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Saved despite taking THE MARK OF THE BEAST? No way, John MacArthur

mark of the beast

Getting the mark of the beast is the same as losing your soul

It’s not certain what the mark of the beast really is (we can only speculate) but it’s absolutely certain that it’s not possible to enter the kingdom of God if you choose to get this mark in the future when it’s going to be offered. I don’t believe that this mark will be forced on people who have no choice in the matter – like newborn babies – because it wouldn’t be a righteous judgment to send people to the lake of fire due to something that is outside of their control. I also don’t believe it’s a mark that we will get by mistake, without realizing what it really is. Since our souls are involved, I believe it’s going to be a very clear choice, so that we will know what is at stake.

John MacArthur usually gets his theology views twisted (see for instance this article) and that includes the issue of the mark of the beast. He claims that it’s possible to take the mark of the beast as long as you don’t worship it, but the Bible doesn’t give such assurances. He starts with making the mistake to use a pretribulation rapture as a foundation, which the Bible doesn’t teach. Saints will be on earth at the same time as Antichrist, and that means that they will have to go through at least part of the tribulation until they will see Christ. On the other hand, they will escape the wrath of God, but that’s not the same as the tribulation.

Saints are being warned from taking the mark of the beast throughout the book of Revelations, and it wouldn’t be logical to warn christians for something that they will never have to face or endure.

Below we can read that those who, at this point, do not have their names in the book of life (there is only one book of life), will be the same as those who will worship the beast, and they will naturally also have the mark of the beast if they also choose to worship him. This is interesting to note, because according to Rev. 20:15, those who are not in the book of life will be those who end up in the lake of fire. So the option we have are 1) being in the book of life, or 2) worship the beast.

If anyone refuses to worship the beast, he will be killed by the beast, but at least the beast doesn’t have power over our souls. It also says that ”he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads”, but this must means ”all kinds of people from all across the world”, because we know that not every single person will choose to take this mark – namely those who we previously read about, who will be killed due to refusing the mark.

Rev. 13:And it was given unto him to make war with the SAINTS, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.If any man have an ear, let him hear.10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the SAINTS.15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Below the angel says that if any man worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark, he will have to go through the wrath of God and and shall be tormented with fire and will have no rest day or night. So based on the below passage, we can read twice that this horrible promise seems to be for:

  • whosoever worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark in his forehead, or in his hand
  • whosoever worships the beast and his image (again)
  • whosoever receives the mark of his name

Rev. .14:And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.12 Here is the patience of the SAINTS: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Below we can read that there will be a certain amount of people who will get victory over the beast, over his image and over his MARK. We know that they won’t be able to claim victory if they worship the beast and/or take the mark:

Rev. 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

There will be a grievous sore on those who have the mark of the beast, according to the below passage, and on those who worship his image. We can read about the blessings involved for those who are being prepared and who keep their clothes, which means that there is such an alternative – for those who have not taken the mark or worshiped the beast:

Rev. 16:1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.—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.

Those who will be cast alive into the lake of fire will be 1) them that had received the mark of the beast, and 2) them that worshiped his image – which seem to be one and the same people:.

Rev. 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Those who will live and reign with Christ for a thousand years are those who:

  • were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God
  • and who had not worshiped the beast
  • and who had not worshiped the beast’s image
  • and who had not received the beast’s mark on their foreheads/hands

All others will not live again until 1000 years have passed, and will be thrown in the lake of fire (the second death). The choices are 1) not being involved with the beast in any way – either worshiping him or taking his mark – which means you have your name in the book of life, or 2) being involved with the beast – worshiping him and taking his mark – which means your name is not in the book of life:

Rev. 20:And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.—14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

How do we endure the tribulation?

How is it possible to endure the great tribulation? We must be very close to God (praying, reading his word, singing worship songs, fasting, etc) and live according to the Spirit. If we are lukewarm and live too much in the world, the temptations around us will be much too difficult to endure. We must live in the promise that we will be getting power to overcome, and the holy Spirit is our guide.

Deut. 4:30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;31 (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

Matt. 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Matt. 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.—29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

The question to John MacArthur was once the person takes the mark, is there any possibility of Him coming to Christ?”

John answered: —-”Now, the question is, if you’re living in the Tribulation period, and you take this mark, in other words, you identify with the beast’s empire, will you still be able to be redeemed? And I think the answer to that is yes. Yes!  Otherwise there would be no salvation of anybody in the end of the Tribulation; and youve got to have the salvation of folks in the end of the Tribulation.”

Since MacArthur still has the recordings and transcripts on his website (it’s the year 2013) as per this site, one must assume that this is still his view until he claims something else.

A good article from Charisma News here about John MacArthur and his war on charismatic christians.

The Bible shows that christians are not exempted from the great TRIBULATION

tribulation”Rapture” is a word which is not in the Bible, but the word tribulation can be found several times and is translated from the Greek word thlipsis (2347 Strongs), and can mean tribulation, persecution, affliction, trouble and/or distress. Below you can find each case where this word is used in the New Testament, and note that there is no mention anywhere that born again christians will be exempted from any tribulations. On the contrary, christians have always been the target of various persecutions throughout history and there is no reason to why we should be exempted from any future tribulations – especially if you think about that christians are constantly warned in the Bible about future persecutions.

The pretribulation rapture is actually a very modern idea and was not taught before 1830 AD. We can blame Edward Irving and John Nelson Darby for the advent of this false teaching, and later on also Scofield. See more here. Today most churches have sadly been deceived to believe in the pretrib rapture, and preachers continue to keep listeners in a steady grip in this area. Yet, the Bible is very clear that Jesus will not return until the Antichrist has places himself on the throne, and the elect will be gathered AFTER that the sun and moon have been darkened. We are exempted from the wrath of God and the tribulations related to it, but not from other tribulations which occur before then. God is not the God of confusion. If all christians will be exempted from the tribulation, this could easily have been stated somewhere in the Bible, but it’s not.

Matthew 24:29 IMMEDIATELY AFTER the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, —: 30And THEN shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: — 31And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

1 Cor. 15:52 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.

2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the  coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away FIRST, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 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:17THEN 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.

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Here are the Biblical cases with the word thlipsis

It’s true that we don’t know the day of the hour of the return of Jesus, but we can still see some signs when it’s getting close and which events that must precede this event. For those who are not prepared, the day will come as a thief in the night. Also born again christians are warned that they must endure tribulations, meaning it’s a risk some won’t. The Bible says the second coming will be as in the days of Noah, and the people who lived during that time had all chances to get saved along with Noah and his family if they only adhered to his preaching and believed him, which they didn’t. For them the end came very sudden and unexpected.

tribulation2

Matt. 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when TRIBULATION or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Matt. 24:And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.All these are the beginning of sorrows.Then shall they deliver you up to be AFFLICTED, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:—20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:21 For then shall be great TRIBULATION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.29 IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:30 And THEN shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

Mark 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when AFFLICTION or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:—19 For in those days shall be AFFLICTION, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.24 But in those days, AFTER THE TRIBULATION, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.26 And THEN shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

John 16:21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the ANGUISH, for joy that a man is born into the world.—31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have TRIBULATION: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Acts 7:10 And delivered him out of all his AFFLICTIONS, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.11 Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great AFFLICTION: and our fathers found no sustenance.

Acts 11:19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the PERSECUTION that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much TRIBULATION enter into the kingdom of God.

Acts 20:22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and AFFLICTIONS abide me.

Rom. 2:But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;Who will render to every man according to his deeds:To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,TRIBULATION and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile

Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in TRIBULATIONS also: knowing that TRIBULATION worketh patience

Rom. 8:8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.—35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall TRIBULATION, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in TRIBULATION; continuing instant in prayer;

2 Corinthians 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our TRIBULATION, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any TROUBLE, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.—And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

1 Cor. 7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have TROUBLE in the flesh: but I spare you.

2 Cor. 2:For out of much AFFLICTION and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.

2 Cor. 4:17 For our light AFFLICTION, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory

2 Cor. 6:But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in AFFLICTIONS, in necessities, in distresses,In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;

2 Cor. 7:Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our TRIBULATION.

2 Cor. 8:1  Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;How that in a great trial of AFFLICTION the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality—13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye BURDENED:

Ephesians 3:13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my TRIBULATIONS for you, which is your glory.

Phil 1:17 (word not in the KJV)

Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my AFFLICTION.

Col. 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the AFFLICTIONS of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

1 Thess. 1:And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much AFFLICTION, with joy of the Holy Ghost.

1 Thess. 3:That no man should be moved by these AFFLICTIONS: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.—Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our AFFLICTION and distress by your faith:

2 Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and TRIBULATIONS that ye endure:—6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense TRIBULATION to them that trouble you;

Hebr. 10:32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and AFFLICTIONS; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their AFFLICTION, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Revelation 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in TRIBULATION, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 2:9 I know thy works, and TRIBULATION, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have TRIBULATION ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. —22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great TRIBULATION, except they repent of their deeds.

Rev. 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of GREAT TRIBULATION, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 

History of the very recent origin of the Pretribulation rapture and Dispensationalism

First, a few Bible verses to show that pretribulation doesn’t work

Matthew 24:29IMMEDIATELY AFTER the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they (the angels) shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

1 Cor. 15:52 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.

2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the (2nd) coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (The AntiChrist)4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

1 Thessalonians 4:16For 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:17Then we which are ALIVE and REMAIN (from Tribulation) 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.

Revelation 7:14And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these whichare arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Here are names of  writers to be very cautious about since they have been guilty of a lot of plagiarizing,  historical document revisionism , misquoting of others (and other dishonesty) and most importantly due to their refusal to admit these errors in their writings; Tim LaHaye (the same person who wrote the famous Left Behind series which gave him a substantial income) Thomas Ice and Todd Strandberg. They all believe in a pretribulation rapture. I say this so you won’t be deceived by them. 

A Counter-Reformation, the Jesuit Commission and possible events leading up to the false teaching

In 1545, the Catholic Church convened one of its most famous councils in history, which took place north of Rome in a city called Trent. One of the main purposes of this Council was for Catholics to plan a counterattack against Martin Luther and the Protestants. This warfare only confirmed in the minds of Protestants the conviction that Papal Rome was indeed the Beast which would ”make war with the saints” (Revelation 13:7). Therefore a new tactic was needed, something less obvious. This is where the Jesuits come in. On August 15, 1534, Ignatius Loyola founded a secretive Catholic order called the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. Jesuit priests have been known throughout history as the most wicked political arm of the Roman Catholic Church. At the Council of Trent, the Catholic Church gave the Jesuits the specific assignment of destroying Protestantism and bringing people back to the Mother Church. This was to be done not only through the Inquisition and through torture, but also through theology.

At the Council of Trent, the Jesuits were commissioned by the Pope to develop a new interpretation of Scripture that would counteract the Protestant application of the Bible’s Antichrist prophecies to the Roman Catholic Church. Francisco Ribera (1537-1591), a brilliant Jesuit priest and doctor of theology from Spain, basically said, ”Here am I, send me”. In 1590, Ribera published a commentary on the Revelation as a counter-interpretation to the prevailing view among Protestants which identified the Papacy with the Antichrist. Ribera applied all of Revelation but the earliest chapters to the end time rather than to the history of the Church. Antichrist would be a single evil person who would be received by the Jews and would rebuild Jerusalem. Following close behind Francisco Ribera was another brilliant Jesuit scholar, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) of Rome. In his lectures, he agreed with Ribera. The futurists’ school won general acceptance among Catholics. Through the work of these two tricky Jesuit scholars, we might say that a brand new baby was born into the world. In fact, Francisco Ribera has been called the Father of Futurism.

For almost 300 years after the Council of Trent, Jesuit Futurism remained largely inside the realm of Catholicism, but the plan of the Jesuits was that these theological tenets be adopted by Protestants. This adoption process actually began in the early 1800s in England, and from there it spread to America. Dr. Samuel Roffey Maitland (1792-1866), a lawyer and Bible scholar, became a librarian to the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is very likely that one day he discovered Ribera’s commentary in the library. In any event, in 1826 he published a widely-read book attacking the Reformation and supporting Ribera’s idea of a future one-man Antichrist.

After Dr. Maitland came James H. Todd, a professor of Hebrew at the University of Dublin. Todd accepted the futuristic ideas of Maitland, publishing his own supportive pamphlets and books. Then came John Henry Newman (1801-1890), a member of the Church of England and a leader of the famous Oxford Movement (1833-1845). Through the influence of Maitland, Todd, Newman, and others, a definite ”Romeward movement was already arising, destined to sweep away the old Protestant landmarks, as with a flood.

Why many are deceived to believe in the pretribulation rapture today

According to Bob Gundry and Dave MacPherson, Edward Irving  (1792-1834) was most likely the first to publicly make the suggestion of a pretribulational rapture of the Church. When Irving turned to the prophecies, he eventually accepted the one-man Antichrist idea of Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine, and Ribera, yet he went a step furter! As a Presbyterian minister of the Church of Scotland, he attended the prophetic conferences (1826-1830) held by Henry Drummond at Albury Park, England. When Irving first suggested the secret coming of Christ, the controversial idea split those in attendance into factions. Somewhere around 1830, Edward Irving began to teach the unique idea of a two-phase return of Christ, the first phase being a secret rapture prior to the rise of the Antichrist.

In the midst of this growing anti-Protestant climate in England, there arose a man by the name of John Nelson Darby (1800-1882). A brilliant lawyer, pastor, and theologian, he wrote more than 53 books on Bible subjects. He became one of the leaders of a group in Plymouth, England, which became known as the Plymouth Brethren. Darby’s contribution to the development of evangelical theology has been so great that he has been called The Father of Modern Dispensationalism. Yet John Nelson Darby, also became a strong promoter of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture followed by a one-man Antichrist. In his book The Irrationalism of Infidelity (1853), pp. 283-5, he describes in great detail his visit with Margaret MacDonald in her home in Scotland in mid-1830 and talked about her endtime outlook and the Scriptural texts she used for support. Irving and Darby, through the influences of MacDonald, are the main reason to why people have been deceived into believing in pretribulation rapture today since this false idea started with them.  

One of the most important figures in this whole drama is Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843-1921), a Kansas lawyer who was greatly influenced by the writings of Darby. In 1909, Scofield published the first edition of his famous Scofield Reference Bible. In the early 1900s, this Bible became so popular in American Protestant Bible schools that it was necessary to print literally millions of copies. Yet, in the much-respected footnotes of this very Bible, Scofield injected large doses of the fluid of Futurism also found in the writings of Darby, Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine, and Ribera. Through the Scofield Bible, the Jesuit child reached young adulthood. The doctrine of an Antichrist still to come was becoming firmly established inside 20th-century American Protestantism.

The Moody Bible Institute and the Dallas Theological Seminary have strongly supported the teachings of John Nelson Darby, and this has continued to fuel Futurism’s growth. Then in the 1970s, Pastor Hal Lindsey, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, released his blockbuster book The Late Great Planet Earth. This 177-page, easy-to-read volume brought Futurism to the masses of American Christianity, and beyond. The New York Times labeled it ”The number one best-seller of the decade”. Over 30 million copies have been sold, and it has been translated into over 30 languages. Through The Late Great Planet Earth, Jesuit Futurism took a strong hold over the Protestant Christian world.The book and the series Left Behind is now teaching much of the same Jesuit Futurism as Francisco Ribera, which is hiding the real truth about the Antichrist.

FRANCISCO RIBERA (1537-1591), FUTURISM

JESUIT Priest and Doctor of Theology

The Spanish Ribera was a Jesuit, a doctor of theology, who started writing (1585) a 500 page commentary on the book of Revelation six years before his death (1591). In his commentary, Ribera believed that the rapture would occur 45 days before the end of the 3-1/2 year tribulation period (also shades of the future PreWrath doctrine). This was the first time the second coming was split into two separate comings, one for the Church and then one at the end of the age with the raptured Church returning with Christ in wrath.

CARDINAL ROBERT BELLARMINE (1542-1621), FUTURISM
JESUIT Scholar, the most prominent of his time

Also during this period, acclaimed Jesuit apologist Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, wrote ”Polemic Lectures Concerning the Disputed Points of the Christian Belief Against the Heretics of This Time.” His purpose in doing so was to refute the Historic theory of figuring Daniel’s 1260, 1290 and 2300 days as years, relegating these to actual days, e.g., 1260 days, etc. By doing so, the reign of Antichrist was pushed into a future time and negated Catholicism and its pope as the man of sin and his system during his time.

MANUEL DE LACUNZA (1731-1801), FUTURISM, JESUIT Priest

In a book titled, ”Hidden Beast 2,” E. H. Scolfield writes ”There was a Spanish family living in Chili named de Lacunzas. In the year of our Lord, 1731, they had a baby boy. Fifteen years later, the lad was sent to Spain to become a Jesuit priest. Twenty-two years later after that, in 1767, the Jesuits were expelled from Spain because of their brutality. The now Father Manuel de Lacunza y Diaz had to move. He went to Imola, Italy, where he remained for the rest of his life. In Imola, he claimed to be a converted Jew. Under the alias of ‘Rabbi Ben Ezra‘ he wrote a book. The title: ‘The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty.’ In that book he theorized that the church would be ‘raptured’ (taken up to be with the Lord) some 45 days before the real return of Jesus to the Earth. During that 45 days (while the church was in heaven with the Lord) God would judge the wicked still on earth.”

This last sentence shows shades of PreWrath doctrine of today, though that was put together during the 1990s. Lacunza wrote his manuscript in Spanish and it was published in 1812 under a pseudo-name, Juan Josafa [Rabbi] Ben-Ezra. By doing so, his book would more easily be accepted by Protestantism. This proved true as it was placed on Rome’s Index of prohibited books, which only made it sought out by the Protestants.

Lacunza emphasized a return to interpreting prophecy literally from the Futurist viewpoint. He wrote of a future Antichrist and a 1260-day (literal days) tribulation, events just preceding the coming of the Lord. He wrote in opposition to the ‘year-day’ theory of the Historicists (1260 days = 1260 years). He did not promote a pretribulational rapture of the saints at the future time of the Antichrist. His rapture of the saints occurred 45 days before the end of Daniel’s 70th week, probably an influence from Ribera. Lacunza’s book would have a dramatic influence on Edward Irving and his formation of the Pretribulation doctrine. It most likely influenced Irving to add another coming of Christ to the one described in Scripture.

MORGAN EDWARDS (1722-1795), FUTURISM
BAPTIST Minister

Edwards believed many events described in Revelations took place shortly after they were written down, so NATURALLY this made him describe Biblical events in a very ”pretribulationistic” way. He  wrote the earliest paper on the Pretribulation doctrine, using no references to anyone in the past. It was not written as a document to be seriously considered as the following will show:

”The earliest published reference to a pre-tribulation rapture occurred in 1788. Around 1740, a young Baptist named Morgan Edwards wrote an essay for eschatology class on his views of Bible prophecy. This essay was later published in Philadelphia (178 under the following title: Two Academical Exercises on Subjects Bearing the following Titles; Millennium, Last-Novelties. In the article, Edwards made statements which expounded his views concerning a pre-tribulation gathering of the Church. As far as can be determined, Edwards views concerning a pre-trib rapture gained no notoriety nor was this doctrine given any credence in the Church” (The Fallacy of Rapture Theology as revealed by the Word of God by David Redmond).

Tim Warner gives ample reason why Morgan’s writings on a Pretrib rapture were NOT taken seriously by anybody (read more here): 

Do read more well searched documentation from Dave MacPherson and Joe Ortiz .

Christians are warned to not take the mark of the beast or they will lose their salvation

Many Christians will fall away (Matt. 24:9-10, 2 Thess. 2:3) during the latter days, and many will overcome by dying martyrs at that time (Rev. 7:9-17) and that will occur before the rapture (Rev. 20:4-6).

Rev. 7:After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;—13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

(About the beast) Rev. 13:And it was given unto him to make war with the SAINTS, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.—13:If any man have an ear, let him hear.10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the PATIENCE and the faith of the SAINTS.

Rev. 14:And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, IF any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:12 Here is the PATIENCE of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Rev. 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Why would we be given the following warning if true born against christians will never take the  mark of the Beast – based on the idea that they can never fall away and lose their salvation? Probably because they DO risk to fall away and lose their salvation:

Rev. 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Common arguments for the pretribulaton rapture

1) Jesus promised the church the following: Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. (Rev 3:10) Jesus said that he would  keep Christians from this hour of trial coming on the whole earth.

ANSWER: The Greek word found in Rev.3:10 and translated keep you from is also found at John 17:11 and 17:15 and can mean keep THROUGH.  We are not promised that we will not be part of the tribulation but we will be carried through.

2) Jesus will come at an hour where we do not expect him, Mat. 24:44. If He was coming at some time other than pre-trib, we would know when He was coming.

ANSWER: We are told that Jesus return will be much like in the days of Noah, and people were much unprepared for the flood precisely because they were wicked sinners who did not listen to Noah’s warnings. If we adhere to the warnings (”watch therefore”) then we will be more prepared, just like Noah was. When Jesus returns, then there will indeed be sheep and goats that will suddenly be separated. We must also compare with other Scriptures:

Mark 13:23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.26 And THEN shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

According to this Scripture, the gathering of the elect from earth to heaven (the rapture) cannot happen until first there is a radical change in the way we currently view the sun, moon and stars. That change will occur after the tribulation. We are actually assured the day will NOT come unexpectedly IF we make sure we are prepared for it:

Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

3) In Luke 21:36 Jesus taught Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

ANSWER: What the saints will escape is what comes after the rapture, which is the wrath of God IF they take heed and obey Jesus prior to it.  The tribulation is not the wrath of God. The wrath of God begins at the overlapping point of Rev. 11:18 and Rev. 6:17, which is after the tribulation.

Rev. 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

Rev. 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

4) The church will depart before the antichrist is revealed as per 2 Thess. 2:7,8

ANSWER: The following can be read prior to this verse:

2 Thess. 2:Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition

It doesn’t say that the church will depart prior to the rapture. At least two events must precede the gathering of the saints to heaven (the rapture)  (1) apostasy and (2) the revealing of the antichrist.

The Bible predicts a ”great Apostasy” before the rapture occurs in 2 Thess 2. If the rapture happens at the beginning of the tribulation, then we should not to find any mention of a trumpet after the tribulation begins. But we do.

Mt 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken—31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mt 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 

1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

The city of the new Jerusalem will come down to earth and the saints will already be here on earth.