Terry James, a pre-Trib teacher had introduced his message which I had just read the other day, with a quote from J. Vernon McGee (who is now deceased). I will place here both Terry’s quote and McGee’s:
“The arguments of those who poo-pooed the Pre-Trib Rapture usually went something like this.” Taken from: http://terryjamesprophecyline.com/2022/01/23/gods-egress-system/
Now quoting McGee: “Those who preach that Christians will somehow avoid being part of the Tribulation are pie-in-the-sky escapists. They are preaching and teaching false doctrine. They just hope to escape that terrible seven years of God’s judgment and wrath.”
This statement by McGee, and the fact that it is quoted by Terry James, shows just how much they do not understand of the word of God, and possibly do not even know about the post-Trib teaching of the Scripture concerning God’s judgment and His wrath. Escaping Tribulation really has nothing to do with 7 years of God’s wrath. And the Judgement from God is an all together other story. We may actually be in some of that story right now in this country.
Bear with me as I take you on a scriptural journey to explore with you what I mean.
First, Jesus makes clear that every man is judged after His return. So the real rubber meets the road then: Revelation 22:11 “Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” 12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward [is] with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. (NASB1995)
When Jesus comes, His reward occurs for all men. Evil men will be crying out for the rocks to hide them from His wrath: Revelation 6:16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; (NASB1995)
When studying scripture one concludes that this wrath does not occur in the Tribulation, but rather it correlates with His return, and the men for whom the wrath is intended give no acknowledgement of His wrath until He appears above them. There is nothing acknowledged by evil mankind revealing their regret or any form of repentance during Revelation’s Tribulation, it’s not until Jesus is seen, as it is stated in this verse that evil man ever acknowledges that there is a wrath to come with Him.
Secondly, The actual bowls of wrath are seen being poured upon the earth in chapter 16 of the Revelation and they are occurring in conjunction with His return (see verse 15), and that much can be determined due to the very short duration of the revealed impact of those bowls upon the earth, which is making them most likely simultaneous rather than sequential. We see here that three of the bowls involve water. Two of the first three bowls will turn earths water to blood, yet if the sixth bowl is not simultaneous with these other two; then in a sequential outpouring, there could be no water in the Euphrates to dry up. As a result of the no water impact on earth these angels state the following: Revelation 16:6 for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” (NASB1995)
Following this water to blood event of the 7 bowls, there is no water remaining for the men of earth to drink. At this point in time, Jesus has come as a thief to deliver Israel from complete destruction, for a third of Israel’s nation had earlier fled to Edom seeking safety from the outpouring of Satan’s wrath not God’s, and this at a time just before Christ’s appearing to the whole world, as this Thief in the night (Rev.16:15); this thief like coming in the night is understood as occurring during the darkness of night that is created by the failure of the sun, moon and stars event (Matt. 24:29).
So the stage is then set for Jesus to come up through Edom at this time fulfilling prophecy. This prophecy occurs following His deliverance of Israel: Isaiah 63:1 Who is this who comes from Edom, With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, This One who is majestic in His apparel, Marching in the greatness of His strength? “It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? 3 “I have trodden the wine trough alone, And from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger And trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, And I stained all My raiment. (NASB1995)
He has come up from saving Israel, who’s people were being hidden in Edom. These garments Jesus wears are the same blood stained garments that He is seen Coming back to earth wearing in Rev. 19:15. Now, this coming in the air event follows quickly His salvation deliverance of Israel there in Edom.
This His second coming results in the gathering of all who are dead in Christ and is the first resurrection spoken of in scripture, followed immediately by the rapture (both the dead and the living in Christ are caught up in this event). There is a further purpose attached to this event. It is to see the continued outpouring of His wrath, which He had previously begun in Edom. When in Edom there was no man with Him, now His entire army and Bride is with Him.
His Olive Tree is now complete. He has added Israel back into It. He had caused Paul to declare this in Romans 11:25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery–so that you will not be wise in your own estimation–that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26a and so all Israel will be saved; (NASB1995)
Dispensationalists believe in a total hardening and cutting off of Israel spiritually, but that is not what the word here has stated.
This salvation of all Israel is only to come following the salvation of the last gentile to be saved, and only then will we see His coming. And all of this is the preparation for that coming of Israel’s Messiah, the coming of the Christ to reign over all the earth, and thus it is all of it to serve as the fulfilling of O.T. Prophecy concerning Israel’s future dominance in the earth.
We (His people) are kept from this hour of wrath, which is to be poured out on all the earth as it is accompanying His return.
We are promised to be kept from this wrath, but not from The Tribulation:
1 Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, [that is] Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come. (NASB1995)
This wrath to come is intended for all men who do not know Him (the Christ, the Messiah of Israel, who is savior of all who dwell in Him, and in whom God dwells).
We should have learned why we escape His wrath from Paul’s having told us in Ephesians 2:3 (where he says) Among them (the disobedient of earth) 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)
“Even as the rest”, in this verse it is told us that all who have ever lived and who do not know Him will experience His wrath. When Jesus returns His wrath will be felt even in Hell itself, for it is for every man apart from Christ.
We His body are no longer these children of His wrath. Only they who are without Christ will not find an escape from the wrath that is coming, but we do escape it. This wrath that is revealed (poured out) associated with His coming and with the institution of His Justice upon this earth is a beginning to the end of evil, which is personally dealt with By Jesus as He reigns with the rod of iron over this earth.
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (NASB1995)
Those men who think that our argument is based solely on the cowardice of man, who will not endure, are quite uneducated in the word that they teach. The only true basis for any teaching from God comes from His word rightly divided to us. His word is the only important factor surrounding any doctrine of His. That would include His teaching on Wrath and on our escaping it in Christ Jesus.
Jesus is returning for a bride without spot or wrinkle, there then is much to accomplish before that day occurs: Ephesians 5:26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. (NASB2020)
In my opinion it has become clear in our day if not before, that in order to wash His church with the pure word then resulting in this blameless holy condition; He as stated, must cleanse us with His pure word, a word which we must first come as a body to believe and understand. The pure word is not (as Peter has told us) a twisted variety of the word. Today we argue over this word. Today we are a tainted body consisting of both pure and false doctrine. When Tribulation accompanied by the man of sin is revealed; then the doctrine for Christ’s body will become pure. What today is disputed will be made plain. on all of those disputed issues. Truth will become truth for all. The final message of the church will be the pure word, creating a pure bride — one without spot or wrinkle: Revelation 19:7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” (NASB1995)
This statement follows Tribulation. It does not precede it. When all of scripture (the word) concerning His coming wrath is exposed; then it will tell the story even as Scripture records it, then there will be no room for misunderstanding it.
I know that this has been long, but I want to include here one further Terry James quote: “Many control mechanisms have been carefully and methodically formed and put into position for the rise of the wicked one of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. Of course, he cannot appear as long as we, believers, are still on the planet.”
The question that you must answer from scripture is — Is he right? Because if he is and if we are at the brink of this time; than you must do more than just say that the church will be removed before the Tribulation. You must prove using the word of God, that the Tribulation is actually God’s wrath that we are promised to escape. You must prove that the hour that we will escape is the Tribulation and not the Wrath that we have seen here. You must prove that what Jesus meant, when He spoke to the seven churches, telling them that they would learn from Great Tribulation, was meant for them as the bride already in heaven, and not instead meant for the seven churches who are still on this earth during this Great Tribulation, as it stated in this following 2 verses. And you must prove that those, who were really still on their way to becoming that bride told of in Scripture, are really in heaven.
Revelation 2:22 ‘Behold, I will throw her on a bed [of sickness,] and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. 23 ‘And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. (NASB1995)
What must we do with these verses in order to persuade ourself that Jesus is telling us that these churches to whom He speaks will be the singular bride in Heaven during this learning time of which He here speaks, the great Tribulation, He says here that it is for the churches.
All of these scriptures are true to the telling of God’s message to His body. They are not here to confuse us, but to inform us. Their purpose is to present a unified body without spot or wrinkle. Washed and cleansed with His word of truth.