Video Placeholder

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Claiming Joe Schimmel's $10,000 Rapture Challenge


“We offer $10,000 to those holding to a pre-tribulation rapture, if they could produce just one verse or passage that states that Jesus will rapture the church before the tribulation.”

This is what you would call a scam. The question itself is a loaded question with faulty built-in assumptions (e.g. one verse or passage, the tribulation). But even with the loaded question designed to make people lose no matter what they present, I can still navigate through it to win the $10,000 (if Joe is honest enough to relinquish it). First, we must agree on two facts. First, the antichrist comes at the beginning of “the tribulation”. Thankfully, Mr. Schimmel agrees with this, “The white horse rider in Revelation 6:1-2 is symbolic of the Antichrist counterfeiting Christ and inaugurating the tribulation period.” It follows that to produce one verse or passage stating the rapture comes before “the tribulation” is equivalent to producing one verse or passage stating the rapture comes before the antichrist. This makes sense. It makes no sense for us to be raptured before the antichrist but after “the tribulation”. Thus, to show a scripture which places the rapture before the antichrist will prove the rapture comes before “the tribulation”, which would qualify for the $10,000 challenge. This is the procedure I will take. The second fact we must agree on is that we as the body of Christ are "the temple of God" (1 Corinthians 3:16). Thankfully, Mr. Schimmel agrees with this as well.

Now, without any further ado, here’s the “one verse or passage”:
“1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:”
(2 Thessalonians 2:1-8 King James Bible).

You say, “What??? I thought this was a post-trib verse.” And you’d be wrong. Here’s why. The passage states in verse 1 that it is “by” the rapture of the church that “the day of Christ” is NOT “at hand”. Read it carefully. In other words, because of the rapture, the day of Christ is not at hand. This is the plain and obvious meaning of the text. But you say, “But ‘by’ is incorrectly translated. It should be ‘with regard to’ (NASB) or ‘concerning’ (NIV). This is saying that concerning the rapture, it (the day of Christ) is not at hand.” But remember, the challenge made no specification of to which Bible I should quote out of. The challenge was simply for “one verse or passage”. It did not clarify that this scripture should come from certain Bibles and not others. So this objection is invalidated by the vagueness of the challenge. For, if I were to produce “one verse or passage”, I could produce it out of any Bible I’d want to (since none in particular is specified). And plus, it’s not like I’m quoting an absolute perversion like The Message by Eugene Peterson. I’m quoting from the King James Bible, a literal translation. And the KJV’s translation is fully justified by the NASB Exhaustive Concordance which defines the underlying Greek word, “ὑπέρ” as, “for the sake of”. For the sake of the rapture, the day of Christ is not at hand. Because of the rapture, the day of Christ is not at hand. “By” the rapture, the day of Christ is not at hand. The obvious implication is that the reason the day of Christ is not at hand is because the rapture will happen before the day of Christ. There is something that must come before it (the rapture), thus it (the day of Christ) is not imminent. But that’s not my proof of the pre-trib rapture. That’s simply to deflect the expected objection that this passage cannot be teaching a pre-trib rapture, so as to ignore the proof which I shall give.

Now, on to the proof. In verse 7, Paul states that “now ye know what withholdeth” the antichrist from coming. The “now” implies that because of what Paul just told the Thessalonians, they “now” knew what was holding back the antichrist from coming (and consequently, “the tribulation”). What did Paul just say which reveals the identity of the one who is restraining the antichrist? Paul just said that the antichrist is supposed to sit “in the temple of God” proclaiming himself to be God. It is because of this, that we can know who the restrainer is. What is the temple of God for today according to Paul? Well, it was already agreed from the beginning (see above) that we as Christians are the temple of God, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). If then we are the temple of God and the antichrist is prophecied to sit in the temple of God, then if we are around to see the antichrist, the antichrist must sit physically inside of all believers. Since we are the temple of God, the antichrist must sit inside of all of us to fulfil prophecy. That obviously is not going to happen. One man cannot physically merge himself inside every single believer in the world! It is this obvious absurdity that Paul relies upon here. Because the antichrist must sit in the temple of God, “now” we know who is restraining the antichrist. It must be the church, the body of Christ. For, as long as we are around as the temple of God, the antichrist cannot fulfil the prophecy to sit in the temple of God. It is this which prevents the antichrist from coming.

But what if the Jews rebuild another temple? Wouldn’t that be “the temple of God”? The answer is that as long as we are around as the temple of God, if another temple of God were built, there wouldn’t be one temple of God, but two temples of God — the church and the rebuilt Jewish temple. But the antichrist is promised to sit not just in A temple of God, but THE temple of God (implying only one temple). The antichrist cannot sit in THE temple of God as long as we are around. The church, all Christians, is the restrainer of the antichrist according to Paul.

Now, for the finale. Paul states that the restrainer, “he who now letteth”, will continue to restrain the antichrist in this way, “will let”. But, the restrainer will restrain, “until he be taken out of the way.” The body of Christ will continue to restrain the antichrist by being the temple of God, until it is taken out of the way. When is the body of Christ TAKEN away? In the rapture! So then we will restrain the antichrist until we are raptured. What happens NEXT (verse 8)? “And then shall that Wicked be revealed”, the antichrist will come on the scene. This means that we will be raptured, “taken” away, before the antichrist is “revealed”. A pre-trib rapture can be easily concluded with Paul’s pre-antichrist rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2.

To summarise the proof, Paul states in verses 1 and 2 that because of the rapture, the day of Christ is not at hand. This means the rapture must be before the day of Christ. In verse 4, Paul states that the antichrist must sit in the temple of God (which temple are we), and that because of that fact, we can now know who restrains the antichrist. Since we are the temple of God, and the antichrist cannot sit inside of all of us physically, we (the church) in verse 6 are restraining the antichrist from coming. In verse 7, the church (which is restraining the antichrist) will do so until it is taken away in the rapture. After the church is raptured, the antichrist will come on the scene in verse 8. Since the antichrist inaugurates “the tribulation”, and since we will be taken away (raptured) before the antichrist, we will be raptured before “the tribulation”. And that, my friends, is “just one verse or passage that states that Jesus will rapture the church before the tribulation.” Which means that I win the $10,000!

No comments:

Post a Comment