The Rapture According to the Apostle Paul: God's Guarantee of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture by Dr. Dennis McLelland - HTML preview
Download the book in PDF, ePub, Kindle for a complete version.
RISE AND SHINE! YOU’RE GOING HOME!
God’s Guarantee That He Will Keep You Out of the Tribulation
"Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth."
“…Behold, the Lord cometh (to earth) with ten thousands of his saints (us!), to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ has just given you promises that Christians will not experience a moment of the tribulation. “He that hath an ear, let him hear.” Can God’s word get any plainer than what He wrote in Revelation 3:10 and Jude 14-15? Do you believe what God’s word says? Either you do or you don’t. Do you remain uncertain? Read the scriptures again. God is going to keep his Church out of the tribulation!
The key word in God’s magnificent promise in Revelation 3: 10 is the word from. The original Greek transliteration is ek. Its Greek definition translates to English as the words from, or, from out of. The reference is found in Strong’s Concordance # 1537. This is the key word that tells you that Jesus will keep you “out of” the tribulation.
If our Lord Jesus Christ wanted His beloved, blood bought, perfect Bride to go through the tribulation, He would have instructed His angel Gabriel to tell John to use the Greek word
dia (Strong’s Concordance # 1223) which means through the hour of testing in the English language. Instead, John used the Greek word ek - from, out of.
God’s unambiguous words referenced above in Jude 14b-15 should make it quite clear that only the ungodly will be judged during the tribulation. Yet the deceivers apparently replace the word “ungodly” and substitute “Godly,” in that the Bride of Christ must face the tribulation.
However, be aware that they will try to convince spiritually weak Christians that God’s own words are subject to doubt. Don’t fall for it.
Knowing how wonderful and loving our Father is, would it not make perfect sense for Him to have at least warned us in His word that the tribulation was definitely in our futures? But nowhere in Scripture is it stated that we must suffer through the tribulation. I defy anyone to locate such a scripture while keeping the scriptures in their proper contexts.
Pre-tribulation Rapture critics will contort and twist God’s word as they toil in their cauldrons of duplicity, concocting their own hellish theories. God’s word is final. If it’s not in the Bible, it’s not God’s word. Extra-Biblical theories, Church history, philosophical concepts and new age ideas, are not scripture. Be very careful to that in which you place your faith - and eternal destiny.
God wrote the Bible to give the human race directions to finding and accepting salvation through believing God’s words. We are expected to believe the message of the Gospel that He gave His Son to deliver to Paul of Tarsus.
Jesus’ Gospel of Grace
What was that “new message?” It was the Gospel of the ascended Jesus Christ that brings salvation and remission of sins through believing in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Any person who accepts Jesus’ Gospel of Grace will never face the tribulation.
View the tribulation through God’s eyes. Let me remind you that there is not one line of scripture in all the Bible that states God’s redeemed children will have to face the tribulation. All true born again Christians are the Bride of Christ.
Can you ever imagine our Lord, our future Bridegroom, allowing His holy and spotless Bride to enter the horrors of the tribulation? Similarly, will Jesus permit His Bride to have their heads cut off by the antichrist’s storm troopers while Jesus watches impassively from His glorious position on the right hand of His Father’s throne? The Lamb’s Bride? No. We serve a God of love, mercy and perfect justice.
Would Jesus allow His Bride to be vaporized in a nuclear exchange? For what purpose?
Many anti-pre-tribulation Rapture deceivers proclaim that the Bride of Christ must go through ( Greek word “dia“) the tribulation to be “purged.” Purged from what? We were already made
“perfect” when we received salvation. Jesus tells us in Hebrews 1: 3 about how He gloriously purged us from sin:
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person (God the Father) and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
This verse is yet another guarantee that the Bride of Christ will avoid the tribulation.
The pre-tribulation Rapture critics state that the Church must be “purged” of sins, hence the 8
need for the tribulation to “straighten us out.”
However, when Jesus stated, “he had by Himself purged our sins,” He sat down on His Father’s right side, knowing that His tortured utterance of Tetelestai, or, “it is finished” on the cross, took away all our sins past, present and future. Jesus was then finally able to “rest” in heaven upon His resurrection and ascension.
The totality and perfection of Jesus’ finished work on the Cross was observed by His
“sitting down” next to His Father’s throne to rest from His sacrifice. Another powerful scripture relating to Jesus’ “finished work,” is found in Genesis 2: 1-2:
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.”
Are you aware that it was Jesus Christ who created the universe and all things in it?
Most of Christendom has no idea of this little-known fact found in Colossians 1: 15-16:
“Who (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him (Jesus) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.”
Two additional scriptures describe Jesus as Creator:
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
(Revelation 4: 11)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word 9
was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”
(John 1: 1-3)
Knowing that Jesus is the Creator of all, including the human race, is it within His holy
“character” to allow satan to torture and kill His redeemed and pure Bride in the tribulation?
Further Proof of No Tribulation for Christians
There are several other clear verses in our Bible that bless us with the promise that Christians will not experience the tribulation. The first is found in Paul’s epistle, Romans 8: 1:
“There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Jesus Christ, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
How could we face the tribulation knowing that we, who are not condemned, must face the horrors of the tribulation alongside those who are condemned? Where is the sense in that?
Does it reflect the perfect justice of God? Will God suddenly go back on His word and turn from us when Jesus opens the seals of judgment from His heavenly scroll as described in the book of Revelation? Of course not!
Here are other comforting, reassuring scriptures, which God gives us for our peace:
“Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ.”(Rapture) (1 Corinthians 1:8)
“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever.” (2 Timothy 4: 18)
Notice the language - “that ye may be blameless.” What was that? Blameless? If we have no blame there is no judgment. If there is no judgment, then there is no tribulation for the Bride of Christ. Also, notice how God promises to “deliver us from every evil work!”
Do you believe the tribulation qualifies as being included in “every evil work?” Here again is proof positive that the true Church has no place in the seventieth week of Daniel. Looking again at 2 Timothy 4: 18, notice that God guarantees us that Jesus will “preserve me into His heavenly Kingdom.” How can the deceivers rationalize that away?
Our Lord Jesus Is Faithful
Consider this; how could Jesus expect our battered soul and Spirit to arrive in heaven burdened with doubt about why He allowed us to go through the tribulation, when He promised in His word that we wouldn’t have to?
Again, can you imagine Jesus watching us suffering and dying from His Father’s heavenly throne and seeing satan reveling in his “victory” over His beloved Bride for whom He shed His precious blood? Can you?
When Saul (Paul) of Tarsus was struck down by Jesus on the road to Damascus in Acts 9: 5b-6a, Jesus asked Saul,
“why persecutest thou me? And he (Paul) said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.”
Jesus made it plain to Saul that if he was persecuting Christians, he was similarly persecuting Jesus Himself. All true Christians compose the Body of Christ. We are truly only one body, with Jesus being the head. The head cannot be separated from the body without death occurring.
Therefore, any attack against Christians is an attack against Jesus. Jesus loves us and calls us His Bride. He will always protect and comfort us. He would never allow us to be embroiled in the tribulation because we are one Body, as seen in Ephesians 1:22-23:
“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the Church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
Since the horrors of the tribulation finds its origin in the perfect justice of God, then Jesus would necessarily subject Himself to the very tribulation planned for Israel and other unbelievers because we are, truly, one Body.
Song of Solomon - Love Letters Between Jesus and His Bride
Another wonderful example of Jesus’ love for us is found in the incredible book of the Song of Solomon. This little studied book is a love story between Jesus and His Beloved. A good summary of this book is found in Smith’s Bible Dictionary:
“The scope of the song is, under the allegory of lovers upon contract, and intending marriage to shadow out to us that sublime, spiritual, and happy union and communion betwixt Christ and His Church, which is inchoate (only partially formed) in this life, and shall be consummate in the life to come. This is carried on dialogue-wise betwixt Christ and His Church…” (1)
One of the most beautiful scriptures found in the Song of Solomon concerns the incredible love and protection that we have in our Lord Jesus Christ. The Song of Solomon 2: 10-14, provides a powerful example of the love Jesus has for His Bride. The passage opens with the Bride of Christ (us!) “speaking” to her love:
“The voice of my beloved! (Jesus Christ) behold, he cometh leaping upon the 12
mountains, skipping upon the hills...My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle ( translated turtledove) is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away…”
Do these beautiful verses sound like a Bridegroom who is about to cast His Bride into the tribulation? Although these verses were written for the Nation of Israel, its beautiful message is timeless, and displays Jesus’ love for those who love Him. We, too, are a part of Jesus’
Perhaps the reader is unaware that a true, holy “marriage” between our Lord Jesus and we, His Bride, will take place in heaven after the Rapture and the Judgment Seat of Christ.
It will be incomprehensively beautiful and spectacular. The King of the Universe, the Creator of all things, our wonderful Savior, is going to marry the Church - His Bride! Revelation 19: 7 tells us of our future wedding:
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”
2 Corinthians 11: 2 also tells of our upcoming marriage:
“For I am jealous over you with Godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one
husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”
When and where will this marriage take place? In heaven! After we receive our new resurrected, eternal bodies (bodies like Jesus’!) at the pre-tribulation Rapture, the entire Bride 13
of Christ (alive and “formerly” dead) will be escorted to heaven by Jesus our Bridegroom, with Whom we will remain forever.
However, before we are officially married to Jesus, we must prepare ourselves at the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is not a “judgment” as we understand the concept; it is an
“appearance” before Jesus Christ Himself. Our sins have already been washed away and forgotten: therefore, there is no judgment in store for us.
“For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
(2 Corinthians 5: 10)
Did you notice the last word of this scripture? Bad? Yes, saint, all true Christians will be Raptured, but many will arrive with a poor “works” record. They are certainly in heaven, but their scant work record will garner them little reward.
As you surmise, it is at the Judgment Seat where we will receive rewards for our earthly service to Jesus from the moment we became Christians. We must be purified of all earthly works that did not bring glory to our Lord.
We cannot enter the perfection and purity of eternity with works that are defiled and do not glorify Jesus. What will remain after this purification? Gold, silver and precious stones.
“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble (works); Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's
work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
(1 Corinthians 3: 12-15)
In addition to rewards, we will receive our heavenly robes (our wedding apparel), as detailed in Revelation 19: 8:
“And to her (us) was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”
We will look at this most fascinating aspect of our futures in a later chapter.
As incredible as this glorious ceremony will be, we will experience yet another fantastic event - the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb.” I maintain that the Marriage Supper takes place on earth. This overwhelming banquet is our wedding reception!
Guests? Oh my, of course! Our guests will include everyone who trusted in and believed in the Lord before Jesus was resurrected as well as those who believed in the Lord after the Rapture.
The martyred tribulation saints and Old Testament believers will be guests at our wedding banquet. Since the Old Testament saints will be resurrected after Jesus returns to earth at the second coming, they are more associated with the earthly realm rather than the heavenly.
Ineligible for a heavenly banquet because they are not yet resurrected, I believe this is why Jesus is permitting the banquet to be on earth - to include these saints too, once they are finally resurrected after Jesus returns to earth.
Reader, if this is the first time you’ve heard about this glorious future promise, you may 15
feel stunned. Married to Jesus? Absolutely. Does it seem like a bizarre concept? Many men cannot grasp this concept, yet it is Biblical. Nevertheless, all Christians are the Bride of Christ. Did you know that God the Father is married to Israel?
This beautiful passage tells of God’s love for His Wife Israel:
“Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem: . . . “When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you
became Mine,” says the Lord God.
(Ezekiel 16:1, 8)
It is hoped that this first chapter helped you to realize how awesome and incomprehensible is the love that God has for you, His child. Has the first chapter increased your faith? Has it given you hope? Do you believe God’s words?
Inventory your beliefs at this time. Do you believe the words of God that you have read so far? Or do you yet cling to a veneer of false teaching that denies the truth of the scriptures?
All scriptures referenced in this first chapter are “Gospel,” beloved.
If you believe any other words other than what God wrote in the Bible, you are being deceived. Heed God’s warning as you read the following scriptures:
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we (Paul and his disciples) have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
“…In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that 16
obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 1: 8) 16
May God bless you as you choose to permit the power of God’s word to energize and change your heart, Spirit, soul and mind. Recall, if you will, the ageless truths found in Isaiah 55: 11, as you meditate upon your true spiritual condition:
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent is.”
Pray. Think. Reflect. Seek. Bless His holy Name.