You Have Heard It Said

1.  You have heard it said that the Church will be Raptured before the Tribulation begins, but the Bible says:

Immediately after the [tribulation] distress of those days 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other (Matthew 24:29-31).

Jesus says after the Great Tribulation.

2.  You have heard it said that the Church will be Raptured from the earth before the Antichrist is revealed, but the Bible says:

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the Day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3).

Paul says after the Antichrist is revealed the Lord will come down from heaven and gather the Church to himself.

3.  You have heard it said that the First Resurrection will take place before the Great Tribulation, but the Bible says:

I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection (Revelation 20:4-6).

John states that the First Resurrection includes the saints who had not worshiped the beast or his image and not taken his mark. Since we know the  Antichrist and his mark will occur during the Great Tribulation, the First Resurrection must be after the Tribulation.

4.  You have heard it said, that Jesus could come at any moment to Rapture the Church, and that nothing has to happen before His return, but the Bible says:

     [Jesus said,] “… when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door” (Matthew 24:33)

     [Jesus said,] “… when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door” (Matthew 24:33)

     Jesus told us several things that we would see, as signs, before His return and he also said, “Therefore, keep watch” (Matthew 24:42).

     Paul also told us that we will see the Day of the Lord approaching and it will not surprise us because we will recognize the signs of its approaching.

But you brothers are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief (1 Thessalonians 5:5).

God also said in Hebrews that we will see the day approaching, which would not be possible if there was nothing to look for.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:25).

Therefore, it is easy to see the Scripture states that there will be signs and events that will take place before the Lord’s return. It is also written that the return of Christ on the Day of the Lord will not surprise the believers.

5.  You have heard it said, that Jesus will come first to secretly  Rapture (gather) His Church, but the Bible says:

This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:11).

For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:27).

The return of Christ is always described, in Scripture, as highly visible and there is not a single passage or verse in the Word of God which states in any way that the return of Christ is either silent or secret.

6.  You have heard it said, that Jesus will rapture his Church and then take us back to heaven, but the Bible says:

On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, ... the Lord will come, and all the holy ones with Him (Zechariah 14:4, 5).

On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine-- the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. In that day they will say, "Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us (Isaiah 25:6-9).

The Lord has clearly revealed to us through His prophets that when He returns on the Day of the Lord, He will come to earth and prepare the wedding feast for the Bride of Christ.

7.   You have heard it said, that the Church is not present in Revelation after chapter three, but the Bible says:

The dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:17).

This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints (Revelation 13:10).

Jesus clearly identifies His followers (the saints, those who hold to the testimony of Jesus, His servants and brothers) as going through the period of persecution known as the Great Tribulation. To say that the Church is not present just because the word church is not used is misleading and incorrect

8.  You have heard it said, that the gospel of Matthew is not for the Church because it is a Jewish gospel, but the Bible says:

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:18, 19).

But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector (Matthew 18:16, 17).

Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's Kingdom” (Matthew 26:27-29).

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

To say that any part of the gospel of Matthew is not for the Church is to ignore that Matthew has more to say about the Church than any of the other gospels. In fact, since Matthew is the only gospel to mention the Church by name, it would be more correct to call the gospel of Matthew the Church Gospel. However, since Matthew also contains a strong Jewish perspective, it would be best to call Matthew the Believers Gospel, because that is certainly who it is written for.

Be careful that no one deceives you.

Today we are hearing many things and a great deal of new theology is being written and preached. This new theology teaches that Jesus is going to return for His Church before the Antichrist appears and before the Great Tribulation begins. This new theology also teaches that Jesus will return from heaven, gather up His Church and then return to heaven for the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. Further, this new theology teaches that, while the Church is in heaven, the Antichrist will be reigning supreme on earth persecuting the Jewish people and the left behind followers of Christ. This new theology also says that, following this time of persecution; Jesus will return a third time with His Church. This coming will be to punish the unbelieving world, defeat the Antichrist and set up the Kingdom of God on earth. This new theology which includes a Pre-Tribulation Rapture has emerged within the last 180 years.

The Bible makes absolutely no statement which supports this Pre-Tribulation Rapture theory. Interpreting Scripture allegorically has allowed the development of this theory. This means the interpreter says one thing in Scripture means something else. Using this method of biblical interpretation makes it impossible to know for certain what God means. This allegorical method of interpretation contradicts Scripture on two fronts.

First and foremost, it does not follow the biblical rules for correctly handling the Word of Truth (see chapter one of this book).

Second, it completely changes the way the Bible has been understood through the centuries. All biblical prophecy, which has been fulfilled, has always been fulfilled at face value, in its normal literal sense. Whenever an individual in Scripture is referencing biblical prophecy they always interpret Scripture at face value, in its normal literal sense.  For example when Daniel was reading from the prophet Jeremiah, he interpreted the prophecy to mean just what it said, not something else.

in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years (Daniel 9:2).

Therefore, we must also interpret biblical prophecy this way.

Richard H Perry