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By Herb Evans

Imminent Rapture - But No Tribulation
For Church Age Saints

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ (not the tribulation). . . -- Phil.  3:20-21

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (not the tribulation); -- Titus 2:13

Be patient . . . unto the coming of the Lord (not tribulation). -- James 5:7

. . . when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming (not the tribulation's coming). -- 1 John 2:28

. . . unto them that look for him (not the tribulation) shall he appear the second time . . .    -- Heb.  9:28

So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (not the tribulation):    -- 1 Cor.  1:7

And to wait for his Son (not the tribulation) from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.  -- 1 Th.  1:10

And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. (not the tribulation) -- 2 Th.  3:5

We have been sent a letter and tract, distributed by a non- sectarian ship (without a flag, during war time), a so called "Christian Missionary Society, P.O. Box 4097, Phoenix, Arizona 85030  (a freelance, bloodsucking, para-church organization), which seeks to promote the theory that present day believers will go through the tribulation. This cowardly author does not indicate his name but offers $100,000, in his news letter,  for one scripture to prove the Pre-tribulation rapture false doctrine.

One can imagine what happens if it takes two verses or three to prove it. Still, the author looks for the tribulation, while we look for a Saviour. The tract offers $10,000, to anyone, who can prove Christians will be raptured before the soon coming great Tribulation. Still, the author does not produce one verse of scrip- ture that proves the church "will" go through the tribulation or that the rapture is "not" imminent; he merely challenges and gainsays opposition.

The First Big Lie

The author of the letter states that the Pre-Tribulation rapture of the church, "began in Scotland in 1830, bay a 15-year old girl  (Margaret MacDonald). Her pastor, Edward Irving, accepted it, then the Plymouth Brethren Church accepted it, then Dr. C. I. Scofield accepted it, and put it in the footnotes of his Scofield Bible, and it has scattered all over the world."

The author of the tract says further, "The Early Church did not believe in the 'imminent' coming of Christ, as the writings of the early Church fathers tell us! John Wesley, Charles Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, Matthew Henry, John Knox, Martin Luther, John Calvin, George Whitefield, A. B.  Simpson, George Mueller, John Newton,  Johnathan Edwards, William Tyndale, John Wicliffe, and other great reformation preachers did not believe it."

The truth of the matter is that certain church reformers wrote:

"I believe that all the signs which are to precede the last days have already appeared. Let us not think that the coming of Christ is far off; let us look up with heads lifted up; let us expect our Redeemer's coming with longing . . ." -- Luther

"Scripture uniformly enjoins us to look with expectation for the advent of Christ."  -- Calvin

"The Lord Jesus shall return, and that with expedition." -- Knox

"All those excellent and learned men whom . . .God has sent into the world in these latter days to give the world warning, do gather out of the Scriptures that the last days can not be far off. Peradventure it may come in my day, old as I am, or in my children's days . . ." -- Latimer

". . . they (the early church fathers) held not only the premillenial view of Christ's coming, but also regarded that coming as imminent. The Lord had taught His personal return at any moment, and so they looked for Him to come in their day. Not only so, but they also taught His personal return as being immediately . . . We may say, therefore, that the early Church lived in constant expectation of their Lord, and hence was not interested in the possibility of a Tribulation period in the future." -- Thiessen

* Note: quotes are from "Things To Come," by J. Dwight Pentecost -- p.203, 204

In other words, certain early church fathers, looked and waited, for a Saviour, as the scriptures admonish; they did not look or wait, for a tribulation, as does our cowardly false teacher.

The Second Big Lie, A Half Truth

The author of the letter puts Christ's coming for his Church Age "elect," after the great tribulation, In his tract, he asks, "Who are Christ's "elect"? He answers, "they are those who have believed in Him, the Christians."

After deceiving his readers, with his private definitions, which portray Church Age Christians, as the ONLY saints and elect, in God's program, he proceeds to argue, in a circle, that Church Age Christian elect/saints will go through the tribulation.

The truth of the matter is that the term "elect" and saints" apply, to the Old Testament saints and elect as well as the tribulation saints and elect (Job 5:1; Psa. 148:14; Matt. 27:52; Rev. 15:3; Isa. 45:4; Isa 65:9).

The church will NOT go through the tribulation but Israel will. Those Jewish and Gentile saints/elect, who are converted (Rev. 5:9; 7:9), during this tribulation, will, of course, be there.

The elect of Matthew 24:21-22, who our author likes to crow about, are Jewish elect/saints -- not Church Age elect/saints. These Jews are told to flee Judea (24:16), hopefully not on the Jewish "Sabbath" (24:20). Jews! Jewish elect!

The Third Big Lie

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. -- Rev. 5:9

The author tells us that the rapture occurs between the sixth seal (Rev. 6:12) and the seventh seal (Rev. 7:14; 8:1), after the moon and sun goings on. But what about those who came up hither, in Rev. 4:1,  who are found singing in heaven, before the seals are even opened? Where did they come from?