Pastor Bob (14 June 2015)
""Pre-Tribulation Truth - 17""


All Doves:

Over the past two years I have been proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ in ways that I never foresaw as being a ministry for an old preacher.  For years I said I would not retire unless my voice and my legs were to go. When I left the United Methodist Church, and went non-denominational, I told my superiors their appeasement to the demands of Lesbian UMC pastors in our Annual Conference would come back to bite them.   It took just twenty years for that to happen.  At the 2016 General Conference of the UMC, legislation will be introduced to change the UMC "Discipline" (rule book) that guides the denomination's Annual Conferences around the globe, and which will permit ordination of sodomites and lesbians and facilitate clergy to perform sodomite and lesbian marriages. 

The only thing that has kept them from doing this sooner has been the fact that the majority of General Conference delegates come from United Methodists outside of the USA.  Today, the UMC numbers 7.4-million (down from 12.4 million in 1965) in the USA, but around the world, United Methodists numbers are close to 75-million globally.  The advocates for the sick pathetic lifestyle have been trying for more than twenty years to gain official recognition and the sanction of this sin within the UMC but have been blocked by the fact upwards of 75% of delegates to the quadrennial General Conference come from Africa, Asia, Europe and South America, where there is near unanimous rejection of sodomy. 

Sodomy in America is under 2% of the population, and when the institutional church caves to the pressure of this satanic-inspired minority sick lifestyle it is an even greater indictment upon the whole culture.  The institutional church lost its voice of moral authority on June 25, 1962 when the Supreme Court decision concerning removal of school prayer in the case of Engel vs Vitale and has been in decline ever since.  It traded truth for tolerance, sanctification for self-esteem, and holiness for happiness.  We are looking at further national  judgment when the Supreme Court rules on sodomite marriage this month.  I for one do not hold any hope for what will be another nail in the coffin of the institutional church in America.  Outside of Franklin Graham, I have not heard any major voice in the wilderness of the so-called Christian leaders speak against sodomy in America.  I read all the religious press and little has been found expressing revulsion of any one that might resemble modern day prophets. 

When former Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently called for the Boy Scouts of America to permit sodomite Scout leaders, he was simply saying, "Christian values are unsustainable and we must change with the times",  and he was merely revealing that "There is no fear of God in their eyes" -(Romans 3:18).  On judgment day these voices of sodomites will be brazenly defying their God and find their reward for their unrepented sins. 

I suggest to you that their reward will not be that of participating in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.  Sodomy has never had an acceptable place in the Bible, whether it be in the Old Testament or even as some might argue, acceptable in the New Testament.  The Apostle Paul did not mince words on this in his words of Romans 1:27 concerning the unnatural relations of the same gender.  The annals of history document the collapse of cultures when such unnatural acts become the normative.  Anyone that sanctions sodomy, either as a member of a church or a worshiper thereof, that condones this aberrant behavior or lifestyle, should run for the nearest exit door lest you jeopardize your own position in "The Departure" in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.  I will repeat my point, of such folks, do not look for them to go with us!   Sodomy is not an ordinary sin, if there be such an animal, and unbeknown to most, has mental health consequences as much as physical issues, which I do not care to go into here.  This advice noted, resist the pressures of the 2% waging war on the righteousness of God.  1st Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; and Ephesians 5:3-5 serves as a warning to anyone testing God like flashing red lights at a railroad crossing!  

As we get closer and closer to Rosh HaShanah, we see many different signs that further support the contention that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is getting very close.  One of the strongest news site that one can read to get a pulse on the world is that by Dave Hodges "The Common Sense Show".  Dave airs on Sunday evening and posts a daily report which appears on Steve Quayle's web site.  Dave's report is usually spot-on, while Steve Quayle borders occasionally more on the extreme fringe, and sometimes less than accurate on what he posts.

My task for the remainder of the time between now and the Pre-Tribulation Rapture will be to share the "diamonds and nuggets" of God's Word.  Last time I stated that the Bible is over-flowing with evidence that supports the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.  Today, I want us to take a look at Peter's 2nd Epistle, particular the 3rd chapter.  This chapter is perhaps one of the strongest of the New Testament that veils the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. 

This, Peter's last letter to believers, stresses the need to keep the Second Coming in mind.  It has been mentioned before -(1st Peter 4:7), but now it is dealt with more fully.  Peter did not tell them anything new but wished to "stir up" ("diegerio"), to arouse them of what they had been taught.  This was his purpose "in both" - that is in this second "epistle" or letter as well as in the first.  Peter uses the term "pure", meaning sincere, as in Philippians 10: "That ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ".  It means genuine; the Word speaks of something being examined in full sunlight.

In chapter 3, verse 2 Peter emphasized two important issues.  One is the Word of God is true and dependable; it means just what it says.  The other is that the purpose of prophecy is not to satisfy our curiosity regarding the future but to provide the incentive for holy living.  He wanted believers to remember the Old Testament prophecies as well as the teachings of the apostles as well.  "Commandment" does not mean any single precept but the entire gospel - all of the teachings of the apostles.  The apostles were not teaching a message of their own but the message they received from Christ Jesus. 

In the next verse we have that famous verse quoted by skeptics.  The early Christians were no different than you or I today.  The reason the believers needed to be stirred up and constantly keep sound teachings in mind was that scoffers would arise in the Church.  "Scoffers" is ("empaiktai") in the Greek, and it can be translated "mockers" like Jude uses it in Jude 18, referring to the false teachers. The Greek phrase for "in the last days" is translated in various forms.  John 6:39 has 'On the last day".  James 5:3 gives us "for the last days".  the Greek literally means "upon the last of days".  Peter was talking about a future time beyond his own day and ministry.

Verse 4 states that scoffers would ask about the "promise" ("epangelia"), or pledge, assurance of His coming.  The reference is to Christ Jesus in verse 2.  Peter was speaking of the "Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ", as in 1:16.  "Coming" is "parousias", Greek for "presence", meaning His personal arrival, a glorious event.  Peter knew that if time went on, some would grow impatient, and scoffers would take advantage of the opportunity to mock the teachings.  This is not so much different than from today, but the scoffers would be wrong when they said that ever since the forefathers "fell asleep" (passed away) all things remained just as they were from the date of the creation. 

It is interesting that Peter, in order to correct this mistake, referred to the Flood and the change it made in the Earth.  God had already intervened once, and He will intervene again.  But unregenerate men and women do not want any intervention.  They wish to pursue their sinful pleasures without the interruption.  "Fathers" is "pateres", meaning parent or ancestor.  It may refer to the Old Testament prophets who spoke of the Day of the Lord, or to the apostles like Peter who would have died by that time.  Peter preached about the Second Coming of Christ Jesus in Acts 3:20, as Jesus did Himself did repeatedly -(Matthew 24:34) and as the angels promised at the Ascension -(Acts 1:11). 

The mockers and scoffers would purposely forget the account of the Flood record in Genesis 6-8, as Peter states in verse 3:5, "willingly" or meaning gladly, by choice, or preference.  They would close their eyes to the Biblical account of how God, by the Word of His power, created the "heavens" as in Matthew 16:3, where Jesus hit them between the eyes.  "Ye can discern the face of the sky" and the "earth".  In the beginning all was water.  God created the firmament to divide the water in the clouds from the water in the universal sea.  Then He caused the sea to "be gathered together into once place, and let the dry land appear" -(Genesis 1:9).  The water served to give consistency and coherence to the land; this is one interpretation of Peter's words, though there are others.  By this interpretation, "out of the water" refers not to the position of the land but rather to the effect of the water upon the land.  "Standing" is from the Greek ("sunistemi"), meaning to set together, compacted, consist; as in Colossians 1:17, "By Him all things consist" (are held together).  Water keeps the earth moist and holds it together.  Scholars are agreed only on the fact that the meaning is obscure.

We have known for more than a decade that man has been able to corrupt all this, through what is known as the HAARP, or High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program.  The government has been able to control [geo-engineering] the weather for quite some time now.  An example is that of the Pacific coast region of the nation, where they have been able to divert the rain for months, and the recent intentional deluge on Texas.  This program is but one example of why it has become necessary for God to intervene in the life of mankind. 

2nd Peter 3:6 at least tells us "whereby" indicates the Flood occurred by means of God's command.  By Him, the Earth was created, and by Him it was inundated (covered with water) so the Earth and its inhabitants "perished" ("apoleto"), ruined, destroyed fully.  My wife was recently in Phoenix, Arizona to attend the graduation of a granddaughter.  She texted me during a flight change at Dallas wanting to know what body of water she had just flown over in route to Phoenix.  I told her she had been flying over the flooded areas of Oklahoma and Texas.  Texas has been the focus of those that direct the weather.  You can discover where the government is orchestrating weather-change by accessing the "HAARP Status Network".  It identifies in color graphics where severe weather is being manipulated and directed by "HAARP". 

While 2nd Peter 3:7 acknowledges divine judgment upon human sins is inevitable, and though the Earth will never again be destroyed by a flood -(Genesis 9:11), this verse tells us it will be by fire.  "The same word" that created the world and that sent the Flood is now saving up the present heavens and Earth, holding these elements in store for the fiery judgment which lies ahead.  "Kept in store" is "Tethesaurismenoi", or to amass, to treasure up, as in Romans 2:5, "Treasured up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath".   In this post I am providing some Greek exegesis application which helps one to see how a word may be translated a number of ways.  In 53 years of ministry, I concluded years ago that the two most important means of understanding the Bible was through "Word Study" and "Thematic Study". 

Here the word "Reserved" in 3:7 means to withhold, to keep in protective custody.  "Perdition" is "apoleias" which means (ruin, loss, perishing).  This same Greek word is translated "damnable" and "destruction"  in 2:1, and as "pernicious" in 2:2.  It is used in the case of Judas, whom Jesus called the "son of perdition" in John 17:12.  In applying the word "perdition" to people, the New Testament always makes it clear that the one who is destroyed is responsible for his own situation.  There is never a fatalistic doom suggested.  Even in Judas' case, the Gospels show that as late as the Last Supper, Jesus tried to help Judas to change his mind and purpose.  Judas could have repented of his actions.

In 2nd Peter 3:8 Peter addresses them as "Beloved" (dearly loved), which appears 6X in Peter's second epistle.  He cautioned believers not to forget "this one thing", that God is very long-suffering.  I can never escape that thought when I make reference to Rosh HaShanah, knowing that I could be wrong.  However, the events this year are ominous to say the least and I feel comfortable with my thoughts on this Rosh HaShanah being an excellent day of our "Departure".  Peter was quoting from Psalm 90:4 to show a thousand years is not very long to the eternal God of the Bible.  When the Bble says "The end of all things is at hand" -(1st Peter 4:7), it may mean tomorrow or it may mean a thousand years from now.  So believers should not grow impatient if Christ Jesus' coming is not as soon as they expect.  This becomes a dilemma for the shepherds of the flock and how one balances their words.  Remember, God's timetable is not synchronized with any earthly clock that I know of.  Scoffers and mockers are ignorant of this fact.  They view time from the standpoint of their own short lives and not from God's standpoint.  However long it might be "since the fathers fell asleep" in verse 4, it is not long in God's sight.

Paul evidently expected Christ Jesus to return in his own lifetime.  He wrote, "We which are alive and remain..." -(1st Thessalonians 4:17).  When it became apparent that he would die prior to Christ Jesus' return, it did not trouble him.  He still rejoiced in the crown of righteousness reserved for Him and for all those who "love His (Christ's) appearing"  -(2nd Timothy 4:6-8).

There is a good reason why Christ Jesus has not yet returned in verse 3:9.  He, God does not wish for anyone to perish.  Some will perish (verse 7), but that is not His desire.  He patiently provides time and opportunity through the preaching of the gospel, and this is the only reason for the seeming delay in coming as He promised.  He is not "slack" ("Bradunei", or slow, remiss, tardy,) in doing so, but is "long-suffering" ("Makrothumei", forbearing, enduring patiently) toward mankind.  Instead of "us-ward", the Greek should be translated "you-ward".  "Willing" is "boulomenos", meaning choice, preference, being so minded, as in 2nd Corinthians 1:15, "I was minded to come unto you". 

The Day of the Lord in 3:10 will certainly come (the Greek verb carries a positive emphasis).  Believers need to remember this and be ready at all times; unbelievers need to realize it also, as they will suffer at the hand of a "thief in the night".  Paul used this expression in 1st Thessalonians 5:2 concerning the Lord's coming.  Jesus warned of it, admonishing His disciples to be ready always, "for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh"  -(Matthew 24:44).  "The Day of the Lord" is not simply a single event but the period of time including the Second Coming, the Tribulation period, and the establishment of Christ's kingdom.  Peter skipped over all the intervening events and dealt with the final scene when the heavens shall pass away from the Earth and be burned up.  "Elements" is "stocheia" (the basic parts, components).  Some say it refers to stars and planets, others to the four elements of which the universe if composed (fire, air, earth, water).  Although the atomic structure of chemical elements was not understood in Peter's day, his language may be interpreted in the light of these elements of which all matter is constituted.  The picture is one of total destruction of the heavens and the Earth.

In 3:11 Peter was more concerned with believers' spiritual condition than with details of what will happen to the heavens and the Earth.  Since this judgment by fire is coming, he says they need to examine their hearts and lives.  "Conversation" is "anastrophais" (manner of life, behavior).  "Godliness" is "eusebeais" (holiness, piety, reverence, devoutness).  "Dissolved" is "luomenon" (loosen, disintegrate, melt).  It is the New Testament word that best describes atomic disintegration.  It is also translated "melt" in 3:12.  Since we have become familiar with nuclear power, we know something of "metldowns", and we can imagine what will take place when all atoms are smashed. 

Our knowledge of atomic explosions gives us some idea of the "great noise" in verse 10 which will result from the breakup of all matter.  I spent three years in West Germany in a nuclear artillery battalion.  We had 6 huge 280-milimeter guns, each capable of delivering a 15.5-megaton nuclear warhead more than twenty-miles.  Each of the big guns had just 6 nuclear warhead rounds, each weighing about 650-lbs and a shade under 12-inches in diameter..  The military figured that we only needed six nuclear warheads per gun in the event of a breakout of the Cold War.  We went about our everyday living as normal as possible and yet aware that it could be over in a matter of minutes.  I suppose three years of that life conditioned me to learn patience, to be always alert to what was happening in the world, to be vigilant and watching the signs of what the next moments could bring.  Peter's epistle here is appropriate for us as we wait The Great Escape! 

Peter notes in 3:12 that the Flood destroyed the Earth but not the heavens.  Here it says when the Earth is destroyed by fire, the heavens also will be affected:  "The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved".  So the scoffers and mockers are in for an even bigger surprise: there will be a complete destruction by fire, as compared with the partial judgment of the Flood.  2-billion people will die before the Seal Judgments of Revelation are completed. "Hasting" is "speudonias", meaning eagerly awaiting as well as speeding.  It also carries a sense of hastening His coming.  We can do this by going into all the world and preaching the gospel to every creature -(Mark 16:15).  The purpose of the long-suffering of the Lord (3:9) is to give opportunity for every person on Earth to hear the gospel and be saved.  This challenge that faced Peter's generation has faced every generation since.

Peter states in 3:13, believers should not be preoccupied with flaming destruction of the present heavens and Earth but should be looking for new heavens and a new Earth in which "righteousness" ("dikaiosune", holiness, innocence, equity) "dwelleth" ("katoikei", reside, make its home).  "New" is from "kainos", meaning fresh.  The new heavens and new Earth will have a new quality.  Some say the heavens and Earth will be renewed, rather than being replaced with something brand new.  On this question there is a good case that can be made in verse 10 for taking this as a renovation of the heavens and Earth rather than an annihilation.  The Bible does speak of "everlasting hills" -(Genesis 49:26; Habakkuk 3:6); the Earth "established forever"
-(Psalms 78:69; 104:5; 125:1-2), and "abiding forever" -(Ecclesiastes 1:4).  I say this because "fire" is often used in the Bible as of cleansing or purifying, it may be taken that the heavens and Earth are simply renovated, renewed, and restored to a better state by going through the fire.

Peter exhorts in 3:14, "Be diligent" ("spoudasate", eager, zealous, earnest, prompt).  The word speaks of intense effort, as in 2nd Timothy 2:15, "Study ("spoudason") to show thyself approved unto God".  Since believers are expecting a new heaven and a new Earth pervaded with righteousness, they should prepare themselves to be occupants of such a home so when Christ Jesus does come He will find them living in peace, "without spot" ("aspiloi", unblemished, unstained, undefiled) and "blameless" ("amometoi", faultless, without flaw or blot, untainted by the world).

The Second Coming of Christ Jesus was once the great incentive for holy living among believers in the 1st Century.  Peter referred to it here, and Paul often did in his writings.  In 1st Corinthians 1:8 he urged believers to be "blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ".  In Philippians 1:10 he spoke of being "sincere and without offense till the day of Christ".  He also expressed the need for being blameless at Christ's coming in 1st Thessalonians 3:13 and 5:23.

Believers should refuse to be upset by scoffers, false teachers, mockers, or date setters, counting that the long-suffering of the Lord (His patience in granting more time before His coming) is due to His desire that all might repent and obtain salvation.  Peter reminded them here in 3:15 that Paul said the same thing in his writings.  In Romans 2:4, for example:  "Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"

In 3:16 Peter did not say he could not understand some things in Paul's epistles.  He was thinking of people who are "unlearned" ("amatheis", ignorant) and "unstable" ("asteriktoi", unfixed, vacillating), who take Scripture passages that seem unclear and "wrest" them ("streblousin", twist out of context, strain, or stretch).  They "pervert the gospel of Christ", as Paul said in Galatians 1:7, when referring to the Judaizers seeking to place Christians under the Law.  They even teach people to "continue in sin, that grace may abound"  -(Romans 6:1), twisting the doctrine of Grace.  Peter said such teachers bring destruction upon themselves.  This is evident in the church world where Amillennialism was first adopted by Augustine of the Roman Catholic Institution.  It became entrenched within the Roman Catholic belief system, and was even continued by those churches that came out of the Reformation of 1517.  Unfortunately, this engrained belief system has polluted the understanding of the Word of God, especially pertaining to Grace.  The Pre-Tribulation Rapture is integral to Grace and salvation throughout the New Testament writings

This is an important passage, for it shows that Peter considered Paul's writings, like the other Scriptures, to be inspired of God.  Peter summed up his appeal three times in his final chapter:  In verse 11, "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved"; in verse 14, "Seeing that ye look for such things"; and verse 17, "seeing ye know these things before".  Peter saw the need to keep emphasizing basic truths and to keep fortifying believers.  Peter had told them many things and had also reminded them of the things Paul taught them.  Since they had been forewarned and forearmed with truth concerning all these matters, they were without excuse if they should "fall" ("ekpesete", drop away, fall out of, as in Galatians 5:4, "Ye are fallen from Grace") from their "steadfastness" ("sterigmou", stability, firmness); so they needed to "beware" ("phulassesthe", be on guard, a military term).  If you have served in the military, this takes on added emphasis.  Believers never outlive their need of watchfulness.  Paul reminded the Corinthians how Israel failed time after time after time, and added, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall"  -(1st Corinthians 10:12). 

Peter indicated the danger is that believers may be "led astray" ("sunapachthentes", seduced, carried off) by the "error" ("plane", straying, wandering) of the "wicked" ("athesmon", lawless).  Those who "live in error" (2:18) are those who indulge the lusts of the flesh.  Peter suggested that people who are weak along this line can be trapped again and again, repeatedly.  He warned against these carnal people in the Church and indicated that believers would be carried away with them unless they remained firm in their faith and commitment to Christ Jesus.

It is not easy to breast the tide of compromise when others lower their standards and follow the ways of the world, but "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it".  -(1st Corinthians 10:13).

Peter closes out the message, rather than that they should fall from their steadfastness, Peter admonished them to keep on growing in Grace and in the personal, experiential knowledge of Jesus Christ.  They could also know Him not only as Jesus, the One who saves His people from their sins, and is Christ the Messiah, the One anointed of God to lead His people, but also as "Lord" ("kuriou", Master, Controller, the One supreme authority) and as "Savior" ("soteros", Deliverer, Protector, Preserver, Healer, the One who makes a person whole in body, mind, and spirit).  They needed to keep growing in this knowledge, for the best defense against falling is to keep growing stronger.  To Christ be the "glory" ("doxa", praise, honor, radiant splendor) both now and for "ever" ("aionos"", perpetually , "unto the day of eternity).  If believers follow Peter's instructions and keep growing in virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, and charity) they will indeed bring glory to Christ.  "Amen"

2nd Peter 3 is one of the strongest passages outside that by Paul, supporting a Pre-Tribulation Rapture understanding.  Sometimes a passage is so obvious that folks miss the essence of what is being stated.  Other times it comes from what is not stated.  This comes often as a result of the English translation's inability to translate in a way to fully communicate the kernel of truth stated in the Greek text.  This fact not withstanding, is a major reason that offers man justified credence or a basis for publishing new revisions of the Bible.  The text can be summarized in this fashion:

    1.   The Day of the Lord will come (Judgment and Wrath upon an unbelieving world).
    2.   God is long-suffering to us-ward now.
    3.   Us-ward is "us" ...saved members of the body of the Bride/Church that will escape Tribulation.
    4.   God does not want members of the body of Christ to perish during the Great Tribulation.  The
            Rapture, the calling up of the Bride/Church is God's Provision of escape from Great                                                 Tribulation.
    5.  Those who perish are those who do not repent now and accept Christ as personal Lord and                                     Savior.
    6.  That sinners (through the long-suffering of God now) would repent and accept Christ thus                                             escaping the Tribulation by the Rapture of the Church...before God's Wrath and Judgment                                     comes on the great Day of the Lord's return.

The Rapture of the Church is a blessing of God's Grace that allows believers (us-ward) to be caught up to meet with Christ Jesus in the air.  This calling up will include those dead in Christ and those who are alive.  These people in the Rapture will be translated like Enoch in the twinkling of an eye.  Right now God long-suffers toward us-ward, before the Rapture of the Church.  Through preaching now God provides the means of repentance and Salvation for men and women and is willing that none should perish.

Do not allow the ignorant [lack of knowledge] folks to diss such things as the failure to include the "Definite" Article in the English KJV Bible.  I wrote of this in I believe part 2 or 3 of this series of posts.  In that particular post or posts I noted that in English the "Definitive" Article "the" was actually omitted by the KJV translators.

You can even check me on this by going to the Blue Letter Bible on the Internet.  Go to the search block and enter 2 Thessalonians 2:3.  Just below is the text you want to search in.  To the right is a upside down triangle.  When you click on it you will get a box of translations available to search in.  Click on "TR" which stands for the "Textus-Receptus".  When you click on the search key it brings up 2nd Thessalonians 2:3 in the Greek "Textus-Receptus".  The second line of the passage counting in five words from the left you come to a one-letter word.  It resembles an English lower-case letter "n" with a slightly longer right-side.  It appears directly to the left of the word "apostasia".  The sixth word is the word "apostasia".  Those two words are translated "The Departure".

My friends, this may seem as so unseemingly important, so innocus, yet so significant the word's existence is the proof that validates my premise that the Apostle Paul "first" taught the Pre-Tribulation Rapture as we know it. Most people miss it because they are not Greek scholars or trained in the Greek "Textus-Receptus" or they use the corrupt Westcott & Hort Critical Greek text used to translate every other modern English Bible translation.  I doubt seriously that you would have learned this from any other source.

Blessings from our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus,

Pastor Bob