Welcome to(2259 bytes) Bible.gif (13571 bytes) Sound Words(2455 bytes)
2 Timothy 1:13

Reasons why the Church will not go through the Great Tribulation

More important than knowing if the church will go through the Great Tribulation or even when it happens, is looking for the Lord's appearing (2 Timothy 4:8; Titus 2:3). After all, just having knowledge puffeth up (1 Corinthians 8:1). But a godly humility combined with rightly dividing God's Word will help answer questions we have (2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Corinthians 1:20-29).

  1. The Church was a Mystery (Eph 3:1-6)
  2. The Church was not in the first prophetic 69 weeks of years spoken of by Daniel and cannot be in the 70th week (Daniel 9:24-27)
  3. The Tribulation is Jewish in Nature and not Church
  4. Who will furnish or go into the Kingdom
  5. The Conflict of Economies
  6. The Removal of the Spirit
  7. No Revealed Purpose for the Church in the Tribulation
  8. Apostate Christendom Damned
  9. No Mention of the Church in the Great Tribulation
  10. The Unique Hope of the Church
  11. The Rapture not in Matthew 3, 13, 24 OR 25
  12. Those who are Taken are Different!
  13. The Mystery "Hid" (Kept Secret)


1. The Church was a Mystery (Eph 3:1-6)

  1. The Great Tribulation, the Kingdom Age and the Second Coming of Christ were not mysteries, but were expounded by the prophets. Therefore the church, being a mystery, will not be found in the scriptures that deal with these events or times.
  2. Ephesians 2 and 3 and Colossians 1:25-26 make it clear that the entire church age was a mystery -- not known before. Therefore, it would be wise to conclude that the church does not coexist in another age that was known before.
  3. If the church was to be a mystery, then it follows that the end of the church will be a mystery also (1Cor 15:51,52; 1Thess 4:13-18).

2. The Church was not in the first prophetic 69 weeks of years spoken of by Daniel and cannot be in the 70th week (Daniel 9:24-27)

These 70 weeks equal 490 years of, what was then, future history for Israel. This 70th week, which is still future, is for Israel and the Church is not there.

TIMELINE OF DANIEL 9:24-27

3. The Tribulation is Jewish in Nature and not Church

  1. "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people (Israel) and upon thy holy city . . . " (Daniel 9:24)
  2. Daniel's people (Daniel 9:24, 12:1)
  3. " . . . sacrifice and oblation . . . " (Daniel 9:27)
  4. " . . . time of Jacob's trouble . . . " (Jer 30:7)
  5. "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached . . . " (Mat 24:14)
  6. " . . . holy place (temple) . . . " (Mat 24:15)
  7. " . . . pray your flight be not . . . on the sabbath day" (Mat 24:20)
  8. "temple of God" (2Thess 2:4)
  9. "Jews" (Rev 2:9; 3:9)
  10. Twelve tribes of Israel (Rev 7 and 14)
  11. Woman representing Israel (Rev 12)
  12. " . . . Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things." (Mat 17:11).

4. Who will furnish or go into the Kingdom

Seventh Day Adventist position:

NO people on earth during the millennium!

This position denies the 1,000 year reign of Christ on the earth and the habitation of the earth by the saved out of the Tribulation period and others (2Sam 7:10-16; Psa 22:27-31; Isa 9:6; 24:23; 65:18-25; Ezek 20:33-44; 36:1-38; 37:15-27; Matt 24:34; Luke 13:28; Rev 20:1-10).

Watchtower and Armstrong position:

NO rapture of living saints!

This position obviously denies the rapture all together (1Thess 4:13-18).

Some "Post Tribulation" Fundamentalist's and other's position:

With this position, the "second coming of Christ," and the rapture are combined into one event. At this time, He will "gather all nations" and separate the sheep from the goats (Matt 25:31-33). But, if the rapture had just taken place as depicted above, there would be no need for another separation. It would already have taken place.

In addition, if there is only one aspect to Christ's return, His second coming to reign, then at that time all living saints will be caught up out of the earth and none will remain but the wicked. Then the Lord comes to the earth and destroys the wicked. Now no one is left to go into the Kingdom and repopulate the earth. However, in Matthew 13, 24 and 25, those saved during the Tribulation period will go alive into the kingdom without being raptured.

The truth and absolute necessity . . . The "Rapture" and the "Second Coming" are separate!

5. The Conflict of Orders

  1. What or who to obey? Paul commands Jewish believers to cease their practice of the law in Hebrews, Ephesians, Colossians and Timothy. In the Tribulation, however, the law will again be practiced (Dan 9:27; Matt 24:15, 20; 2Thess 2:4). This would be a clear violation of Christ's commands through Paul.
  2. What to be building? Today, we are building a spiritual temple and worshiping in Spirit (John 4:23; Phil 3:3). In the Tribulation, a physical temple and physical worship will be re-established (Matt 24:15; 2Thess 2:4). Today, Jews and Gentiles lose their national identity in Christ in standing before God, being constituted "one new man" (Eph 2:15). However, in the Tribulation they remain "Jews and Gentiles" (Isa 11:10; Acts 15:16-17; Ezek 36:36; Matt 25:32 with Ezek 20:33-38). The Jews are clearly building up the Kingdom, Israelitish religion (Dan 9:27; Matt 24:14).
  3. What is the hope during the Great Tribulation? In the church age, we hope for our rapture into heaven. A heavenly place is in preparation for us. In the Tribulation, the saints will have an earthly hope. They will be anticipating an earthly home in a blessed earth where the "wolf will dwell with the lamb" and "they will not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain" (Isaiah 11).

6. The Removal of the Spirit

The removal of the Spirit (2Thess. 2) most likely would include the removal of the church because they are intimately connected together (John 14:17; 1Cor 6:19; 2Tim 1:14). The "restrainer" must be the Holy Spirit because:

  1. The Holy Spirit is a Person (John 14:16, 15:26; 16:13; Acts 5:3, 15:28).
  2. He was restraining iniquity in Paul's day and will continue until He is removed. He has been doing this for almost 2,000 years. He must therefore be divine.
  3. Only a divine Person could hold back Satan. No mortal or earthly power could do so.

Since the church began with the arrival of the Spirit on earth (Acts 2), it would seem consistent that the church will end with the removal of the Spirit from the earth. The Holy Spirit is at work on the earth convincing men of sin (John 16:7) as well as restraining evil through the influence of His church. The "day of Christ" (2 Thess. 2) will not come until the man of sin is revealed -- this cannot happen until the Holy Spirit is taken out.

7. No Revealed Purpose for the Church in the Tribulation

  1. There is a purpose for the world to be brought to their knees in repentance.
  2. There is a purpose for Israel to also come to repentance and restoration.
  3. The revealed ending for the Church on earth is the rapture.

8. Apostate Christendom Damned

Since in the Tribulation apostate Christendom will be damned (Rev 15:8, 17:1-18), it is appropriate that this take place after the true church is gone.

Just as rebellious Israel was doomed when they rejected Christ, so rebellious Christendom will be doomed because they blasphemed Christ. Note the sequence:

There was a revealed transition in the early church until the close of the Acts period. There is no such revealed transition in the Tribulation. The events that will take place during the Great Tribulation have been prophesied and spoken about in the old scriptures (Zech 14:16; Jer 31:31; Deut 28:13).

9. No Mention of the Church in the Great Tribulation

The body of Christ, or the church, is not mentioned in:
  • The Tribulation period
  • The Old Testament (which prophesied the Tribulation)
  • The Gospels (which foretold the Tribulation)
  • The Revelation (which expounded the Tribulation)
Furthermore, the Rapture is not mentioned in:
  • The Old Testament
  • The Synoptic Gospels (except perhaps John 14:1-5)
  • The Book of Revelation

Therefore, we must conclude that the Church is not in the Great Tribulation.

10. The Unique Hope of the Church

In each case our hope is purely and solely Christ. Our resurrection, our heavenly place, and our inheritance are all in Christ . . . never earthly.

Eph 1:18 . . . hope of His calling
4:4 . . . one hope
4:30 . . . day of redemption
5:27 . . . presentation to Christ
Phil 1:6 . . . day of Jesus Christ
1:10 . . . day of Christ
2:16 . . . day of Christ
3:11-12 . . . resurrection
3:20-21 . . . heaven
4:5 . . . the Lord is at hand
Col 1:5 . . . the hope . . . in heaven
1:22-23 . . . presented to Christ
1:27-28 . . . hope of glory
3:4 . . . appear with Him

See also 1Thess 1:10, 2:19, 3:13, 4:13-18, 5:1-11; 2Thess 1:5-10, 2:1-16; 1Tim 6:14; 2Tim 4:18; Titus 2:13

11. The Rapture not in Matthew 3, 13, 24 OR 25

Matt 3:11 . . . gathering the wheat (saints) into the garner (kingdom) and burning the chaff (unsaved) with unquenchable fire (Mal 4:1-2)

No Rapture!

Matt 13 . . . Parable of the wheat and the tares:

  • Both grow together until harvest
  • Tares are FIRST bound to be burned
  • Wheat gathered into barns (kingdom)
  • Good seeds are sons of the kingdom
  • The righteous will shine in the kingdom

No Rapture!

Matt 13 . . . Parable of the drag net:

  • The angels will "sever the wicked from among the just"

No Rapture!

Matt 24 . . . last events of the Tribulation:

  • vs 40-41, the wicked are taken and the righteous left.
  • Israel is re-gathered in fulfillment of Deut 3:3-5
  • Servants of Christ are rewarded

No Rapture!

Matt 25:31-46 . . . judgment of the nations:

  • Christ comes to earth
  • Christ sits on His throne
  • Christ separates the goats (the wicked) from the sheep (the righteous) . . .

No Rapture!

12. Those who are Taken are Different!

Matt 24:37 . . . as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

When the Lord Jesus Christ comes to establish His kingdom on the earth, He will purge it of the UNRIGHTEOUS. This is similar to the purging of the wicked at the time of Noah.

MAT 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

This corresponds with Old Testament prophecy for that time when the righteous shall be left:

ISA 4:2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
ZEC 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

See also Isa 13:6-16 and Matt 13:41-43

However, when the Lord comes in the clouds (at the rapture), He catches away the righteous! Obviously the righteous cannot both be left and caught away. They are two separate events.

13. The Mystery "Hid" (Kept Secret)

  1. Rom 16:25 . . . revelation of the mystery keep secret
  2. Col 1:26-27 . . . Christ in you is the glory of the secret
  3. Eph 3:5 . . . dispensation hid
  4. Eph 3:9 . . . dispensation (fellowship) hid
  5. 1Cor 15:51-52; 1Thess 4:13-18 . . . mystery rapture

The mystery character of the church demands an exclusiveness from God's revealed plans for Israel in the O.T., the synoptic gospels and the book of Revelation.

by Jack Langford, Weyman Zelder, Jim Maurer

 

Home