Vol. 34, No. 10 THE CHURCH AND THE TRIBULATION
Vol. 34, No. 10 October, 2010
THE CHURCH AND THE TRIBULATION.
By Dr. George Mills
This subject is both fascinating and mysterious. Denominations have been born because of differing views on this subject. Some seem to think they have everything in proper order, but then it’s “but…but…but,” etc. “Is there a clear teaching on this subject?” Yes! I most certainly believe so. As I approach this message today I will try to shed some light on every side of the issue. There are several different views concerning the Coming of Christ and the Tribulation.
First, the Preterist. (meaning “past.”) These believe that Christ returned in 70 AD. They believe that Nero was the antichrist, and that Christ returned to witness the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Armageddon happened in 70 AD and that God replaced Israel with the New Testament Church. They believe that Matthew 24, which describes the tribulation, was fulfilled in 70 AD. Of course we DO NOT AGREE with any of this theory.
Second, the Pre-Tribulation doctrine. These believe that there will be a time of tribulation on earth such as never before, or will ever happen again. These believe that the tribulation period is seven years, divided into two, 3 ½ year periods. The first half of this period is relatively peaceful as the antichrist rises to power. The second half of this period will be the time of the great Tribulation as recorded in Mt. 24, Mk 13, Lk. 21, plus many Old Testament references.
This Preacher, this Ministry has always, and will continue to believe in the pre-tribulation doctrine.
Third, the Mid-Tribulation theory. This group believes that Christ will return for His Church at the end of that first 3 ½
year period, or, in the midst of the seven years as previously mentioned. Of course I do not agree with this view.
Fourth, the Post-Tribulation theory. These believe that the Church will have to go through this entire seven year tribulation period and endure the wrath of the antichrist. I do not agree with this view.
With these few, brief statements in mind, let us turn to the Scriptures, (KJB) and see what the Bible says about the
CHURCH and the TRIBULATION.
I believe that most groups agree that the Tribulation period is that seven year period as recorded in Daniel 9:24-27. The seventy weeks of that text are a period of four hundred and ninety years, or, seventy weeks of years. Four hundred and eighty nine of those years were fulfilled at the rejection and crucifixion of our Lord Jesus, leaving one week, or,
a seven year period remaining. There is a gap between the 489th and 490th week that has lasted for 2000 years. When the antichrist signs a seven year peace pact with Israel, that will signal the beginning of that 70th week, known as, the Tribulation period, (Dan 9:27)
Now, let me show you some differences..
There is a difference between the
RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH, and
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST. They are not the same.
FIRST, THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH. I am well aware of the fact that the word “rapture” does not appear in the Bible. The word rapture means “a catching away,” The Church will be “caught up” to meet Christ in the air, (1Thess. 4:13-18). (1Cor. 15:51-58). The subject matter we have before us is, “will the Church go through the great tribulation? Will the Church have to bow before the antichrist? Will Christ allow His Bride to be bruised by Satan?” Some are preaching that the Church will have to face the antichrist. One defiant preacher said, “Bring on the antichrist.”
I do not believe that he is really aware of the terror of that period. The believer’s hope is the Rapture, or, the catching away of the Church. “Looking for that blessed hope and the Glorious appearing of the Great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13). This is our hope. The Rapture of the Church will be:
(A) SECRET. The time of Christ’s coming for the Church is not known. Be careful of date setters, and of new “revelations.”
(B) SIGNLESS. There is much talk about the “signs of the times.” Keep in mind that the signs listed in Mt. 24, Mk. 13, Lk. 21, are signs of Christ’s coming back to earth, and not signs of the Rapture of the Church.
(C) SILENT. The coming of Christ in the Rapture will be silent. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” (1Cor. 15:52).
(D) SELECTIVE. Only born again believers will be taken into Heaven at the Rapture. Believers who have died will have their body resurrected and changed. (their soul went on to be with the Lord at their death. Their body and soul will be reunited at the Rapture.)
The Rapture of the Church is for the Church only. (1Thess 4:13-18). Before the revelation of the antichrist and before the Great Tribulation period. (2Thess. 2:1-13).
(E) SUDDEN. The Rapture of the Church will be complete before you can blink an eye. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.”
SECOND, THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST. This is different from the Rapture. When Christ returns He will bring His armies with Him, (Rev. 19:11-20:1-15) He will then destroy the armies of the antichrist and begin His reign of 1000 years. His second coming to earth is NOT secret, signless, or silent. “Every eye shall see Him.”
And then, there is a difference between;
TRIBULATION, and the
THE GREAT TRIBULATION.
Christ told His Disciples, “In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33). The Church has endured almost 2000 years of tribulation and trials. In fact the 20th century was the bloodiest century for Christians. Here in our homeland, we have been spared of much persecution and tribulation, but believe me, Christians around the world suffer for their faith today.
THE GREAT TRIBULATION;
1. THE PROPHECY…
Throughout the Word of God many passages refer to this time of Great Tribulation. This time period is known by several different names…
(A) The time of Jacob’s trouble. (Jer. 30:7).This is a time of Israel’s trouble.
The Church is not in Old Testament prophecy.
(B) The time when Israel will pass under the rod. (Eze. 20:37.
(C) The day of the Lord. (Joel 1:15, Joel 2:1)
(D) The 70th Week of Daniel. (Dan. 9:24)
Verses that refer to the Great Tribulation refer to Israel, and NOT to the Church. The Church is a mystery, not known in other ages but revealed to the Apostles. (Eph 3:1-11).
God has a plan for the Church, a plan for Israel, and a plan for the nations that reject Christ.
2. THE PURPOSE. The Tribulation will be for a purifying in Israel when God deals with the nation “FACE TO FACE,” (Eze. 20:33-44). Certainly, the nations left behind at the Rapture, (1Thess. 4:13-18) are involved. They refused God’s best, (which is Christ) they will accept Satan’s best which is antichrist. You can read all about man’s best, without God, in Revelation, chs 6-19. Daniel saw the Tribulation as revealed to him by God. The terror of that awful time made Daniel sick for several days. (Dan 8:23-27). At the end of the seven year Tribulation period, Christ will return to the earth, (Rev 19:11-21). The purpose is for the purifying of Israel.
3. THE PROGRAM.
As I have previously stated, FIRST THE RAPTURE. The “catching away of that great “called out assembly.” The Church is that Blood washed, born again body of believers. These have heard the message of Redemption, and have by Faith alone received the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. (John 1:12). Jesus said, “I know them and they know me.” “I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (Jn. 10:28). This is the same crowd that Jesus spoke of when He said, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against them.” (Mt. 16:18). Now, are YOU part of that vast assembly of born again believers? Please make sure that you have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ alone for your Salvation. And remember this, not everything that calls itself “church”
has any part in the Church of the Living Christ. There are many false voices, false doctrines, and false Christ’s. I believe in the eminent return of Christ in the Rapture. He could come at any moment. “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
After the Rapture, this world will be in chaos. Satan will use the antichrist, also known as the beast, (Rev. 13) to make a seven year peace treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:27). THE SIGNING OF THIS SEVEN YEAR PEACE PACT WILL SIGNAL THE BEGINNING OF THE SEVEN YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD. The antichrist “seems” to have answers and solutions for the world’s problems. Political, economical, world hunger problems will be his avenue to rise to be the leader this world has been looking for, (Dan 7:24-25, 8:23-25, Rev.13:7-9).
He is the deceiver of all deceivers!
In the middle of the seven year peace pact, the antichrist will break his covenant (peace pact) with Israel, (Dan. 9:27) and declare that he is God (2Thess 2:1-11). This is also called “The abomination of desolation,” (Dan. 9:28, Mt 24:1-1-51, Rev. 13:1-18). This begins the second half of the seven year period. This will be the worst period in the history of man. (Mt 24:22).
And then, the visible return of Christ at the end of the Tribulation when He defeats the armies of the antichrist, (Rev. 19:11-21). This is called the battle of Armageddon. The remnant of Jews that came through the Tribulation will see their Messiah, and the nation will be born in a day, (Ro. 11:26-36) (Isa. 66:8).
4. THE PERSON. The antichrist is a person. He is not a system, he is not a computer, he is a real person. He will use lies and deceit to gain his rise to power. He will use apostate religion. He will use world economy. Who is he? I do not know, nor does anyone know. He will be revealed AFTER the Rapture. I have heard various ones try to identify this person. No one knows, and I am not interested in knowing who he is. I met the REAL CHRIST one day. I claimed Him that day as my Saviour. He has fulfilled every promise to me. He is a loving, kind, Wonderful Saviour. The antichrist is “anti” or, against Christ, so I really do not care to know who he is. I am interested in introducing the REAL CHRIST to as many as I possibly can, before it is too late.
5. THE PROMISE. Will the Church go through the Great Tribulation Period?
NO, NO, NO! His promise is sure; “He hath delivered us from the WRATH to come.” ((1Thess. 1:10) The Tribulation is that time of WRATH, (Rev. 6:17). “He hath not appointed us to WRATH, (1Thess 5:9). “I will keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth.” (Rev. 3:10) Jesus prayed for me on His way to Calvary. He prayed, “That Thou should keep them from THE EVIL.”(Jn 17:15). The Lord Jesus did not tell His Church to look for the antichrist or the Tribulation Period. He said “Look for Me” “I will return.”
Do not be carried away with the winds of doctrines that are blowing today. Stay with sound doctrine. The Holy Spirit is the Administrator of the Church. He keeps the Church. The PRE-TRIBULATION coming of Christ in the Rapture is not a doctrine invented in the last one hundred years or so. This is not a doctrine dreamed up by some girl in Scotland. This is sound Bible (KJB) doctrine as recorded by Paul, Peter, and John. The RAPTURE is a PROMISE. This is HOPE where there seems to be no HOPE.
There is NO HOPE in looking for the antichrist.
There is NO HOPE in looking for the Tribulation Period.
There is NO HOPE in “seeking signs.”
The only HOPE is the BLESSED HOPE, the Return of Christ for His Church.
Eternal Salvation and the Pre-Tribulation Rapture are not doctrines made up to make us at ease, or to relax and let go. These great doctrines give the Believer HOPE and ENCOURAGEMENT to live for Jesus the best we can, to ever be ready for His Coming. If we live in the attitude of His coming we will be busy, active, and trying to win the lost to Jesus.
There is so much more to share with you about this subject, but my space is limited. If the Lord tarries, perhaps later I can take this subject up again. Just be sure that you are ready for Christ’s Return. You are ready when you receive Him. “But as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.” If you are not saved, Christ is there, where you are, in the Person of the Holy Spirit. He will hear your heart’s cry. Tell Him that you receive Him, Now! Tell Him that you believe that He paid your sin debt in His Crucifixion and Resurrection. “Ask and ye shall receive.”
BEGIN TODAY, TO LIVE FOREVER!
“Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
“And to wait for His Son from Heaven whom He raised from the dead.”
“His Name shall be called Wonderful”
By Pastor George Mills
Wonderful Christ who came to earth,
He came to reveal God’s Plan.
He came to earth,
By the Virgin Birth,
To rescue fallen man.
Beautiful Babe, Oh Glorious life,
Touched with the feelings of mankind.
Rejected in life,
And debated in strife,
But no error of fault could they find.
Wondrous Cross, that place of shame,
Where Christ our Dear Saviour died.
Bearing such pain,
All for our gain,
Where there, He was crucified.
Glorious Tomb, that empty place,
Where the Saviour was laid to rest.
But that empty space,
Is the Gift of God’s Grace,
The Gift of Heaven’s Best.
Wonderful Christ to bring us His rest,
Wonderful Cross, what shame,
Now wonderfully blessed,
The tomb gave up it’s guest,
Wonderful, He lives again!
Oh the wonder of the empty grave,
The world cannot be the same,
Oh the Love that He gave,
And His Power to save,
Wonderful, He’s COMING AGAIN!
Yesterday, today, and forever, He is always the same!
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
Buyer beware if we see a sign that says “AS IS.” We can’t return it if it doesn’t work, we have no recourse to get our money back and it will probably cost us more to have it repaired than it would to buy a new one. A used car is usually trouble and off to the junk yard. Used appliances may last for a few months and then they are out for the garbage pick up. Anytime we buy “AS IS” we are running a risk of being stuck with a product that will not work and we lose in the long run. We need provision for some sort of recourse so we will know we are not going to lose and that is called a guarantee, a warranty. Yes, a guarantee that will assure us that we are safe and secure with the purchase that was made. We need to have a written guarantee that we can rely on when things just don’t work anymore. No, we can’t get a guarantee on an “AS IS” purchase but I do know One who did make an “AS IS” purchase and it does come with a written guarantee. His Name is Jesus! He bought us “AS IS” when He paid for our Salvation with His Blood! When we accept His Gift of Salvation, He also provides us with a written guarantee. He gives us full assurance that we can come to Him with any problem at any time and He will make things right with us. He has given us a written guarantee that He is ours and we are His forever and forever. He bought us with His Blood “AS IS!” What a wonderful Saviour! If you have never trusted Jesus to save you from your sin, come to Him today and ask Him to come into your heart, accept His free Gift of Salvation that comes with a guarantee and He will surely accept you “AS IS!”
“For ye are bought with a price” (1Cor.6:20).
“And I give unto them Eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the lord shall be saved.”
“He that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (Jn. 6:37).
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1Jn. 1:9).
“While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Ro. 5:8).
“I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. (1Cor 3:6).
Sometime ago, I was witnessing almost daily to a man in the hospital. I could not lead him to Christ. I talked to him, I left tracts for him to read, but I could not lead him to Christ. After a few days, a preacher friend of mine told me that he had just left the hospital and had won a man to Christ there. This turned out to be the same man that I had been witnessing to. Why couldn’t I have led him to Christ”? After all, I had been witnessing to him. Oh well, the most important thing is that the man got saved! Please take a few moments and read 1Corinthians 3:5-11. We will not win everyone we witness to, but we must tell everyone about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In Christ the SOWER and the REAPER are rewarded the same.
TEEN TALKS THAT MATTER
By Ashley Stevens
HOW MUCH TIME DO WE GIVE GOD EACH DAY?
For everything that God gives and blesses us with, how much of our time are we going to give back to Him? As a teenager myself, I know that we have to worry about our education, our sports and other activities, but can’t we take at least ten minutes out of our day to give to the King? He was nailed to a cross and a spear driven in His side for us. If we think about it, how much time we spend on face book, or texting, or doing other activities, shouldn’t we give God the same amount of time, or even more? I think so! He laid down His whole life for us. I can’t even imagine the pain He went through on Calvary just for YOU so you can one day spend your life with Him in a beautiful place that He has prepared for us called Heaven. Oh what a beautiful place it will be! We are always thinking about being popular or fitting in, but in God’s eyes, we are all equal. God doesn’t care if you’re popular or not! You are popular in His eyes, and that is all that matters. I have recently found out that if you start your day off with a quiet time with God each day, your day just seems to be brighter and just so much easier because you started off your day on the right foot. The Lord has blessed my life in so many ways and I am very grateful. I know that He can do the same in your life also. If you are worried about taking a test tomorrow, or maybe something is going on in your family, of if you just need someone to talk to…God is there! He will get you through whatever you need. Hard times, times of worry, times of sadness, GO TO GOD! He is always there with open and loving arms. God cares about YOU! So today, right now even, go to God and spend some time with Him. I can promise you that you won’t be disappointed.
May God bless your life each and every day.
Until next time…Ashley Stevens
TWIXT TWELVE ‘N TWENTY
We welcome to our writing staff, writing to the youth of our time..
I know that you will enjoy and be blessed by her writings.
Your kind words are like MANNA to us. Thank you for taking time to Pray for this Ministry. Every time someone stops by to tell me that they are praying for us, well, THAT’S MANNA! Thank you for every letter, every call, for every encouraging word. Thank you for every offering you send! This Ministry goes into places around the world we could never go physically. Pray that lives may be touched, and souls will be saved. This Ministry reaches into many Correctional Institutions. We frequently hear from inmates who have been helped by this Ministry. We greet each one of you in Jesus’ Name and appreciate hearing from you!
We need your prayers, you need our prayers. We need to pray for one another. Thanks for everything… In Christ, Bro. Mills
GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS; it is no friend to the Christian. As I make my journey through this WILDERNESS, I can only claim the Faithfulness of God. Even though I may not be able to understand some things, I still claim His faithfulness.
1. He is Faithful to His creation. (Heb 1:1-2) (Col 1:15-17).
2. He is Faithful to His Word. (Psa 119:89) (Psa 12:6-7)
3. He is Faithful to deliver the Christian in the time of temptation and testing. (1Cor 10:13).
4. He is Faithful to keep us. “And the very God of Peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. FAITHFUL is He that calleth you and will do it.” (1Thess. 5:23-24).
AND…The things you do which you ought not to do, you do because you do not do the things you ought to do.