2017 Champions ~ Are You Ready?

34  And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
35  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
36  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
37  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
38  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
~ Mark 8:34-38

Pirates Football Club (Est. 1897)Dear players, parents and coaches

Whilst the 2017 M.D.F.A. football league season has drawn to a close, the question that should be asked is – What has it profited us? If we have only obtained gold medals and a trophy, but have not learned anything concerning the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ then we have failed dismally. If the Gospel literature and discussions have not challenged unbelieving players, parents and coaches to seek Truth, and who remain unrepentant outside the Kingdom of GOD and therefore they remain enemies of GOD through their wicked works, then any accolades, medals, championships we have won are a waste of time and effort. Being religious and pious, but not being born-again by the Spirit of the Living GOD leaves each individual utterly bankrupt! Our true riches can only be found in the Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ! Everything else is dross!

In Holy Scripture, our journey through life on earth is likened to a marathon race. We are reminded that our running of the race is to be a spiritual race for an incorruptible crown, not a worldly race for a crown that perishes! The very medals that we win will wax old and perish, but the true reward for a born-again child of GOD will be to pursue a crown that will last for eternity, as we read, for it is written,

24  Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. ~ I Corinthians 9:24-27

Friends, in the early part of the football season, on 25th May 2017 to be precise, an encouraging challenge was presented in the various Pirates WhatsApp groups, which led to one conversation, that is shared here to put this blog post in perspective, that went as follows – please read left thenWhatsApp02 right:

WhatsApp01 Friends, the God-Man Jesus Christ stated that, “6 I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” (John 14:6,7). GOD is a Spirit (John 4:24), so whilst Jesus was speaking to His disciples and stated that they “know him, and have seen him” in reference to GOD the Father, Christ Jesus was in fact stating that He is GOD manifest in flesh (see John 1:1,2,14) and in I Timothy 3:16 we read, for it is written, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” Therefore, man-made religions do not worship the True GOD and those religions will condemn souls to hell. If you are not a Christ follower (a born-again Christian)(see John 3:3-7) it matters what you believe for your beliefs will condemn your soul into eternal damnation! And there is no Scriptural evidence for a man-made papal heresy called purgatory! For we read, for it is written,

27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: ~ Hebrews 9:27

Friends, during the course of the football season at various times opportunities presented themselves where Gospel literature was presented to various persons and conversations were had. My love for my Roman Catholic friends compelled me to warn some of the dangers of being in membership with the papal Roman Catholic political-religious institution that has changed the Word of GOD with heretical man-made teachings, that one will never find in GOD’s Holy Scriptures. Love compels one to warn of pending danger, and therefore these Gospel tracts were offered in love to my fellow man:

>> My Friends Are Dying And, Though They Be Alive, They Are Dead Men Walking ~ A Message of Hope ~

>> GAME OVER ~ A Real Tragedy ~

>> The Gospel for Roman Catholics

>> Are Roman Catholics Christian?

>> Man of the Match

>> Your Life ~ God’s Solution to Your Religion

>> Creation vs. Evolution ~ Do Not Let Darwin Make a Monkey Out of You

>> Reincarnation . . . Or Resurrection? ~ A Message to Hindus ~ 

2017 League Champions Pirates (League) and Savages (K.O. Cup) awaiting the medal presentations  The Pirates BoysPirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FC Pirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FCPirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FC Pirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FCPirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FC Pirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FCPirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FC   Pirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FCPirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FC Pirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FCPirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FC  Curt leading the team onto The Deck

WhatsApp comment by George CarelseFriends, in response to the afore-pictured sporting gestures, the screenshot to the left from the Pirates FC Chairman George Carelse, who is also the Chairman of the M.D.F.A. (Maritzburg District Football Association), compliments  our Sportsmanship and Fair Play “On and Off the field” which is commendable as we promote, as can be testified by a video that can be viewed on Facebook at this Link. However, it should be remembered that every ‘good work’ that we undertake here on earth will one day be tested by fire to see if it was done for the right reasons, to bring glory to GOD or whether it was an act to be seen of men, as we read, for it is written,

11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13  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.
14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. ~ I Corinthians 3:11-15

So was our work built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ? Or did we do ‘good works’ in our own self-righteous strength? As a result, was it worth our while this past season to obtain perishable medals? or were we truly running to obtain an incorruptible crown? For we are warned, as it is written,

5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? ~ II Corinthians 13:5

Curt Rogers Malachi MompleThando Hlophe  Kory DonnellyKaydon Adonis Cee-Jay MulderKaleb Chetty Trent van WykLungelo Gwabuzela   Azande ZondiBrelyn Johnson Dvon HarveyKofi Atta Lorenzo DolphinHead Coach Miles Rogers presenting Asst. Coach Gary Crous  Asst. Coach Gary Crous presenting Head Coach Miles Rogers  M.D.F.A. Chairman and Pirates F.C. Chairman George Carelse presenting the Pirates Under 10 Coaches with the League Champions Trophy

The M.D.F.A. and Pirates F.C. Chairman George Carelse with the Pirates F.C. Under 10 Coaches Gary Crous (Asst.) and Miles Rogers (Head) after receiving the League Champions Trophy Campiones, Campiones, Ole, Ole, Ole

Dear friends, whilst we were successful in our football endeavours, was there true spiritual growth according to the Word of GOD? Being religious does not cut it. Naming the name of ‘Jesus’ does not cut it either, for we read, for it is written,

13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

28  And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29  For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. ~ Matthew 7:13-29 (my emphasis added in bold)

In closing, as we entered this week there was much talk about the date 23rd September 2017 by the “date setting prophets”, the “doomsday sayers” and the internet is abuzz with videos and writings about the speculative predictions of Planet-X (Nibiru) slamming into earth or knocking it off its axis, the pre-tribulation rapture, the Revelation 12 sign, and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and even talk of the end of the world. Is this all possible now? It certainly is. Will it come to pass now? Only GOD knows the end from the beginning, for it is written, “9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” (Isaiah 46:9,10).

Friends, what I do know and share from GOD’s Word as we can read, for it is written,

31  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
32  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

34  For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
~ Mark 13:31-37

And in the Gospel of Luke it points to the very times we are living in – these evil days are just as the “days of Noe” and the “days of Lot” – as we read, for it is written,

26  And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27  They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
28  Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
29  But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 
30  Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
~ Luke 17:26-30

Friends, let us not find ourselves as enemies of GOD, as we read, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4). And in the commentary words of Matthew Henry in respect of this particular verse: “Here is a decided warning to avoid all criminal friendships with this world. Worldly-mindedness is enmity to God. An enemy may be reconciled, but “enmity” never can be reconciled. A man may have a large portion in things of this life, and yet be kept in the love of God; but he who sets his heart upon the world, who will conform to it rather than lose its friendship, is an enemy to God.

Dear friends, unless you are born-again and your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, you cannot enter and see the Kingdom of GOD! Today is the day of salvation. Call upon GOD to save you in Jesus’ Name – Repent and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is your only hope! Your calling should be “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21). Nothing and nobody else can save your soul. So, Are You Ready?

36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? ~ Mark 8:36,37

Soli Deo Gloria

Is there a pre-tribulation rapture?

What does GOD’s Holy Word really say in the Christian Doctrine of Eschatology – the “study of end-times” – pertaining to the “rapture”? And does the Latin word for “caught up” being rapturo mean a literal “pre-tribulation rapture”?  

The Dispensationalist Futuristic Eschatology believers advocate the “rapture of the Church” prior to the great tribulation described in the Book of Revelation when GOD pours out His wrath upon men left on the earth as well as on His ‘chosen people’ from the House of Israel, the Jews, who will be experiencing Jacob’s Trouble in fulfilment of Daniel’s prophecy concerning the seven-year tribulation. As the pre-trib advocates’  interpretation goes, the Church has been “raptured out of the earth” and are in heaven and will therefore not be present when GOD pours out His vial judgments upon the earth. This can then leave born-again Christians with an understanding that we need not worry about the mark of the beast or ever being deceived by the anti-christ, the beast or the false prophet, or taking “. . . the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev 13:17) as “the Church” will not be present on the earth during the tribulation!

The English evangelist Leonard Ravenhill (June 18, 1907 – November 27, 1994) put it aptly, quote: “Today’s church wants to be raptured from responsibility.” Is this a true reflection of modern churchianity? In Scripture we learn that “there is no respect of persons with God” and that Jew and Gentile will be treated justly in salvation by His judgment and His reward, as we read,

16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. ~ Romans 1:16

9  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 
10  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 
11  For there is no respect of persons with God. ~ Romans 2:9-11

So what does Scripture then really say concerning the “rapture” and its timing? Let us first look at the verses that “pre-tribulation rapture dispensationalists” use to advocate the rapture taking place before the great tribulation where our Lord Jesus Christ “returns” for His Church in the air, but does not “come to the earth”. We read in 1 Thessalonians 4 the following,

14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17

The apostle Paul is addressing the ekklesia at Thessalonica and explaining the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and its relationship with the dead, “which sleep in Jesus”, and the believers who are “alive and remain” when the Lord Jesus comes. The context can be gleaned from certain words and verses that confirm this. In 1 Thessalonians 3:13 Paul writes “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” (Emphasis added by writer in bold and hereafter throughout). This “To the end” is of time that Paul speaks of when the believers will appear before GOD and Paul confirms it by saying “at the coming” of our Lord Jesus Christ. He does not say at the fetching of His Church, but “at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” Who will not come to fetch His Church alone, but “with all his saints.” The question to the pre-trib rapture advocates, is: Why does our Lord Jesus Christ come fetch His Church in the air bringing with Him “all his saints” only to return back to heaven with His saints again?

Paul then starts chapter 4 with the words, “FURTHERMORE then we beseech you . . .”; the apostle Paul continues with the emphasis of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, but now exhorts and gives instructions to the ekklesia about holy living which is leading up to him reiterating the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know,

14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: ~ Hebrews 12:14

In 1 Thessalonians 4:14, the apostle Paul speaks of our belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus and states that the believers “which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” This is pertaining to the first resurrection of “the dead in Christ” (1 Thess 4:16), as we also read, for it is written,

4  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 
6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. ~ Revelation 20:4-6

Those believers “which sleep in Jesus” who died during their lifetime before the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, God will bring with Him. It should also be noted from the preceding portion of Scripture in Revelation 20:4 that the souls that take part in the first resurrection “. . . were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; . . .” and therefore it is common sense from a literal reading of GOD’s Word that they must have been present at the time of the worshipping of the beast and of his image and the receiving, i.e. the giving, of the mark of the beast. The apostle Paul writes that the “dead in Christ” will be raised to life and those “which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord” (1 Thess 4:15) “. . . shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess 4:17). Twice the phrase “alive and remain” is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 and 17 in reference to those living at the time. Interestingly Paul uses the “we” which is the first person plural, for since the time of Pentecost all believers were living with an expectation of the soon returning Lord Jesus Christ, and the end-days started almost two thousand years ago. We too live with an imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ perspective, and it was no different back then in first century A.D., in the year of our Lord. We read in Scripture that we are to “watch” for we know not when the time is for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is written for our instruction,

35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
~ Mark 13:35-37

36  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. ~ Luke 21:36

6  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:6

7  But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. ~ 1 Peter 4:7

3  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. ~ Revelation 3:3

The word “remain” in the phrase “alive and remain” (1 Thess 4:15,17) is the Greek word,

G4035 περιλείπω , perileipō, per-ee-li’-po; from G4012 and G3007; to leave all around, that is, (passive) survive: – remain.

It speaks of “survive”. To survive is to overcome something, be put through something! It is used in these verses speaking of the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and this can only be that the believers have survived the wickedness upon the earth and the “seven-year great tribulation”!

The reason why these Scriptures can only be describing the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is the wording that is used. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16 Paul writes, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven . . .”. To descend is to physically come down. To descend will also be a physical sighting of our Lord and if this portion of Scripture was for the “pre-tribulation rapture” of the Church then our Lord’s descending would constitute the second coming and the actual second coming would then constitute a third coming! This is false teaching and heresy! The descending is also not a “secretive rapture” as many argue, but there are announcements at the coming of the Lord with “shouts, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump [trumpet] of God”. All will know and see the Lord is coming and there will be further evidence as the graves will open and would have the dead in Christ rising first in the first resurrection.

If the “Church of Christ” is “raptured up to heaven” before the tribulation and we are to appear before the bema seat of Christ to be judged and receive our rewards as per 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 during the seven-year tribulation period on the earth as the pre-trib advocates believe, then when do the tribulation saints appear before the throne of our Lord Jesus Christ to have their works tested by fire – gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble?

Further questions which need to be answered, are: Should “new” tribulation saints die in Christ during the tribulation period, when do they get resurrected? Will it be at the second coming after the tribulation? If the dead in Christ are raised at the then second coming of Christ after the great tribulation, will this not then constitute a second resurrection of the dead in Christ which goes contrary to what Scripture tells us in Revelation 20:4-6 above? The second resurrection is for the dead unto eternal damnation!! Further, if the “pre-tribulation raptured Church” have appeared in heaven at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9), why have the new tribulation saints been excluded from the Lord’s marriage supper? Would these tribulation saints be deemed second-class believers in Christ and therefore not be partaking in His marriage supper? You can see that the pre-tribulation rapture theory is contrary to the Word of GOD!

It is not preposterous for the genuinely born-again believers who are alive at the great tribulation for them to pass through the tribulation. Many believers even today are losing their bodily lives through persecution and even tribulation. There are disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ who have lost their physical lives in tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, landslides, great forest fires, electrical storms, violent accidents and other disasters, including wars and diseases, and yet spiritually they are saved from the wrath of GOD of eternal damnation. Scripture reveals that GOD can save those He will as according to His Divine purpose for His Glory, for “. . . The Lord knoweth them that are his . . .” (see 2 Timothy 2:19). YEHOVAH (YHVH) is able to save His elect saints – Jew and Gentile – and even in the midst of the great tribulation of Revelation which is to come. In Exodus GOD gives us assurance that He is able to protect His chosen people when He placed them in the land of Goshen in Egypt when He brought the plagues upon the Egyptian Pharaoh and his nation. None of the plagues touched GOD’s chosen people as we read some select Scriptures with emphasis by the blog’s writer concerning,

The plague of flies –

21  Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.
22  And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth.
23  And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be. ~ Exodus 8:21-23

The murrain of beasts –

3  Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain. 
4  And the LORD shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel. 
5  And the LORD appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the LORD shall do this thing in the land. 
6  And the LORD did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one. 
7  And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go. ~ Exodus 9:3-7

The plague of hail –

23  And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
24  So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
25  And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.
26  Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail. ~ Exodus 9:23-26

The darkness –

21  And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.
22  And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:
23  They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. ~ Exodus 10:21-23

The firstborn –

4  And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: 
5  And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. 
6  And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. 
7  But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. ~ Exodus 11:4-7

Therefore, from reading the preceding Scriptures from the Book of Exodus all things are possible with GOD and even in the midst of the great tribulation of Revelation, GOD can keep His people safe and untouched.

We further know that the Scriptures in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 17, could only be referring to our Lord Jesus Christ’s second coming at the last trumpet and not a “pre-tribulation rapture”, for we read,

50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:50-53

And when does the last trumpet take place? Certainly not before the great tribulation of the Book of Revelation! For we read concerning the “elect” (and this portion of Scripture is not just for the Jews as some erroneously believe) when we read in Matthew 24, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” (Matt 24:15) which event takes place before the days of the elect spoken of in Matthew 24:21-24 concerning “21 . . . great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”  These events all precede, as it is written,

29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 
30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 
31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
~ Matthew 24:29-31

There is therefore sufficient proof from GOD’s Word that there is no pre-tribulation rapture. The rapture, a catching up of the dead in Christ and those that are alive and remain will take place at the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ immediately after the tribulation, i.e. post-tribulation. In closing, is ‘Chart No. 5 – The Seven Thousand Years of Human History’ then a true representation of what the Holy Bible teaches? Clarence Larkin (1850-1924), a dispensationalist, studied the Scriptures and “with the help of some books that fell into his hands, led him to adopt many of the tenets of the premillennialist theology that was gaining favor in conservative Protestant circles in the Gilded Age.”* It is widely accepted that the teachings of the pre-tribulation rapture theory was invented in the 19th century by a man named John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) who is considered to be the father of modern Dispensationalism and Futurism (“the Rapture” in the English vernacular)**.

The Seven Thousand Years of Human History

In Larkin’s aforementioned chart (click to enlarge) the pre-tribulation rapture is depicted and taught to have taken place before the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in A.D. 2000! We are now in the year 2016 A.D. and therefore what has been recorded in Clarence Larkin’s chart as “gospel truth” is false for neither had the “rapture” taken place neither had Christ returned in the year 2000 A.D.!

The plumbline of GOD’s Word is not what men teach, but what GOD’s Word tells us! Let GOD be true, but every man a liar.Soli Deo Gloria



* Clarence Larkin http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Larkin

** Christianity Today: Christian History, John Nelson Darby, http://christianitytoday.com/history/people/pastorsandpreachers/john-nelson-darby.html and http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Nelson_Darby

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