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THE RAPTURE AND ISRAEL

By William West
THE PREMILLENNIAL VIEW OF CHRIST
ISRAEL RESTORED
THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
THE PREMILLENNIAL THOUSAND-YEARS
THE THRONE OF DAVID
DANIEL'S 70 WEEKS AND THE "GAP"
THE "ANTICHRIST" AND "MAN OF SIN"
THE FIRST RESURRECTION AND THE SECOND DEATH TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1: Premillennialism, a multitude of divisions and confusions

 

Chapter 2: The nature of Christ.

The nature of Christ before He became flesh
(1) Jesus Christ, the God who made all things and us
Chapter 3: Christ as reviled in the Old Testament
Chapter 4: Christ as reviled in the New Testament

1. Jesus in the New Testament
2. Jesus as reviled in John's gospel. The person who came from God and returned to God
3. Jesus as reviled in Hebrews

Chapter 5: Jesus Christ, the God who became a man

 

The nature of Christ while He was flesh and dwelled among us [John 1:14] (1) Jesus Christ, the God who became a man

 

(2) Jesus Christ, the God who died my death for my sin

The nature of Christ now and for all eternity
(1) Jesus Christ, the God who lives
(2) Jesus in John's Gospel: Came from Heaven, sent by God, will return to God

Chapter 6: The nature of mankind

 

(1) The nature of mankind from creation to the resurrection

The nature of mankind before the first sin
The nature of mankind after Adam's sin
From birth to death
From death to the resurrection
(2) The nature of mankind for all eternity after the resurrection

Chapter 7: The day of the Lord

 

On the day of the Lord - The second coming of Christ

On the day of the Lord - The resurrection and judgment of the righteous On the day of the Lord - The resurrection and judgment of the wicked On the day of the Lord - The final judgment

On the day of the Lord - The total destruction of the earth and the heavens which were made from nothing and will return to nothing

On the day of the Lord - The total destruction of the lost
On the day of the Lord - The second death
On the day of the Lord - Death will be abolished
On the day of the Lord - The saved forever with the Lord
On the day of the Lord - The kingdom will be delivered up to God

On the day of the Lord - Christ will bring the lawless one to an end by the appearance of His coming

 

On the day of the Lord - "Wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God"

Chapter 8: Was the death and resurrection of Christ foreknown by God?
Chapter 9: Kingdom of Heaven or kingdom of God?
Chapter 10: Was the church planned by God or just an afterthought?

If both God and Christ had not failed
Chapter 11: Back to the temple made with hands
From the blood of Christ back to the blood of animals

From Christ our High Priest back to the Old Testament priesthood
From the substance back to the shadow
From the better New Covenant back to the Old Covenant
From that which makes alive back to that which kills
From free back to bondage

Chapter 12: Old Testament passages used by Millennialists to teach Christ would set up a kingdom and rule the world from Jerusalem
Chapter 13: New Testament passages used by Millennialists

(1) Matthew 24 is regarded by many Millennialists as being their strongest proof of the Millennium. Scriptures about the destruction of Israel

 

(2) 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Will the second coming of Christ be Premillennial? Will there be an invisible return of Christ?

 

(3) Revelation 20, The Thousand years

 

(4) Other New Testament passages used by Millennialists. The first resurrection and the second death. Is there one resurrection, or two, or more then two resurrections?

Chapter 14: The "last days" passages
Chapter 15: What is the Great Tribulation?
Chapter 16: What is Armageddon?
Chapter 17: Who is John's "Antichrist"? Who is Paul's "man of sin"?
Chapter 18: The Premillennial views of "Hell"
Chapter 19: Well-known Millennium predictions that failed
Chapter 20: The throne of David

(1) The Jewish earthly kingdom of Israel

 

(2) The Millennium earthly kingdom of Israel

 

Chapter 21: Is the Gospel "The power of God to salvation"?

 

Chapter 22: Israel, is it still God's chosen people?

 

The two-fold promise

 

The land promise

The seed promise
God's Israel of today

Chapter 23: The Thirteenth Tribe
Summary: The Millennium was not known about by God, Daniel or any others of the Old Testament prophets

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Note: this book is now being written and more is being added to this from time to time. It has not yet been proofread, and with my typing I am sure it has many typing errs in it.

 

FOREWORD

 

WHAT IS PREMILLENNIALISM?

For the most part Premillennialism is a revival of the beliefs of the Jews in the time of Christ. Israel was looking for an earthly king who would drive Rome out, conquer other nations, and restore the Kingdom as it was in the time of David. Premillennialism says this is what Christ came to do but that God did not foresee the Jews rejecting and killing Christ, but because they did, the restoring of the kingdom was put off and the church age is an unforeseen substitute, which begin at the death of Christ and will last only unto He comes back, then the unforeseen church age (the "gap") will end, Israel and the Law of the Old Testament will be restored. Christ, who most Millennialists believe to be a created being and did not exist before His birth, will literally sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem and rule the world. Premillennialism makes God and Christ to have failed in their plan to setup the kingdom of Heaven because of the rejection of Christ by the Jews; and His death, resurrection, or the "church age" which they call the gap was not foreseen by God. To this basis teaching, different Millennialists add a seven-year rapture, some before the Millennium and some after it, and many other contradictory variations of beliefs. In the Millennium Satan will be bound for a thousand years, but will be loosed for a "little season." He and his angels will make war on Christ in Jerusalem and all but overcome Him (the battle of Armageddon), but God will save Him. Satan, his angels, and the lost will come to their end in Gehenna just south of Jerusalem, which will have been restored. Most believe Christ and the saved will live forever on this earth and no person will ever go to Heaven. IN BRIEF, PREMILLENNIALISM IS A COMPLETE REWRITE OF THE BIBLE.

As David Brown puts it, "Premillennialism is no barren speculation--useless though true, or innocuous though false. It is a school of Scripture interpretation; it impinges upon and affects some of the most commanding points of the Christian faith; and when suffered to work its unimpeded way, it stops not till it has pervaded with its own genius the entire system of one's theology, and the whole tone of spiritual character, constructing, I had almost said, a world of its own; so that, holding the same faith, and cherishing the same fundamental hopes as other Christen, he yet sees things through a medium of his own, and finds everything instinct with the life which this doctrine has generated within him" Page 8, and "That the fleshly and sublunary state is not to terminated with the second coming of Christ, but to be then set up in a new form; when with His glorified saints, the Redeemer will reign in person on the throne of David at Jerusalem for a thousand years, over a world of men yet in the flesh, eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage, under this mysterious way." Page 6, Christ's Second Coming: Will It Be Premillennial, 1858, T. and T. Clark, Edinburgh.

The Messiah Israel looked for was a person who would restore Israel as a nation and make them supreme to all other nations as it was in the time of David. In the restored nation they looked for, there would have been birth, life and death for all just as there was in the time of David. No one thought they would have eternal life. It was not something they looked for. Eternal life was something new to the teaching of Christ.

Israel looked for a messiah that was just as David was, a men that would live and die just as David did, a person that was just a human as all other persons were. Not a Messiah that would be God. The belief of Millennialists is that Christ was going to set up the earthly kingdom of Israel and that the death and resurrection of Christ was not in the plan of God. This view is basic to all the versions of the Millennium. Without it the Millennium would be totally destroyed. With it, salvation through the death and resurrection of Christ is totally destroyed. There is no way both can be true. Many versions of Premillennialism destroys life after death for all and replaces it with only a lifetime on this earth with no evil, but one that still has death at the end of this lifetime. At the end of the Millennium no one would have been saved from the wages of sin, death, for the Jews would not have crucified Christ and He would hot have shed His blood to give us life in place of death. No one, Jew or Gentile, would ever have eternal life without the death of Christ. There would be no life after death [1 Corinthians 15:13-19].

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Chapter 1

 

Premillennialism, a multitude of divisions and confusions

 

After the Judgment where will we spend eternity?

When I begin to research for this book, I was surprised and shocked to learn how many there are who say they believe the Bible but do not believe in the deity and the preexistence of Christ, but believe that He did not existence before His birth. Even more surprised to learn that many believe that the sacrifice of Christ will be put aside and go back to the Old Testament sacrifices of animal; back from the substance to the shadow [Hebrews 8:5ff; 10:1-24]; and that the New Covenant is just an afterthought. Satan is doing his work well.

But, I have been just as surprised at how many there are that say they are Christians, members of the church Christ give His life for that does not know that this kind of teaching is going on in the religious world, often even in the congregation they attend, and they do not seem to care. When I first became a Christian in the fifty, most Christians know the Bible and would do all they could to teach any person that was in err; now it often does not seem to be so.

PREMILLENNIALISM IS A SYSTEM(S) OF INTERPRETATION, WHICH INVOLVES MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE WHOLE BIBLE, AND DETERMINES THE PRESENT PURPOSE OF GOD. Premillennialism makes God and Christ to have failed in their plan to setup the kingdom because of the rejection of Christ by the Jews. It makes the church to be something God set up as a substitution. It makes two resurrections, one of the just, which is most often said to be at the second coming of Christ; and a second resurrection of the lost a thousand years later. Some versions of Premillennialism make Christ be nothing more than a glorified man. Some versions make Christ and all the saved to live on earth for all eternity with a body much as we now have. In short, it is a system of faith that has little in common with the New Testament. PREMILLENNIALISM IS BASED ON THE BELIEF THAT GOD CAN AND DID FAIL TO ACCOMPLISH HIS WILL. If both God and Christ did not fail, Premillennialism is completely destroyed.

1. The Scofield Bible says God failed.
2. Hal Lindsey in "There's A New World Coming" says God failed.
3. Charles Ryrie in "The Basis of the Premillennial Faith" says God and Christ failed.

The doctrine of Premillennialism affects the interpretation of the covenant with Abraham by making it not yet be fulfilled, but still to be fulfilled at some future time.
It affects the interpretation of God's promise to David that his descendants would rule over Israel forever. Changes Christ now ruling in His kingdom, the church, to Christ literally ruling on this earth at some time in the future.
It affects the interpretation of the Old Testament prophecies of the kingdom by making the kingdom be a combination of church and state on this earth, the earthly kingdom of the Old Testament.

THERE ARE MANY DIVISIONS IN PREMILLENNIALISM, AN ASTOUNDING LACK OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN THEMSELVES. In fact, there are so many different variations of the Millennium theories that it would be impossible to accurately define what is meant by Premillennial. That which one person believes and calls Premillennialism will be completely alien to that which another person believes and calls Premillennialism. One book on Premillennialism will have only a few similarity and many disagreements with another book on Premillennialism.

Most Premillennialists believe it was prophesied that Christ was to set up an earthly kingdom on the throne of David and reign from Jerusalem, but because the Jews rejected Him the establishment of the kingdom was put off unto after His second coming and the church was established instead, but only as a temporary substitution. The Jews will be restored, and the temple rebuilt.
Some Premillennialists tell us that God planned for Christ to set up the kingdom of Heaven when He came, but His rejection by the Jews was a surprise to God, therefore, He set up the church as a substitution and at that time made plains to set up the kingdom of Heaven at the second coming of Christ. But, other Premillennialists give us many passages to show that God foretold of the kingdom to be set up at the second coming of Christ. HOW COULD GOD HAVE NOT KNOWN THAT THE KINGDOM WOULD NOT BE SET UP UNTO THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST AND AT THE SAME TIME FORETOLD IT? This view of Premillennialism makes Christ a failure. He failed to set up the kingdom He came to set up. DO NOT BELIEVE THIS FOR CHRIST DID WHAT HE CAME TO DO. HE CAME TO FULFILL THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS, WHICH INCLUDED SETTING UP THE KINGDOM, AND HE DID. MOST PREMILLENNIALISTS BELIEVE CHRIST DID NOT EXIST UNTO HIS BIRTH.

A few Premillennialists believe CHRIST EXISTED EQUAL WITH GOD BEFORE HIS BIRTH, but He was raised a man and He is now a man at the right hand of God and will be a man when He returns to rule the earth and will forever be a man; that Christ gave up deity to be a man.

Some Premillennialists believe Christ, who they do not call Christ, but "God's Messiah" will return with the same earthly body He had and rule the earth from Jerusalem on the throne of David, and that the body we now have will live forever on this earth. Some believe that it will be the body that we now have but that it will be changed in such a way that it is not really the body we now have, and the earth will be changed in such a way that it will not really be the earth that we now live on but a completely new us will live on a completely new earth.

To many, to put this body off and put on a new "spiritual body," and move from the earth that they know, to a place they know nothing about what it is like is a scaring and frightening thing.

This version of Premillennialism says you can keep the body you now have, but it will be greatly improved. It will not have any of the bad things that many bodies now have, and it will live forever on this earth that you know, but it will be a greatly improved earth. Satan says you can have all this. All you have to do is to believe Christ is just a man, greater than any other man, but still just a man. That He had no preexistence before His birth. YOU CANNOT BELIEVE IN THE PREEXISTENCE AND DEITY OF CHRIST AND BELIEVE IN MOST VERSIONS OF PREMILLENNIALISM. YOU MUST DENY THAT CHRIST IS NOW OR EVER HAVE BEEN EQUAL WITH GOD. YOU MUST DENY THAT CHRIST HAD ANY PART IN MAKING THE EARTH AND MAN, AND YOU MUST BELIEVE HE WAS CREATED BY GOD JUST AS ALL MANKIND WERE. Not only must the preexistence and deity of Christ be denied, but Premillennialism is also dependence on the earthly body being raised and existing forever. "Flesh and blood" must inherit the kingdom of God.

Some Premillennialists changes the body and the earth. They say the body will be changed to such an extent that no one now would know their own body and will not know the changed earth that the changed body will forever live on, yet they say this body we now have must be raised and live forever in the kingdom of God on this earth. With some, the change of the body or the earth does not seem to be as great as it is with others, BUT IT MUST BE THIS EARTHLY BODY RAISED TO LIVE ON THIS EARTH EITHER FOR A THOUSAND YEARS OR FOREVER; HOWEVER MUCH OR LITTLE IT IS TO BE CHANGED FOR WITHOUT IT PREMILLENNIALISM FALLS. What body we will have in the resurrection is discussed in chapter one of my book, "Unconditional Immortality Or Resurrection Of The Dead" ISBN: 0-7414-4620-0.

If you believe that Christ did not preexist before His birth, as most Millennialists do, Satan has won the victory. It is unimportant that you believe any other part of the Bible for Satan has won. You would have denied Christ.
APOCALYPTIC OR EARLY MILLENNIUM BELIEFS: There were much Apocalyptic writing in the time between the Testaments and in the first century, which were believed by many Jews and the early Christians were influenced by it. The early Millennium beliefs were that there was a dualistic world of both good and evil but the good would in time over come the evil. Apocalyptic Premillennialism again became somewhat popular in the nineteenth century. MEDIEVAL ALLEGORICAL OR HISTORIC PREMILLENNIALISM: Satan was lord over the world and Christ over the Church. There was an ongoing battle between the two but the battle has already been won through the cross and eventually what domain was left to Satan would be taken from him. The church will stay on earth and go through the tribulation period. Augustine's allegorical view was the view of many in middle ages and the reformation, and it is still believed by some today. It was the official belief of the medieval church. However there were groups of Apocalyptic Millennialists after the Medieval Age, mostly under charismatic leaders and were often associated with radicalism and counterculture groups.
DISPENSATIONAL OR LITERAL PREMILLENNIALISTS

CLASSICAL OR UNMODIFIED DISPENSATIONALISM is a radical division of the Apocalyptic Premillennialists, which teach there are seven distinct periods and God deals with man according to different principles in each of the periods. This view was first taught by John Nelson Darby about 1800 to 1880 and became well know when Scofield, for the most part, put Darby's views in the Scofield Reference Bible. Belief in Premillennialism goes back to about the third century. Belief in Dispensationalism begin with John Darby. WHEN A DOCTRINE IS KNOWN TO HAVE AN ORIGIN EIGHTEEN CENTURIES AFTER THE NEW TESTAMENT, SHOULD NOT ALL KNOW IT COULD NOT BE FROM THE BIBLE? In the past, Dispensationalism was taught mostly by Pentecostal and Holiness churches but has now become wider spread. It seems to have become the most accepted version of Premillennialism and has now spread to many churches.

Some of the basic views of Dispensationalism.

 

Israel will be restored, the temple rebuild, and the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament restored.

There will be three resurrections (1) One resurrection at the rapture of both the dead saints and the living saints who will be changed (2) One before the millennium (3) A third resurrection at the end of the millennium of the wicked and believers who died during the millennium.

Dispensationalism divides the history of mankind into seven dispensations.
1. Mankind innocent, from creation to the fall.
2. Mankind under conscience, from the fall to the flood.
3. Mankind with authority over the earth, from the flood to Abraham.
4. Mankind under promise, from Abraham to the Law of Moses.
5. Mankind under the Law, from the Law of Moses to Christ
6. From the death of Christ to His second coming.
7. From the second coming to the end of the Millennium.
Dispensationalism believes:

1. There will be a second coming of Christ to set up His kingdom after the seven-year Tribulation.

 

2. There will be a resurrection of the just before the millennium and a resurrection of the unjust after the millennium.

 

3. The Jews will repent and receive the land forever that was promised to Abraham, which they say was unconditional and have not been fulfilled.

4. The "Kingdom of Heaven" is the kingdom of David that was postponed when the Jews rejected Christ and He failed to establish an earthly kingdom with Israel, which He came to establish, but it will be restored for Israel. That the land promise was unconditional and was unfulfilled; therefore, Israel must be restored.

5. The "Kingdom of God" is God's universal kingdom that will be worldwide. It seems that many Dispensationalists believe the Kingdom of Heaven will be God's kingdom on earth of Jews, and the Kingdom of God will be God's kingdom in Heaven of Gentiles. Instead of 144,000 Jews being the only ones in Heaven, as many Premillennialists believe, many Dispensationalists have no Jews and all Gentiles in Heaven. [Note: This is Dispensationalism as it is set forth in the Scofield Bible but this or no other belief seems to be universal among Premillennialists or Dispensationalists so do not be surprised if one says "that is not what I believe." Many do but some do not.] Dispensationalists are divided on where the church will be both during the rapture and during the millennium. Some teach it will be in Heaven or will dwell in the New Jerusalem hovering above the earth unto the millennium is over, others say the church will return to earth when seven-years are over and the millennium begins.

PROGRESS OR MODIFIED DISPENSATIONAL PREMILLENNIALISTS have called in question and abandoned some of the teaching of classical dispensationalism.
POSTMILLENNIALISTS believe the thousand years, like many things in Revelation, is not to be taken literally, but symbolical of a long period of time. Unlike many Premillennialists, most post Millennialists do not believe there will be a literally thousand years. Christ is now ruling as King and Priest [Hebrews 7] in the church, and eventually, the whole world will become Christians, and there will be a long period of peace. Christ will return after this time of peace. Postmillennialism was the dominant view among Protestants from the Reformation unto after the publication of the Scofield Reference Bible in 1909.
Premillennialists or Postmillennialists

Most Premillennialists believe every word of the Bible is to be taken literally - most, if not all Postmillennialists believe much of the Bible is symbolic and not to be taken literally.

Most Premillennialists believe the thousand years of Revelation 20 is to be a literal thousand years - Most Postmillennialists believe that the thousand years is symbolic for a long period of time of peace before the second coming of Christ.

Most Premillennialists believe in a rapture - most Postmillennialists do not. Most Premillennialists believe in a tribulation period - most Postmillennialists do not.

Most Premillennialists believe Israel will be restored as God's chosen people - most Postmillennialists do not.

 

Most Premillennialists believe the Old Testament animal sacrifices will be restored - most Postmillennialists do not.

That both uses the name "Millennium" is one of the few things they have in common although both use it to mean two difference things. The Postmillennialists Millennium have (1) no rapture, (2) no tribulation period, (3) no literal thousand years, (4) no restored Israel, (5) no 144,000, (6) no animal sacrifices restored, (7) no coming of Christ before His second coming at the end of the earth, (8) no 100% literal interpretation of the Bible; it is most definitely not the same Millennium of the Premillennialists.

Note: The above is the base view of these groups although it sometimes seems that there is no base view. There are many variations of beliefs in each view. For example: Two writers who both say they are Postmillennialists will have many differences and a third writer will teach some things that the other two do not believe. Many writers seem to believe a mixture of Postmillennialism and Dispensational Premillennialism.
THE RAPTURE: But which rapture?

1. "PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE" This view of the rapture is believed by many Dispensationalists. In this view the rapture will occur before the period of persecution, before the tribulation period begin. The rapture and an invisible second coming will take place before the seven-year tribulation. After the seven-year rapture Jesus will return to earth. Some, who believes this view, believe that there will be one coming of Christ, some two, and some three or more. This view may be believed by more Premillennialists than by all the others. The pre-tribulation rapture was not taught before about 1830 by anyone and only became well known after the Scofield Reference Bible was published in 1909. Dave MacPherson says, "We have seen that a young Scottish lassie named Margaret Macdonald had a private revelation in Port Glasgow, Scotland, in the early part of 1830 that a select group of Christians would be caught up to meet Christ in the air before the days of Antichrist. An eye-and-ear witness, Robert Norton M.D., preserved her handwritten account of her pre-trib rapture revelation in two of his books, and said it was the first time anyone ever split the second coming into two distinct parts or stages. His writings, along with much other Catholic Apostolic Church literature, have been hidden many decades from the mainstream of Evangelical thought and only recently surfaced. Margaret's views were well-known to those who visited her home, among them John Darby of the Brethren. Within a few months her distinctive prophetic outlook was mirrored in the September, 1830 issue of The Morning Watch and the early Brethren assembly at Plymouth, England. Early disciples of the pre-trib interpretation often called it a new doctrine." "The Incredible Cover-Up: The True Story of the Pre-Trib Rapture" 1975, Page 93.

2. "MID-TRIBULATION RAPTURE " This view is that the church will be raptured away during the middle of the tribulation.

 

3. "POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE" This view is that the rapture will occur after the seven-year tribulation.

4. "PARTIAL-RAPTURE" Only certain believers will be raptured. They do not agree with each other on whom or how they will be chosen or why only some of the saved will be raptured. This view is somewhat like the Pre-tribulation rapture, which believes the church is composed of true Christians and those who only make a profession of being a Christian. The true Christians will be raptured away and not go into the tribulation but those who only make a profession of being a Christian will be left on earth and be in the tribulation.

5. "PREWRATH RAPTURE" Believers will escape the wrath by being removed from the earth before it begins.

6. "MANY MINI-RAPTURES" This view is that there will not be just one rapture but many mini-raptures at different times. They do not agree with each other on (1) how many there will be, (2) if any are all are passed, (3) if any are all of the mini-raptures are yet to be.

7. "ALREADY PAST RAPTURE" Or the A. D. 70 rapture. If you are living today, you have been "left behind." This view, like the above views, crosses denominational lines and is found in many of them.

8. "SECRET RAPTURE" In many of their books of fictions there is a secret rapture? Secret from whom? If it were secret where did they find anything about it? When they tell about it in their books, how can it be secret? If all Christians were suddenly absent from the earth, how could there be anything "secret" about it?

9. "FIRST AND SECOND STAGES" R. H. Boll's view is that Christ will come in two states. In the first stage the saints will be removed from the earth for a time; then the "real second coming" will be when Christ returns after the first stage.
"COVENANT THEOLOGY" is that God coven