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Sound Theology or the Great Escape?

Understanding The Times / Jan Markell
The Truth Network Radio
September 17, 2021 8:00 am

Sound Theology or the Great Escape?

Understanding The Times / Jan Markell

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September 17, 2021 8:00 am

Jan Markell and Dr. Ron Rhodes first consider Afghanistan in Bible prophecy, then defend the pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church for the rest of the hour. This theology is often called escapism when, in fact, it is just sound theology believed by the early church and millions of Christians throughout history. They share firm reasons to believe this. Find Ron’s books in our online store.


Jesus tells us to, We're running the Times Radio with Jan Markell. The rapture has to happen before the seven-year tribulation because of the effect upon us.

Let me explain. Knowing that the rapture can happen at any moment should and even will have a profound effect on how we live our lives in this world. This is what's known as the doctrine of immanence. I love that word imminent because it's kind of one of those words that sounds like what it is, imminent, imminent. That's not the literal definition.

Just indulge me. But it's this, the doctrine of immanence is this sound doctrine that nothing has to happen before the rapture happens. That the rapture can happen at any time. It is imminent. It can happen at any minute.

Welcome to the program. Say, because folks are always writing and wanting to debate the timing of the rapture of the church, I thought I would spend a good portion of this hour in that discussion. And I'm going to have that with apologist Dr. Ron Rhodes, and we carry a number of Ron's books, and I'll say more about that later. And rapture timing is, quite frankly, an in-house discussion.

And those who hold differing views should certainly not be denigrated. However, I think pointing out some of the obvious flaws in the pre-wrath rapture, mid-trib, post-trib rapture, I think it's worth some time. The soon rapture of the church, it's called our blessed hope in the Bible. And I believe there would be no hope in a rapture that was not pre-tribulation. We would have hell on earth to look forward to, to be honest, and the position of my guests and myself is that God does not beat up his bride.

Now, let me clarify that he does allow man and Satan to beat up Christians, to persecute them, to marginalize them. But God's wrath is reserved only for the unbelieving world, and it's on overdrive during the seven-year tribulation. Now, before we get into the rapture timing, I'm going to ask my guests about a topic. Let's just call it Afghanistan in Bible prophecy.

Has the ordeal of late summer and early fall here, is it just an accident in its timing? Or could it be a part of a greater prophecy scenario? And I believe the latter. Dr. Ron Rhodes heads reasoning from the Scriptures ministries. You can learn more about his outreach books and more at He's written over 60 books and he's spoken at my Understanding the Times conference. He's one of my most frequent radio guests, part-time staff of Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Ron Rhodes, welcome back to the program. Thank you, Jan.

It's always great to spend some time with you. Ron, we've had a momentous summer. For that matter, we've had a momentous year and a half, going to soon be two years with pandemic and all, but let's just journey for a moment to Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a part of Magog. Magog is a part of the Gog-Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39. As a matter of fact, the Stans are a part of Magog. Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, etc.

Help my audience better understand the Magog character of the Gog-Magog War. The broader context, of course, is that Meshech and Tubal, Gomer, are going to be participating. That's Turkey. Persia will be involved in the war. That's Iran. Ethiopia will be involved. That's modern Sudan. And Put will also be one of the allies that attacks Israel, and that's Libya. Now, Magog is a central player in all of this, and Magog refers to the mountainous region near the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.

Jan, I want you to try to picture it this way in your mind's eye. The Black Sea and the Caspian Sea are essentially parallel to each other. The Black Sea is to the west. The Caspian Sea is to the east. And bordering on that eastern side of the Caspian Sea are Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. And just a bit further east, we come to Uzbekistan. And continuing east, we come to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

And if you drop just a little bit south, we come to Afghanistan. All of these Stan nations occupy the territory that was once inhabited by the ancient Magogites, or Magog. Way back when Ezekiel wrote his prophecy some 2600 years ago, nobody knew what these different nations would have against Israel. A lot of the nations that are involved in the Ezekiel invasion are not right next to each other.

So what might they have in common? Well, of course, Islam would eventually develop in the 7th and 8th century AD. That is what brings unity to these various nations. All the Stan nations that are part of Magog are Islamic. And now they have plenty of motive to attack Israel. They've talked about how they want to wipe Israel off the map and push Israel into the sea. They want the land back. They're of the opinion that once the land comes under Islamic control, it can never pass out of Islamic control.

When Israel became a nation again, that was illegitimate. That land belongs to Allah. Well, the Americans have left $85 billion in weaponry behind, which is ominous. Why on earth do you leave almost $100 billion in sophisticated weaponry, which maybe the Afghan fighters won't know how to operate, but the Russians will happily train them? Could that then be a part of the weaponry talked about in Ezekiel 38-39? Because the weaponry is pictured there in the passage of Gog and Magog. And it says that the Jews are going to be burning the weapons in this war because they're going to turn around and defeat these invaders rather quickly, but they're going to burn the weapons for seven years.

That's right. When this massive storm of an invasion takes place against Israel, Israel won't stand a chance. There's no way that Israel alone could stand against that large of an invading force. The prophet Ezekiel tells us that God himself is going to take out these invaders. You're going to see all these weapons left on the landscape, and the Jewish people will gather these weapons to burn.

Now, here is the backdrop. Burnable materials will be in high demand during the tribulation period. All of the grass has already been burned on the earth, a third of the trees, a third of the bushes. So a lot of the burnable materials that people normally burn has already been taken out due to the catastrophes that have fallen upon the world. People are going to be looking for burnable materials. And of course, we're talking about the wooden components that are on modern weapons. We're not talking about burning metal. Most of the weapons do have some wooden components to them. And there's also burnable fuel and gun powder that can be used to heat yourself, for example, during winter. All of those weapons will be gathered and burned for seven years by the Jews who were left behind.

Jan, that leads me to say this. Some people wonder if the United States is in Bible prophecy. There's now at least one likely way the United States is in Bible prophecy. And that is that US weapons will likely be among the weapons burned for seven years during the future tribulation period. And you can read all about it in Ezekiel 39, verses nine and 10. So your timing of the Gog Magog War, I believe you would have it be three and a half years before the tribulation. This can get complicated.

Let me try to explain it as clear as I can. The thing that's next on the timetable is the rapture. There's nothing that needs to be fulfilled prophetically before the rapture takes place. In fact, it could take place right in the middle of this broadcast.

And all you would hear is dead air from that point forward. Sometime after the rapture, but before the beginning of the tribulation period, I believe this invasion will take place probably three and a half years prior to the tribulation period. Here's why I say that. We know that in the middle of the tribulation period, the Antichrist will move into Jerusalem and set up his headquarters there. He will also sit within the Jewish temple and he will bring about the abomination of desolation and set up an image of himself within that temple. Jan, it's at that point that Jesus warns the Jewish people in Matthew 24, get out of town immediately.

Don't even stop to pack your bags because your very life is at stake. They're not going to have time to gather these massive tons of weaponry to haul with them out of Jerusalem. So that leads me to think that the burning of the weapons may be complete by the midpoint of the tribulation period. And if that's true, that would push this invasion into Israel by the Muslims and Russia three and a half years prior to the beginning of the tribulation period. So again, the rapture happens first, then at some point this invasion takes place, and then the tribulation begins. We need to clarify you're suggesting then there's a gap between the rapture and the tribulation.

I am suggesting that. There's a lot of people who misunderstand the rapture and the tribulation, and they think that the rapture itself is the beginning of the tribulation period. That's not correct. Scripture never says that. What begins the tribulation period is when the Antichrist signs a covenant with Israel, and that can happen years after the rapture. I would say it's not many years, but it could happen some years after the rapture.

Here's one of the things to think about, Jan. If in fact this invasion has taken place and God has already taken out the Muslims, that would, number one, make it much easier for the Antichrist to emerge on the world stage. You see, Muslims want to bring about an Islamic caliphate. That's no longer a possibility because God has already taken out the Muslim forces. Secondly, it makes it much easier for the false religion to emerge. After all, Christians have already been raptured and now the Muslims have been decimated by God. So there's no other religion to really stand against the emergence of a false religion. And then third, it will likely be much easier for the Jews to rebuild the Jewish temple on the Temple Mount because Muslim resistance will be gone. Right.

It's a good point. To me, it fits together like pieces of a puzzle. If you just join me, you're listening to Understanding the Times Radio. I'm spending the hour with Dr. Ron Rhodes. You can learn more about reasoning from the Scriptures and ministries at his website,

That's R-H-O-D-E-S, I'm moving to the rapture here, Ron, and the rapture is an event that will take place sometime in the near future. We certainly don't know when Jesus comes in the air to catch up the church from the earth and then return to heaven with the church. The Apostle Paul gave a clear description of the rapture in his letters to the Thessalonians. Here's a good verse, I think, 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. 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.

Comfort one another with these words. First Thessalonians 4, 16 through 18. Our critics say that this wonderful experience that's just ahead of us came along with John Darby in about 1830, when in fact we even know the early church was longing for the rapture. How do you answer that?

Because I know you're hit with that as much as I am. The argument from church history, I believe, is fallacious because it wrongly supposes that truth is somehow determined by time. Jan, the reality is that in the first five centuries of church history, the church held the many false doctrines, including the doctrine of baptismal regeneration.

The idea that you don't actually become regenerated and saved until you get baptized in water. Now just because a doctrine was early does not mean it is correct. Conversely, just because a doctrine emerged late does not mean it is incorrect. And pre-tribulationists believe that in the process of doctrinal development throughout the centuries, it makes good sense that eschatology would become a primary emphasis later on. During the reformation period, it was the doctrine of justification and salvation.

So there were different periods where different doctrines came to the forefront. Aside from that, Jan, in the early church there was a powerful emphasis on imminence. When you look at the early church fathers, for example, we find writings of imminence in people like Ignatius of Antioch, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermes, and many others. They all speak of imminency in the sense that the Lord could show up any moment without any signs of the times taking place. And just to give you a quote from the third century Shepherd of Hermes, it says this, you escape from the great tribulation on account of your faith.

That's not just imminence. That sounds like the pre-tribulational rapture right there. Let's be very clear that we believe what we believe, not because of when it became a primary emphasis in church history. We believe what we believe because we are seeking to be biblical. I'm going to say what I've said a million times, and that is we take a literal approach to understanding these prophecies. If you want to understand how God is going to fulfill a prophecy in the future, take a look at how he has fulfilled prophecy in the past. In the past, God has always fulfilled prophecy quite literally. All the prophecies dealing with the first coming of Christ, literal. So when we look at the literal statements of scripture, such as the one you just read from 1 Thessalonians 4, it's very clear that there's a time coming when the dead will be resurrected and then living believers will be instantly caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

JAN MARKELL Well, we have our detractors. I'm just going to play a short clip here, and this actually goes back to a film made in 2014, Joe Schimmel's film Left Behind or Led Astray. And here we're going to hear one of the participants in this film, Joel Richardson, say, pastors, if you aren't equipping your members to face the Antichrist, you're doing a terrible disservice.

And then let's come back and talk about it. JOE SCHIMMEL To say that the world is in a state of shock this morning would be to understate the situation. Suddenly and without warning, literally thousands, perhaps millions of people just disappeared. What if the end of the world really isn't as so many have portrayed it? What if the church is not raptured to heaven before the Great Tribulation, as many are teaching? What if the church has been left ill-prepared to face the Antichrist and the mark of the beast? What if Tim LaHayes claimed that if the pre-tribulation rapture is false, then the blessed hope will become the blasted hope, actually comes true for millions of pre-tribulationists? What if millions who have been led astray by the pre-trib teaching become part of the great falling away that Jesus warned would take place at that time? Left Behind or Led Astray, examining the origins of the secret pre-tribulation rapture, features vital end-time insights from prophecy teachers, Joe Schimmel, Jacob Prash, and Joel Richardson. The issue of the pre-tribulational versus the post-tribulational rapture is one of the premier pastoral issues of our day. If you're a pastor that's not preparing your people to face potentially the Antichrist and the Great Tribulation in this hour, simply because your denomination teaches it or whatever, personally I think you're failing in your role as a shepherd and a pastor. Right up front let me say the rapture is not secret and when it happens it won't be a secret, but Ron your comment to what you've just heard? Let's get away from this emotional rhetoric and let's get back to the Bible.

The key issue to me is not what this person says or that person says. My key issue is what does the text of scripture say? If you look at what Jesus has to say, Jesus says he's going to prepare a place for us, and then he says that once he prepares a place for us in the Father's house he is going to return and claim us and take us back to the place he is prepared for us. That's completely contrary to this view that Christ will come again and then meet the saints in the air and come back down to earth. Why would Jesus talk all about the Father's house and the place he's preparing if he wasn't intending to take believers back there? What about 1 Thessalonians 1 verses 9 and 10? It says this, you turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his son from heaven whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Jan can I camp here for just a minute? Please do, it's an important passage. Let me just talk a little bit about what we learn from the text of scripture here. First of all this verb, wait, talks about how we are waiting for the Lord from heaven. This was used in the ancient world for people who were waiting up for the arrival of a person they were expecting to come very soon. The idea behind this word was that people wouldn't go to bed at their normal bedtime because they were waiting up for this person to arrive at any moment.

Not only that but in the original Greek Jan this word is a present tense. It communicates the idea of continuous action in waiting for someone. In other words we keep on waiting day by day for our Lord to appear because he could be at any moment. Now the Thessalonian Christians had the attitude of continually waiting up for God's son to come from heaven because he could arrive at any moment. Now he was going to deliver us from the wrath to come. In the Greek Jan this is literally the wrath, the coming.

This is the most intense way that Paul could put the reality of the horror of this coming time period that would be characterized by God's wrath. Notice the word delivers. Jesus is the one who delivers us from this. The term delivers in the original Greek carries the meaning to snatch out to oneself, to rescue to oneself, to save and preserve a group to oneself.

The verb literally means to draw to oneself in order to protect from danger. Now that's exactly what happens at the rapture. Right now you and I are in the process of waiting. We are waiting because there's no other prophecy that needs to be fulfilled before the rapture. It is the next event on the prophetic timetable. Jesus is going to come and he is going to snatch us out of this world and by that snatching he will deliver us from the wrath, the coming. In other words this terrible wrathful period that is coming on planet earth.

So when I hear these guys talking about how horrible it is that pre-tribs are deceiving people and how they need to prepare people for meeting the antichrist, my question is this. What do you guys do with the biblical text? What do you do with John 14? What do you do with 1 Thessalonians 1, 9 and 10?

And what do you do with 1 Corinthians 4, 13 through 17? Let me interject here just quickly, Ron, and that is the reference here to the day of wrath. God has not appointed the church to wrath.

But let's be honest here. The church around the world is going through some real serious persecution. I think we need to clarify that God allows man's wrath to come against the church. God even allows Satan's wrath to come against the church. We've just seen images from Afghanistan this past summer of a particular persecuted group of people there, of course the Christians in Afghanistan, but that is not God's wrath coming against those people. That would be man's wrath. That's right and I would categorize that as part of the general tribulation that all people face throughout.

That's right. There's a huge distinction between general tribulation and the tribulation period. Jesus himself told us that it's through much tribulation that we enter the kingdom of God. Now it's not just the people who are over in Afghanistan and other parts of the world who are suffering this. Every one of us has certain kinds of tribulation that we're facing, whether it's because we have health problems, financial problems, there are persecutions taking place. Jan, you and I are both well familiar with that one.

People writing articles about us, saying things on the radio about us. Through tribulation we enter the kingdom of God, but there is coming a time that is specifically a seven-year period in which the wrath of God falls upon the world. This is not general tribulation, this is a tribulation in which God's wrath has fallen upon the world.

And to me it just doesn't make sense. It's kind of like saying this, Jan, now Christians, you're going to go through the tribulation period and you're going to experience three different sets of horrible judgments that get worse and worse and worse, and there's a good chance that you're going to starve and you might become a martyr, but be cheerful. Comfort yourself with these words.

That's right. 1 Thessalonians 4 18, comfort one another with the good news of Christ's return, not the fact that we're fleeing the Antichrist, the most evil man ever, but that's how we're to comfort one another. Ron, let me just reference another verse here, and that would be Revelation 3 10. Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world to try those who dwell on the earth. Now this is in the first three chapters here of Revelation, and God's talking to the church throughout those three chapters of Revelation. Obviously the church is going to disappear, Revelation 4 1, but here in this particular passage, 3 10, he's talking to the true church of Philadelphia.

You've kept my word about patient endurance. I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, which happens in Revelation 4. To me, that's extremely convincing of a pre-trib rapture.

I think so too, and there's some things to notice about Revelation 3 10. Notice it says that we will be delivered from the hour of trial. In the English language, definite articles don't mean that much, but in the Greek language, they mean everything. In fact, you can read chapters written in Greek grammars about the significance of the definite article.

Among other things, definite articles can indicate specificity. In Revelation 3 10, the definite article points to a specific and distinctive time period. It's not just any hour of trial. It is the hour of trial that is yet future, and I believe that's referring to the future seven-year hour of trial. Correct.

That's what I'm assuming as I read it. Yes, you need to compare that hour of trial with Revelation 4 through 18. That's the hour of trial being spoken of, I believe, because Revelation 4 through 18 talks about the tribulation period. The hour of trial is the tribulation period from which Christ promises deliverance. That means, Jan, that the Church will be kept from the time period itself. I believe that if the Lord meant to communicate that he would preserve Church members through this time of testing, like post-tribs say, he would not have said, I will keep you from the hour of trial. He would have said, I will keep you through the hour of trial. That's not what's going on here. Not to get too Greek on you, Jan, but the Greek preposition from is the Greek word ek, and that means to keep you out of completely the actual time period itself. It communicates separation. Jesus is promising, I'm going to separate you from the very time period itself that will be characterized by God's wrath.

There's no way that you can read that and come out anything other than pre-trib, in my opinion. What I want to do in my second half of the program, I want to play a clip of broadcaster Hank Hanegraaff, who's going to not only denounce the rapture, quite frankly, he's going to denounce the whole nation of Israel. And I see that often if you're anti-dispensational, which is what Ron and I believe, dispensationalism, often you've got to get two for one, like Mr. Hanegraaff has done. You can't stand the rapture, and then you can't stand the Jewish people who are the key to everything in the last days. Let me just quickly say here, folks, we're carrying a number of Ron Rhodes books. We carry his book, and I love it, Basic Bible Prophecy.

Everything you need to know in just a few pages. We carry his book, Spiritual Warfare in the End Times. We carry his book, 40 Days Through Revelation. Find these in my online store,, views as in viewpoint,, three outstanding books to help you understand the crazy days in which we live. This final generation finds us on social media, on Telegram, Facebook, Gab, Instagram, YouTube, Rumble.

Again, Telegram, Facebook, Gab, and Instagram. We try to post there on a many times a day basis. I'm coming back here in just a couple of minutes. I'm going to continue with Dr. Ron Rhodes. Learn more at his website,

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Now here are Jan Markell and Ron Rhodes to conclude today's programming. If we as Christians are unsettled concerning the pre-Trib rapture, let me back up, the sound doctrine of the pre-Trib rapture, then we, in effect, give Satan a blank check to fill in the amount of doubt and fear in our lives. Because if I'm not sure I'm uncertain, I'm not really convinced, I don't really believe, then that's a game changer.

That changes everything. Now I'm not looking for Jesus Christ. I'm looking for the anti Christ. I'm facing a very serious life and death for all eternity decision about whether or not I'm going to accept the mark of the beast, which is already in play, and the technology already in play, and the anti-Christ system already in play. It's already here.

It's just a matter of time. Welcome back, and I'm spending the hour with Dr. Ron Rhodes. You've heard a couple of clips from Pastor J.D. Farag, Calvary Chapel Kaneohe, Hawaii, as he defends the pre-Tribulation rapture of the church. And that's kind of our purpose this hour, though we did open with a discussion on Afghanistan in Bible prophecy, how they are a part of the Stans, and you know some of those nations are a part of the alliance, the Gog Magog Ezekiel 38-39 war.

Those nations will be coming against Israel in that future impending last days war. We opened with that, but then I've kind of morphed into my intent, spending as much time as possible on the pre-Trib timing of the rapture. We believe it's so important that we understand that indeed we do escape the wrath of God, the wrath to come.

Ron, let's clarify, please. There are believers in the Tribulation. They're Tribulation saints, and a lot of people read that. They read in Revelation 4 through 19.

They read that, in fact, look at the references to the believers. Obviously, the believers have been left behind to go through the Tribulation. Actually, those are people who come to faith during the Tribulation thanks to the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, the two witnesses, the angel, etc.

Help us understand that. We know that there will be saints during the Tribulation because Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats in Matthew 25, 31-46 at the Second Coming, and the sheep are Christians. But these are not the same as the Christians who were raptured prior to the Tribulation period. The 144,000 Jewish evangelists will share the gospel of the kingdom, and there's going to be many people who convert. Revelation 7 tells that there's going to be a great crowd of Christians. It's not just the 144,000, it's also the two prophets of Revelation 11, and they apparently have the same kinds of powers as Moses and Elijah, and those miracles they perform confirm their message about the true God and the true Messiah. Many people will become believers during the Tribulation period, and therefore, the fact that there are believers in the Tribulation does not disprove pre-Tribulationism. Linda I think what I'd like to do, in that I gave a tease, part one, is play this little clip from the Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff. Now here, he's going to really come against everything we believe about the end times. I'm not suggesting his theology is counter to what you and I believe, Ron, other than this end time theology known as eschatology. What I'm trying to understand is, where do they get the teaching that the church will be raptured out and will not have to go through Tribulation? Where is that found at?

It's not found. That's the whole point. The point is, it's something that is imposed on the Scripture. The notion is a very new notion in church history. It's a 19th century notion that was popularized by John Nelson Darby, and it comes with the presupposition that God has two distinct people, and therefore, he has two distinct plans for the two distinct people, and he has two distinct phases of the Second Coming and two distinct destinies. This, however, is an imposition on Scripture because the truth of it is, God has only always had one chosen people, one covenant community, beautifully connected by the cross and illustrated by a cultivated olive tree in Paul's letter to the Romans. So the point here is that all those who are followers of Jesus Christ are the one chosen people, and this is prior to the cross as well, because all that look forward to Christ prior to the cross are God's covenant chosen people, and the covenant chosen people are made up of people from every tongue and language and nation and people. You're not a son of Abraham because of some genealogical construction.

You are a son of Abraham because you believe in the God of Abraham. Let's just clarify quickly. Hank Hanegraaff is a Preterist. He believes all prophecy happened in 70 AD. He does not hold to any dispensational theology that would teach a literal Antichrist, a literal tribulation, a literal rapture, Second Coming, and Israel's very, very key role in all of this. But Ron Rhodes, he just disinherited Israel, which is shocking for those of us who are very loyal not only to the nation of Israel, but to the biblical position that Israel is the focus of history, current events, and all future events, but they just got disinherited.

That's right. When you look at Scripture, it's very clear that God has a special place in God's sovereign plan. The Jewish people are the apple of God's eye, Zechariah 2-8. Their land is described as holy, Zechariah 2-12. Their city is the center of the nations, Ezekiel 5-5. They are pictured as the wayward wife of God in Ezekiel 16. The Scriptures do indicate that they are the object of God's temporary discipline, but are also the objects of his grace, because God's grace will see to it that a remnant of Jewish people become believers in the Lord, which will take place at the end of the tribulation period.

Jen, I have to tell you that one of the most magnificent manifestations of God's grace is his miraculous preservation of Israel for the past 2700 years. After Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed in AD 70, the Jews were dispersed to more than 130 nations around the world. They've been mistreated and relentlessly persecuted wherever they went, and yet thousands of years later, their national existence and even their language have been fully restored in fulfillment of biblical prophecy. The biblical prophet Ezekiel said that after a long and worldwide dispersion, Israel would become a nation again.

This was fulfilled in 1948. Ezekiel then says that Jewish people from all over the world would then start to migrate back to Israel. That's been happening every single year since 1948, especially over the past decade due to anti-Semitism. And then Scripture goes on to say that there's going to be a mighty Muslim coalition of nations that will one day attack Israel. That attack hasn't occurred yet, but the nations that make up that attack force have alliances with each other right now, and they have a strong motivation to attack.

Jan, my point is this. God speaks a great deal about his plan for Israel, not to mention the fact that God has made unconditional covenants with Israel. The Abrahamic covenant, Genesis 12, the Davidic covenant, 2 Samuel 7.

These covenants will one day be literally fulfilled in the millennial kingdom. I have a little saying I use now and then how out of God to choose the Jews, but not so odd as those who choose the Jewish God but spurn the Jews. How professing Christians can denounce the Jewish people when our Messiah was a Jew is beyond my comprehension, but they do.

It never ceases to amaze me and disappoint me. I'm going to another bullet point here, Ron, and that would be there's nothing unusual about the Lord keeping the church out of the tribulation period because he has a history of protecting his people from tribulation on several occasions. He protected the Hebrew people from the 10 plagues. He protected Noah and his family from the flood, Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah. He will seal and protect 144,000 during the tribulation period. He will protect the Jews in Judea, that fleet of the wilderness during the last half of the tribulation period. So there is no reason why we can't believe, I don't think it's a stretch, to believe that he will protect his church during that terrible time of hell on earth, the tribulation. That's right, and I would just add to that the fact that God has already paid for the sins of the church. At the cross, Jesus took it all.

He took all the punishment that we deserve, and he took it on the cross such that we can be declared absolutely righteous and sanctified, all because of Jesus. Now, why would you say that the church now needs to go through the tribulation period to experience God's wrath? It just doesn't make good sense. Now, in terms of the nations, it's very clear why they're there and why they're being judged. They have rejected God and rejected his Messiah, Jesus Christ. There's also a very good reason why the Jews are there. It's the 70th week of Daniel. Just as the first 69 weeks of Daniel dealt with the Jewish people, so the 70th week of Daniel will deal with the Jewish people, and it's during that time frame that the Jewish people will undergo great hardship in preparation for them converting to the Messiah at the end of the tribulation period.

So God has a very good purpose in view for both the Jewish people and the nations in the tribulation, but not the church. Talking to Dr. Ron Rhodes for the hour. By the way, we're carrying three of his books, Basic Bible Prophecy, Spiritual Warfare in the End Times, and 40 Days Through Revelation. You can find those in my online store at You can call my office.

You can get on our newsletter list, etc. Some would call us Ron escapists. We're longing for the great escape, yet Jesus was talking about the tribulation period when he said, and this would be Luke 21, pray always that you may be accounted worthy to escape all the things that shall come to pass. He didn't say pray always that you may be accounted worthy to endure some or all of the things that shall come to pass. Rather, he said pray always that you're worthy to escape. So I guess I'm an escape artist then, but I'm just following the words of Jesus.

I would also say this. Sometimes it's communicated by critics that the only reason why we believe, why we believe, is because we're afraid to go through the tribulation period. Jan, I want to tell you in no uncertain terms that that is not my motivation. My motivation is to be biblical. And I remind listeners, I take a literal approach to these New Testament prophecies about the rapture because all the other prophecies in the Bible were fulfilled literally. God has already set the precedent in terms of how to understand Bible prophecy. Now it's been said that we're imposing our view on the text.

That is absolutely not true. In fact, we are deriving our view from the text. Jan, how can you read 1 Thessalonians 4.17, which says that living Christians will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air? Am I imposing something on the text when I say we're going to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air?

Absolutely not. The text clearly says it. And by the way, the Latin translation of that verse where it says caught up is rapera. It's where we get the word rapture. So I would encourage people to read their Bibles a little bit more carefully because there's too many people who are falsely teaching that there is no rapture.

We're going to play one more clip and that's Dr. Gary Fraser and he's appearing here with Dave Reagan and Nathan Jones on Christ in Prophecy TV. What would you say Gary then is the strongest argument that supports the Preacher of Rapture view? First of all, I want to tell you that to me it is very simplistic and that is this. Again, I go back to Matthew 24. I'm not going to get in the weeds on these issues with people. I have people who come to me and they want to argue.

I'm not going to argue about this at all. What I'm going to simply say is this, as far as I'm concerned Jesus gave a command, Matthew 24, watch for my coming. Again, Matthew 25, 11, Matthew 25, 13, these are about the parables of the wise and unwise virgins. Some were watching, some were not.

Some were prepared, some were not. Bottom line is this, my responsibility is to get out of bed every day and realize that Christ might come today. And so I'm not watching for the Antichrist. I'm not looking for, as my friend Ed Hindson says, the undertaker.

I'm looking for the upper taker. And I'm not wasting my time trying to guess the time because nobody knows the time. And Jesus could come at any time, so I'm just going to be ready all the time.

And the main reason for that is, and here is one of the things I think is so often overlooked. The Bible teaches that our lives are but a vapor, here one moment and gone the next. The truth is not a single one of us know whether or not we will see the sun go down today, let alone the sun come up tomorrow. Therefore, as a result of that our responsibility is to live every day in light of the fact that it may be our last day. So, to want to argue over a pre-trib, or mid-trib, or post-trib Rapture really in many ways is a very foolish argument because the truth is we don't even know if we are going to be here for that event. It could happen today, but so could our death because again our lives are but a vapor. Hebrews 9.27, it is the point that a man wants to die.

So, we don't know. So, I don't want to argue about this. What I'm going to say is that I'm going to get out of bed every day. I'm going to choose to walk with Christ today. I want to have a passion about this because when I believe that Christ may come today I want to be a man of prayer.

I want to be a man of personal holiness and godliness. And I want to share my faith actively because I will tell you that Jesus may come today and if He doesn't come there are people around me who may die. And so I want to make sure that they have the opportunity and they hear the Gospel.

That's the motivation we ought to have instead of trying to have what I consider to be time consuming arguments. But that said, I'm going to defend the fact that the Word of God teaches a pre-Trib Rapture. We have not been appointed unto wrath in 1 Thessalonians 5-17. There is a clear coming of Christ for His Bride.

He is not going to beat us up and put us through the Tribulation. When I understand from reading the Word of God that the Tribulation is about two things. One, it is about God finishing His business with unbelieving Israel.

Secondly, it is about God dealing with the Gentile nations with regard to their refusal to accept Christ, number one, and how they treat the Jewish people from Joel chapter 2. I don't find the Church in that mix. I don't find the Church anywhere in the mix after Revelation chapter 4 verse 1 when John is told to come up here and I will show you the things which take place here after. Fifteen times the Church appears in chapters 2 and 3 of the Revelation. It does not appear again until the 22nd chapter of the Revelation.

Dr. Ron Rhodes you want to comment on Dr. Gary Fraser's comments? I really like the emphasis on eminence and waiting for the Lord. You could show up at any moment. In fact, Jan, one of my favorite verses is Philippians 3 20 and 21. Our citizenship is in Heaven and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body. To me that's both eminence as well as the transformation of our bodies at the Rapture. We're waiting for the Lord and when the Lord shows up our bodies are going to be transformed. That's a perfect description of the Rapture and it could happen at any moment. The Church is not in the mix of the Tribulation but the Church is in the mix of being translated into glory at a moment that could come at any time.

Another key verse here that would be 1 Corinthians 15 51 through 53. Behold I show you a mystery we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed 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 for this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. Ron, I think what's hanging up a number of people and I heard it in Hank Hanegraaff's comment of a few minutes ago is number one because of their theology, whatever it be, Preterism, even Amillennialism, they don't believe in a Rapture. They believe in a second coming and only a second coming and I think it's so important that you and I emphasize that everyone who has the opportunity emphasize there are two comings of the Lord Jesus one in the clouds which is the Rapture and I just read that passage from 1 Corinthians 15. I show you a mystery we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye we're going to be caught up but they only believe in the second coming when Christ comes at the end of the Tribulation. That's right and I think there's a lot of evidence in Scripture that points out the distinction between the Rapture and the second coming. For one thing every eye will see Jesus at the second coming, Revelation 1.7, but the Rapture is never described as being visible to the whole world.

We will instantly vanish and there will be some people who will be seen to vanish but the text does not say as it says of the second coming that every eye will see Jesus. Furthermore, the Rapture is imminent. It could take place at any moment whereas the second coming is preceded by seven years worth of signs that are described in Revelation 4 through 18. We know that at the Rapture Jesus will come for his church while at the second coming Christ will come back to earth with his church, Revelation 19.14. At the Rapture Christians meet Jesus in the air but at the second coming Jesus's feet touch the Mount of Olives, Zechariah 14 verse 4. At the Rapture Christians are taken and unbelievers are left behind but at the second coming unbelievers are taken away in judgment and mortal believers are remaining on the earth to enter into Christ's millennial kingdom. The fact is there's a lot of differences between the two. I might also point out that according to the passage you just read the Rapture will take place in the blink of an eye whereas the second coming will be more drawn out. How do we know it's drawn out? Well there's plenty of time for the Antichrist to gather his forces to do battle against the coming of Christ.

That's going to take some time whereas one is instant the other is more drawn out. I think there's just an awful lot of scriptural evidence these are two distinct events with one taking place before the tribulation the other after the tribulation. What do you say to those who say the first half of the tribulation will be relatively peaceful Israel will be enjoying the security of the Antichrist so to speak first part of the tribulation but then they extend that and say the first half is not going to be that bad I disagree. I disagree too in fact there are some that try to argue that the first half of the tribulation doesn't really even have the wrath of God that it's only that's right that's what they say but it's very clear that the wrath of God is falling from the beginning for one thing the old testament prophets would often describe the tribulation period as a whole the entire seven year period as the day of God's wrath so God's wrath characterizes the entire period furthermore look at the seal judgments which start relatively early in the tribulation period those are all a manifestation of the wrath of God after all when Jesus unrolls each scroll a new judgment is inflicted upon the world Jan it is true to say that the judgments go from bad to worse but the bad ones are bad enough let me tell you I wouldn't want to be there well put let me just touch on the people of the millennium just set the stage here and have you comment if Jesus Christ were to come back after the tribulation and rapture all the saints and slay all the ungodly the question has to be asked who on earth would be left to populate the earth during the millennium only the pre-trib viewpoint can account for this post-trib problem the church is raptured before the tribulation a vast number of souls are saved during the seven year time frame and those who make it through the tribulation go into the millennium while the unsaved are cast into hell so this is the problem of the millennium which is begging the question that we've been asking here for almost an hour how can there not be a pre-trib rapture that is a tremendous problem for all the other viewpoints yeah I've actually asked that question of post-tribs on live radio Jan you know what dead air is right dead air is when you're doing a radio show and nobody's talking every time I've asked that question to a post-trib there's been dead air okay because you cannot answer it the fact is the sheep and the goats will be gathered before Christ at the second coming and if there is a rapture at the second coming the sheep have already been glorified how can they possibly now face Christ for another gathering they've already been gathered up to meet the Lord in the air and that's not to even deal with the brothers who are the brothers they can't answer that either but from a pre-trib perspective it makes great sense the brothers are the 144,000 jewish witnesses the only people who will treat them kindly will be Christians who know God's plan the fact is is the sheep are judged and allowed to enter into the millennial kingdom while unbelievers show their apostate state by treating the brothers badly they enter into eternal punishment to me again it fits together like pieces and puzzles I agree Ron the last year and a half we've seen some incredible turmoil we've seen America in rapid decline we've seen globalism rising and I often talk about the world economic forum on this platform here we've seen Christians and conservatives marginalized and dare I say persecuted we've seen government overreach included in that would be this whole mandatory vaccine effort which is getting more heavy-handed literally by the day we've just seen a number of things in the last year and a half or so we've seen geopolitical instability by what's happened over the summer in the Middle East more specifically Afghanistan and how that's going to spread not only throughout the Middle East the fallout from that tragic event that happened in August but I think it's going to increase world terrorism literally around the world having said that and I've only listed I think five bullet points here what would you say to not only my listeners but to pastors as they face a time of discouragement and pastors have certainly gone through it with their churches shut down that would much of 2020 they couldn't even congregate if they wanted to and some didn't want to but others certainly did how do you encourage number one listeners number two pastors I would encourage everyone to revive your commitment to understanding Bible prophecy because Bible prophecy itself is an encouragement the whole reason the book of Revelation was written was to give encouragement to those early Christians who were not just being persecuted but even martyred there's one thing that prophecy tells us we win now you got to keep in mind God does not just tell us the future to show off he doesn't give us prophecy just to give us intellectual facts about eschatology the fact is prophecy is eminently practical because it is life-changing if you truly believe in Bible prophecy you not only understand that God is going to win but that God has a purpose for the unfolding of human history as it is unfolding in our day for example we come to understand that much of the unrest in our world is causing many people to cry out for a world leader a globalist leader who will chart a clear path for the future we start to understand that all of this is laying the groundwork for the future rise of the antichrist the more we understand prophecy the more we accurately understand not just what's happening in our world but why it's happening and if you understand those things it's going to change the way you live it's going to cause you to live righteously and in purity as you wait for the bridegroom to come for the bride which is his church i hope you folks will take those words very very seriously if you'd like to better understand the topic we've covered now for a full hour we've got a couple of books in my online store one is by dr dave reagan the rapture fact or fiction that's just a little book for i think ten dollars and then we've got a book by ed heintzen and mark hitchcock can we still believe in the rapture just go to olive tree and go to our store plus the books by ron roads that i've already referenced wonderful books 40 days to revelation if you're struggling to understand that book please check that one out if you'd like more information on ron r-h-o-d-e-s let me go out of the program you've heard me say this many many times i'm going to keep doing it until you have it memorized and ron roads thank you for giving up an hour today appreciate so much what you do here's the saying when the time was right the sea parted the walls fell down the lions went hungry the sun stood still the waves were calm the stone was rolled away the clouds were parted and the lord ascended and when the time is right the king of kings will return god is never early he's never late he's always right on time and his plan for you is good i want to thank you for listening and we will talk to you again next week contact us through our website olive tree views dot o-r-g that's olive tree views dot org call us central time at seven six three five five nine four four four four that's seven six three five five nine forty four forty four we get our mail when you write to olive tree ministries and jan markell box 1452 maple grove minnesota five five three one one that's box one four five two maple grove minnesota five five three one one all gifts are tax deductible while many pulpits may overlook these final day issues we will always have them front and center because they show us how everything is falling into place
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-22 12:21:06 / 2023-08-22 12:42:48 / 22

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