Pastor K. Kirkland Valdez Apostolic Church, Valdez, Alaska 



The Apostle's Doctrine

If you are Pentecostal this Bible study is especially significant to you; you should carefully study this - all of it. Not realizing it, you may not have the fullest dimension of "Pentecost." 
I'm speaking of our very roots. I'm speaking of the Day of Pentecost and what happened on that day, the outpouring of the Holy Ghost and the Pentecostal/Apostolic message we hold stedfastly: "And they continued stedfastly in the Apostles doctrine," Acts 2:42

Any Apostolic can tell you what was this "Apostles doctrine." Peter, the spokesman for all the Apostles, the one with the keys to the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 16:18, 19), established the Apostle's doctrine, Acts 2:38 - repentance, water baptism in Jesus name for the remission of sins, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. 
Pentecost  is a microcosm of Christianity - Christianity in miniature. What was established on that very significant and important day is a microcosm of basic essential truths. Truths enlarged upon in the rest of the New Testament. Truths both salvational and prophetic. We need to realize that basic and essential eschatological (prophetic, or endtimes) truth was ALSO established on the Day of Pentecost. "The Apostle's doctrine" on that day, that every Apostolic should "stedfastly continue in," consists of more than just Acts 2:38, it includes the great eschatological standard found in Acts 2:16-21.

THE Last Days and the Day of the Lord
Acts 2
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in THE LAST DAYS, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE THAT GREAT AND NOTABLE DAY OF THE LORD COME:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Peter is preaching from Joel 2:28-32, his text on the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Please note the two important technical terms Peter used: "the last days," and "the day of the Lord." 
Peter made the baptism of the Holy Ghost to be THE signifying event and experience, the experience that characterizes "the last days."
"The last days" was the term used by the Jews of Peter's day to signify the Messianic days; when the Messiah comes, then the "last days" arrive. Thus, we have been in "the last days" since the first advent of the Messiah.

The significance of this tremendous occasion (the outpouring of God's Spirit, marking the birth of God's Church), demanded much more from Peter than a momentary explanation. Far reaching doctrinal declarations are in order. The text he chose was equal to the occasion. 
The text he chose was explicitly eschatological. Peter chose his text from Joel, the focus of which is the DAY OF THE LORD. Not a term unique to Joel, however, for this highly important, technical, eschatological term is throughout the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. Probably the most clearly defined, concrete term in the Bible.

The phrase "the last days," however, is not in Joel, Peter supplied it. Peter took Joel's prophecy, brought it up to date, by applying the Jewish term for the Messianic era, and in doing so, formed Apostolic Eschatology. 
His doctrine is very plain, very powerful. The Holy Ghost experience at Pentecost is the identifying experience for the whole of "the last days," right up to the day of the Lord and it's attendant cosmic calamities. Thus, EVERYTHING in between is Pentecostal and Apostolic, characterized by what happened at Pentecost! Christianity the macrocosm. Pentecost, the microcosm, the model, in other words, for Christianity. The standard - for the whole span of time. 
The baptism of the Holy Ghost and Acts 2:38, the ONLY valid message in this world till the sun is turned into darkness and the moon into blood!
The Chronological Order 

The sum total of three things went into Peter's message:
        1. His knowledge of the prophets, in this case Joel,
        2. All he had learned while being trained by Jesus Christ,
        3. Plus the tremendous anointing and inspiration he had just experienced in the Holy Ghost.

And what had Peter been taught just shortly before this that impacted his doctrine at Pentecost? The ever outspoken Peter was probably one of the disciples who asked Jesus this question: "the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matt. 24:3). Peter was told:

Matt. 24
29 Immediately 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:
30 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.
31 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.

Joel placed the cosmic calamities BEFORE the day of the Lord: "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE the great and the terrible day of the LORD come," (Joel 2:31). 
So did Peter: "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE that great and notable day of the LORD come," (Acts 2:20) 
And Jesus placed the cosmic calamities AFTER the tribulation. "Immediately 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," Matt. 24:29.
Putting together Joel's prophecy; Jesus' teaching; and the freshly anointed Apostle's Doctrine at Pentecost, we have a clear-cut chronological order of events:

          1. The (great) tribulation
          2. Cosmic calamities in the sun, moon, and the heavens
          3. The Day of the Lord (which includes the second coming, the great sound of a trumpet, and the gathering of 
              the elect.)

Please note, the day of the Lord comes AFTER the cosmic calamities, AFTER the tribulation. In accordance with Joel and Jesus, Peter's doctrine (which is the Apostles doctrine, Acts 2:42), places the day of the Lord AFTER the tribulation.

Jesus must have been speaking of these very things in John 16:13, when he said "When the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth...he will SHEW YOU THINGS TO COME." At Pentecost the Spirit of Truth had come. At that memorable occasion the Spirit of Truth established, through Peter, the only TRUE eschatology, the standard for the church of "things to come." 
Since he projected Pentecost through the tribulation, men term it "post-trib." This he was. This man with the "keys," this chief Apostle, who's Acts 2:38 message is revered so highly among Apostolics everywhere, was a thorough going post-trib. There is not the slightest hint of anything to the contrary in Acts or his epistles.
We will find the whole NT (New Testament) confirms the three part chronological order above. Seals 5, 6, and 7, of Rev. 6:9-17 depict the same sequence: the 5th seal, the tribulation; the 6th seal, the cosmic calamities in the heavens; the 7th seal, the actual Coming itself. 
The seals, trumpets, vials, do not happen one after another in a consecutive series, i.e., the seventh seal completes; then begins the series of trumpets. The seventh (last) trumpet completes; then begins the series of vials. A close examination of them reveals they all have the same endpoint, the day of the Lord, thus, the trumpets and vials recapitulate (in time), and overlap, to varying degrees. 
Note the 6th seal below. The cosmic calamities immediately preceding the day of the Lord, ANNOUNCING the arrival of the great day of God's wrath:

Rev. 6
12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, 
hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

"Thief in the night" and the day of the Lord

One of the things Jesus taught Peter in Matt. 24, was that his coming would be like a thief (verse 43), referring to his coming after the tribulation (verse 29). In his epistle, Peter combined Jesus' teaching on his coming as a thief, with the central "day of the Lord" theme: "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night..." 2 Pet. 3:10. This places the term "thief in the night" AFTER the tribulation.

As we shall now see, this is also a key theme in Paul's teaching. We should not suppose his "Day of the Lord" any different from Peter's. Many have assumed Paul's teaching on salvation in his epistles to differ from the Apostle's doctrine at Pentecost (the essentiality of Holy Ghost, Acts 2:38). Not so! Paul was as Pentecostal as Peter in his salvational teaching and eschatology. We're talking about the span of time that the Pentecostal message is to continue. Paul's "Day of the Lord" in the scripture below is post-tribulational. Same as Peter's in 2 Pet. 3:10, it also comes as a "thief in the night."

1 Thess. 5
1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
6 ... Let us watch and be sober.

Note very carefully, Paul applies the Day of the Lord as something the church is to WATCH FOR alertly and soberly. And, the Day of the Lord, from what we have seen, occurs after the tribulation!
Did Paul say, "The Day of the Lord is coming, but, thank God, you won't be around, since seven years prior to this, you will be raptured to heaven." No. Paul preached the post-trib Day of the Lord. He leaves no doubt whatsoever, that the church will exist on earth to see that day.

Paul said in verse one "But of the times and seasons, brethren..." Times and seasons of what? Look at the context. Paul was talking about the rapture of the preceding verses (4:15-18), the famous passage that addresses WHAT will happen at the rapture (dead saints resurrected first, followed by the catching up of alive saints). But, when we continue past the chapter break into chapter five, the subject changes to WHEN it will happen. 
When does he say the rapture will happen? THE DAY OF THE LORD. And, it is post-tribulational. 


The Day of the Lord must come as a surprise to sinners. This is the reason it comes as a thief and it's date, or, "times and seasons," is purposely not given.

Rev. 16
15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Note: here, at the very brink of Armageddon, at the end of the tribulation, THE LORD HAS NOT COME AS A THIEF YET!


Joel 3
9 Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:
10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.
11 Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.
12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.
13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great.
14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
16 The LORD also shall ROAR out of Zion, and UTTER HIS VOICE from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

Here is a continuation of Joel's prophecy. The setting is Armageddon. Armies are gathered. Note very carefully the important words in verse 14, "the day of the Lord is NEAR." The day of the Lord is not said to be NEAR until Armageddon. Strong scriptural evidence when the day of the Lord occurs. More confirmation of Peter's doctrine on the day of Pentecost, who was preaching from the same context in Joel. To collate the chronological order of events using the scriptures we have been citing so far:

        1. Pentecost and the "last days," or Messianic era (Acts 2:16-18).
        2. The tribulation, (Matt. 24:29).
        3. At the end of the tribulation comes Jesus' last warning: he's coming as a thief, (Rev. 16:15).
        4. Armies are gathered for the battle of that great day of God Almighty, (Rev. 16:16; Joel 3:9-14).
        5. Cosmic calamities (Joel 2:30,31; 3:15; Acts 2:19,20; Matt. 24:29; Rev. 6:12,13).
        6. Followed by, and occurring simultaneously - the coming of Jesus Christ and the day of the Lord

Both Rapture and sudden destruction on the day of the Lord:

Rapture                                                                                                                                                             "The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the  earth shall shake," (Joel 3:16); "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a SHOUT ...," (1 Thess. 4:16). And what a shout (roar)! So stupendous, it will shake the heavens and earth and bring the dead out of their graves!  No pretrib "secret" rapture here!!!  "But the LORD will be the hope of his people," (Joel 3:16). Here we have the rapture, the resurrection, the "gathering together" (Matt. 24:30). 

Sudden Destruction
"The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night... then, sudden destruction cometh upon them... they shall not escape," (1 Thess. 5:2,3). Note: the tribulation, a seven year period, cannot be the day of the Lord, the day of the Lord is SUDDEN destruction! 2 Pet. 3:10.

Three times the phrase "the day of the Lord cometh" is used in the Bible. (Isa. 13:9, Joel 2:1, Zech. 14:1). In each case the text immediately begins to describe the battle of Armageddon. In all three places, the day of the Lord is in conjunction with the battle of Armageddon. The testimony of scripture is unanimous: the day of the Lord "cometh" at Armageddon.


The day of Pentecost projects the church on earth until the day of the Lord. Paul writes as if it were an assumed fact. Of course it is, it is the Apostle's doctrine from the day of Pentecost. Same as what we have seen in 1 Thess. chapt. 4 & 5, he places That Day as the church's destination in 2 Thess. chapters 1 & 2. The judgmental character of "That Day" in verse 8 below, "In flaming fire taking vengeance...," identifies it as the day of the Lord (see Isa. 2:10-21; Isa. 13:6-13; Joel; etc).

2 Thess 1
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, WHEN the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty
angels;                                                                                                                                                          8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 WHEN he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe

Note very carefully, two things happen at the same time, the church is rescued, and judgment falls - at the Coming of the Lord/day of the Lord. Note the word "when," in verse 7 is: WHEN the Lord Jesus is revealed... taking vengeance... And WHEN "he shall come to be glorified in his saints," verse 10. Paul depicts the church in persecutions and tribulations (see the preceding verses in this chapter), but rescued from them at the coming of the Lord in judgment, at which time he will render vengeance to the church's persecutors.

The coming of the Lord for his church and his coming in judgment are two different events according to the pretrib rapture theory; not so with Paul, he knew of no "secret" rapture occurring seven year before. It is all done in one coming.


2 Thess 2
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;
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:

Chapter two of 2 Thess. is a continuation from chapter one, Paul's teaching about "That Day," the day he comes both in judgment and to rescue the church, he calls "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto him" (2 Thess. 2:1). It is "the day of Christ" (day of the Lord, in the Greek text) in verse 2, and "that day" in verse 3. In this chapter he describes three things that happen on "that day" ... and two things that must happen "first."

Three things that happen on "That Day."
       1. The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (verse 1)
       2. Our gathering together unto him (verse 1)
       3. The destruction of the antichrist or man of sin (verse 8)

Two things that must happen "First."
       1. A falling away (verse 3)
       2. That man of sin, the antichrist, be revealed (verse 3)

Clearly, the church is depicted here in the great tribulation. The antichrist, the most conspicuous event of the tribulation MUST COME FIRST - before "that day," the day of the Lord (and thus the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto him, v. 1). The day of the Lord, Paul says, is not imminent. The rapture cannot happen at "any moment," it cannot happen until the antichrist is revealed. The antichrist and the tribulation must come first.


1 Cor. 1
7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The day of the Lord has many synonymous terms scattered throughout scripture: the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, the day of Christ, that day, the day, his day, day of redemption, last day, day of wrath, day of visitation, day of judgment, day of God, and the great day. The context of these verses picture the church still on earth until the DAY OF THE LORD. Such a passage as 1 Cor. 1:7,8, above, emphasizes the full meaning of that day, it is "the day of our LORD JESUS CHRIST." It tells us the Pentecostal message (the gift of the Holy Ghost) is going to be very much in operation until the coming of the Lord at the day of the Lord, which happens at THE END.

It is incredible that Pentecostals, of all people, should be preaching the false interpretation of the "restrainer" in 2 Thess. 2:7, i.e., the Holy Ghost removed from the earth at the pre-trib rapture, "taken out of the way." If that is what they preach then they should call themselves something other than Pentecostal. The Apostle's doctrine at Pentecost emphatically puts the Holy Ghost outpouring in the days preceding the cosmic calamities (Acts 2:17-20). Which calamities, we know from Matt. 24:29, immediately follow the tribulation. "Taken out of the way?" No way! It is going to be the main event!

James 5
7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

This is PENTECOSTAL early and latter rains. "Pentecost," was the crowning day of the firstfruit harvest festival of the Jews. The feast of Pentecost is connected to "early and latter rains," the rains that ripened the firstfruit harvest. Thus, the early and latter rains were the background to Peter's doctrine of the Holy Ghost outpouring at Pentecost. Joel tied the early and latter rains to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost (see Joel 2:23), since Peter was preaching out of Joel - so did he. Thus, Peter's doctrine of the Holy Ghost outpouring within the "last days" has an early outpouring and a latter. Don't believe pretrib weather forecasts! The "latter rain" rainclouds we now experience are not finished, there's more ahead! The more persecutions that are poured out on God's people; the more God will pour out the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

Peter, at Pentecost, had another reference for the Holy Ghost outpouring besides his preaching out of Joel. In Acts 2:33-35 he was preaching from Psalms 110. Here, he sheds more light on "the last days." Two things are said to be concurrent during our present span of time: 1.) the promise of the Holy Ghost is shed forth, 2.) Jesus is exalted "by the right hand of God." Note: "UNTIL I make thy foes thy footstool." If we go to Psalms 110 we find WHEN Jesus' enemies are made his footstool.

Psalms 110

1 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies;

When? In THE DAY OF HIS WRATH (day of the Lord)! Rev. 19, the post-trib coming of the Lord, describes Jesus striking through kings, and filling "the places with dead bodies" at the day of the Lord. His enemies are not made his footstool (an ancient expression for the total defeat and subjection of an enemy) UNTIL AFTER THE TRIBULATION (certainly not at the beginning of it). Thus, we have confirming evidence from Peter that the Holy Ghost will be "shed forth" until then! 

Matt. 26
27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

After Calvary the blood of the New Testament (New Covenant in the Greek) began to be preached; At Pentecost his blood "shed for many for the remission of sins" was made effectual via repentance and baptism in Jesus name for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).

Pentecost had a double meaning to the Jews, it was not only the firstfruit harvest festival, it was also the "feast of Revelation," a commemoration of the "revelation" of the law. Pentecost means "fiftieth," the feast of Pentecost always comes fifty days after the Passover feast. The Jews make great significance of Pentecost because the law was given on Mt. Sinai fifty days after the passover in Egypt. Thus, Pentecost meant the celebration of the giving of the law to the Jews. But, this points to a greater spiritual meaning: Pentecost signifies the giving of the true law, THE NEW COVENANT. Heb. 10 and 2 Cor. 3 teach this, that the New Covenant has replaced the Old. Pentecost is to the New Covenant, what Mount Sinai is to the Old Covenant. It is Peter, not Moses. Acts 2:38, not the Mosaic law. Pentecost is our "Feast of Revelation."

There is only ONE valid covenant in the world since Jesus enacted the New Covenant in his blood. And it will be the only covenant in effect during the tribulation. Nowhere does scripture tell us that the New Covenant in Jesus blood is ended at the beginning of the tribulation; at the pretrib rapture, when the Holy Ghost is supposedly removed from the earth, and God supposedly reverts back to the Old Covenant. Absolutely not:

Rev. 7
13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

This is the innumerable multitude that came out of the great tribulation (7:9). Obviously, the New Covenant in Jesus blood is very much effectual during the great tribulation! But, only blood is mentioned. Nothing is said here about baptism in Jesus name or the baptism of the Holy Ghost. It doesn't have to, it is presupposed, 1 John 5:8 says: "And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one." One what? One plan of salvation. The New Covenant. No such thing as the blood without the other two. If the blood is effectual during the great tribulation then so is the water and spirit. The New Covenant is implied. The New Covenant is presupposed in the words: "washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb," Acts 2:38 is the only saving message, now - and in the tribulation.
Mark 13
11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.
13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Jesus says in this passage that the Holy Ghost will most certainly be present during persecutions, family betrayals, and being hated of all men for his name's sake. He implied that these things have to be endured UNTO THE END. What end? Endure until the pretrib rapture at the start of the tribulation? No. The "end" Jesus points to is in verses 24-27. The day of the Lord after the tribulation.

Someone once said: "What is religion anyway? Reduced to it's basis it is UNITY; the union of God with his people." This is the real basis of Godhead truth. Flesh and Spirit. Not dry theology, but God, who is spirit, taking up his abode in a soul that loves him. God manifest in flesh, "Theo-carnation." God in Christ, God in the Church. Every type and shadow of the OT, the plain statements of the NT, confirm that this kind of unity was his plan and purpose. Jesus Christ, his blood, and Christ in you (the spirit of the risen Christ) is the central theme of all eternity, the apex of God's purpose. All of which is intrinsic with Godhead truth. 
The infilling of the Holy Ghost is the extension of the incarnation. How can these things be a temporary "dispensation?" The Holy Ghost, but a parenthesis within history? Oneness Pentecostals, of all people, should know something is WRONG with the pretrib notion of the REMOVAL of the Holy Ghost at the beginning of the tribulation with the reinstitution of the Jewish law. 
It contradicts Theocarnation truth! God is the ETERNAL, he is a SPIRIT; the only way anyone can possess eternal life is to have the spirit of God. There is no eternal life in the Mosaic law. But, yet pretrib/dispensationalism would have us believe that this is God's plan from all eternity, to remove the Holy Ghost at the beginning of the tribulation with a return back to a dead, dry, spiritless law dispensation. It's understandable trinitarians believe such, but Oneness folks? Godhead truth, the unity of God's spirit in flesh, cannot be put into dispensational terms. If "God manifest in the flesh" is true, then the pretrib interpretation of 2 Thess. 2:7 cannot be. Rest assured, "theocarnation" is absolute truth from all eternity - there will be no removal of the Holy Ghost during the endtimes!


"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet BEFORE the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Mal. 4:5, 6

Elijah must come BEFORE the day of the Lord. This verse is of great importance to Jews. It is why, to this day, they have an empty chair reserved for Elijah when they observe the Passover "seder." 
Jews expect an Elijah-like prophet to arrive in conjunction with their Messiah. Since they have refused Jesus as their Messiah, the Messiah they expect will be the antichrist, and the "Elijah" they expect will be the false prophet, the beast from the earth in Rev. 13:11. 
This false "Elijah" mimicking the OT Elijah, will attempt to prove he is Elijah by calling down fire from heaven (13:13) as the OT Elijah did (1 Kings 18, 2 Kings 1). But God will have the power of the Holy Ghost in response, in the true endtime Mal. 4:5 fulfillment of Elijah, one of the two witnesses (Rev. 11). 
Obviously, Elijah, because of the identification with the OT Elijah, who, in the days of his ministry had power 
"to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy," Rev. 11:6. John the baptist was a precursor, not the endtime fulfillment, he did not "smite the earth with a curse," (Mal. 4:6). The endtime Elijah will, he will "smite the earth with all plagues, as often as he will," Rev. 11:6).

The other witness is obviously identified with Moses who has "power over waters to turn them to blood," Rev. 11:6. The waters being turned to blood, one of the plagues upon Egypt. Rev. 15:1-3, makes the parallel of the plagues in Egypt, and the church emerging victorious from the endtime plagues, singing the "song of Moses." 
These endtime two witnesses, Moses and Elijah, are part of the "sure word of prophecy" Peter referred to in 2 Pet. 1:16-19, which Peter links to the mount of transfiguration when Moses and Elijah appeared (Matt. 17:1-8).

The two witnesses mission is concluded at the end of the tribulation in conjunction with the last trump (Rev. 10:7, 11:15), the resurrection, Armageddon, and the day of the Lord: "And the nations were angry, and THY WRATH IS COME, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged...," Rev. 11:18. First, the two witnesses - then, the day of the Lord. 


Much confusion concerning the endtimes is due to applying the prophetic terms: the day of the Lord, the day of God, or the day of Christ. Trying to evade the obvious implications of a single post-trib day of the Lord, they have invented such contortions as applying "the day of Christ," to the pretrib rapture, and, "the day of the Lord" to the coming after the tribulation. We might expect as much from the Trinitarians. The Trinitarians have held this "ark" in their camp long enough, whilst distorting it. It's time we take back what's rightfully ours! The day of the Lord is Oneness doctrine! With the Oneness key, we ought to know that the day of the Lord, the day of God, day of Christ, are all one and the same day. It's JESUS' day!

Isaiah 2
10 Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.
11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
18 And the idols he shall utterly abolish.

Jesus ALONE shall be EXALTED ON THAT DAY! "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty," Rev. 1:7,8. Then the world will know what this means: "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father" (Matt. 16:27). 
"The LORD ALONE shall be exalted in THAT DAY," is an exclusive statement. It CANNOT apply to the tribulation for during that time the antichrist will be worshipped as God! (Rev. 13:12) Not only that, but, according to Isa. 2:18, above, there absolutely won't be any idol worship going on during the day of the Lord, yet, the following texts say idolatry will be commonplace during the tribulation including the worst idolatry of all time, the image of the beast: Rev. 9:20,21 & 13:15.

The post-trib day of the Lord is preeminently a Oneness doctrine. The day of the Lord is going to be that great moment when the truth of the mighty God in Christ will be EXALTED openly. Oneness believers everywhere should lay hold of this great truth about the day of the Lord. 
The cross-reference table below illustrates the following truths:
1.) By cross-referencing the OT passages that have LORD in capital letters to the NT reference, the name of JESUS is exalted as God's true, revealed name. Thus, Jesus ALONE is exalted on that day! Though "Jehovah" is probably not the actual OT pronunciation for the name of God, for sake of cross-reference, we substitute it for the capitalized "LORD" in the OT passages. Our purpose is to doubly emphasize the name of Jesus as God's name. Jesus IS Jehovah God.
2.) These cross-references prove the church is not raptured until JESUS' DAY, the day of the Lord. All in the same event: the day of wrath, the day of judgment, and THE DAY THE CHURCH IS RESCUED AND RAPTURED.

Behold, the name of JEHOVAH cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring FIRE: And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: 
Isa. 30:27, 28
For, behold, JEHOVAH will come with FIRE, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke WITH FLAMES OF FIRE. For by FIRE and by his sword will JEHOVAH plead with all flesh: and the slain of JEHOVAH shall be many.  Isa. 66:15, 16
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when THE LORD JESUS shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, IN FLAMING FIRE taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.      2 Thess. 1:7-10
OUR GOD SHALL COME, and SHALL NOT KEEP SILENCE: a FIRE shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. Psalms 50:3 For 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:  1 Thess. 4:16
Then shall JEHOVAH go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day UPON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, which is before Jerusalem on the east,  Zech. 14:3, 4 … THIS SAME JESUS, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from THE MOUNT CALLED OLIVET,   Acts 1:11, 12
… and JEHOVAH my God shall come, and ALL THE SAINTS WITH THEE.  Zech. 14:5 …at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ WITH ALL HIS SAINTS.  1 Thess. 3:13
And JEHOVAH shall be KING over all the earth: in THAT DAY shall there be ONE JEHOVAH, and HIS NAME ONE.  Zech. 14:9… 
and JEHOVAH ALONE shall be exalted in that day.  Isa. 2:17
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him… Rev. 19:11
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.  Rev. 19:16
Behold, JEHOVAH GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, HIS REWARD IS WITH HIM, and his work before him.  Isa. 40:10 And, behold, I [Jesus] come quickly; and MY REWARD IS WITH ME, to give every man according as his work shall be.  Rev. 22:12
HE WILL SWALLOW UP DEATH IN VICTORY; … And it shall be said in that day, Lo, THIS IS OUR GOD; we have WAITED for him, and he will save us: THIS IS JEHOVAH; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.  Isa. 25:8, 9 …THEN  shall be brought to pass the saying that is written [see the cross-reference], DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY.  1 Cor. 15:54 
And to WAIT for his Son from heaven … 1 Thess. 1:10

It's the day when Jesus asserts his preeminence as the LORD of Hosts, which, in The OT cross references, means GOD! The day of the exaltation of Oneness truth. Those who mock, calling it "Jesus Only," will, too late, see their error, for Jesus ALONE shall be exalted on that day! Trinitarians and pretribs (pretrib/dispensationalism is inherently Trinitarian) can never grasp the rich significance of THAT DAY, but, Oneness Pentecostals should! We should be putting the emphasis on the day of the Lord that the Bible does.


2 Tim
1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead AT HIS APPEARING AND HIS KINGDOM;
2 Preach the word...
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me AT THAT DAY: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his APPEARING.

"That day" is the day of the King. His "appearing and his kingdom" are simultaneous, WHEN HE APPEARS HIS KINGDOM RULE BEGINS. How, then, can his appearing be other than the day of the Lord? Does his kingdom rule over this world begin at the start of the tribulation? Of course not, the king does not take his rule until the last trump at the close of the tribulation when "the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever." Dan. 11:15.

"At that day," at his APPEARING, is when Paul said the crowns will be given (2 Tim. 4:8 above). Crowns are for kings. The word "appearing" in these verses is "Epiphany" in the Greek. Epiphany is a royal word. So is "Parousia" (coming). Lexicons or word-study books will tell you how these words were used in Paul's time. In NT days it was when a king or emperor left his capital to visit some remote part of his realm. A gala affair, one that called for all kinds of noisy celebration. This is the word Paul used.

"From the Ptolemaic period down into the 2nd century A.D. we are able to trace the word in the East as a technical expression for the arrival or visit of a king or emperor...The oldest passage, Flinders Petrie Papyrus II. 39e, of the 3rd century B.C., where, contributions are noted for a crown of gold to be presented to the king at his parousia: 'for another crown on the occasion of the parousia, 12 artabae.' This papyrus supplies an exceptionally fine background to the figurative language of Paul in which Parousia/Epiphany and crown occur in collocation. 'At the parousia of our Lord Jesus Christ' the apostle will wear a crown - 'the crown of glory,' 1 Thess 2:19, or 'the crown of righteousness' which the Lord will give to him and to all that have loved his epiphany, 2 Tim. 4:8. Other examples of Hellenistic age are a passage in Polybius 'to expect earnestly the parousia of Antiochus, and two letters of King Mithradatres VI, 88 B.C., writing to Leonippus the Praefect of Caria, makes twofold mention of his own parousia, i.e., his INVASION of the province of Asia. G. Caesar (+4 AD), a grandson of Augustus, was, as we know from an inscription - 'in the first year of the EPIPHANY (synonomous with parousia) of Gaius Caesar' - marked the beginning of a new era in Cos."
From the book "Light from the Ancient East," Deissmann

Furthermore, concerning the word "shout" in the famous "parousia" rapture/resurrection passage, 1 Thess 4:15, 16:

A.T. Robertson, "an old word, here only in NT from 'keleuo,' to order, command (military command). Christ  will come as a conqueror."

Conybeare, "a shout of war... the word denotes the shout used in battle."

Alexander's Commentary, "with a cry of command ringing forth, like that of the general of a great army."

This is very powerful! Remember this every time you see the "coming" or "appearing" of the Lord Jesus in the NT. Remember this when you think about that SHOUT in 1 Thess. 4:16. Far from a secret affair (as the pretribs have it), these words mean just the opposite: a very public arrival, and a very public invasion of a king. All of which gives even richer meaning to the day of the Lord. The day of the Lord, the day of his epiphany (appearing), is the day the kingdom arrives.

Rev. 20
4 And 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.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

2 Tim. 4:1 tells us that Christ shall "judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and kingdom." Rev. 19 is his appearing (the epiphany), or the day of the Lord; Rev. 20 is the kingdom. Crowns await them who love his appearing (2 Tim. 4:8); the "thrones" in Rev. 20:4 allude to these crowns: "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them... they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." 

The first resurrection here coincides with "the quick and the dead" in 2 Tim. 4:1: Christ resurrects or "quickens" the saved at the beginning of the millennium, while "the rest of the dead" remain in the grave: "the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished."

Those of the first resurrection will reign for a thousand years - not a thousand and seven years! It is manifestly clear that the saved are resurrected here at the post-tribulation day of the Lord - NOT SEVEN YEAR PREVIOUS - as pre-tribulation theory has it. 

The first resurrection marks WHEN the kingdom rule for a thousand years begins. There can be no mistaking the intent of scripture here, the first resurrection happens at the SAME TIME the kingdom reign begins. Furthermore, It is also manifestly clear that the first resurrection must occur AFTER the tribulation because our text says those of the first resurrection had experienced martyrdom at the hands of the beast; they refused to worship the beast and his image, they refused the mark of the beast. The following table illustrates these important facts:

               2 TIM. 4                                                   REV. 19 & 20

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Tim. 4:1

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them… and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Rev. 20:4, 5


I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Tim. 4:1

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him… And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. Rev. 19:11, 16

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom… Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Tim. 4:1, 8


And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them… and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Rev. 20:4





[Though the word "tribulation" is not in 2 Tim. 4, nevertheless, by saying the Epiphany, resurrection, and Kingdom occur simultaneously, it implies the first resurrection takes place after the tribulation]

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. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Rev. 20:4, 5

Ministers are given the "charge" of 2 Tim. 4:1 at their ordination. Little did I understand, ordained some 30 years ago, a pretribber at the time, the basis of that "charge." Preachers are charged, based on the truths we have just enunciated, to preach the word. Their ordination is BASED on the epiphany of the King and his kingdom, and the first resurrection - in other words, their very ordination to preach is based on the post-trib day of the Lord. 

The impression is conveyed everywhere in Pentecostal circles that prophetic issues, and in particular the rapture/tribulation/day of the Lord issue, are side issues, we are ordained to preach the "word!" Leave such controversial matters to the prophecy nuts. How utterly false! In the light of 2 Tim.4:1, if he hasn't got this right he shouldn't even be preaching, period! Men may, but God does not ordain pretribbers. They may be preaching the "word" but the motivation behind it is not right. According to 2 Tim. 4:1, Preachers are "charged," i.e., the responsibility is laid on them, to preach the "word" with the post-trib day of the Lord truth as their primary motivation.


The survey of NT passages we have made confirms that Peter's doctrine on the day of Pentecost did in very fact project Pentecost until the day of the Lord after the tribulation, at which time the church is resurrected, rescued, and raptured. But, pretribs protest, they say this cannot be. The following is typical, one of their actual statements:

"The entire period of the tribulation period of seven years IS THE DAY OF THE LORD. The Day of the Lord is a period of God's judgment and WRATH. The Day of the Lord begins with the Rapture when the Lord Jesus comes like a thief in the night. There are no signs or prophecies that need to be fulfilled for the Rapture to occur."

The theory behind this runs something like this:

The day of the Lord is the wrath of God,
"God hath not appointed us to wrath," 1 Thess. 5:9,
The book of Revelation pictures God's wrath in the tribulation, the trumpets and the vials.

Therefore, the tribulation is the day of the Lord, and the rapture must precede the tribulation.

On the surface, this sounds convincing, however, trying to make it fit the Apostles doctrine on the day of Pentecost is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Once again, the NT, from Pentecost onward, consistently places the day of the Lord AFTER the tribulation. Questions about "wrath," are very important, however, and deserve answers:

1. 1 Thess. 5:9, "God hath not appointed us to wrath," promises exemption from God's wrath, everyone agrees that the church shall not suffer the wrath of God, but the question is, what is the context of this verse? This verse falls within the context of 1 Thess. 4:15 - 5:11, and as we have already pointed out back in the section "The Thief in the Night and the day of the Lord," the context is the rapture/resurrection, the post-tribulational day of the Lord. The same passage that promises exemption from God's wrath (5:9) says to be watchful for the day of the Lord (5:5-8). Identical with Peter's doctrine at Pentecost. The context can have no other interpretation, the wrath of God the church is not appointed to is the day of the Lord, AFTER THE TRIBULATION.

2. That the post-trib, day of the Lord wrath, is the wrath 1 Thess. 5:9 is referring to, is manifest. According to verse 3, in context with verse 9, the wrath is "sudden destruction," which will overtake the ungodly on the day of the Lord. This is the wrath the church will escape. A seven year tribulation cannot be characterized as "sudden destruction," nor can it be labeled the "Day of the Lord."

3. But what about the wrath of God the book of Rev. says will be during the tribulation? The church is not appointed to it either. Scripture records God's wrath as always SELECTIVE in nature, not directed against the righteous but against the wicked. God's selective wrath has coexisted with man all along. Scripture records many instances of it - and with the Elect in the same proximity. The tribulation, being the consummation of wickedness of this age, will differ only in the intensity of that wrath, God's wrath will rise to fit the occasion and the consummation of God's wrath will be manifested, heightened blows of God's selective wrath becoming more and more intense, until finally concluding with the GREAT DAY OF GOD'S WRATH. The crescendo of God's wrath to match the crescendo of antichrist wickedness, wrath of such intensity that will require the removal of God's elect from the earth.

4. God's wrath has been manifested on earth since day one, SELECTIVELY, as when God brought plagues against Egypt, but not against Israel. The plagues, with Israel being delivered through them, and Israel singing the song of deliverance, the "song of Moses," at the other side of the Red Sea, parallels the tribulation. In Rev. 15:1-3 the proleptic "song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb" likens deliverance at the Second Coming to the deliverance from Egypt under Moses and under the atoning blood of the Passover lamb:

"And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb."  Rev. 15:2, 3

5. In the NT God's wrath was selective in the judgment upon Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). And upon Herod (Acts 12:21-23), immediately eaten of worms upon his throne. And upon the Jews in AD 70: "For the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost," 1 Thess. 2:14-16 (also Luke 19:41-44 & Luke 21:20-24). Why, then, should it be so hard to see that the church will be around while God manifests the same selective wrath during the tribulation? In EVERY instance in the tribulation God's wrath is said to be directed very selectively at the wicked. For instance upon "only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads," Rev. 9:4, and in Rev. 16:2 where the seven vials of the wrath of God are directed not for the saints, nor even for the world at large, but for "the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped the beast." GOD KNOWS HOW TO AIM! If modern technology has the ability to drop smart bombs down chimney shafts God certainly knows how to hit certain targets without hitting his own people, which is exactly what we see in the Revelation plagues. Selective, not universal wrath.

6. Even as today, repentance is possible while God's wrath is in the earth (AIDS for example), so will repentance be possible during the tribulation plagues (implied in Rev. 9:20, 21 & Rev. 16:9). Here we see a distinction between God's wrath in the tribulation and the wrath the church is to escape. In the tribulation men can still repent, and when they do, the church must be around to lead them into the rest of the plan of salvation - which follows repentance - baptism in Jesus name and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. But, at the day of the Lord it will be too late.

7. "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great WRATH, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time," Rev. 12:12. The devil's wrath is selective too. The tribulation will be a time of wrath - both kinds - God's and the devils. The devil's wrath will be directed against the saints (Rev. 13:7), who, however, are sealed (protected) from God's wrath. The wicked, on the other hand, will be sealed from the devil's wrath (protected via the mark of the beast), but will be on the receiving end of God's wrath. Unfortunately, most will choose protection from the devil's wrath than God's - far better to suffer the puny persecutions from the New World Order than to incur GOD'S WRATH! ["Puny," that is, in comparison to God's wrath.] Pretrib has got it all wrong, God's wrath will be your friend in the tribulation! You'll be most thankful that it is active during those trying times.

8. So the church is exempt from God's wrath, but it is not exempt from worldly tribulation. On the contrary "We must,
through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God,"
Acts 14:22 (also John 16:33, Rom. 5:3, 1 Thess. 3:3, Rev. 1:9, 2:10). Quite contrary to pretrib claims, there is nothing about the tribulation that requires the church's absence.

9. "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth," Rev. 3:10. There is a balance in this verse. Us "keeping" God's word in a world that is God's enemy, balanced with God "keeping" us in a world that is his enemy. In the same way we have kept his word God will keep us. In both cases, "keeping" does not imply removal from the scene, as per the pretrib rapture, but the opposite. The words "keep from" in this verse (in the Greek) are in only one other place in the bible, John 17:15, there "keep from" is put in opposition to "take them out of the world," Jesus prayed: "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." Rev. 3:10, contrary to oft-repeated claims, give no support to the pretrib rapture.

"The Lord said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to treat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction." Jer. 15:11


Pretribs sensationalize the tribulation, and they do a bang-up job of it. It has served them well. It is a picture of such raw, unmitigated horror that one is led to the conclusion the church can not possibly enter into it. How could God's people possibly survive such terrible times? No one can miss the unprecedented tone of those times in Matt. 24 and Revelation, no cake walk to be sure, but is there an aspect to the tribulation that pretribs aren't telling? Here, in quotation from post-trib writer, John Yonge, are excerpts telling what pretribs don't tell; his analysis of the tribulation brings much needed balance to the subject:

"Pre-tribbers maximize (magnify) the wrath of the tribulation period in order to forward their pre-trib' system... To sensationalize their predictions, and to heighten their self-importance/fame, they take end-time situations to their extreme. They speak of the tribulation period with such dim and dire pictures that many post-tribbers are beginning to think it futile to prepare.

To paint the bleakest picture possible, the tribulation is defined as the "Day of the LORD," which has such dark and gloomy Promises attached that it makes one want to give up the ghost just to think about it... Can there be any doubt about wrath falling during the great tribulation? Yet, the wrath is not upon the Church, nor is there one other scripture depicting God's fury upon His Elect in the tribulation... Indeed, if Wrath has any intended connection with the Elect, it is to serve as warning signs for them -- that they might become appropriately aroused and spiritually prepared and pure...the astute Bible student will recognize that the Day of the LORD is NOT the tribulation period.

'When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has drawn near. Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains...because these are days of [God's] vengeance for the fulfillment of all the things which were written [in the Old Testamant]...There will be great tribulation in the land and wrath [of God] against this People' (Luke 21:20-23).

The "great tribulation" is defined specifically as God's wrath on the land and people of Israel. This term does not describe wrath against the nations of the world, therefore. Wrath against the nations is poured out after the great tribulation. Now, while the "great tribulation" as defined by Luke 21 occurs in and around Israel alone, the Church worldwide will be suffering tribulation simultaneously from the effects of the skincode [mark of the beast] and the False Prophet's iron hand... we should not view the Church's hardships as great-tribulation Wrath. Jesus warned his Elect to flee from Israel at that time because they are not appointed to its Wrath. [Christians escaped the death trap of Jerusalem in AD 70] Learn this lesson, then, that if you do not do the right thing, you can be affected by God's wrath. Anyone appointed to God's wrath is ambushed by it, and not warned to flee from it, but if the one warned to flee does not flee, then whatever heat they encounter should not be blamed on God. He must bring his wrath against certain peoples from here on in, in escalating degrees, and we are to stay clear.

Now, the exaggerated gloom offered by pre-tribulationists, simply does not jibe with Paul's statement in which he discloses "peace and safety" right up until the sudden Destruction (1 Thess. 5:3). Paul was just echoing the words of Jesus when He said:

'For as they were in those days, eating and drinking before the flood, marrying and being given in marriage, up until the day Noah entered the ark, while they knew not what was coming until the flood came and took everyone, so will it also be when the Son of Man appears' (Matthew 24:38, 39).

The appearance which Jesus is alluding to is, of course, the one mentioned 8 verses earlier in verse 30, which is the post-trib Return most assuredly. Therefore, his message is clear, that people during the tribulation period will be going about, fulfilling every typical human endeavor... Everything, Jesus is saying, will be "as usual." How else are we to understand his words? In fact, the people who mock Christ's coming will be enjoying themselves up until Jesus shows up.

True, "peace and safety" does not suggest a complete absence of wars in the tribulation, or of other disasters, for we know there will be much devastation. But just as there are many wars and natural disasters today, while most of the world eats normally and attends to ordinary lives, so also the tribulation period will generally be.

When we read about the destruction of Babylon in Revelation 18, we see that the sailers at Armageddon lament because they previously "became rich through her wealth" (v 19). Knowing that Mystery Babylon is destroyed at Armageddon, these words suggest that she will be very wealthy in the prior tribulation period... And the "merchants of the earth [will] weep and sorrow over her, because no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold and of silver and precious stone and pearls and fine purple linen and scarlet silk..." (11-12). The text also speaks about the singing and joy which previously fills Babylon prior to her sudden destruction in "one hour." It's everything "as usual" in the tribulation period, just as Jesus said it would be, until the lamenting hour of Armageddon.

[Natural catastrophic "storms," certain tribulation plagues] will wake the wise up to the approaching Day, they will be viewed by the sleepers [1 Thess. 5:6] as the mere effects of climactic or geological disturbances... blaming something ridiculous like the "Ice Age" that we are supposed to be entering. Furthermore, the "storms" will be localized, as storms always are. One third of the trees will burn up, but we do not know if this refers to 1/3 the entire world, or just 1/3 of the Israeli region. I am now beginning to lean to the "localized" interpretation of the Revelation plagues, for an abundance of reasons which I can not give here... The regions of the world which are not destined for plague will produce the as-usual life-styles which the Bible refers to, and the United States could very well be destined to house the as-usual conditions rather than to bear the plagues.

Yes, there will be an escalation of plagues aimed at God's enemies, but they are not intended to destroy the social and economic machinery of the world, nor will they. Even in the hot-spot of Israel, men will be looting resident properties, raping the women... you name it (Zech. 14), clearly not on their knees begging God to hold off the plagues. As Pharaoh snubbed his nose at God one plague after the other, ditto for the rulers of the last days, and this indicates that the peoples under them will not be crushed by the plagues, until, that is, the very last one.

The tribulation plagues which do affect humans are war-related but targeted only for those who belong to the anti-Christ (see 5th Trumpet).

Has it occurred to anyone that the tribulation plagues can work in our favor-- that God may time them for our good? A nation involved in making reparations due to war and/or "natural" disasters will become preoccupied and may thereby cease persecution against Christians. Imagine the False Prophet calling for the arrest of all Texan Christians when, suddenly, a terrifying catastrophe occurs in California, thus canceling the efforts against the Texans.

Consider also that the Revelation plagues do not necessarily spell A.M.E.R.I.C.A.; we don't know where they are targeted. Many of the world's Elect live in North America right now.

I freely mix into my perspective of the coming days a backdrop of intense plagues to the normality of world conditions, and those plagues will certainly make CNN's headline news."

One scare tactic is that the tribulation will be so bad that everybody on the face of the earth is killed. The mistake is interpreting localized destruction universally. Scripture says otherwise. Chapter 14 of Zechariah, for instance, depicts Armageddon and the day of the Lord followed by the kingdom rule when "every one that is left of all nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts..." (14:16). Towards the end of the thousand years, Rev. 20:8 pictures these as "the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth." 

In conclusion, pretrib scare tactics are patently false, that the church cannot possibly enter into the tribulation. Scripture say the opposite, "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the lamb." And not just a few mind you, but an innumerable multitude (Rev. 7:9-14). The tribulation will produce the greatest harvest of souls the world has ever seen!

Yes, pretribs have maximized tribulation wrath, but we should be maximizing the great potential of souls it will afford. We, as Pentecostals, should be looking forward to the maximizing of "the last days" outpouring of the Holy Ghost Peter prophesied at Pentecost; and to the maximizing of the "latter rain;" and to the maximizing of Abraham's seed, innumerable as the stars of the heavens and as the sand of the sea. 

The innumerable multitude that will come through the great tribulation victorious (Rev. 7:9-14) is the greater fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham's seed. Paul says in Gal. 3:29 that the church is that seed: "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."


Once the tremendous significance is seen of "that day," the day of the Lord, Jesus' Day; ALL pretrib/Dispensational objections become quite hollow. However, we should devote a little space to one chief objection, a theoretical argument: "Imminence," or the Lord must come "at any moment." 

The rapture at the post-trib day of the Lord with all the preliminary, recognizable signs beforehand, cannot be true, they say the Lord must come "at any moment." 2 Thess. 2:3 flatly contradicts this, as we point out back in our "First the Antichrist" section. 

Pentecostals should know better, the Lord can't come without first "the LATTER rain," James 5:7. Ever heard of an "imminent" harvest? (See Matt. 13, the parable of the wheat and tares) Why, no, there is no such thing; the harvest is at the end of the age in Matt. 13, equated to the Second Coming. 

His coming becomes imminent "When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors" (Matt. 24:33). The context is post-tribulational. It is only when "all these things" are seen that his coming becomes imminent. 

So, imminence is true, however, it is post-tribulational imminence, not pretrib imminence.

Certain alternative views besides pretrib have been advanced, Mid-trib and pre-wrath. Truth is, they are but modified versions of Pretrib/Dispensationalism. Dispensationalism is kept intact except for the timing of the rapture. They view the bible through the same dispensational spectacles and two stage coming as the pretribs. Pre-wrath has the church in the tribulation, but raptured before the vials of wrath. Their unwarranted fears of the wrath of God during the tribulation is the same as pretrib and midtrib, differing only in the details. What we have said about pretrib's errors in our sections "Wrath" and "Tribulation Scare Tactics" applies equally to midtrib and pre-wrath.

Pretrib, midtrib, pre-wrath, all with one voice mock the one singular event of the post-tribs, ocurring at "the last day," (see John 6:39, 40, 44, 54; and 11:24), calling it a "yo-yo." Why would saints rise to meet the Lord only to turn around and return with him (like a yo-yo), they ask? Perhaps they should consider their own "yo-yo," i.e., an unscriptural one, the Lord leaving heaven, descending to the atmosphere (the air), meeting the saints, pulling a U-turn or yo-yo, GOING BACK TO HEAVEN for seven (pretrib), 3 ˝ (midtrib), or 1 ˝ years (pre-wrath). The joke's on them.

A word study of "descend" and "meet" used in 1 Thess 4:16,17, i.e. , the Lord descending from heaven and the saints meeting him, clarifies the issue. 

An example of the meaning of "descend" is Matt 3:16, the Spirit of God descending from heaven upon Jesus at his baptism, always used in the New Testament indicating a complete, uninterrupted descent. 

"Meet" is always used in the New Testament indicating "a going forth in order to escort back", example: the wise virgins went forth to "meet" the bridegroom, ESCORTING him back to the bridal chamber, Matt 25:1-13. THE BRIDEGROOM MAKES NO U-TURN! 

Here we see the real purpose of the rapture: the saints are the welcoming party that escorts Jesus on the last leg of his descent to the earth. The emphasis is not the tribulation, the emphasis should be all on Jesus, it's HIS day, the rapture is but an incident of That Day.

His coming "for his saints" and "with his saints" is accomplished in ONE MOVEMENT from heaven to the earth, thus, one, and only one, Second Coming. 

Pretribs, attempt to evade the obvious, that they teach "two Second Comings." One writer says: "Pretribulationists do not believe that there are two second comings, but that there is one coming incorporating two separate movements." One post-trib writers response to this comment was (a Trinitarian at that): "WE MAY DETECT A STRUGGLE TO MAINTAIN UNITY AND SEPARATENESS AT THE SAME TIME. BUT TWO SEPARATE MOVEMENTS FROM HEAVEN TO EARTH CANNOT BY ANY STRETCH OF FANCY BE CONSIDERED ONE COMING." Sound familiar? Sounds a lot like the familiar old saw "we Trinitarians do not believe that there are three Gods, but that there is one God incorporating three separate persons." Both Trinitarians and Pre-Tribs "struggle to maintain unity and separateness at the same time."

All Trinitarians need do is get the revelation of the Oneness of God, and all the Pre-Tribs (midtribs & prewrath) need do is get the revelation that there is but ONE SECOND COMING. 

How can Oneness Pentecostal pretribs believe in One Lord, One faith, One baptism but yet believe in two separate and distinct second comings as one coming? When not a syllable in the Bible teaches such a disjunction! We deride the Trinitarians for their pluralism, but as long as we cling to the pre-tribism that we have inherited from the Trinitarians we are guilty of a similar riddle. Truth is, Trinitarian doctrine and Pre-Trib/Dispensationalism are from the same fountain of error. Fact is, Pre-Trib/Dispensationalism, when traced to its roots, is based on Trinitarian doctrine. For more on this see my article "Dispensationalism and the Trinity."

In conclusion, the day of the Lord is ever much the central theme of eschatology, NT as well as the OT, always in the foreview of the prophets, always in the foreview of the Apostles. Peter established it as "Apostle's Doctrine" on the day of Pentecost. The ultimate destiny of the church. The endtime tribulation, but the last of many tribulations the church has had to face since Pentecost. This has been the theme of this study, we have kept our focus on all things associated with JESUS' DAY throughout.

Reject pretrib, midtrib, and pre-wrath reports of endtime fear! Israel should have rejected the fearful report of the ten spies; they said there was giants in that land "we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight," Num. 14:33. Let us be like Joshua and Caleb, Apostolics must act on faith not tribulation fear. We need to take hold of Pentecostal eschatology; the power that lies, still untapped, in the message at Pentecost. 

Trinitarians have had the limelight for, yea, the last 1800 years, the days ahead will change that. Nothing is dearer to the heart of God than the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matt. 24:14). God will not let this age conclude without this world universally being given the opportunity to see, and to accept or reject it. Not the case now, the world thinks of Christianity as Trinitarian. The troublous days ahead, will force Pentecostal truth to rise to prominence. Using Churchill's famous phrase, it will be "our finest hour."

K. Kirkland, Pastor - This article is Copyright © 1999, All rights reserved.

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