I would like to clarify the reason why I have titled these posts “Dangerous Doctrines”. Let me be very clear on this, it is NOT because I believe that “True Christians” who believe these doctrines will not be taken up in the rapture! I do believe that they will be taken even although they do not believe in a “Pre Tribulation Rapture”. I believe that ALL “True Christians” will be taken up in the rapture regardless of what “Doctrines ” they believe.
The reason these doctrines are so dangerous, is because they teach their friends, children, grandchildren and other colleagues etc. that they still have plenty of time to make a decision for Christ. That is exactly the opposite to what the Bible teaches, and therefore highly dangerous, as their unsaved friends and relatives could easily finish up in the Great Tribulation, as a result of believing these dangerous doctrines. Rev 3:11 “Behold, I come quickly. Hold fast to that which you have, so that no one may take your crown.” Jesus never taught that His return was years in the future. Philippians 4:5 “Let your moderation be known to all men, The Lord is at hand” Paul said. Paul also believed it was very close. In 2Pet 3:11 Peter says “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” Peter obviously was not expecting it to be years before it happened.
Zeph 1:14a “The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hastens greatly, ” Today, all the signs indicate the Rapture could take place at any moment, and we should be living like it could happen at any moment, and we should be teaching our family and friends the same.
I said in my last post I would give scriptural evidence strongly supporting my belief that the rapture precedes the Great Tribulation. Rev 4:4 says, “And around the throne I saw twenty-four thrones. And on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white clothing. And they had crowns of gold on their heads.” Much evidence for a pre trib rapture lies in the identity of the 24 Elders seated “on thrones” around the throne of God. There have been a number of different ideas and conjectures put forward as to who these “Elders” are. Some say they are the twelve sons of Jacob, representing the OT Saints plus the twelve Apostles, representing the NT Saints. Others say they are others say that they are God’s counsellors. Still others believe they are heavenly beings, related somehow to the “Four Beasts”, as with the “Elders” they worship God together.
As I have already shown in part two, the OT Saints will not be resurrected until the end of the Tribulation, the end of the Old Covenant. See Rev 11:15&18. “And the seventh angel sounded. And there were great voices in Heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world have become (past tense) the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ. And He will reign forever and ever. Rev 11:18 And the nations were full of wrath, and Your wrath came, and the time of the judging of the dead, and to give the reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, (OT) and to the ones fearing Your name, to the small and to the great, and to destroy those destroying the earth.” These verses are clearly after Jesus Returns to the earth as King of Kings! That also lines up with what Daniel was told in Dan 12:13 “But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” i.e. the end of days being the end of the OT Covenant. This is will also be the end of the seventy weeks pronounced by the angel from Dan 9:24-27. This evidence shows that they cannot be the twelve sons of Jacob.
Are these 24 Elders Heavenly beings? I find NO reference anywhere in scripture to “Elders” being Heavenly beings. Angels, Arch Angels, Seraphim, Cherubim, The Four Beasts with four faces, God, The Holy Spirit, The Lamb of God, The seven Spirits of God, are all heavenly beings, but no Elders. They are not heavenly beings as later evidence will show.
NOR does God require any Counsellors. In fact the Bible says in Isa 40:13 “Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?” God knows more than any counsellor, either earthly or heavenly.
The only “Elders” ever mentioned in the Bible are “Human Beings”. So who exactly are these “Elders” in Rev 4:4? Let us look closely at the verse, because the verse itself provides most of the answer. Rev 4:4 “And around the throne I saw twenty four elders sitting, clothed in white clothing. And they had gold crowns on their heads.”
Clue No 1. They are royalty, as they are sitting on “thrones” and only royalty sit on thrones.
Clue No 2. They are seated in the presence of God and the Lamb. So they are very “High Royalty,” very closely related to the King, otherwise they would be standing before the throne.
Clue No 3. They are clothed in “White Clothing”. White clothing is portrayed throughout Revelation as signifying the righteousness of saints. Rev 3:5 “The one who overcomes, this one will be clothed in white clothing”
Clue No 4. They had crowns of gold on their heads. The crowns of gold on their heads, indicates that their works have been tested and tried and they have received their rewards, viz. the golden crowns. 1Pet 5:4 “And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory.”
Clue No 5. The crowns and the white raiment stay in place on their bodies, so they must have resurrected bodies; they are not spirits without bodies.
Clue No 6. Is found in Rev 5:9b “And they sang a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the book and to open its seals, for You were slain and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation.” Only human beings fit this description. I indicated earlier that I would give evidence of their humanity. This is solid evidence. Only human beings have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb of God.
Clue No 7. In Rev 5:14 “And the four living creatures said, Amen. And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped the One living forever and ever.” Here they are seen to be worshipping the one on the central throne, i.e. God. Who in the Bible is shown to fit all seven of these clues? The answer to this question, reveals who these elders really are.
The answer is found 5 times in the Bible, in 5 separate verses.
Exo 19:5&6 “And now if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure to Me above all the nations; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”
(a). Because Israel did NOT keep God’s Covenant, and (b). Because as we have already seen Israel has NOT YET been resurrected, the Israelites cannot be the Elders seen here in Rev Ch 4&5 Exodus 19:5&6 So this one is a no fit.
1Pe 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession, so that you might speak of the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” Peter is speaking of course of the Church. This is the first verse proving our claim to both Royalty and Priesthood.
Rev 1:6 “and (He has) made us kings and priests to God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” So this is the second time it is recorded that we are both kings and priests. Note that in the OT, only the High Priest was allowed to go into the Holy of Holies, i.e. into the presence of God. This is the second confirmation.
Rev 5:9 “And they sang a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the book and to open its seals, for You were slain and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation.” The Church, the Bride of Jesus are the only people who have been redeemed out of every tribe and nation at this point in time. This is the third confirmation.
Rev 5:10a “And You made us kings and priests to our God,” This is the fourth confirmation.
Rev 5:10b “and we will reign over the earth.” The ONLY people who qualify for this position to be both Kings and Priests unto God, and who have the honour to rule and reign with Jesus over the earth is the Church. This is the fifth confirmation.
These verses give very solid evidence that these “Elders” are representing the Church, the Bride of Christ, hence their very high position, seated around the throne. Seen here in Rev Ch 4 and Ch 5 the “Elders” have already been redeemed and rewarded BEFORE the Tribulation period even commences in Chapter 6.
Some people ask, “Why 24 Elders?” The reason is simple. When King David appointed the priests who would worship in the Temple, in 1 Chron Ch 23 he appointed 24 shifts or courses as the Bible calls them, of priests who would rotate to cover the worship of God 24 hours a day, every day of the year, allowing for sickness and holidays etc. so there would never be a time when there were no priests worshipping God in the temple. These 24 “Elders” in Rev 4:4 represent all the 24 shifts or courses of priests, as appointed by King David.
So then, when in the Bible did the rapture take place? I believe it is seen in Rev 4:1 “After these things I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me, saying, Come up here, and I will show you what must occur after these things.” God’s voice is often likened to a “Trumpet” Rev 1:10 says “I came to be in the Spirit in the Lord’s day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,” . Clearly Rev 4:1 is a type or shadow of the reality, which will take place at the end of the Church age.
God is a God of love, and he reveals His plans to us through His word. Amos 3:7 says “For the Lord Jehovah will do nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” The Book of Revelation is just one such book. I do not believe that the Lord could have made it any clearer than He has.
It is only when people do not believe the literal word of God, that they have to “allegorise” it to make it fit in with their own theories, and that is when problems arise. Unfortunately this is a very common occurrence when people do not believe in dispensations, as we see here with the different Rapture theories.