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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

false teacher john whitcomb, the rapture and beyond!

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)

John Whitcomb was born in 1924 in Washington, DC. He is the founder and president of Whitcomb Ministries and specialises in biblical creationism, traditional dispensationalism, premillennial eschatology, pretribulational rapture, presuppositional apologetics, and literal-historical-grammatical interpretation.{1} Whitcomb taught at Grace Theological Seminary's Old Testament and Christian Theology departments from 1951 to 1990. He was dismissed from this position amid several theological controversies and complaints about his strong personality.{2} In 1992, Whitcomb led a split from the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, the denominational home both of himself and of Grace Seminary, forming the Conservative Grace Brethren Churches, International.{3} Whitcomb is the author several published works, including a number of articles in support of the pre-tribulation rapture theory which can be found on the website of the Pre-Trib Research Center (PTRC).{4}

Chapter 3 The Rapture and Beyond, by John Whitcomb.

This post takes issue with Whitcomb's conclusion concerning the alleged validity of Israel's Levitical sacrificial system in the Tribulation Temple during the first half of Daniel's 70th week (Daniel 9:27; 12:11-13; Isaiah 66:1-4; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 11:1-2).

Whitcomb: "Only Israel, not the Church, is under a divinely enforced Sabbath law."  

"Our Lord Jesus Christ warned Israelite believers to pray that during the Great Tribulation that their 'flight will not be ... on a Sabbath' (Matthew 24:20)."

Whitcomb quotes the Law of Moses (Numbers 15:32-36; cf. Exodus 35:2-3), but he fails to say that the Law has now been cancelled by Jesus Christ and therefore cannot apply to Israel in the present tense. We must take into account that Matthew 24 is a combination of the events of 70AD and end time prophesy. Following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70AD, it was impossible to fulfill the halakhic blood sacrifices and they were subsequently abolished. The Church is of course not under Sabbath Law: Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of..... a Sabbath (Colossians 2:16; cf. Romans 14:5). Since Christ died for every person on the planet (1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:14), it therefore follows that no-one is under Sabbath Law, not Israel, not the church nor anyone else!
By cancelling (exaleipsas) the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:14). 
(eksaleíphō = erase, cancel, obliterate)

Whitcomb: "Our Lord Jesus Christ also warned Israelite believers that the Abomination of Desolation would stand 'in the holy place' (Matt. 24:15). Only Israel, not the Church, can have a legitimate 'holy place' on this earth. Our Lord stated to the Samaritan woman, 'An hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father' (John 4:21). However, Paul spoke of the future 'man of lawlessness' who 'takes his seat in the temple of God' (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; cf. Revelation 11:1-2)..... The temple and the altar for sacrifice will be divinely ordained in Jerusalem during this future period and will not be a mere Jewish cultural center..... 

Not only will there be a God-approved temple and altar with appropriate sacrifices in Tribulation Jerusalem, but there will also be, of necessity, Levitical priests to carry out this Israelite form of worship. Ever since Roman armies destroyed the temple and its genealogical records in AD 70, Jews have been unable to determine their precise tribal identity. Thus, there can be no legitimate Israelite worship during the Church age."

The third temple Whitcomb refers to above cannot be "legitimate", "divinely ordained" or "God-approved". We are plainly told in the Book of Hebrews that Korban (sacrificial worship) has been abolished because Christ’s sacrifice has accomplished what the blood sacrifices of animals could not (Hebrews 10:1-18). God gave instructions for the first two temples to be built, but there is no such instruction given for a third temple to be built. The third temple is presently being prepared by The Temple Institute, a group of Orthodox Jews who are actively seeking to reinstate the abrogated Mosaic sacrificial system. They are so obstinate in their unbelief and rejection of Jesus Christ that they expect another Messiah (John 5:43). This third temple will become the temple of the Antichrist at the mid point of the 70th week.
Rabbi Chain Richman, International Director of the Temple Institute: “We do not accept the notion that scripture 'foretells' that G-d would robe Himself in flesh. We believe that this idea is the very embodiment of idolatry, and we must give our very lives to make a stand against it… as indeed we Jews have always done through the ages.”{5}

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. (2 John 1:7) 

Whitcomb: "The only way the Antichrist will be able to break his seven-year covenant with Israel and to cause the blood sacrifices and the grain offerings to cease (Dan. 9:27) will be to kill God's two witnesses in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:7-12). It is difficult to see how blood sacrifices could be offered on the Jerusalem altar during those first three and a half years if the two witnesses of God did not approve of this form of worship; for their teaching ministry will be supernaturally enforced (Rev. 11:3 6), even to the destruction of all enemies. Thus, they will authoritatively set the pattern for the true worship of God on earth following the rapture of the Church." 
Whitcomb's prevarications concerning the two witnesses deliberately disregards the text of Revelation 11 which gives a precise time frame for their ministry during the LATTER HALF of the 70th week of Daniel. The ministry of the two witnesses will last for 1,260 days, or three and a half years (Revelation 11:3). Their death and resurrection occurs after the sixth trumpet is sounded, during second woe (Revelation 9:12). The seven trumpet judgements are encompassed within the seventh seal (Revelation 8:1-2 9:13;11:11-15 cf. 16:1-21). The scriptures are very specific: The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is soon to come. (Revelation 11:14) Since the seventh seal is opened at the end of Daniel's 70th week, it is obvious that the two witnesses will have no part in allowing the blood sacrifices, or setting the pattern of false worship in the third temple during the first half of the 70th week.
THE 144,000

Whitcomb: "However, during the early part of Daniel's Seventieth Week, God will reveal the true tribal identity of at least 144,000 Israelites (Rev. 7:4-8)......"

AFTER THIS I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: (Revelation 7:1-4)
"AFTER THIS" The seal given to the 144,000 from the tribes of Israel follows the sixth seal just prior to "the day of their wrath" (Revelation 6:12-17). The sixth seal will be opened, causing the cosmic disturbances in the sun, moon, and stars (Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24,25; Revelation 6:12-13). The emphasis is on the 144,000 being sealed for their protection from the wrath of God during the seventh seal. Once again, this cannot possibly occur during the early part of Daniel's 70th week as Whitcomb suggests!
The book of Revelation does not say what the function of the 144,000 will be, except to say that they are servants (Revelation 7:3) These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb (Revelation 14:4) The assumption that the 144,000 are evangelists whose mission is to gain converts during the tribulation is not stated anywhere in the text, nor should it be implied.

Whitcomb not only has the two witnesses and the 144,000 completely out of sync with the scriptural time frame, I fear that he has used these falsehoods as a ruse in order to justify a further deception, namely the pre-tribulation rapture! 

Whitcomb: "Therefore it is biblically impossible to have the bride of Christ bearing witness to her Lord throughout the Seventieth Week of Daniel with one segment of the bride doing distinctively Christian things and another segment, divided into twelve tribes, doing distinctively Jewish things!" 

As already stated, the 144,000 i.e. the twelve tribes, are not revealed until AFTER the sixth seal. To suggest that twelve tribes are doing distinctively Jewish things as the Bride of Christ during the first half of the 70th week is an oxymoron. The lost tribes of Israel are not yet discovered, and we cannot assume that those Jews offering blood sacrifices during the first half of the 70th week will be recognizably twelve tribes. Those offering blood sacrifices at this time will undoubtedly be Orthodox Jews who are hostile to Jesus Christ. They will be doing "distinctively Jewish things", but they will not be the Bride of Christ. Blood sacrifices offered in unbelief cannot possibly be valid (Romans 14:23). That is not to say that the Jews are without hope. The distinctive plan that God has for Israel is that in their distress under the Antichrist, God will pour out his grace upon them, and a remnant (a third) will be saved (Romans 11:5; Zechariah 12:10, 13:7-9, 14:2-9; John 19:37; Amos 8:10 Revelation 12:6). In the whole land, declares the LORD, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive. (Zechariah 13:8)  
Whitcomb: ".....mixing Mosaic and Christian programs and thus falling into the heresy of Gala-tianism (Galatians 3:1-3) is a tragic consequence of the confusion of the Church and Israel."
The curse of "Gala-tianism" is precisely what Whitcomb approves for Israel during the first half of the 70th week. By validating Israel's blood sacrifices offered in unbelief, Whitcomb puts Israel in some sort of unique relationship with God that by-passes Jesus Christ! Undoubtedly Israel does have a unique relationship with God, but it does not include the lie that their blood sacrifices are in any way valid or acceptable during these three and a half years. Such wicked false teaching will result in unspeakable penalties for those promoting it (Revelation 22:18-19; Proverbs 30:6)!

Whitcomb: "Israel and the church worship the same God."    !!!! 

Jesus Christ to the scribes and the Pharisees:

They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” (John 8:39-47)
The pre-tribulation rapture deception and the teaching that Christians will not suffer persecution during the tribulation gives Christians a false hope and a false sense of security. I am convinced that it will be the cause of stumbling for many (Matthew 13:21, 1 Thessalonians 3:3; Matthew 24:10; Matthew 11:16). Whitcomb adds to this outrage by validating blood sacrifices offered in unbelief during the first half of the 70th week. In doing so, he denies the cross of Christ! This is how serious these false teachings of Whitcomb and the PTRC are!

{1} http://www.whitcombministries.org/the-whitcombs.html
{2} http://self.gutenberg.org/articles/john_c._whitcomb,_jr.
{3} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fellowship_of_Grace_Brethren_Churches
{4} http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/the-two-witnesses
{5} http://beforeitsnews.com/prophecy/2013/10/the-shocking-truth-about-the-third-temple-unbelievable-evil-forces-at-work-2454702.html


  1. Whitcomb keeps offering evidence in an exemplary way that dinosaurs are still roaming the earth - especially ones with a theological bent. How can he keep a straight face while acting as if the 185-year-old pretribulation rapture theory is really orthodox and apostolic and Biblical? Has he never "vetted" the ones who taught him the same theory? A good start, if he hasn't, would be for him to Google articles like "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" and "Pretrib Hypocrisy." Treena Gisborn is to be congratulated for her steadfast love of truth and for her unwillingness to compromise with those who, for various motives, fear not to mingle truth with error. Her "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing" should be regular fare for Christians everywhere!

  2. Dear Irv, You would think a man of Whitcomb's age would be worried about the consequences of his false teaching wouldn't you? It never ceases to amaze me how these pre-trib deceivers dare change the scriptures! Thank you very much for your kind words, high praise indeed. The link below is very informative and gives the REAL history of pre-trib/John Nelson Darby.
    God bless tx

  3. I certainly agree with Irv's comment. I would add that many forget (among us who are not pre-trib) that the pre-trib rapture theory (although it is the frontispiece of its theology, and its most talked about feature) that there is much other error beside-and we keep finding it-as Treena articulates above; please don't stop looking!
    You would think it is enough that we can't find pre-tribulationism anywhere in the Scriptures, but no!

    As a teacher of Biblical creationism and origins I am sure Whitcomb has done much good work. Sadly many who have come under his influence may well be led astray by his errant eschatology.
    God bless.

  4. As you say Colin the pre-trib issue encompasses much more error than the timing of the rapture. Unfortunately I cannot trust the teaching of a man who is academically dishonest. The first requirement of any teacher of the scriptures is that he be "above reproach"(Titus 1:5-9) Where integrity is wanting then everything else such a person does is untrustworthy!

    "As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, 7desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions." (1 Timothy 1:3-7)

  5. Whitcomb had long gone off my radar, I had never really considered him other than a creationist/fundamentalist-a 'scientist' who upheld the Biblical account of origins against the onslaught of satanic evolutionary teachings. For me, once I believed that God created everything, that was enough! I didn't need to go beyond the veil as it were! These Creation ministries tend to go into far too much detail; trying to beat the evolutionary scientists at their own game, this they will never do-read 1 Corinthians 1.19-20. It is God that "will destroy the wisdom of the wise", not man. I was not aware that Whitcomb held to such beliefs, but there again, as I have said before, Dispensational theology corrupts God's word, so we shouldn't be surprised at what he teaches?
    Having said this, I would not want this form of witness to stop (that is Creation ministry); "Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us." Luke 9.50.
    Reading your piece again; is it not standard pre-trib doctrine that the two witnesses are present in the FIRST half of Daniel's 70th week? The Bible says otherwise! They are witnessing in the great tribulation-in the 1260 days ( that is the LAST half of Daniel's week?)! They will witness to the elect Christian remnant among both Jews and Gentiles!
    Any blood sacrifice offered to God by unbelieving Jews cannot ever be acceptable to Him in the first part of Daniel's week-however could they be???
    May God bless our studies.
    There are other matters that I will raise in regard to this latest posting of yours in due course.
    God bless you.

  6. Thank you once again Colin for your very insightful comments. I too am thinking more about the PTRC and their deceptive framework for the pre-trib rapture. As for Luke 9:50, Whitcomb may say SOME true things, he puts truth next to error. "And in Him is no darkness at all," (1 John 1:5). "Every good and perfect gift comes down from above from the Father of lights, in whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning," (James). God does not change! He hated mixture in the Old Testament. He hates it in the New. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I do agree that creationism is important, but I find the minutiae very tedious. God bless tx