In Terry’s answer to an e-mail challenge to his position on a recent blog post, he had this to say:
“Millions of believers have suffered and died, and are doing so even now, and it is terrible–tragic. However, that suffering has nothing whatsoever to do with the Rapture. The Rapture is a positional matter for the Christian. His or her position in Christ as Savior–as Redeemer- during the Church Age (Age of Grace) is what the Rapture is all about. The Rapture is a salvation issue, not an insurance policy of some sort against physical hard times and/or physical death. It is a matter of the soul.
Christians in America might yet suffer persecution and death. There are no promises in that regard. But, there are promises that Christians –in America and all over the world–will never suffer God’s wrath or the seven years of His judgment. Wrath and judgment and dealing again with Israel is what the Tribulation entails… This blog web site and our Rapture Ready website, raptureready.com, has many articles on the Rapture, containing all of the Scriptures relevant to the fact that the believer will be kept out of the very time of God’s judgment that is surely coming to a world of wickedness and rebellion. (See Revelation 3: 10.) The Pre-Trib Rapture isn’t unfair; it is truth from the Word of God.”*
I plan to speak to the underlined and bold portions of Terry’s explanation. These areas I have highlighted from the quoted portion of his article. You can read his entire article by clicking on the link below.
First, I want to speak to the church age of Grace, which according to Terry separates the church from all others of Gods people. Thus Rapture is for the entire separate people of God called the church; but only if such an age can be proven. So, for what he says to be true, the Rapture as he defines it must include all those of the first resurrection. Here-in exists Terry’s problem. The first resurrection clearly includes the dead Saints of the Tribulation (Rev 20). But there is an even bigger problem, because the New Covenant, which Jesus established for all who believe was definitely promised to Israel (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Then, Jesus made clear that He was the provider of said covenant.
Luke 22:20 And in the same way [He took] the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup, which is poured out for you, is the new covenant [ratified] in My blood. (AMP)
Then Paul made clear that this new covenant was to replace the old:
2 Corinthians 3:6 He has qualified us [making us sufficient] as ministers of a new covenant [of salvation through Christ], not of the letter [of a written code] but of the Spirit; for the letter [of the Law] kills [by revealing sin and demanding obedience], but the Spirit gives life. (AMP)
Without the Spirit given in the New Covenant the obedience of the law is impossible. The writer of Hebrews makes clear the need for adopting this New Covenant because the old covenant could not remove sin:
Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. (KJV)
Jesus led captivity captive at His resurrection. They (Israel) needed the Redeemer and the New Covenant just as we do. The only captives who existed at that time of Jesus’ ascension were Dead pre-Crucifixion believers awaiting redemption, all of whom preceded those who were at that time the future dead in Christ from the church. There was no mention of their all being resurrected, but they were lead captive with Jesus. Their bodies are still in captivity to death. This is made clear by what was told to Daniel:
Daniel 12:13 “But as for you, go [your way] to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise [again] for your allotted portion at the end of the age.” (NASB1995)
This was not at the end of an aha of Law as Terry teaches. For just before being told this in verses 9-12, Daniel had been told the conclusion to that age for which he was to await an end. It included the period which would see the Abomination of desolation (the Tribulation). So the time of the Tribulation is the key to the promise that he was made of a future resurrection. The rapture is not the controlling factor in prophecy, but the resurrection controls when the rapture is to occur. And Jesus’ coming following tribulation controls when the resurrection occurs.
Terry’s definition here also implies that Israel is intended to experience this time of God’s wrath. Within his definitions the Tribulation is made equivalent to God’s wrath. Yet, every person, who finds Christ during Tribulation, accepting His offer of Salvation, is said in His promise contained in the gospel, to escape the wrath formerly planned for him, since he/she was before that salvation event, a child of wrath.
Ephesians 2:3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. (NASB1995)
Were it true that the Tribulation is the wrath of God that we are promised to escape; then every man who ever lived without Christ, must be raised up to experience this 7 year period of time which Terry and others call the time of God’s Wrath. And since Israel is not to be part of the new covenant, according to Terry; then where exactly does that leave her?
And finally if the Tribulation is the Seven years of God’s Judgment as Terry here proclaims; then why does He remove the restraint from Satan, allowing him full reign over the earth? Is Satan the deliverer of God’s wrath and judgment? Is Satan not also to be judged? Satan will be a recipient of God’s wrath, not a dispenser of it.
During this entire period Satan is the deliverer of his own wrath against God’s people. He is out to defeat first the nation which is soon to become the last to be saved by the giver of the New Covenant, and when Satan is unable to defeat her, he then Turns his wrath on those who are saved and who are already in Christ (Rev. 12).
At the end of Tribulation It is Jesus (God), who sends out reapers to reap the earth. Placing the wicked in the winepress of His coming wrath. We know that the reaping of Good and evil is to be done at the same time from this earth, because Jesus told of the harvest of the wheat and tares, that they must be gathered at the same time.
Revelation 14:15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped. 17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. 18 Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered [the clusters from] the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. (NASB1995)
The reaping of the good harvest (resurrection and Rapture) occurs just before the treading of the winepress, and it occurs at the coming of the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of [the] archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. (NASB1995)
The Rapture occurs after the raising of those who have died in Christ. Those of the New Covenant.
Remember Terry said: “The Rapture is a positional matter for the Christian. His or her position in Christ as Savior–as Redeemer- during the Church Age (Age of Grace) is what the Rapture is all about.”
Isaiah 54:8 “In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,” Says the LORD your Redeemer. (NASB1995)
“For God so loved the world”, that He sent His Son the “redeemer” of this world — all those who would believe.
And Terry loves to tell us that Jesus said that His second coming for the church would be like it was in the days of Noah.
Isaiah 54:9 “For this is like the days of Noah to Me, When I swore that the waters of Noah Would not flood the earth again; So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you Nor will I rebuke you. (NASB1995)
Israel’s redemption is and will only be found in Christ our redeemer.
Ephesians 2:12 [remember] that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both [groups into] one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, (NASB1995)
Why? — Jesus told us:
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (KJV)
Jesus was speaking to Jews, and He added:
John 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (KJV)
And thus Paul concluded:
Ephesians 2:16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. 17 AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner [stone,] (NASB1995)
* Quote taken from: http://terryjamesprophecyline.com/2018/06/21/pre-trib-rapture-unfair/