The history of the pre-tribulation rapture theory is unquestionably sordid and divisive. Initially, the theory was promoted in the 1830s by John Nelson Darby and the Plymouth Brethren. It was subsequently promoted in the US in the early 20th century due to the wide circulation of the Scofield Reference Bible. Prior to 1830, this theory was completely unknown, and yet despite its many flaws, it has gradually gained a stranglehold on the church. Current promoters of the pre-tribulation rapture are primarily The Prophetic Witness Movement International (PWMI), The Pre-Trib Research Centre (PTRC), The Berean Call and various independent bible teachers, including Chuck Missler. Anyone doing an in depth Bible study on this subject will quickly realise that something is very wrong with the teachings of the pretribulationists. The scriptures tell us: Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them (Ephesians 5:11); and this is precisely what I intend to do with Chuck Missler's YouTube teaching: Ten Reasons For A Pre-Tribulation Rapture over the coming weeks.
Reason 1: God will keep Christians from the Great Tribulation based on Revelation 3:10.
Many pretribulationists mistranslate Revelation 3:10 in an attempt to justify a rapture prior to Daniel's seventy weeks.
Because you have KEPT my word about patient endurance, I will KEEP (tērēsō)YOU FROM (ἐκ) the hour of trial (peirasmou) that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 3:10)
téreó = keep, guard, observe, watch over.
ἐκ = out of
peirasmos = trial, testing, temptation.
The hour of trial in this verse appears to be the persecution of the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation. Greek téreó is to keep/guard/watch over/observe. The Philadelphian Christians kept/guarded/observed (tetērēsas) Christs word. As a result of their faithfulness Christ will keep/guard (tērēsō) them from (ἐκ) the hour of trial/temptation.
Missler defines the Greek preposition ἐκ (out of) as a word from which we get "exit", but he only gives a half truth, since ἐκ actually means to exit something from within. In context it would not make sense to say that Christ will keep/guard them if they were to "exit" (be raptured) prior to the Great Tribulation. The only other place where téreó and ἐκ are found together is John 17:6: I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you KEEP THEM FROM the evil one.
Joe Schimmel gives an excellent in depth teaching on Revelation 3:10:
Missler: "There are people that believe that the rapture will occur at the end of the Great Tribulation. This puts the bridegroom in this kind of programme: Come we are going to get married, then I am going to beat the living daylights out of you, then we will go have dinner. Comfort one another with these words."
Missler thinks this profanity is a great joke, as if the persecution of believers during the Great Tribulation is an outrageous suggestion. He attributes the persecution of the church during this period directly to the Lord himself, but Jesus Christ warned: THEY (the wicked) will deliver you up to tribulation..... (Matthew 24:9)
Persecution/tribulation is directly linked to the falling away of believers:
.....yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation (thlipseōs) or persecution (diōgmou) arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. (Matthew 13:21; Mark 4:17)
And blessed is the one who is not offended by me. (Matthew 11:6 also Matthew 5:29; James 1:12)
The scriptures repeatedly refer to a proliferation of spiritual deception and false teachers in the end times. Matthew 24 gives us an important link between false prophets, tribulation and falling away:
Then THEY (the wicked) will deliver you up to TRIBULATION (thlipsin) and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will FALL AWAY (skandalisthēsontai) and betray one another and hate one another. And many FALSE PROPHETS will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24: 9-14, see also 1 Timothy 4:1)
skandalizó = to set a snare, entice or cause to stumble, cause to sin, cause to become indignant, shock, offend. Are those teaching a pre-tribulation rapture setting a snare that will cause shock, indignation and even hatred when their false teaching fails to materialise? Proverbs tells us that hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12). Instead of strengthening believers to face the Great Tribulation, many false teachers are feeding the Body of Christ false hopes of deliverance and escapism. In actuality believers are called upon to endure through this terrible time (Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13; Revelation 2:10). Some pretribulationists are already offended with those who point out their error, such as Paul Wilkinson of The Berean Call, who calls post-tribulationists "heretics". Some say that the timing of the rapture is not a salvation issue, but it appears to be just that for those who will fall away, if in fact they are enticed do so by those giving them a false hope of escape from the Great Tribulation.
Missler and his pre-tribulation friends would be well advised to heed the warning of Jesus Christ himself:
.....but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin (stumble), it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:42)
Reason 2: Christians are not the object of God's wrath. (Revelation 6:16; cf 1 Thessalonians 5:9)
Missler: "The Great Tribulation has its source as the wrath of God."
This is absolutely NOT the case!!!
For God has not destined us for wrath (orgēn), but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ..... (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
orgé (wrath) is a completely different word and has a completely different meaning to thlipsis (tribulation).
It is correct that the church is expressly exempted from God's wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 3:10). However, "the hour of trial" (peirasmou) in Revelation 3:10 is NOT referred to as God's wrath. The day of God's wrath is imminent AFTER the sixth seal is opened and AFTER the cosmic disturbances of Revelation 6:
Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the WRATH (orgēs) of the Lamb, for the great day of their WRATH (orgēs) has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:12-17).
Further confirmation that Gods wrath does not fall at the beginning of the Great Tribulation is found in Revelation 6:9-10. The martyrs call out to be avenged AFTER the fifth seal is opened, but they are told to "rest" until the number of their fellow martyrs should be complete. These are the tribulation martyrs who will be killed by the beast (Antichrist). The wrath of the beast is indicated here, not the wrath of God.
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. (Revelation 6:9-10)
Reason 3: Christians will "escape" (not endure) the tribulation based on Luke 21:36.
But stay awake at all times, praying that YOU may have STRENGTH (katischusēte) to ESCAPE (ekphugein) all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)
katischuó = prevail against, overpower.
ekpheugó = flee out, away, escape.
Believers are exhorted to pray for strength to prevail or overcome. Why would they need to prevail if they are raptured? The rapture harpazó (snatch away) is a future passive verb; in other words the rapture does not depend upon our strength in any way (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
But the one who ENDURES to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:13; Matthew 10:22; Luke 21:9) Matthew 24 refers to to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD, but in eschatological terms, these events also prefigure the Second Advent.
How glibly Missler changes the entire meaning of the scriptures by misinterpreting single words here and there to suit his own agenda! I do not doubt that Missler et al are well aware of the weaknesses of the pre-tribulation rapture theory, and yet for reasons known only to themselves they continue to aggressively promote it right under our noses. We should also consider that Missler is a dishonest man, since he is an admitted plagiarist. He also has very dubious associations as a member of the secretive Council for National Policy (CNP) founded by Tim LaHaye. In my view, it would be utter folly to put any confidence in Missler as having pure motives as a teacher of truth.
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Peter 1:16)
One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
Paul's instruction to Timothy: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15). The teachers of pre-tribulation rapture deception provably fail this test, they are NOT "approved".
TO BE CONTINUED.....