Christian’s site is soappsite.wordpress.com ,
On it he asked us to post our questions to pre, mid and post-Tribbers and have a friendly debate. The post is still attracting comments. I’m going to invite you to join us with this post, and with it you can observe how we are operating.
This was one of my answers to one of the bloggers questions. So you are now eves dropping. To this blogger I wrote:
I’m going to speak to a few of your issues that you raised. There were many.
This is the first I’d like to address. “And later we see an angel proclaiming the gospel, Rev 14/6. Why is the church not proclaiming the gospel? Where is the Church ?”
This is the issue I will address as it is concern.
First I want you to consider that the church is not mentioned in any scene either in heaven or on earth in Rev chapter 4-18. Yet we are to believe it to be complete in heaven as a bride. There are several heavenly scenes, but no church by name. No bride by name. The 24 elders are never mentioned as being the church, and it is not until after the Tribulation is complete in chapter 19 that we hear that the bride has made herself ready. I will speak more to the 24 elders at the end.
So again you state: “And later we see an angel proclaiming the gospel, Rev 14/6. Why is the church not proclaiming the gospel? Where is the Church?” Jesus had told us that it was our job to proclaim the gospel and that He would be with us until the end of the age to do that. So we need to know what age He is speaking of. Is it the church age? In my book I have a chapter on this, but to summarize: if you look up church and age in your search engine in any translation, you will not find a church age. If you do please let me know. What you find is references by both Jesus and Paul to this age and either the age to come or that age or the next age. Jesus in fact tells the Jews who come to trick Him with a question about the resurrection, by asking whose wife is she in the resurrection, who has been the wife of the seven now deceased brothers. You know the incident, and Jesus answers:
Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
Luke 20:34-36 NASB
Three things are important to understand here concerning this age and the next. . 1. There is marriage only in this age, 2. There is the resurrection in order to get to the next age, and 3. The O. T. Jews, who asked this question are told here by Jesus that in the next age they will be sons of God if they are worthy to make the resurrection.
So, They will then not be any different than you and I in the age following resurrection. Why is that? — because we are one new man in Christ, and there is no other way to be made worthy of resurrection than to be in Christ. He makes us worthy. We according to Ephesians 2 are to share in their promises and covenants. This must Include the land covenant for Israel during the millennium. I’ll prove this as we continue.
Now if you consider that in the Tribulation there will be marriage and giving in marriage, so what age then is the Tribulation part of? We know which — Because Jesus in Matt 24 warns that pregnant women will flee the housetops during great trouble in those days.
But you asked “why the church is not seen presenting the gospel in Tribulation?”
Revelation contains much symbolism, I think we can agree on that point. We have animals representing nations, a dragon representing Satan. We have the books which are written to the seven churches all addressed to — the angel — of each church. In order to understand the angel taking the gospel to all nations in revelation 14, you need to first understand that — today — we are a divided church. I hope no one would disagree on that point. We don’t agree doctrinally on much. Jesus prayed in His John 17 prayer for unity among His followers. That requires a change that has not yet happened. It will. He also prayed — Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Neither has this prayer been answered, but it will. Peter said this:
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?
1 Peter 4:17 KJV
Sherry had stated in one of her comments on this site earlier that once she sees the Antichrist then she will become mid-Trib in her belief, and once she sees something else (I believe it was stop the temple sacrifices) she then would become post-Trib. Well The Tribulation will actually do this for the church — it will bring unity to the body. I believe that this unity is represented in the Angel who is seen in Rev 14 taking the gospel to the world. A unified church that Jesus prayed for whom He will be with until the end of this age wherein there is marriage and giving in marriage, making the Tribulation a part of this age; unlike it being a part of the age to come when we will all then be identified as the sons of God in the resurrection, and where we will rule in the millennial kingdom. (Eph. 2 gives us the key or reason for seeing this promise as such.)
Another quote from your comment: “The Bible teaches that the tribulation is a time of preparation for Israel’s restoration and conversion (Deut. 4:29-30; Jer. 30:3-11; Zech. 12:10). As already mentioned, the church will experience tribulation in general during — this present age —, but she is never mentioned as participating in Israel’s time of trouble, which includes the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord, and the Wrath of God.
I already spoke to some evidence of why the church is present in the angel who spreads the gospel and Jesus gave us that very responsibility in this age. Other evidence of the church present in the Tribulation is found in those who overcome Satan during the Tribulation by the word of their testimony and the blood of the Lamb. Several times in His message to the churches, Jesus speaks that individuals must be overcomers. Who else could these overcomers be if not the church? Now I want to speak to the day of the Lord and the wrath of God. Later I will work in the 24 elders.
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. Joel 3:14-16 KJV
Earlier in chapter 2 of Joel he states something similar concerning the day of the Lord, but there he makes clear that the darkness of the sun moon and stars is announcing the day of the Lord (this is an important clue concerning the timing of the day of the Lord, but there are others). Also listen to Malachi:
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: Malachi 4:5 KJV Elijah is one of the two witnesses — this believed even by dispensationalists. So Tribulation again is seen preceding the day of the Lord.
If you compare all this to Matt 24 there is a sequence that occurs before the Lord returns. In both scriptures the tribulation occurs first. In Joel it is shown to be the valley of decision and mourning, followed by the sun moon and stars not shining then the return of the Lord on His Day of the Lord. Jesus speaks of this same darkening of sun moon and stars — after the Tribulation — and before He returns in Matt 24. Joel speaks of the same darkening event before the day of the Lord. Paul speaks of the darkening a bit differently as he sees it as the Lord coming as a thief in the night (night is darkness no sun moon or stars shining). All three see His coming in total darkness over the face of the earth. Jesus again confirms this timing in Revelation listen:
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. Revelation 16:12-15 KJV
So Jesus says His coming as a thief is associated with Armageddon. And Armageddon is where Jesus begins the trampling of the wine press of God’s wrath.
Now if you compare this with what Paul says concerning the day of the Lord, then you will realize that this is after the world and Israel find themselves in the valley of decision. For Israel it is the time of Jacobs trouble. For the world it is the Tribulation. For the church it is the time to complete the spread of the gospel, and to stand for Christ amid Satan’s persecution, making Israel jealous.
Now if we consider that God’s Wrath is poured out quickly at the end of the Tribulation. The wrath can last no more than 5 Days because once the waters are turned to blood there will be no more water to drink. Man cannot live long without water. Before all of this we have the sealing of God’s bond-servants that is for their protection from all that is poured out at God’s direction. We are called the bond-servants in Revelation. The book is written to us — and we are called bond servants. I’m giving the KJV but other translations use Bond-servant, which is more literal.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Revelation 1:1 KJV
Now, back to wrath. Some of the bowls are judgment before His “Orge” wrath (see my article on God’s wrath posted on my site) in an effort to elicit repentance. Even with two of the early bowls of wrath a close reading will reveal that God is still seeking man’s repentance. It is not until Armageddon (the sixth bowl) that God is no longer seeking man’s repentance.
The next section I want to address in your questions is where you bring up Gerald Stanton who says Tribulation is about “the preaching of the “gospel of the kingdom,” This is a purely Dispensational teaching.
So, to believe that this is a different gospel there must be a second gospel for Israel’s salvation. So my question is how does believing in the coming kingdom and a king, without God’s grace on the cross bring salvation? The Church believes in Jesus as king. But there is normally a two gospel teaching within any Dispensational scheme for the future, because if Israel is saved by being in Christ then her Tribulation dead must be raised before there can be any Rapture. Paul address’s this issue by first telling us that the dead in Christ will rise first and then we who are alive and remain will be Raptured or at least that’s what we call it (rapture). Paul also says that if even an angel comes preaching a different gospel he is to be accursed. And think of this — if Israel also must be in Christ in order to re-enter the Olive tree; then isn’t it because they must believe in what the 1st century Israel did not believe. So, then any of these who now believe and who die during Tribulation also must rise before the Rapture, because the rapture only occurs after those dead in Christ are raised. So Jesus tells the Jews that they will if worthy attain to the resurrection and be sons of God, and Paul says: For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 KJV
So tell me how there are two gospels. All must be in Christ. Paul even makes us aware that the Kingdom is pertinent to the gospel.
And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more (Acts 20:25 KJV).
Paul in more than one place in scripture is said to be preaching about the kingdom. The kingdom is not another gospel.
Another quote from your Aug 11 comment. “Since God’s purpose for the tribulation is to restore Israel (Jer. 30:3, 10) and judge the Gentiles (Jer. 30:11), it is clear that this purpose does not include the church. This is one of the reasons why she will be taken to heaven before this time. The church’s hope is a heavenly one, not participation in the culmination and restoration of God’s plan for His earthly people-Israel.”
I have already answered this. Peter says judgment begins with the household of God and we are that household. We are the holy nation and the royal priesthood that God set out to establish through Israel. We are one with her saints. We were added to her Olive tree. Yes branches were cut off for their unbelief, but not all Israel was cut off because not all were in unbelief. Her Remnant was not cut off, but we were added with her Remnant in the Olive tree. We are made part of her New Covenant. Jesus said this is my blood of the new covenant. We are now in what she is to be returned to — the Olive tree. She is even seen in Isa. 54 as being remarried to her redeemer. Christ is her redeemer. She was widowed in chapter 53 by her husbands death. He is her redeemer and savior and ours; then again in chapter 54 she is promised to be Wed once again to Him. She is one with us in the bride. He is the bridegroom who began calling His bride from the Jews:
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. John 3:29 KJV
If you read the passage surrounding this occurrence you will see that Jesus as bridegroom began His bride with Jews even before His resurrection.
Now let’s go back and consider the 24 elders in Revelation chapter 4. Why were there 24 Representing the church? Because in the New Jerusalem Jesus has prepared for both Jews and Gentiles as His bride.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of — the twelve tribes of the children of Israel —: And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of — the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Revelation 21:2,9,12,14 KJV
We are one. Both Jews and Gentiles are represented in the bride — Israel and the church. The bride is not complete until all Israel is saved at the end of Tribulation. So let’s review what you stated:
The church’s hope is a heavenly one, not participation in the culmination and restoration of God’s plan for His earthly people-Israel.”
I suggest to you that we do participate just as does Israel in the millennial kingdom, Ruling with Christ. David’s eternal hope is just as ours for he said : and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. This does not mean he will not see the millennial kingdom first.
And according to Ephesians 2 we will inherit the very same kingdom promises as will Israel in the millennial kingdom. So why were there 24 Elders? — because Israel’s founding fathers from the 12 tribes of Abraham were there when John was called up. And the 12 Apostles other than John who were dead when John was called up for his heavenly visions were there also at the time John was called up in Revelation 4:1. They had all been martyred. Yet only one of them knew who it was who was worthy to open the seals. Why? If this is the Raptured church of our present day all of those present would know that Jesus the Lamb is worthy to open these seals. John Himself even now knows, but he did not know then (in the first century when he was called up even as Paul had been). He knew because he was shown while in the Spirit. So yes this encounter by John in Rev 4:1, is with part of the church or bride who awaits the rest of the redeemed, and no this is not the Raptured church. John is recording what he sees of those dead who were present with the Lord when he was called up around the year 90 AD.
I could share so much more with you but to do so took me 370 pages in the book. But I’m open to any questions and challenges. Thanks for visiting and listening. If any of this makes no sense to you please feel free to state why in the comments. At any rate this was just one comment that I had made on Christian’s blog. It covers evidence from several of my own posts here on this blog site. Feel free to explore and comment or ask questions or make criticisms.