His Reward Is With Him

One
of the most offensive doctrines taught by pre-tribulationists is the
erroneous idea that those taken in the fictional pre-tribulation "rapture"
will enjoy a great reward that will never be available
to those that come to the Lord during the great tribulation. In this
bizarre aspect of the cultic doctrine, the blind guides teach that "raptured"
believers will be the only portion of "the church" to enter in to the wedding
supper
- a glorious event that is to be denied anyone that
supposedly "misses" the "rapture."

The
Rapturist Caste System

For
instance, John F Walvoord, the former Chancellor of Dallas
Theological Seminary states that there is a definite "distinction"
between those taken in the "rapture" and those that come to Christ
during the tribulation. In this regard, Walvoord says anyone "missing"
the "rapture" will not be considered as part of "the
bride, the Lamb's wife" (Revelation 21:9) and could more properly be
described as "attendants at the wedding�." (The Revelation Of
Jesus Christ, J F Walvoord, Page 273).

Any
woman that has ever been married in a fancy ceremony will tell you
that in the resultant celebration (the wedding, the reception, etc),
there's a quite a difference between being the bride and the busboy
that cleans up the tables after the big party! Yet this is the logical
conclusion to this bizarre system of spiritual bigotry.

In
this weird way of looking at prophecy, the second-class citizen that
only DIES for Christ during the tribulation is plainly
penalized for not being "taken" in the so-called pre-tribulation
rapture.

An
analogy might be found in the sports world. In pro football, the
college sports field ranks and drafts the best players. Being in the
top ten in the "draft" guarantees a lucrative contract, celebrity
status, product endorsements, and high media visibility. Conversely,
an unranked player that just tries out for the team at the training
camp might make an acceptable backup player for certain positions. The
analogy would be complete if the team made the unranked players wear a
sub-standard uniform in order to distinguish them from the 'top'
players on the field.

This
is the picture being pitched by the Rapture Cult. In
this twisted rendition of prophecy, making the grade and getting "raptured"
is everything - and getting "left behind" is the pits.
Unfortunately, the fraud being perpetrated by these pretenders gets
even worse.

It
is common in Rapture Cult circles for evangelists to utilize
vivid descriptions of the prophesied tribulation as a way to frighten
people into accepting Christ - a theological variant of the old 'carrot
and stick.' The idea is typical of the Madison Avenue approach
to advertising. In the ad world, the sales formula requires the
advertiser to first seek to visualize the problem, then sell the
prospect the inexpensive solution. Thousands of hours of actors and
actresses feigning great pain in their faces as a testimony to their
horrible headache is the evidence of this type of marketing formula.
Then suddenly, smiles are abundant because they took the 'brand X'
remedy.

This
tactic is advertising 101 and it's taught at University level. In the
rapturist's adaptation of the manipulative system, the preacher waxes
eloquent on the horrors of the tribulation, then contrasts
those hideous conditions with the prospect of a sudden and imminent
evacuation that is bloodless and instantaneous.

"You
don't want to be left behind to face the terrors of the Antichrist!"
the preachers bray. While we would never seek to minimize the
tribulational judgments spoken of in Scripture, exaggerating the facts
to manipulate a desired behaviour is hardly an
acceptable practice.

In
fact, it has been my experience that many believers resist the
demonstrable Scriptural truth of the post-tribulational second coming
of Christ because they have been programmed so effectively by
their Cult teachers. This conditioning has made them believe that it
is just unthinkable for them to be placed in such a horrifying
setting. Thus, because the anguish of experiencing the tribulation has
been so oversold by those seeking to use fear to coerce a Christian
conversion in a pre-tribulational context, many believers simply can't
conceive of themselves actually being in the tribulation.

Joseph
Chambers

A
good example of this type of gross distortion of New Testament
prophecy is found in the teachings of radio pastor Joseph Chambers.
In a booming voice that is reminiscent of the legendary Elmer
Gantry, this Southern charlatan is far off the Scriptural mark as
he uses every trick in the book to con his hapless listeners into the
rapture camp.

In
a recent article entitled "Saved After the Rapture; But, Oh, the Cost!"
Chambers rolls out the tried and true embellishments that have worked
so well for the Cult for the last 40 years. He writes,

"I
must warn you that being saved after the Rapture comes with incredible
cost�the overcoming saints will die a horrible death of
martyrdom....The greatest wailing and screaming of all human history
will occur immediately after the Rapture�.If you think that suicide
murderers are vicious and that death on the top floors of the world
trade center, where over 1,700 persons were reduced to bits of pieces
or ashes, was horrible; the death of Tribulation saints will be many
times worse."

Pastoral
pretenders like Joseph Chambers don't just hit you with a stick
as they dangle the rapture carrot, their overspreading of abominations
is laid on so thick they depart from the fundamentals of the faith, as
they construct their complex, multi-tiered caste system of heavenly
citizenship. Pouring it on in the same contrived manipulative spirit
that is common to the Cult, Chambers teaches that even if you get "saved"
after the rapture, you'll then be a second-class citizen in the
kingdom of heaven:

"...nobody
that is saved after the Rapture can have the honor of
being in the Bride of Christ." (Saved After the Rapture; But, Oh,
the Cost, by Joseph Chambers)

Moving
into an absolutely surreal arena of theological fantasy, this cultist
is so sold on his rapture dogma that he relegates any Christian that
gets saved after the rapture to a heavenly ghetto - teaching
that believers that miss the rapture can still get to heaven, but
they won't be allowed to permanently live in the New Jerusalem!

This
is the theological equivalent of being an illegal alien in the Kingdom
Of God. As many know, those that are oppressed in foreign lands that
can't quite arrange to come to the grand land of America through
proper channels frequently try to get here any way they can. So-called
"undocumented" strangers in the land are always in fear of being
caught and deported because they don't have the appropriate permits.

This
is the political parallel to the cult system that has tried to posit
that if you "miss" the "rapture," an extraordinary action (such as
martyrdom) will be required in order to still make it to the kingdom
of God. Such unscriptural drivel is just a part of the strange
traditions that can evolve when using the manipulations of man
to coerce conversions to Christianity.

Vivid
descriptions of the terrifying tribulational events - pain,
suffering, and turmoil for those that "miss" the "rapture" -
followed by an inferior standing in the kingdom of God are commonplace
in this contrived presentation of prophecy. Yet the 'carrot and the
stick' always holds out the promise that it's not too late to make it
to the "real" resurrection of God - the pre-tribulational rapture.

After
painting such a dismal picture for anyone foolish enough to resist the
"obvious" and remain on earth during the tribulational terror,
Chambers then offers the carrot - just accept Christ, and you'll
miss the wrath of God, and be taken in the rapture:

"We
can escape that wrath and He instructs us how to escape. Both from the
dead and the living, the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is the grand
event
for the espoused bride of our Lord Jesus Christ."

This
convoluted theological progression masks a deep problem in the Rapture
Cult. Because the Cult system utilizes "Christian" phrases and
seemingly preaches the gospel of Christ, few recognize the tactic is
pure witchcraft. The fact is, witchcraft has been
qualitatively defined as manipulation for the purpose of domination
by no less an authority than the late Anton LaVey, the
high priest of the First Church Of Satan, writing in his Satanic
Bible.

When
so-called "Christians" use the manipulations of the mind (read
witchcraft) to promote an unscriptural version of the Gospel, we can
identify the spirit behind that "gospel" as Antichrist. It is
self evident that we cannot serve two masters. To this end, the Apostle
Paul
wrote,

"Ye
cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be
partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils" (I
Corinthians 10:21, II Timothy 3:5).

I
believe it is this very behaviour that prompted the Holy Spirit
to speak of those that seem to have a robust perspective on
Christianity, when the fact is, they are actually resisting the
true power of the Gospel. The true power of the Gospel is found in
embracing the truth - the person of Jesus Christ.

Men
like Joseph Chambers have embraced "another Jesus" who is not
the truth - and thus they manifest whose child they actually are
through the tactics they employ (see John 8:39, 41 for details). Paul
tells us such men will arrive in "the last days [when] perilous times
shall come" (II Timothy 3:1), and they may be described as "...having
a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" (II Timothy 3:5).
Paul's simple remedy for dealing with such apostates is clear. He
bluntly writes "from such turn away" (II Timothy 3:5).

The
"distinction" between those that are supposedly "raptured" and the
so-called "tribulation saints" is also allegedly along Jewish
and Gentile lines. Never mind "there is neither Greek nor Jew"
(Galatians 3:28) in Christ Jesus, the central idea of the Cult
is God's supposed plan to make the Jews convert to Christianity
because they "missed" the rapture. This is the primary rationale for
the Rapture Cult in the first place. Separating the "bride
of Christ" from other Christians is only an extension of the
corrupt system of separation that is Dispensationalism.

In
this strange scenario, the central area of separation is between "Israel"
and the "Church." Thus, the Cult tells us the promises made to Israel
are not to be applied to the Christians. How singularly
odd then, that the New Testament refers to the Christians as "the
Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16). In fact, the very reward that
God promises to Israel, is that which is seen in the Christian
church in the very end.

His
Reward Is With Him

The
Bible tells us that when Jesus Christ comes back for His
chosen, He will bring his reward with Him. The prophet Isaiah
writes,

"O
Zion, that bringest good tiding, get thee up into the high mountain! O
Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with
strength; lift I up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah,
Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and
his arm shall rule for him; behold, his reward is with him,
and his work before him." (Isaiah 40:10).

This
verse, prophesying of the coming of the Lord, addresses the concept of
"Zion" and "the cities of Judah" - to say nothing of Jerusalem.
Twenty-two chapters later, the prophet again declares,

"Behold,
the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world: Say ye to the
daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his
reward is with him,
and his work before him. And they shall
call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord; and thou shalt
be called Sought out, A city not forsaken." (Isaiah
62:11, 12)

The
idea that Christ has a separate reward for "the bride of Christ" taken
in the fictional "rapture" is inconsistent with these prophecies in Isaiah
as the reward is specifically said to apply to "Jerusalem" as
well as the "holy people" and "the
redeemed of the Lord"
- terms that uniquely fit Christians
whether they were formerly Jewish or not.

In
I Peter, we see the Christians are called a "holy"
people (I Peter 2:5, 9). In Revelation, we see the Christians
praising God because "he hast redeemed us to God by thy blood
out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Revelation
5:9). These are fulfillments of Isaiah's prophecy that God will bring
salvation to a spiritual construct called "Zion" - and that "Zion"
will also be called "A city not forsaken" (Isaiah:62,
12) .

The
simple truth is the Rapture Cult has erred because of this
artificially inserted separation between believers in the Lord
Jesus Christ
. The promises to Israel are not inherited by the "Church"
- they
are inherited by the portion of Israel that became born-again when
they received their Saviour. Thus, "�they are not all Israel, which
are of Israel" (Romans 9:6). Those that were Gentiles before
they were saved have been "grafted in among them, and with them
partakest of the root and fatness of the Olive tree" (Romans 11:17).
This is not a so-called "replacement theology" -
it is one saved group of
believers that is known as Israel.


At
the end of the tribulation as seen in the book of Revelation,
we have a crucial sequential passage that tells us Jesus Christ
will give his "reward" to ALL those that have believed on Him at the seventh
trumpet:

"And
the seventh angel sounded [his trumpet]; and there were great voices
in heaven, saying The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms
of our Lord, and of his Christ...and thy wrath is come, and the
time of the dead [the resurrection], that they should be judged,
and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the
prophets
, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name,
small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the
earth." (Revelation 11:15, 18)

This
is the great time of reckoning for the dead and all the
believers ("small and great"). The seventh trumpet is the last
of seven trumpets that are used in Revelation to describe the
tribulational cycle. Paul writes that it is "at the last trump"
when "the dead shall be raised" (I Corinthians 15:52). Revelation
confirms that at the seventh trumpet (the "last" trumpet) we
see "the time of the dead" when Jesus will "give reward" unto ALL the "saints"
and ALL that "fear thy name" (Revelation 11:15, 18).

To
put it another way, because the Scriptures repeatedly tell us "his
reward is with him"
when He returns, and those
same Scriptures tell us he gives his reward to the believers at the
end of the tribulation, how then can Jesus return before
the tribulation?

Furthermore,
since Isaiah tells Israel that they are to be called "a city
not forsaken," the only city mentioned in the prophecy is Jerusalem.
Since the New Jerusalem is seen as the bride of Christ, how can
Israel not be associated with the bride of Christ? Yet the
Rapture Cult says the "bride" is only comprised of Christians taken in
the "rapture" - and not associated with Israel in any way.

The
mention of the post-tribulational return of Christ with his "reward"
is repeated at the very end of Revelation. At the description
of "the holy city" the New Jerusalem that comes down from God
out of heaven and is "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband"
(Revelation 21:2), Jesus Christ says,

"Behold,
I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every
man according as his work shall be" (Revelation 22:12).

This
is a crucial link as well, for we see this statement is made in
conjunction with the arrival of the New Jerusalem - that
which Isaiah linked to Israel - when God promised "the
redeemed of the Lord" would be referred to as a "city" (Isaiah 62:12).
Revelation tells us the New Jerusalem is identified with
the bride of Christ - who is the key participant in the "marriage
supper of the lamb" (Revelation 19:9). Obviously, the New Jerusalem
arrives after the tribulation when,

"Behold,
the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and
they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be
their God" (Revelation 21:3).

This
is the glorious future that is reserved for all believers in Jesus
Christ
. It is this magnificent reward, characterized as the
wedding supper of the lamb, and our habitation in the New Jerusalem
that the Liars from Laodicea have hijacked, and sought to
reserve for themselves. Thus we should turn away from those that bring
this false doctrine, and instead turn to the one that is the truth.
He says,

"Behold
I come quickly...and my reward is with me" (Revelation 22:12)

November 26, 2003 - James Lloyd

Copyright © 2003 Christian Media Network

See Also

He Cometh With Clouds

Chuck Smith And Calvary Chapel

The Rapture Plot

The Thief Of Sardis

Planetary Exodus

Article Source: 
CMC
Article Number: 
76