In Christ There Is No Wrath

Our Excerpt today is from a paper authored by Dr. Mal Couch which was presented to the Pre-Trib Research Study Group at its annual conference a few years ago. The paper is titled: “Major Rapture Terms and Passages” and is focused on the major New Testament terms and passages that support the Pre-Tribulational Rapture of the Church. For our purposes today I wish to focus on one passage from this work which emphasizes the fact that the Church, which is the Bride of Christ, will not experience the Wrath of the Tribulation because of the Rapture.

The excerpt begins:

The rapture has to do with the dispensation of the church or those “in Christ.” The church age is a unique period with special promises. Those with Him now by faith will not face the coming wrath (1 Thess. 5:9). There was nothing like the rapture for Old Testament saints, and there will be nothing similar for Tribulation believers.

Most of the rapture passages mention the believer’s relationship to Jesus. Paul speaks of “our Lord Jesus at His coming” (1 Thess. 2:19) and of the dead as those “who have fallen asleep in Jesus” (4:14), who are now called “the dead in Christ” and who will rise first (4:17). The reason for the rapture, Paul says, is so we might escape the coming wrath and obtain salvation “through our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:9). Awake or asleep we will live together “with Him” (5:10). The apostle continues to punctuate this relationship with our Redeemer when he reminds the confused Thessalonians of this “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him” (2 Thess. 2:1).

In Paul’s great resurrection and rapture section, 1 Corinthians 15:12-28, both events are tightly tied to our spiritual position in Christ. “In Christ all shall be made alive,” he says (15:21). Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection and then those who are Christ’s “at His coming” (15:23). And following the apostle’s great description of our “change” at the rapture and the resurrection of the dead, he concludes with this triumphant statement, “thanks be to God, who gives us the victory because of our Lord Jesus Christ” (15:57). In Titus, Paul calls the Lord “our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2:13). He “gave Himself for us,” and thus redeems and purifies “a people for His own possession” (2:14).

These statements are important because they reveal the unique position the church now has with its Savior that spares it from the coming wrath.

Words of Grace for Strength

Today the subject of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture of the church has come under fire from many directions. There are now those who deny the Rapture altogether, those who support a Post-Trib Rapture, a Mid-Trib Rapture, and the latest variation is a teaching suggesting a Pre-Wrath Rapture in which the church will endure Satan’s wrath but not the Wrath of God.

I agree that the purpose for the Rapture is to keep the Church from the Wrath of God. Paul tells us this very thing in 1 Thessalonians 5:9; “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,” however a distinction between the wrath of Satan and the Wrath of God during the Tribulation is tenuous at best. A true understanding of the Tribulation period places every event of that time in the context of God’s purposes and God’s Wrath. Satan has no power except that granted by God. Therefore, any wrath meted out by Satan is in fact God’s as He accomplishes His purposes during the Tribulation.

What is God’s purpose for the time of Tribulation as He inflicts His Wrath upon the world? I believe there are four things He intends to accomplish.

First, Satan will be given every opportunity, during the Tribulation, to make his rebellion succeed only to fail. Revelation 19 describes the defeat of Satan’s army and the destruction of the Beast (Antichrist) and his false prophet, and chapter 20 describes Satan being bound and cast into the pit. Thus, God will use Satan to accomplish His own purposes. The depravity  and sin nature of man will be seen through these last rebellious events, leaving no doubt that without the redemptive blessings through Christ, all would be lost for no man resists sin without salvation through Jesus.

The second purpose of God during the Tribulation is to bring Israel into a position of obedience and redemption. The scriptures teach us that God will use this time to bring His chosen people to Faith in Jesus as their Messiah. God will use Satan, the Beast (Antichrist) and the wicked gentile nations to persecute and punish Israel for her unfaithfulness to God. Zechariah prophesied that during this time two-thirds of Israel will be destroyed; ‘“And it shall come to pass in all the land,” Says the LORD, “That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,”’ (Zechariah 13:8) but one-third will declare; “The Lord is my God” (Zechariah 13:9). With this having been accomplished the prophecy will be fulfilled; ‘“And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “THE DELIVERER WILL COME OUT OF ZION, AND HE WILL TURN AWAY UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB; FOR THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.” (Romans 11:26&27) Notice when Paul says “all Israel will be saved” he is speaking of the believing remnant of one-third because the Scripture in Zechariah 3:8 has already acknowledged the two-thirds which are cut off and die. Israel, coming to terms with Jesus as Messiah, and as a result, coming to Messiah, brings the covenantal promises of God to the nation of Israel to their ultimate fulfillment.

The third purpose I see God accomplishing during the Tribulation is to punish the world and the gentile nations for their sins against God and His chosen people Israel. (Deuteronomy 30:7; Isaiah 13:9; Isaiah 24:19&20) This purpose is retribution for the unrepentant during this time, and has nothing to do with the Church. And we of the Church need to see our blessed position in Christ and give praise that we are kept from enduring this purpose of God in these end times events.

The fourth purpose of God during this time is to evangelize the world. This is prophesied by Jesus Himself in Matthew 24:14; “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” We see the fulfillment of this in Revelation 7:1-17 through the preaching of the 144,000 Jews, the Two Witnesses and Angel. We see occurring during these most terrible of times the very thing we ourselves are now commanded to do, during our daily times in our daily lives.

So, in conclusion, I do not find evidence of the Church in any of these events during the Tribulation. Let ume give one last common sense example. Since the Church is the bride of Christ, does it not make sense that Christ would protect His Bride from God’s Wrath? Realistically, what groom would beat his prospective bride before their wedding? It is my hope that this common sense evidence borne out by the Scripture should be enough to put this subject to rest. The Rapture is Pre-Tribulational… and imminent. Jesus is coming soon!


Apostasy and Responsibility

Our excerpt today is from David Wilkerson’s Sermon “The Great Apostasy” from May 7th, 1986.

Our churches no longer have the power of God to attract the people. They go down to Egypt, borrow its music, its dancing, its entertainment, hoping for a crowd! No passion for souls – just crowds! Church growth at any cost! Look at the average church bulletin; it looks like a theater calendar. The church wants to ride the swift horses of Egypt! It is a stench in God’s nostrils.

Even the para-church ministries are falling away, apostatizing! Workers are parked in front of the TV idol. Many are reading psychology books. While some still have a passion for souls, even that often becomes worldly hype and human energy”!

“Who say to the seers, You must not see visions! And to the prophets, You must not prophesy to us what is right. Speak to us pleasant words, prophesying illusions” (Isaiah 30:10).

An apostate church wants nothing to do with the visions or prophecies of men of righteousness. They want no message that disturbs, no upsetting of their successful world. They refuse any kind of correction.

Everything is excused under the banner of love. They clamor for entertainment! They flock by the thousands to concerts, plays, social gatherings, they ridicule prophets. They mock what they call the Doomsday Preachers! They live with Illusions. They don’t want a Preacher or Evangelist to tell them the hard truth – to bring forth the Sword of the Lord. They say, “Preach to us smooth things! Bless us! Make us happy! Make us feel good!”

They especially reject the message of holiness and separation. They say, “Get out of the way, turn aside from the paths …. Let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 30:11).

I never thought I’d live to see the day that Assembly of God pastors would write me reproachful letters, telling me I am bringing confusion and gloom to the body of Christ. For what? Preaching holiness, judgment and repentance?

Jeremiah was sent to prophesy against the apostate Jews, the Lord’s own people. God warned him, “They will fight you… the dread of the Lord is no longer in them… they prefer to drink from cisterns now, rather than living water” (Jeremiah 1,2,3).

Why do people embrace the prosperity message and reject correction and calls to repentance and holiness? It is because of their lifestyles. Prosperity preaching fits beautifully into their successful lifestyles. They flock to those teachers, because they want to feel comfortable in their world of materialism. They are in no mood to give up anything, or to sacrifice, or to hear of crosses and losses. They are into buying, acquiring, enjoying, climbing. They refuse to heed the prophetic warnings that the party will soon be over.

Words of Grace for Strength

The New Testament book of Jude gives a clear warning of the dangers of Apostasy in the Church… both in the life of the early Church and just as importantly, it is relevant for the Church today.

Jude encourages the believer to earnestly “contend for the faith” because of the danger of Apostasy. “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 1:3) Jude’s warning to the Body of Christ is that there will be a constant barrage of false teaching and false teachers who will attempt to corrupt the message and mission of the Church, and his exhortation is clear that it is the responsibility of every believer to be proactive in the fight against the false teaching. Every believer should be endeavoring to be a “Berean” like disciple who is so grounded in the Word that they are able to discern the difference between Truth and the threat of growing Apostasy as a result of the teaching of false prophets.

These false prophets have sought to corrupt the message of the Gospel from the very beginning of the church age. “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:4) Look at what Jude is saying about these false prophets and their Apostasy.

• They have “crept in unnoticed.” In other words, they have used deceit, craftiness and elusive means to gain access into the Church. Paul says of them in 2 Corinthians 11:13-14; “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” These false prophets and teachers never appear to be divisive or distrustful, their mantra is inclusiveness, tolerance, love and prosperity. In fact, they may sound good, look good, and even have great charismatic personalities, but they use their position to subvert and corrupt the Truth.

• Jude also describes them as “ungodly” and immoral because they turn Grace into an excuse to commit unrighteousness. Verses 4-19 give a list of their ungodly attributes.

• Also in verse 4 Jude says they “deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul tells us how they do this in Titus 1:15-16; “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” Through their corrupt and unrighteous lives they expose their true nature. Peter says they also show their true nature through their false teaching. 2 Peter 2:1; “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”

Eventually the false prophet or teacher will be exposed by his own works and he is revealed to have never had any true relationship with God, His Son Jesus Christ or His Holy Spirit and never understood the truth of God’s Word and His righteousness. John wrote of this in 1 John 2:19; “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”

Jude also describes three groups of people who have been influenced by or are a part of these Apostates. In verses 22-23 he writes; “And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”

These verses speak of three separate groups of people.

• To some he says we are to “have compassion.” These are they who have been influenced by the false teachers and moral reprobates but have not yet completely bought in to their ungodliness. They are redeemable and we need to reach out to them in Love and kindness in order to draw them back to the Truth.

• The second group have become enamored with the teachings of the false prophets, they are in real and present danger of losing their souls because of ungodliness. Drastic action is called for as we are told to react and “save with fear, pulling them out of the fire.” This is not a moderate or tender approach, this is confrontational and demonstrative action needed to expose to them the danger they face which has eternal consequences.

• The third group is those described as ones we should fear, “hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” They are the false prophets and teachers, the Apostates themselves. They have given themselves over to their sinful ungodliness and immorality. Are they beyond redemption? Only God knows. However, we are warned as believers not to associate with these workers of iniquity lest we become contaminated by their false teaching and sin. We as members of the Body of Christ, the True Church, are never to lower our guard or our standards in order to do the work of evangelism. We are to be in the world but not of the world.

Friends and fellow servants, we are living in the most exciting days in the history of the earth as we listen for the sound of the trump of God and the imminent return of Christ for His Bride, the Church. In these Last Days we have the opportunity to speak out and share the good news of the True Gospel of Jesus Christ.

There are more people on the earth today who need to know Christ than ever before, and it is not time for us to grow complacent, but rather it is past time for us to be proactive in the work we have been called to by our Lord and Savior.

We must stand against the growing Apostasy in the church, we must reveal the workers of iniquity who corrupt and distort the Word of God, and we must be willing to lay our very lives at the feet of Jesus.

People need to know the Truth, and the only source of Truth is the Word of God, and we know and must share that Jesus IS the Word!

We as Soldiers of the Cross need to put on the Whole Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and prepare to do spiritual battle daily for our Lord. No fear, No weakness, let no one be discouraged, having done all we need to do to stand for Christ let us Stand Therefor! We must contend for the faith, speak those things which become sound doctrine, speak the truth in love, and pray without ceasing!

The little, yet powerful, book of Jude ends with this benediction in verses 24-25; “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.”

Incredible, what a fantastic picture! He will keep us, He will present us with exceeding joy, He does this for us! Our God and Savior! Let us know, let us speak, let us share with the world our Savior, and His glory, His majesty, His Dominion and power now and forever!

Therefore Stand!

The Approaching Day

This article is about the Second Coming not the Rapture. There are no signs of the Rapture. It can happen at any time and without notice. But there are signs of the Second Coming and the Church is told to watch for those signs.

Many prophecy writers, including myself, believe the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation Period. In that case, the Rapture will occur before the Second Coming because Jesus won’t come back to this earth (He will remain in the air at the Rapture) until the end of the Tribulation Period. So, if the Second Coming is close, the Rapture is even closer.

Most of those who watch the signs think the Second Coming is very close. They know that Jesus said, “Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matt. 24:36). But they also know that Jesus said, “When ye shall see all these things (the signs), know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matt. 24:33). And they also know that the Bible says we can see the day approaching (Heb. 10:25). So even though no human being knows the day and hour, prophecy teachers are not contradicting the Scriptures when they say the Second Coming is close.

They believe it is close because God has revealed timing clues along with some prophecies. For example, concerning the Battle of Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38-39), God said it will happen in the latter days (Ezek. 38:16) and latter years (Ezek. 38:8). But in order for this prophecy to be fulfilled, God said Israel will be back in the land; Israel will have cattle and goods; Israel will be opposed by Russia, Iran, Turkey and others, etc. These pre-conditions are in existence today and they seem to be screaming out that the latter days and latter years have arrived.

Another example involves one of the verses mentioned above (Matt. 24:33). Jesus said His Second Coming will be close when all of the signs are apparent in the same generation. Between 70 A.D. and 1948 the nation of Israel didn’t exist so it was impossible to see all of the signs during that span. Between 1948 and 1967 Israel didn’t control the Temple Mount so again it was impossible to see all of the signs. But all of the signs appear to be coming on the scene now. Some prophecy teachers call the appearance of all of the signs a convergence of the signs. Some even think this convergence of the signs is more important than any other sign including the return of Israel. Anyway, this convergence of all of the signs in the same generation is a timing clue signifying that the Second Coming is near.

Bible prophecy requires the establishment of a New World Order (world government) during the Tribulation Period and before the Second Coming (Rev. 13:7). In 2009, Henry Kissinger said, “Pres. Obama has been chosen to bring in the New World Order” and we are now a little more than two years from the end of his second term. In 2013, Vice-Pres. Biden said, “The affirmative task we (the U.S.) have now is to actually create a New World Order.” In 2014, he said, “I believe we and mainly you (the 2014 Air Force graduating class) have an incredible opportunity to lead in shaping a New World Order.” And in 2014, Pres. Obama talked about a coming “new order based on a different set of principles.” So if our leaders are close to the establishment of a New World Order, the world is close to the Second Coming and even closer to the Rapture of the church.

Bible prophecy requires the establishment of a global religion during the Tribulation Period. In Feb. 2014, it was reported that Pope Francis wants to reverse the Protestant Reformation and unite all religions. The Reformation began with a split in the Roman Catholic Church. The recognized beginning of this split occurred on Oct. 31, 1517 when Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation will occur on Oct. 31, 2017. So Pope Francis has established Oct. 31, 2017 as a goal for an anti-Reformation (a reversal of the Reformation by uniting Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and Jews into one religion). He may not be able to do it, but again, if the world is close to the establishment of a world religion (in 2017); it is even closer to the Rapture of the church.

Bible prophecy requires the coming Antichrist and his False Prophet to have the ability to identify everyone and to track all of their buying and selling about three and one-half years before the Second Coming (Rev. 13:16-17). Now, it is being reported that Obamacare requires every American to have a National ID card and that the Dept. of Homeland Security will start enforcing this in 2017. In fact, NBC recently predicted that every American will have a RFID implant by 2017. So the appearance of things that will be used after the Rapture (ID cards, chipping people, etc. by 2017) are timing clues that signify that the Rapture is getting close.

The Tribulation Period and Second Coming also require the arrival of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Rev. 6:1-8) which many believe is the rise of the Antichrist with an increase in war, famine, pestilence and earthquakes (also see Matt. 24:5-7). The Antichrist can’t rise because the church is still here (II Thess. 2:7-8), but this year it has been reported that wars have increased seven years in a row; the price of several foods (pork, beef, chicken, etc.) has reached an all time high and this is just the beginning; drug resistant viruses (pestilences) are spreading around the world, and big earthquakes (those larger than 7.0) have doubled since 1979. How can those who watch not believe that we will soon be going home?

Bible prophecy requires the Antichrist to confirm a Middle East peace treaty that will begin the Tribulation Period after the Rapture of the church. There have been many failed attempts at a Middle East peace treaty, but proposals are now being drafted that will ask the UN Security Council to take over the peace process; to set a date for dividing the land of Israel and creating a Palestinian State; and to enforce the UN Security Council actions with international troops. It means the PA is asking the UN Security Council to dictate a solution and send in troops to enforce it.

After the Rapture, there will be a global economic collapse (Rev. 6:5-6) and a recent report by the Bank of International Settlements recently said the entire world is now in a situation of unsustainable debt and more. As the world approaches the Tribulation Period what it does to Israel will come back on it. The U.S. is trying to erase Israel’s borders and its borders have been erased. More could be said, but many prophecy writers have good reason to believe that they can see the day approaching. Are you prepared?

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck

Why Preterism is a False Doctrine (All Prophecy has not been Fulfilled)

Those who believe all prophecy has been fulfilled are called Preterists. Not all Preterists agree with each other. There are partial Preterists and full Preterists. The partial Preterists are divided into historicists and futurists. Some of the partial Preterists believe the full Preterists are pagans, etc.

The word “preterist” means past. Generally speaking, it means most Preterists believe most prophecy was fulfilled in the past, specifically, by 70 A.D. Partial Preterists say most but not all of it was fulfilled in the past.

After giving the Parable of the Fig Tree Jesus said, “When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:34). The problem centers on the identity of “this generation.” Preterists believe “this generation” means the generation that Jesus was talking to. Many non-Preterists believe “this generation” means the generation that sees the fulfillment of all the prophecies Jesus was talking about.

For many, the problem with Preterists is the fact that they spiritualize and explain away many prophecies, especially the Book of Revelation. Instead of studying the Book of Revelation they dismiss it as nothing more than a book of symbols. The prophecies say one thing, but they say the prophecies mean something else. They attach private interpretations to the prophecies instead of letting the Bible interpret itself. When they do this, they not only change what the Bible says, they dismiss, explain away or spiritualize hundreds of other verses in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Zechariah, Matthew, II Thessalonians, etc. Everything those prophets said about the first coming of Jesus literally happened. It’s a mistake to say that none of what they said about the Second Coming of Jesus is going to literally happen.

Many Preterists say Nero was the Antichrist. But Nero wasn’t the Antichrist because he committed suicide instead of being cast alive into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20). Nero didn’t track all buying and selling. And Nero didn’t force people to take the Mark of the Beast.

Many Preterists say Israel’s religious leaders were the False Prophet. But Israel’s religious leaders didn’t build a statue of the Antichrist. Israel’s religious leaders didn’t make that statue speak. Israel’s religious leaders didn’t make the Jews commit idolatry by worshipping the statue. And Israel’s religious leaders didn’t get thrown alive into the Lake of Fire with the Antichrist.

Many Preterists say the final world government was the Roman Empire. But the Roman Empire was the legs of iron on Nebuchadnezzar’s statue not the feet of iron mixed with clay (Daniel 2). The Second Coming of Jesus will be in the days of the feet of iron mixed with clay not in the day of the legs of iron.

Many Preterists say the Second Coming of Jesus was a spiritual coming that took place in 70 A.D. and no one could see it. But the Bible says every eye will see Jesus when He comes back (Revelation 1:7). Two angels said Jesus will come back the same way He went away which was visibly because people could see Him (Acts 1:9-11). Over and over again, Jesus and others told us to watch for the Second Coming, but watching for the Second Coming of Jesus is meaningless, if Jesus has already come back. Watching for the Second Coming is meaningless if is a spiritual return that no one can see. The Bible says so many people will be killed at the Battle of Armageddon when Jesus comes back the blood will flow up to the horses bridles for almost 200 miles. That doesn’t fit with an invisible return that no one can see. Jesus said the sun will be darkened, the moon won’t shine, the stars will fall from heaven, everyone on earth will mourn, the lost will be removed from the earth, the sheep and goat nations will be judged, etc., but none of that happened in 70 A.D. (Matt. 24:29-30; 13:41-42, 49-50; 25:31-46).

Many Preterists say the destruction of Jerusalem and the persecution of the Church in 70 A.D. was the Tribulation Period. The Church won’t be here during the Tribulation Period. There was no seven-year covenant in 70 A.D. There weren’t enough people on earth for a 200 million man army to invade Israel in 70 A.D. The Euphrates River didn’t dry up. The Two Witnesses didn’t lie in the street for three and one-half days while the whole world watched. Babylon wasn’t destroyed by fire in one hour. Jesus didn’t rescue Israel at a Second Coming in 70 A.D., etc. (Rev. 9:16; 16:12; 13:11-18; 11:9).

Many Preterists say the Church is the New Jerusalem. The Bible says the New Jerusalem will be about 1500 miles square, it won’t need the sun or moon, it will have twelve gates of pearls, twelve foundations of precious stones, streets of gold, and the tree of life. The Church still needs the sun and moon, we still have pain, death, suffering, we’re a spiritual building not a physical building with walls, streets, etc. (Rev. 21-22).

Many Preterists say the Millennium is a long period of time not a 1,000 years and we’re living in the Millennium right now. But the Bible says we will have peace on earth during the Millennium. Instead of peace on earth, we have wars and rumors of wars. Instead of thanking God because His kingdom has already come to the earth, we are praying that His kingdom will come to the earth.

To believe Preterism people have to ignore the differences between the Church and Israel, ignore current events, and reject the most widely accepted date for the writing of the Book of Revelation; explain away hundreds of verses of Scriptures all over the Bible, etc. They have to ignore the fact that the Bible talks about a great Battle of Gog and Magog that will take place in the latter days and latter years (Ezek. 38:8, 16) against God’s people (Ezek. 38:16). They have to ignore the fact that the Bible talks about a great army that will attack God’s people at the Battle of Armageddon (Joel 3:2). God hasn’t rejected the Jews. He will still consider them to be His people in the latter days and latter years.

A good question to ask is, “When was the Rapture?” This is actually why some Preterists shove the Rapture over to the Second Coming. If the destruction of Jerusalem and the persecution of the Church is the Tribulation Period, they have to move everything between the Rapture and the Second Coming to the period before 70 A.D.
If the prophecies aren’t literally fulfilled, it’s impossible to know when anything is fulfilled. If the prophecies aren’t literally fulfilled, there is no need to watch for anything. If the prophecies aren’t literally fulfilled, there are no signs of anything. If prophecies aren’t literally fulfilled, we need to forget about heaven, rewards, the resurrection of the dead, etc. because those things won’t literally happen.

Christians should not want to lead anyone wrong. But those who say all prophecy has been fulfilled, the Book of Revelation is nothing but a book of symbols, no one understands it, and the like are leading people wrong. The Bible says study those symbols, search the Scriptures, let Scripture interpret Scripture, blessed is the person who reads, hears and keeps the things in the Book of Revelation, don’t take anything out of the Book of Revelation, the Holy Spirit can help you understand it.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck

Two Kinds of Christianity?

1 Corinthians 15:1-3 “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures”

There are two kinds of Christianity. There is a Christianity of social improvement, of economic amelioration, of civic betterment. If Christ is preached at all, He is presented as a great humanitarian, a noble reformer, a magnificent martyr. If its disciples use the word “salvation,” they mean a reconstruction of the social order. Confucius was a great teacher, contributing to the welfare of society. Socrates was a great teacher, contributing to the welfare of society. Aurelius and Justinian were great teachers, contributing to the welfare of society. And Jesus was a great teacher, contributing to the welfare of society. He was nothing more, except possibly the best among many peers.

There is, also another kind of Christianity. It is a Christianity of redemption. In this message God in heaven was moved by the tragic plight of a lost human race, a race condemned to die by judgment upon their sins. In mercy and in love God came down in human flesh and took upon Himself our sins and died in our stead. Through faith in this atoning Christ we are forgiven our iniquities, we are restored to God’s favor, we are saved from eternal penalty of our transgressions. Simon Peter spoke of that marvelous salvation like this: “Christ also suffered for us,… who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree,… by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:21-24) And again he wrote: “…ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold… but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:18-20).

In the Christianity of social improvement, the death of Christ is but an incident, though a moving devotion. In the Christianity of redemption, the death of Christ is the cardinal truth around which all other truths revolve. Take away the death of Christ from the first type of preaching and the preacher is not particularly troubled. In fact, he would like to rid the volumes of theology and the hymn books of any reference to such blood and suffering. To him the preaching of the cross is an offense, a part of a religion of the shambles and the butcher shop. Take away the death of Christ from the second message and there is nothing left. The preacher no longer possesses the “good news,” the evangel of the forgiveness of our sins. There no longer remains any hope of heaven nor any promise of the world to come.

Which of these two kinds of Christianity is the Christianity of the New Testament? Undoubtedly, it is the Christianity of the cross.

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Galatians 6:14).

At the heart of the Christian faith is the cross; the cross in all its naked hideousness, as the Roman would have it; the cross in all its philosophical irrationality, as the Greek would have it; the cross in all its shame and offense, as Paul describes it. “I declare unto you the gospel… by which ye also are saved… how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-3). “And, I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:1-2). If it is the Christianity of the book, it is the Christianity of the cross.

Excerpted from “In Defense of the Faith” W.A. Criswell 1967

Words of Grace for Strength

“He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”  (John 19:30b)

Dr. Criswell’s thesis is that without the Cross there is no Christianity, that the Cross is central to our faith because it is where our redemption was assured. As certain today as it was when Dr. Criswell penned the words in his book, there seems to be two kinds of Christianity being preached from pulpits around the world. This apostasy is more grievous than all of the other false religions and cults combined, because there are countless numbers of souls being led away from God the Father, because false teachers and false prophets have abandoned the cross. It should bring deep pain to any Christian to see anyone throw away the only thing worth keeping, the only thing that cannot be earned, the only thing that is freely offered, the only thing that once accepted cannot be lost.

As our Lord Jesus was crucified, hanging there suspended between heaven and earth He cried out “it is finished” and with that statement, the work His Father had sent Him to do (the work which none in the history of the world before or since could do, only Jesus), was done. It was the work of atonement and redemption, He poured out His life as an offering for our sin and then bowed His head before His Father. The Scripture here says “He gave up His Spirit”, no one took it from Him, He willingly dismissed His spirit and died, His death was voluntary, He was completely in control and again, did what no other man could do. These three words “it is finished” were His announcement that victory over sin and death were assured, that Satan’s fate was forever settled, for he willingly died and placed Himself into His Father’s hands. The certainty of His burial, resurrection and ascension would soon be accomplished, but with these three words the way of atonement for all men had been provided, redemption was assured for all who would believe, for all who would accept the gift provided, and make Him Lord of their life. This is Christianity!

Today I plead with you to examine the preaching and teaching in the place where you worship. If the message is on social justice, if the message is on prosperity, if the message is on civility and tolerance… ask… Where Is the Cross?

The message should be about what Christ Did for you, not what He can provide for you… Atonement, Forgiveness, Redemption, are all at the Cross of Christ! For if you understand that message of what He did, you know with certainty that you do not need Him to provide anything else.

Run to the Cross, Cling to the Cross, for at the Cross is where you find True Christianity!

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Turn to the Cross because the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His Church, True Christianity, is imminent.

Jesus is Coming Soon!