue is not a desire to miss the tribulation period, the issue is what is the will of God and what God’s Word teaches. Those that jettison the pre-tribulation rapture have not really considered all that the Bible teaches on the issue. The pre-tribulation rapture is at the heart of the whole biblical end time scenario.

Richardson is promoting the post-tribulation rapture to advance his mistaken concept of an Islamic antichrist. He forces this hypothesis upon scripture where it does not fit.

Both Richardson and Jonathon Cahn are presenting their theories on the basis of the law. They quote the Shemitah, which is the law of a seven year agriculture cycle. The Shemitah is only one over 600 laws and yet they concentrate on this one law. These men are going to the law to interpret Bible prophecy. We do not go to the law for that purpose, because the law has been set aside.

 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Galatians 3:24-25). We are no longer under the law and we do not go to it to discover what the Lord would have us to know about prophecy. All that the Lord would say to us is set out in the scriptures. These men are drawing attention away from the Word of God and focusing on the law which now has no application to us. They are focusing on the law instead of the scriptures.

Many others are abandoning the pretribulation rapture because they are caught up in the false concept that they are building the kingdom of heaven on earth in the here and now. This is a part of the ecumenical drive which is leading to a world church and a kingdom for antichrist.

The church is not called to build a kingdom in this world. The church is made up of those who called out of this world. Our citizenship is not of this world, our citizenship is in heaven. We are not called to change the world but to preach the gospel and to call others out of the world to be a part of the body of Christ.

Christ will build His Kingdom of Heaven on earth after the world has been judged during the tribulation period for its sin and rebellion. He will build His Kingdom on earth after all unbelievers have been removed from the earth at the Sheep and Goat judgment. “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:31-34). It is the Lord who prepares the kingdom for us, we have no part in that preparation.

All unbelievers will be banished to hell; no unbelievers will enter the kingdom of heaven on earth. Matthew 25:41, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Those who are later born in the kingdom will have to be saved in the same way you and I have been. The tribulation saints who are martyred during the tribulation period will not be a part of the body of Christ, they will be a special group who will be gathered around the throne of God forever. "And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them" (Revelation 7:13-15).

We also read about this kingdom in Luke 1:32-33, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
Christ will establish His kingdom, we as believers have no part in the establishment of this kingdom. We will come back to the earth after the triblation period to reign with Him by His grace.

The Scripture teaches that the Wrath of God is poured out at the very beginning of the Tribulation Period.

This is contrary to what the  mid-trib rapture people teach about the timing of the rapture and is a denial of a mid-tribulation rapture. They erroniously teach that the wrath of God is not revealed until the mid-trib point.

They say that the time of tribulation wrath does not begin until the mid-tribulation point. Therefore they believe in a mid-tribulation rapture. That is not what scripture teaches. We read in Revelation six, which represents the early tribulation period that the wrath of God is poured early in the tribulation period. Revelation 6:17, “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” This verse is in the context of the seal judgments which take place at the beginning of the tribulation period.

The rapture takes place at the very beginning of the tribulation period according to the following verse. “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” (Revelation 3:10). That is clearly the tribulation period. This was spoken to the church of Philadelphia, which is one of the last day’s church. This verse is very clear and there is no confusion about this issue, before the tribulation period begins, that which is the true and faithful church will be taken out of the world. The rapture will occur prior to the tribulation period, not at the mid-tribulation point. Another verse that proves the pretribulation rapture, is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We know that there are no signs to indicate the rapture is near. The rapture could happen at any moment; in fact it could have happened at any time in the church age. We do know that it will happen prior to the beginning of the tribulation period. We also know that there are shadows and foreshadows of the coming tribulation period.

There are foreshadows today of the coming tribulation period. The shadows of a world government are now falling on our world. These shadows indicate that the tribulation is near at hand, if that is the case we know that the rapture is also near at hand. The shadows of a world church are upon us therefore we know that the tribulation period is also near at hand and again that means the rapture is nearer at hand. There are other shadows falling around us. The stages for the wars of the tribulation period are being set today. This is another indication that the rapture is near at hand. The foreshadows of the revived Roman Empire are beingcast upon us, this is another indication that the rapture is near at hand.

We do have signs for the second coming of Christ and we can conclude that the rapture is at least seven years earlier. These signs of the second coming are not given for the rapture but they do indicate that the rapture is near at hand, being seven years earlier.

Another area where false teachers are diverting their focus away from the Word of God is found in focus on blood moons as a means interpreting end time events.

The following is an exerpt from an article by David Cloud.

[John Hagee’s 2013 book Four Blood Moons is a mixture of Bible truth and vain speculation. The thesis is that an upcoming series of rare lunar and solar eclipses that align with Jewish feast days signifies an upcoming prophetic event of great importance. The subtitle to Hagee’s book is “Something is about to change.”
This type of thing sells a lot of books in an age of shallow “evangelical” Christianity and in a time when people’s ears perennially itch for something new.

Hagee’s position is based on the following erroneous premises:
1. Hagee claims that a red-tinted lunar eclipse is the same thing as the Bible’s prophecies of the moon turning to blood and the sun turning black.
Hagee says that these prophecies refer to a tetrad. This is a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses, which make the moon appear to have a red tint, with a total solar eclipse occurring somewhere within that sequence, thus the “blood moon” and “black sun.” Hagee claims that tetrads that coincide with Israel’s feast days (e.g., passover and feast of tabernacles) fulfill Bible prophecy.
This is the fundamental error of the theory. This premise being wrong, the entire thing falls apart and collapses.

Consider the following Bible prophecies:
“And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come” (Joe 2:30-31 and Acts 2:19-20).
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken” (Mat. 24:29).
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Lk. 21:25-26).
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind” (Rev. 6:12-13).

These prophecies have nothing to do with lunar or solar eclipses. They describe breathtaking signs in the heavens that cannot be missed and cannot be attributed to a natural event. They are signs that will cause men’s hearts to fail for fear. No one will need a book on prophecy to know that something earth shaking is happening. These prophetic signs will occur during the Tribulation, during Daniel’s 70th Week as described in Revelation 6-18. They will not occur in the church age prior to the Rapture of New Testament saints.

2. Hagee claims that since three previous tetrads over the past 500 years that fell on Israel’s feast days have witnessed dramatic events, the next tetrad in 2014-15 will also witness a dramatic event.
In 1493-94 a tetrad was accompanied by the expulsion of Jews from Spain. The tetrad of 1949-50 witnessed the establishment of the modern state of Israel and the winning of her War of Independence. The tetrad of 1967-68 witnessed Israel’s winning of the Six Day War and the recovery of Old Jerusalem.
It is important to observe that these “tetrads” didn’t fall exactly on the historical events emphasized by Hagee. As usual, the prophecy speculator stretches the connections and associations between alleged signs and the events. The expulsion of Jews from Spain was in 1492 rather than 1493-94; the War of Independence was won in 1949, whereas the tetrad wasn’t completed until 1950; and the Six Day War was over in 1967, whereas the tetrad wasn’t complete until 1968.

Be that as it will, the next tetrad that falls on Israel’s feast days is April 15, 2014, October 8, 2014, April 4, 2015, and September 28, 2015.
This is all very interesting, but there is zero evidence that any of these tetrads were actual signs from God.
After all of Hagee’s attempts to prove that the tetrads were supernatural signs, he is left with nothing but speculation. And speculation has no authority.

3. God will give the present world a heavenly sign to that “it has taken a wrong turn.”
“The world has taken a wrong turn and we need a sign from God to get back on the right track— the Four Blood Moons just may be that signal! If God gave Joshua and Hezekiah a sign in the heavens and if He posted a sign in the heavens to direct the wise men to the birthplace of our Redeemer, then why wouldn’t He continue to speak to us through signs? God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He has declared that He will give the terminal generation a signal that something big— something earthshaking— is going to happen” (Hagee, Four Blood Moons, Kindle Location 1871).

There is no biblical evidence for this. The signs of the end times are everywhere present for anyone who will turn his attention to God’s holy Word. Men have no excuse. There is the sign of apostasy in the churches, the sign of ecumenical unity toward the building of a one-world “church” (Hagee himself is guilty of promoting this), the sign of globalism, the sign of the explosion of homosexuality, the sign of the knowledge explosion, the sign of men running to and fro, and others. These are clear Bible signs laid out in prophecy rightly interpreted.
There is no need for God to give a sign in the heavens prior to the Rapture, and there is no biblical evidence that He will do so.

Conclusion: Hagee's Unsound Source
Hagee got this theory from a disreputable source. It is a product of his illicit and unwise yoking together with unregenerate Jews and the bogus “Hebrew Roots” movement. He has done this through Christians United for Israel, an organization he founded in 2006.
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Cor. 15:33).

Hagee disavows attempts to convert Jews. He says, “The first rule adopted by Christians United for Israel was that there would be no proselytizing at our events. CUFI exists only to honor and support the Jewish people, never to convert them” (Hagee, “Why Christian Zionists Really Support Israel,” May 13, 2010).]

Hagee's refusal to convert Jews makes him the enemy of the souls of Jewish people.

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