For a change, this article is not exclusively about TPM but about a doctrine which TPM also supports in a way. We have with us a document from an author by name Richard L. Mayhue who is a pre-trib proponent. We thank our reader “No More a Slave to Fear” for sending it to us. Click here to access it. This document proposes many reasons for the author to believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture. We will deal with each point in this series of articles. The purpose of this series is to answer various questions which could arise in the mind of many believers.
Quoting from the article Page 4(244).
The Church Is Not Mentioned in Revelation 6–18 as Being on Earth
The common NT term for “church” is used nineteen times in Revelation 1–3, a section that deals with the historical church of the first
century toward the end of the apostle John’s life (ca. A.D. 95). However, “church” is then used only once more in the twenty-two chapter book and that at the very end(22:16) when John returns to addressing the first-century church. Most interesting is the fact that nowhere during the period of Daniel’s seventieth week is the term for “church” used for believers on earth (cf. Rev. 4–19).
It is remarkable and totally unexpected that John would shift from detailed instructions for the church to absolute silence about the church in the subsequent 13 chapters if, in fact, the church continued into the tribulation. If the church will experience the tribulation of Daniel’s seventieth week, then surely the most detailed study of tribulation events would include an account of the church’s role. But it does
not! The only timing of the rapture that would account for this frequent mention of “church” in Revelation 1–3 and total absence of the “church” on earth until Revelation 22:16 is a pre-tribulation rapture which will relocate the church from earth to heaven prior to Daniel’s seventieth week.
Looking at this observation from another perspective, it is also true that nowhere in Scripture is it taught that the church and Israel would coexist as the centers for God’s redemptive message and yet remain mutually exclusive. Today, the church universal is God’s human channel of redemptive truth. Revelation gives certain indications that the Jewish remnant will be God’s human instrument during Daniel’s seventieth week. The unbiased reader would certainly be impressed by the abrupt shift from the “church” in Revelation 2–3, to the 144,000
Jews from the twelve tribes in Revelation 7 and 14. He would certainly ask, “Why?” Further, because Revelation 12 is a mini-synopsis of the entire tribulation period and because the woman who gave birth to the male child (Rev 12:1-13) is Israel, then logically and topically the Tribulation period focuses on the nation of Israel and not the church. How could this be? Because a pre-tribulation rapture has removed the “church” from the earth prior to Daniel’s seventieth week.
Is the Church Missing from Rev 4 to 22?
The words “church” and “churches” are absent from Rev. 4 – 22. Therefore, the church is absent from the earth during that time, right?
This is the FIRST argument of the author to prove the pre-trib premise. Come to think of it. Proving something from the absence of a word is one of the lamest reason. Now if this happens to be the strongest point for pre-trib (Because it is put as the first argument), you can asses the ones coming after that. Next time an atheist asks you to show God to prove his existence, you should not be worried. Both the argument come from the same root of thinking.
Let us come to the point.
Let us see how Paul addresses the Church of Corinth in his first epistle.
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 1:1-3
Paul addresses the Epistle to them as “To the Church of God in Corinth“. Now consider his epistle to the Ephesians and see how he addresses them.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Eph 1:1
Now taking the logic of the Author (Richard L. Mayhue), shall we say that the Epistle to Ephesians is NOT for the Church at Ephesus? Of course, the word “CHURCH” is not used in the addressing part, just as we see in the Corinthian epistles. Did you understand the twist of Richard L. Mayhue? He thinks that people will not refer to scriptures and will gobble his logic.
Throughout the book of Revelation, we see the word “Saints” used.
- Rev. 12:17; 13:5-7,10; 14:12 refer to the antichrist’s authority over the “saints” and how those who endure will not take his mark. (Can anyone be a “saint” aside from the blood of Jesus? or are there those saved by the blood of Jesus, yet excluded from the church of Jesus Christ?)
- Rev. 6:9-11; 20:4 tells about martyrs who are killed for their testimony of Jesus. Are they not part of the church?
- Rev. 7:9-17 tells about a multitude in heaven whose robes have been washed in the blood of the Lamb (Christians?) whose shepherd will be the Lamb. These are in heaven, granted, but they have come out of the great tribulation, and are thereafter the sun, moon, and stars go dark in the sixth seal. (See also Matt. 24:29-31, etc.)
Authors like these mislead many, by their qualifications and positions in the clergy. Note what Jesus says about the Entire Book of Revelation(not just chapters 1-3).
Jesus said that the book of the Revelation is for the church. Why would He say that when we are gone, and the “tribulation saints” aren’t even a part of the church? I would be very cautious about basing any theology on what the scripture does not say.
Now consider the word “Church” for the other books of the New Testament. Are you aware that these same words are also absent from 2 Tim., Titus, Heb., 1 & 2 Peter, 1 & 2 John, and Jude? Is the church absent then too? Hmmm? Titus and 2 John don’t even mention Christians, brother(s), brethren, or saint(s) (although they both mention the word “elect”). Does that mean those books don’t even pertain to us? (Sounds silly doesn’t it?)
Interestingly the word RAPTURE is also not there in the entire Bible. Shall we apply the same logic to Rapture?
This argument doesn’t end here. In Rev 19 we see the marriage of the Lamb has come, And do you know who is marrying the Lamb? Going by the logic of the Author(Richard L. Mayhue ), It’s not the CHURCH. It’s the Saints. So there we go. The author has excluded himself from the bride.
My question is this, are you willing to stake the safety of your family during a time of “great tribulation” on this kind of theology? Think about it.
The Daniel Seventy Week Twist
This is one favorite section of the scripture of many Pre-Trib proponents, They love to be blind to the context and push this as a plugin to any eschatological discussions. The context should ideally start with Dan 9:24. But they do not like that part of the context. When you already have a pre-defined theory, you tend to force the scriptures to say what it does not say.
First of all, the entire text of Daniel 9:24-27 is often translated by modern Bible versions to fit the bias of the translators and to support false “Futurist” positions. To avoid these errors and bias, this article will stick to the King James Version. Here’s the entire text:
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And AFTER threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations, he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. Daniel 9:24-27
Verse 25 says that Messiah will arrive at the end of 69 Weeks. Verse 26 says AFTER the 69th week (62+7), the Messiah shall be cut off. Now tell me what is the week when Messiah was cut off. Was it 69th or 70th? Our Pre-Trib proponents, like to push in a huge gap of 2000+ years between the 69th and 70th Week, all of a sudden. But why? What is the reason for you to bring this gap which has no scriptural support? Clearly, after the 69th week, it is the 70th week in which the Messiah will be cut off. How difficult is that for you to understand when vs 26 makes it absolutely clear?
Moreover, 70 weeks were determined
- to finish the transgression,
- and to make an end of sins,
- and to make reconciliation for iniquity,
- and to bring in everlasting righteousness,
- and to seal up the vision and prophecy,
- and to anoint the most Holy.
Which of the above was not completed by Jesus? When he said, “IT IS FINISHED“. It was finished. No Part of that work was remaining. When you(Pre-tribbers) say that the 70th week is pending, you are making Daniel a false prophet, as Jesus did not need the 70 weeks as per you. Whereas the Post Trib position says Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of vs 24 on the 70th Week.
Most of the twists of Pre-trib is based on an interpretation of Vs 27 where they delink the previous verses from this.
Grammatically, it makes sense that all references to “he” in Daniel 9:27 refer to the same person throughout the text, that is, to Jesus Christ Himself. Simply read the entire verse in the KJV. The “it” that is made “desolate” refers to the Jewish sanctuary. Speaking to the leaders of Israel, Jesus mournfully declared, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate ” (Matthew 23:38). But how could Jesus Christ make the Jewish sanctuary desolate? The answer is simple: By His death on the cross. When Jesus finally cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30), the entire Jewish temple service, including its sacrifices, “ceased” to be of value in the sight of God. It was “desolate.”
The entire drama surrounding the fate of the Temple included the Jews, the Messiah, and finally, Roman armies led by Titus that finished the job in 70 A.D. To make it simple, here is the entire text of vs 27 below with explanations in brackets:
And he [Christ] shall confirm the [new] covenant with many for one week [the last 7-year period of Daniel 9:24]: and in the midst of the week [after 3 ½ years of holy ministry] he [Christ] shall cause [by His death on the cross] the sacrifice [of the Jewish Temple] and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations [of the Jewish leaders who instigated Christ’s death] he [Christ] shall make it [the Temple] desolate [Christ’s death ultimately finished the Temple service], even until the consummation [which occurred 40 years later when the Roman armies led by Titus finally burned the Temple to the ground and killed approximately one million Jews. See War of the Jews by Josephus], and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate [the Jewish nation and its Temple in 70 A.D.].
Thus the latter part of Daniel 9:27 deals with mighty cause-and-effect events. The Jewish leaders committed “abominations” by instigating the death of God’s own Son, yet their evil deeds backfired with terrible consequences. Christ’s death not only atoned for our sins, but it also meant the end of the Jewish temple service itself (making it desolate). Finally, in 70 A.D., Roman armies finished the job, thus completing “the desolation.”
In conclusion, may God help us to learn these lessons from the Temple: Jesus Christ’s death means everlasting salvation to those who yield to His love, repent of their sins, and have faith in His sacrifice, but to those who chose abominations, remain in sin, and reject His grace, eternal desolation is the inevitable, terrible consequence.
Ever Heard of a Seven Year long Honeymoon between a couple “Before the Marriage“? That is what I call as Pre-Trib theology. Pre-Trib Theology teaches that the bride will be taken away by the groom and they will wait for 7 years to have a formal wedding. This view is substantiated by the Author(Richard L. Mayhue )for the word “Church” missing from Chapters 4-22. Most Pre-tribbers believe that the Church will be raptured by the end of chapter 3. Don’t ask for any scriptural proof for that. There ain’t any.
A counter question to friends that believe in the Church Missing Theory.
In Rev 16:15 when the supposed church is already in heaven with the Bridegroom, why does Jesus say the following
15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
Whom is he telling this to in Rev 16, long after the church is raptured? Does it make any sense to you? Please explain if you think you have an answer.
Historically, the Church has always held to a Post-Trib View. It was only in the year 1838 that this pre-trib view was started by a person named John Nelson Darby. He belonged to the Plymouth Brethren Community. He was assisted by a criminal Lawyer by name Cyrus Ingerson Scofield. It was propagated in protestant circles by the Scofield reference Bible which many Pentecostals revere.