Pete Garcia (from The Omega Letter), in His article for them (How Do You Know?), makes some assumptions and claims that need to be explored. One statement he makes is that the Church was future and was an unknown to anyone before Christ announced it to Peter and the disciples. Another related statement is that Israel was never associated with the Ekklesia (translated church). One problem that I have found in studying this subject of Rapture when, is that people can state things without any back up, and seem creditable. The term ekklesia that we translate church was actually used more in the Greek Old Testament than it is in the Greek New Testament, but it is not translated church in the old? Yet, in the New Testament we are said to be one with them (these saints of the old). We are told this in Ephesians 2. In the Old Testament Ekklesia came to mean God’s called out ones, not much different than those of us in the church right. But what we need to remember is that Jesus did not use the word church He would have used Either used the Hebrew or the Greek Ekklesia.

Garcia goes on to state: “any rapture position in and of itself, can be proven from Scripture. The real test is whether that rapture position aligns itself with the rest of Scripture in a consistent manner. “** so our questions must surround just how the pre Tribulation position does align or does not align with the preponderance of biblical truth? There are some issues Garcia brings up that I will deal with later that will also touch on this question, so I’ll not speak to them here in this section.

Our first related question must be does Gods planned future of Israel and the church converge into one after the cross or is there a differentiation between them and us? First we know that a blessing is coming through Israel to the Gentiles, when that blessing arrived it was a call from the savior for the Gentile to believe in the same substitutionary blood sacrifice and to accept the same Messiah (Christ is English for Messiah) as did the Remnant of the Jews who began the New covenant church. The New covenant was also God’s promise to Israel.

There is an effort by some Dispensationalist to insert a second gospel into their argument. Why would they do this? Think about it — if the same gospel saves both Israel and the Gentile, then there is no distinction between Israel in the Old Testament Ekklesia and the Jews and Gentiles in the New Testament Ekklesia. So our answer to our question is that at least for the present salvation for Jew and Gentile is the same. We have converged into one body. Didn’t Paul tell us this?

But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,

Ephesians 2:13-15 NASB.

So without a doubt we have convergence following the cross. But is there other confirmation of this conclusion? I think there is tell me what you think.

For confirmation we are going to analyze Paul’s teaching on the Olive tree. First we need to ask what or who does this tree represent? It predates Christ’s first coming and therefore must at least include Israel before the cross. It certainly includes God’s chosen. It would seem that the root of this tree is Israel’s Messiah. The branches are Israel’s chosen, but when Messiah came there was unbelief in the camp, and some — the unbelieving branches — were cut off. In their place were added — again not all — but the believing Gentiles. The tree includes us as one with Israel’s Jews of past centuries. Ephesian’s One new man. So what of the future let’s forget the Tribulation for now, and only consider Israel and the church in the millennium.

What is Israel’s future?

“Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.

Isaiah 54:4-5 NASB

I want us to focus on the husband here. Who is Israel’s husband? Widowhood implies the death of her husband. Who in the Godhead died? Isaiah 53 presents the suffering Messiah, the same one who wept over her and said how oft would I have gathered you as a mother hen would gather her chicks and you would not. So this same Jesus will once again be her husband following her salvation. This would be during the millennium.

Should you want to know if widowhood means widow here is Strong’s Definition Of widowhood

Feminine of H488; concretely a widow; abstractly widowhood : – {widow} widowhood.

Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Definition

1 widowhood

Usage by Word

widows (3), widowhood (1)

So if we are settled that Israel was married to Christ and will once again be married to Christ after the Tribulation and after her salvation then we must ask are we still one with Israel’s saved after the Tribulation when we are also Christ’s bride?

Now from what we are seeing at the the time of the Tribulation His bride is not yet complete. Is their evidence of this in scripture?

Before we answer that lets return to Garcia and his take on the Tribulation.

“1 When God imposes His wrath, He does not indiscriminately punish His own along with the wicked (Gen. 6-9, 18 and 19 confirms this). “

If you have followed my blog you then know that I would not argue with this. God will not impose His wrath on His people. So if Tribulation and God’s wrath are one and the same, why is Israel present?

Garcia: “2 God will physically deliver His own before He unleashes His judgment and wrath (Gen. 7, John 14:1-3, 1 Thess. 1:10, 5:9, Titus 2:13, Rev 3:10)”

I totally agree. We and Israel are delivered before Orge wrath is poured out by God at the end of the Tribulation.

Garcia: “• This deliverance does not mean Christian’s are always exempted from the trials and tribulations of this world imposed by Satan or fallen man (John 16:33, Romans 5:3, 2 Cor. 1:4, etc.)”

Again he is correct. The Tribulation is a judgement inflicted on the world in a final attempt to call them Gentiles to His salvation. At the same time restraint is lifted from Satan and he is unleashed to impose his Tribulation against God’s own who are purposed at this time to make the Jews jealous. The church is the vehicle chosen by God to spread this gospel — “and low I am with you until the end of the age.”

Garcia: “a Although an argument from silence, we are also shown deliverance by type (Enoch), and our noticeable absence in the two passages that go in-depth about this [tribulation] time period (Dan 9:24-27 and Rev. 4-19). If the Church (ekklesia) was meant to go thru the Tribulation (Daniel’s 70th Week), then Scripture should say so forthrightly…or else, we could say God was purposely and deceitfully withholding vital information, which of course, He has not, since that would violate His own holy nature (Isaiah 46:9-10, Amos 3:7).” **

I wonder why Garcia has missed this following passage in the Revelation?

20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her [k]on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of [l]her deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with [m]pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the [n]minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.

Revelation 2:20-23 NASB

I don’t yet know what exactly it is that God intends for us (His body) during the Great Tribulation, but we who are His Bond servants (read chapter 1 of Revelation) who are represented in these seven churches seen here are told that we will then in the midst of great Tribulation know that God is He who searches the minds and hearts, and rewards us accordingly. No, Mr. Garcia God has not purposely and deceitfully withheld information from us, but neither has He told us everything. But one thing that He has told us is that this bride made up of Jews and Gentiles will not have made herself ready until after the Tribulation is over (Rev. 19:7).

Garcia:

“Many accuse dispensationalism as being new and heretical. They primarily do this by attempting to falsely associate dispensationalism (John N. Darby) to Margaret McDonald. However, when you read Margaret’s actual vision, it (the vision) actually promotes the Post-Tribulation Rapture position, which is wholly incompatible to dispensationalism.”**

This is most interesting. I go into more detail than I actually wanted to concerning this argument in my book. But you are wrong Garcia, even based on the reluctant testimony of your fellow Dispensationalists Hal Lindsay, Thomas Ice and Tim LaHaye all had to admit that her position or theory was a partial rapture. Before this no one was preaching a before Tribulation coming of the Lord for His own. The fact is Darby was in Her hometown when she was teaching a Rapture occurring prior to the Tribulation. He even wrote concerning her years later, but not about what she and her brothers were teaching. I have documented all of this in the book.

So is it right or wrong to believe that God only has one gospel for one people, who constitute one Olive Tree, one bride, One new man. And to believe that Israel’s salvation constitutes the completion of one age and the beginning of another. And to believe that this is why Paul stated that — and then all Israel will be saved. Why is it right to believe this? Could it be because their covenants and promises are our covenants and promises, and they will be in fact they must be fulfilled in the millennial kingdom. Paul states:

By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. Ephesians 3:4-7 NASB.

Before we knew Christ we were strangers to Israel’s Commonwealth and to her covenants of promise Eph. 2:12.

Quotes taken are from **Pete Garcia (from The Omega Letter) is an accomplished blogger/author with over three-hundred published articles. He is a Christian who loves the Lord, and loves researching and writing about all things relating to eschatology and Christ’s soon return.