Shadows That Frighten Us
In Defense of the Faith
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Jack Kinsella -
Omega Letter Editor
The timing of the Rapture is easily one of the most
divisive issues within the Body of the Christ, something
I find extremely interesting. It would seem to me that
the issue of when He is coming is important only in
understanding the signs of the times, but not terribly
important in terms of salvation or issues of eternity,
or even in terms of living a Spirit-filled life.
It is the belief in Who is coming, and the certainty of
His return that defines one as a Christian. The timing
of that event itself, is largely one of academics.
That being said, we ARE students of Bible prophecy;
watchmen on the wall, as I view it, and the timing of
the Rapture is extremely important to understanding the
signs of the times.
We see evidence all around us, and we use that evidence
to warn of His soon return. To us, understanding the
Rapture is understanding how to rightly divide the Word
of Truth. The key to this is understanding
Dispensationalism and the division between the Age of
the Law, the Age of Grace (Church Age) and the
Tribulation (Daniel's 70th Week).
Dispensationalism teaches that the Dispensation of Grace
(Church Age) concludes with the secret Rapture of the
Church, followed by the the final 7 years of the Age of
the Law. During the Tribulation, the Temple is rebuilt,
Temple sacrifice reinstituted, and the price of
salvation is martyrdom at the hands of the antichrist.
There are three basic interpretations of the Rapture;
pre-Tribulatonal, mid-tribulational and post-tribulational.
Pre-Trib holds to the view the Lord returns BEFORE the
Tribulation. Mid-Trib teaches that the Rapture of the
Church will occur in the middle of the 7 year
tribulation period. It will occur sometime around the
abomination of desolation when the anti-Christ goes into
the rebuilt Jewish temple and there claim to be God.
The Post-Trib view teaches that as the Lord Jesus is
returning back to earth, God's people will be 'caught
up' or raptured at that point in time. They will return
to earth with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Each of these views can be supported, to some degree, by
Scripture, but only one is correct. I believe the
Scriptural evidence overwhelmingly favors a Pre-Trib
Rapture of the Church.
One of the problems with a mid-Trib view is glaring; it
denies the doctrine of imminency. Although the
Scriptures teach a SECRET coming, (no man knoweth the
day or hour) once the Tribulation begins, one just has
to sit down with a calendar and count down 1,250 days
from the day the antichrist shuts down Temple worship.
It would therefore be no surprise and it will come at a
known time, in direct conflict with the teachings of
Jesus. (Matthew 24:36)
Another problem with the mid-Trib Rapture view is that
its followers aren't looking for Christ, they are
watching for the anti-Christ, from whom they derive
By contrast, I am awaiting Jesus Christ. I never expect
to know who the antichrist will be, and frankly, I don't
really care. My purpose, to the degree I even discuss
the antichrist in your Omega Letter, is to demonstrate
how the world is preparing for his coming -- and to
remind people that Jesus is coming FIRST!
The mid-Tribulation view is not widely followed for
these reasons, among others.
The post-Tribulation view shares the same glaring
problem as the mid-Tribbers; the denial of imminency. It
will be even easier to pinpoint the return of Christ,
given the Bible gives the exact number of days between
the 'abomination of desolation' (Matthew 24:15; 2nd
Thessalonians 2:4) and the return of the Messiah.
"And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be
taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set
up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety
days." (Daniel 12:11)
Compare that to Jesus' Words; "But of that day and hour
knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my
Father only. " (Matthew 24:36)
If the post-Trib view is correct, that secret is hidden
only until the revelation of antichrist. So it shares
the same second flaw with the mid-Trib view; both of
these interpretations make the coming of antichrist the
seminal event in prophecy, with the secret coming of
Christ for His Church a secondary Plan.
The post-Tribulation view also doesn't pass the logic
test. The post-Trib interpretation is that Jesus
Raptures the Church, who then return with Him at the
Battle of Armageddon. "And the armies which were in
heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine
linen, white and clean." (Revelation 19:14) The 'fine
linen, white and clean' are the garments of those Washed
in the Blood of the Lamb.
So, Jesus leaves heaven with 'ten thousands' of empty
white horses. As He descends, God's people are Raptured,
presumably translated from this earth to the back of a
white horse on its way back!
Scripture tells us that, as the return of the Lord for
His Church draws near, it will be as in the days of Lot
and Noah. Noah warned of impending judgement for 120
years without a single convert. Life went on as normal,
until the floods came, and 'took them all away'.
Similarly, Lot lived in a big city, surrounded by
immorality so repugnant to God that He decided to judge
the wicked city with Divine judgement. Lot was secretly
removed from the unsuspecting city before judgment was
executed. But to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah,
life went on as usual until the moment of judgment fell.
Consider the consequences of the Tribulation Period.
Widespread death and destruction, the annihilation of
3/4's of the human race, miraculous judgments like the
sea turned to blood and a ruined ecology, disease,
famine and catastrophe . . . hardly fits with the days
of Lot OR Noah.
"And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also
in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank,
they married wives, they were given in marriage, until
the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood
came, and destroyed them all." (Luke 17:28-30)
The next problem with this view is what happens next.
According to Scripture, the earth is repopulated during
the Millennial Kingdom period.
If all God's people are raptured as the Lord Jesus
returns that will leave only the wicked on earth when He
returns. The wicked will be destroyed as they will NEVER
inherit the kingdom of God.
So if the wicked are destroyed and God's people are all
raptured then who will be left to enter into the 1000
When people go into the 1000 year kingdom they will not
have their eternal bodies but will be just like we are
They will marry and have children. After the rapture all
God's people will have their eternal bodies leaving no
mortals left on earth to go into the 1000 year kingdom.
The post-Trib view is widely received, despite its
problems. It's adherents generally also believe that
Israel plays no important role in the last days, since
the promises of God to Israel were passed on to the
Church after the Jews rejected their Messiah.
That is also one of the reasons that post-Tribulationists
are so hostile to Dispensationalists and pre-Tribulationists;
our 'wrong-headed' support for Israel based on our
belief that God has a Plan for Israel that doesn't
include the Church. It explains the blatantly
anti-Semitic nature of many mainstream churches. It is
at the root of the 'Christian anti-semitism' that was
responsible for centuries of persecution of the Jews by
It explains the 'Christ-killer' label that is used to
incite anti-Semitic actions and to justify anti-Semitism
as a worldview. To some Christians, the crowd's demands,
"Then answered all the people, and said, His Blood be on
us, and on our children," (Matthew 27:25) carries more
weight than Jesus Himself, when He said, " Father,
forgive them; for they know not what they do," (Luke
That is not intended to characterize all people who hold
to a post-Tribulation worldview, but explain the
teachings of post-Tribulationalism and some of the
reasons for their hostility to the pre-Tribulationist
The Dispensationalist, pre-Tribulationist view of the
Rapture is the only one consistent with the teachings of
the Scriptures. It allows for a secret, signless,
Rapture of the Church, as taught by Our Lord.
It teaches that the Restrainer of evil is removed (the
indwelt, Spirit-filled Church) which allows for the
unrestrained evil of the antichrist. While the Holy
Spirit will remain on the earth during the Tribulation,
the Church does not.
The pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church is not
awaiting the antichrist, it is awaiting the Christ,
which is wholly consistent with Scriptures that promise
a special crown for those who await His coming.
Everything harmonizes with the Scriptures without the
necessity to allegorize or spiritualize a literal
teaching in order to make it work.
Now to the point. Every day we attempt to document some
current event relevant to Bible prophecy. In point of
fact, we haven't documented a single FULFILLMENT of a
Bible prophecy since the restoration of Israel in 1948
-- and that is a prophecy in the process of fulfillment.
Israel has been restored, the Jews regathered to their
ancient homeland, but their national redemption is yet
What we are witnessing are more like shadows in the
sense that one can see a shadow of a man, but not his
features. From the shadow, you can identify with
certainty that it is of a man, but that is about all you
can say for sure.
Paul describes it as 'seeing through a glass darkly';
"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face
to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even
as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)
There are things we KNOW, and there are things unknown.
We know, for example, that the government of the
antichrist during the Tribulation will control the
global economy, global government and global religious
system. While we don't know who he is, the development,
in this generation, of these three distinct systems,
casts the shadow of the antichrist. We see, but darkly,
how it all plays out.
We know that the world will be divided into four
distinct spheres of world power; Gog-Magog, the Kings of
the East, the Kings of the South and the revived Roman
Empire. The Bible makes no mention of a fifth,
We see the development of those four Biblical spheres of
global power, while the future of America is tenuous, to
say the least. We are at war from without, at war from
within, and blissfully ignorant of the perils posed by
both. We see, in part, and we know in part, but darkly.
But all we see are shadows of the coming Tribulation.
The Bible says that these events are NOT fulfilled until
the Tribulation Period begins. These events were given,
not as a warning to the Church, but as the 'signs of His
coming' to enoourage the Church, particularly the Church
of the last days.
The signs of His coming, and the unfolding of Bible
prophecy, were given as a sign to a 'wicked and
adulterous generation' which 'seeketh after a sign'.
We see through a glass, darkly. We know things in part,
and we see shadows in the signs of what is to come.
We KNOW that the Lord is coming for His Church before
the antichrist is revealed.
It is the shadows that frighten us.
Excerpted from the Omega Letter Daily
Intelligence Digest, Volume 30, Issue 28