Dr. Richard Ing
In preparing some materials for our
Spiritual Warfare Manual, I decided to publish some of the doctrines this
church believes in and why. It struck me
that it would be beneficial to print a few copies so members of this church can
understand our position and ponder over it.
It would also be valuable to have everyone agree, if possible. I understand that pre-tribulation rapture has
been accepted by about half the churches and the other half disagree. What do you think?
PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE DOCTRINEThere is no doubt that Jesus will
return to earth in a second coming at the end of the age. I Thessalonians 4:16-17 says:
the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the
archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the
clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Corinthians 15:52 says, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the
last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
Every “rapture” doctrine hangs on these two passages. These two scriptures, however, say nothing
about when Jesus will return.
OF THE RAPTURE DOCTRINE The idea that Jesus will return
before tribulation was derived from a vision given to a Margaret MacDonald in
1830. It was a complex vision and some
individuals promoted the idea that the vision means that the Lord would take
His people out of the world to escape tribulation. It is not a doctrine of the early church. The
word “rapture” is not found in the Bible, but is immaterial. Is it true that Jesus will return to take His
people out of the world before tribulation?
Hermeneutics is the science or art
of interpreting the Bible. There are at
least several accepted methods: Literal, conservative, allegorical, etc. However, we do not need to explore any of
these if we can agree to the following:
A direct scripture is one intended by the writer to answer the
particular issue at hand. It is the
strongest evidence and inviolate unless there is another direct scripture that
An indirect scripture is a scripture not intended by the writer to
answer that particular question. No
indirect scripture can overturn or neutralize a direct scripture. It is “out of context” and therefore,
The same rule is used in every court
of law in order to determine truth. No
direct evidence can be overturned by indirect or circumstantial evidence. For instance, if a witness at the scene of a
murder saw A shoot B, no testimony that A was a good guy or gentle or kind or
that A couldn’t hurt a fly can overturn the direct testimony. It doesn’t apply. Scriptures do not apply if they do not
specifically address the question being asked, or was not intended to.
There are at least three direct
scriptures and one close to being direct, that say that Jesus is coming after
tribulation. Matthew 24:29-31 says,
after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the
moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the
powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of
the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth
mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven
with power and great glory. And He shall
send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together
His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Underlining added)
13:39 (parable of the wheat and tares) says, “...the harvest is the end of
the world; and the reapers are the angels.”
The gathering of His elect comes after tribulation.
Mark 13:24-27 says,
in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and
the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the
powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with
great power and glory. And then shall He
send His angels, and shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from
the uttermost part of the heaven.
Luke 23:25-27 says,
there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon
the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which
are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (Underlining
are direct scriptures intended to tell us when Jesus will return - after
tribulation. The powers of heaven
shall be shaken after the tribulation according to Matthew 24:29 and
There is one other passage which
directly implies that Jesus will return after the tribulation.
Revelation 20:4 says,
I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I
saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and
for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his
image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands;
and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Underlining added)
saw those who had been beheaded by Satan’s beast during tribulation. They had come back to life and were sitting
on thrones. Verse 5 then says, “But
the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were
finished. This is the first
We know that when Jesus comes back
the graves will be opened “... and the dead in Christ will rise
first....” I Thessalonians 4:16. If the resurrection of the martyrs who died
during tribulation is the first resurrection, then Jesus could not come back
before tribulation because the martyrs in Revelation 20 would not have been
All the above scriptures are direct
scriptures that were intended to answer the question: When will Jesus come
back? Unless there are direct scriptures
that say, “Before the tribulation, shall the Son of man appear in the
clouds....,” or words to that effect, the above scriptures cannot be overturned. No logic, reasoning or implications can
overrule those scriptures. We have found
absolutely no direct scriptures that say that Jesus is coming back before
DIRECT SCRIPTURES There are other scriptures that
speak of the time when the Lord Jesus Christ will return to earth. Although
direct scriptures, they do not refer specifically to tribulation; that is,
before or after tribulation. But, they do
address the question of when Jesus will come from heaven back to
earth. Those scriptures all say that
Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven where He will reign
until all His enemies are made His footstool (destroyed). Then He will return. Hebrews 10:12,13 says, “But this man,
after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right
hand of God; from henceforth expecting til His enemies be made His
footstool.” The Amplified Bible puts
it this way, “...Then to wait until His enemies should be made a stool
beneath His feet.” Jesus will sit
at the right hand of the Father in heaven until all His enemies are
destroyed. I Corinthians 15:25,26 says,
“For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is
death.” See also, Ac. 2:34; Heb.
1:13; Mt. 22:44; Lk. 20:42 and Mk. 12:36. The reference to “footstool”
refers to the custom of placing one’s feet on the necks of your foes to signify
victory over them. Jos. 10:24.
Jesus will not return until His
people on earth have conquered His enemies - Satan’s demonic kingdom. It is not to say that Satan’s kingdom must be
totally annihilated first, but that there is a people of God who have grown
into such spiritual maturity that they are able to and will destroy Satan’s
kingdom. Revelation 19:14-21 speaks of
Jesus coming back with His armies to destroy all evil on earth. This is the man-child army that stands with
Jesus on Mount Sion, a people redeemed from the earth
and made perfect in the sight of God.
Rev. 12:5; Rev. 14:1-5.
OF THE NEW DOCTRINEThe danger of the pre-tribulation
rapture theory is that the church will be unprepared for tribulation. Why prepare all-out for a race that will
never take place? That is exactly what
Satan wants. People who say, “Well, we
will just be prepared for either case.
If Jesus does not come back before tribulation, we will be ready any
way,” are kidding themselves. When I was
taking martial arts in my youth, we always talked about being prepared for
challenges from outsiders. Only when
someone did, in fact, issue a challenge to me did I actually prepare with all
my heart. At all other times, I was just
cruising, not really believing that it would happen.
Many Christians say that
pre-tribulation rapture is the hope of the Church. That’s not true. Christ in you is the hope of glory. Col. 1:27.
ANY DIFFERENT JESUS OR DOCTRINE We
repeat what we said in our newsletter entitled “The Great Apostasy:”
charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, . . . preach the
word; be instant in season, out of
season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and
doctrine. For the time will come when
they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap
to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their
ears from truth, and shall be turned into fables.” 2 Ti. 4:1.
“Reprove” means to refute, admonish, convict,
convince, tell a fault, rebuke. “Rebuke”
means to censure, admonish, forbid, charge or accuse. “Exhort” means to beseech, entreat. (Strong’s Concordance) We are to be guardians of the truth and
watchmen on the wall. We are not to
smile and say, “I love you brother. I
accept what you say for the sake of unity and I will not judge you.” In instructing elders, Paul says,
. . Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may
be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers . . .
for there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers . . . whose mouths
must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought
not, for filthy lucre’s sake . . . Rebuke them sharply, that they may be
sound in the faith; not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men,
that turn from the truth. Titus
1:9,10,11,13. (Underlining added)
We are to challenge for the truth and rebuke, refute,
reprove, tell a fault, censure, forbid, charge and accuse, so that others will
be saved from deception and destruction.
We speak in love, but earnestly contend for the faith. Jude says, “. . . ye should earnestly contend for the faith
which was once delivered unto the saints.”
Jude 3. We are not to
compromise the truth that God entrusted to us, especially the elders. Titus 2:15 says, “These things speak, and
exhort, and rebuke with all authority.
Let no man despise thee.”
(Underlining added) Let no person find fault with you for earnestly
contending for the faith.