The Doctrine of Eternal Security The Deity of Christ Reasons to Believe Doctrinal View The Tribulation Exists The Works of Grace
The Partial Rapture Debated Tithing, is it New Testament? The Ten Commandments The Hour You Think Not
The Holy Commandment Identified A Like Manner Return Christ Returning In All Of The Seven Letters
Second Coming Only Theology The Pre-Trib Rapture The Ten Virgins
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The Church Is The Restrainer?
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. . .And Prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. . . . Therefore rejoice, you heavens . . . woe to the inhabiters of the earth . . . for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a SHORT TIME. (Rev. 12:7-8, 12)
Differing from the above view that Michael is the Restrainer taken out of the way to defend Heaven, it is widely held that it is the Holy Spirit (and the Church of whom He indwells) is taken out of the way, not Michael (2 Thess. 2:7). What cogently opposes that idea, however, is the overriding fact that the Spirit of Christ remains with the newly converted Tribulation Church until the end of this age (Matt. 28:20). Thus the Holy Spirit and the Church of whom He indwells, is not the Restrainer.
Never in Scripture is it a given that the Spirit of Christ becomes removed from the Earth. Moreover, after the first fruits of the Church become redeemed, the Gospel is preached by an angel (Rev. 14:6), which can only happen at the hour of His judgment (Rev. 14:7), and this, within the Day of Redemption (Eph. 4:30), which is the Day of Jesus Christ. Now this fact tells us that the Holy Spirit is still present here on Earth; that He is not taken out of the way, lest the preaching of the Gospel be in vain (Rev. 14:6). Simply, it is always the Spirit who convicts of sin upon the hearing of the Gospel, none other.
Understanding the result of the following also validates the above view: And at that time shall Michael ‘stand up’ [i.e., stand still or cease], the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time . . .”2 (Dan. 12:1). Here, Daniel used the present continual tense, conveying the idea that Michael is already standing for Israel. Resulting that he can’t stand up twice to defend his people at that time. Thus, at that time, Michael will stand aside, or cease to defend Israel.
Consider, then, the words of Paul: And now you know what withholdeth (hinders) that he might be revealed in his time.” (2 Thess. 2:6). In other words, he who is to “be taken out of the way” (2 Thess. 2:6-7), will be taken so that the Antichrist can be revealed. In stark contrast, the Church must abide until the Antichrist becomes revealed so that the Day of the Lord can begin. Seeing that, the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, can’t return for the Church before the Day of Christ begins, which, again, is the Day of Redemption: 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. Therefore, neither the Church nor the Holy Spirit fit Paul’s description of he who is to be taken out of the way. However, Michael, standing up for Heaven at the commencement of the Tribulation (Dan. 12:1), remains to be the only candidate for the one who is taken out of the way. In sum, Michael is the Restrainer, not the Church.
And if we stop and think about it, that makes sense. Presently in the world there are approximately 550,000 murders each year. Moreover, worldwide there are approximately millions of rapes each year; high numbers unrecorded. How about child pornography? How about outright lies? How about the general harm to others? And much evil that is neither mentioned, or thought of here? And the list goes on and on—simply, there is so much evil in the world it is hard to imagine—and it is getting worse day by day (2 Tim. 3:13). Now the Church is the Restrainer of this evil? Impossible!!! True, the Church worldwide restrains much evil. But all things considered, the evil they restrain is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of evil in the world. Surely the Church is not the Restrainer of evil, much less the future Restrainer of the Antichrist who makes a covenant with Israel. Indeed, there is no such thing as the removal of the Church as the Restrainer; there is no such thing as a pre-trib (pre-night) all at once Rapture of the entire Church. But a coming of Christ as a thief in the night (The prior night of the Lord’s Day before it dawns—2nd Pet. 1:19), wherein Christians individually are commanded to watch and keep their garments (Mark 13:33-37; 1 Thess. 5:6-8; Rev. 3:3, 16:15).
The Great Apostasy, coupled with the Man of sin being revealed to the Church, will begin the Day of the Lord, the Day of Redemption (Eph. 4:30; 2 Thess. 2:2-3). Ironically, the seven year Tribulation and the Day of the Lord both begin with birth pangs (Matt. 24:8; 1 Thess. 5:3), which is not the cosmic signs deep into the Tribulation. Indeed, the Tribulation and the prior night of the Day of the Lord are one in the same! In perspective, it is more than questionable that Paul's depiction of the Great Apostasy can be understood in the strict terms of Israel and their covenant relationship with God. John wrote, "Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now there are many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time" (1 John 2:18). The Greek meaning of the word "antichrist" doesn't mean just against Christ; it also constitutes a substitution of Christ. Thus, the Church is looking for a specific religious person, the Son of Perdition, who will "confirm" a covenant with many (Dan. 9:26- 27; 1 Thess. 5:3), and, by so doing, effect a Great Apostasy!
When Paul penned the words "the mystery of iniquity" (2 Thess. 2:7), he further instigated the idea that the Great Apostasy is expected to originate from within the Church, not Israel. Because, then, as now, the Mystery of Iniquity didn't work within Israel's covenant relationship with God, for there was, and is, a Restrainer assigned to that nation (2 Thess. 2:6). But this is not the case with the Church, seeing that, then, as now, the Mystery of Iniquity already works (2 Thess. 2:7; 1 John 2:18, 4:3); "and even now already is it in the world." (However, Paul may have included the general acceptance of the Antichrist by Israel as part of the Great Apostasy.).
Note: The term “falling away” (2 Thess. 2:3) in both Vine’s and Strong’s, denotes an apostasy, not a departure (“Falling away”; the same Greek meaning is also used in Acts 21:21.). If this term were to mean a departure in the sense of the Church departing in a pre-trib at-once Rapture, context wise it would destroy all logic to the passage. Moreover, prepared Christians who “hastened” (Greek: earnestly expected) That Day are still here once the Day begins, yet not in darkness.
Pre-trib Is Not Relevant
What the New Testament teaches is that there is a night period before the Day of the Lord dawns, just like every day that we live. Only this night isn't part of a 24 hour period; conversely it is seven years of spiritual darkness called the Tribulation. Now the Tribulation begins in somewhat normal times and slowly gets worse, just like the beginning labor of a woman having a child—the pains get closer and closer—so do the happenings of the Tribulation. If the chapter division between 1 Thessalonians 4 & 5 is taken out, which doesn't exist in the original manuscripts, we find that it is not a pre night or Pre-trib Rapture that we are to be ready for, but a coming of the Lord as a thief in the prior night of the Lord’s Day, wherein we are commanded to watch (1 Thess. 5:6 8) and keep our garments (Rev. 16:15).
Ironically, the seven year Tribulation and the Day of the Lord both begin with birth pangs (Matt. 24:8; 1 Thess. 5:3)—they are one in the same! The night, or time when the possibility of Christ returning, begins when the night of the seven year Tribulation begins. To deny this, is to deny the commands to watch in the night (Mark 13:33 37; Rev. 16:15), or the Day of the Lord itself. In this vein, the Day of the Lord is pictured as nighttime (1 Thess. 5:2), that is, before the Day dawns (2 Pet. 1:19). Second Coming Only Theology also denies the night, and the commands to watch in the night, while holding on to the end of the Morning Watch. Moreover, in a Jewish Wedding the Bridegroom and two male witnesses never show up for the Bride during daylight hours, whether it is pre-night or post-night. Translated, there is no such thing as the pre-night (pre-trib) Rapture, or just a Second Coming—both teachings are in error.
Now Christians are told to earnestly expect the Day of the Lord in 2 Pet. 3:12 (The word hasting is really to earnestly expect in the Greek.). In suit, since Christians are still here once the Day begins the night—(see Philip. 1:6, 10), we are told to provoke one another to love and good works, even more so as we see the Day approaching (Heb. 10:24 25). Moreover, it is impossible for the literal salvation to take place before the Day of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 5:5; 2 Thess. 2:2 3), being before the Day of Redemption (Eph. 4:30), or once again, that night segment before the Day of the Lord dawns (2 Pet. 1:19)—watch therefore and keep your garments (Mark 13:33-37; Rev. 16:15)—and don’t deny the watches of the Tribulation Night.
The pre-trib Rapture teaches that Christ's initial coming will happen before the Day of the Lord; before the night (imminently), but conversely, the Word tells us, "Let no man deceive you by any means, for that Day shall not come (speaking of the Day of Christ) until there is a falling away and the man of sin is revealed. The point is, That Day will begin the beginning of the Tribulation; and again, both the Day of the Lord and the Tribulation begin the night, just as we find in Scripture (1 Thess. 5:1-3). It is within this context alone that Christ will come, for again, the Tribulation not only begins the Day of the Lord, it also begins the prior night of That Day before it dawns (2 Pet. 1:19)—the Night that Christians are to watch for our Lord’s return (Mark 13:33-37; Rev. 16:15).
In simpler words, let no man deceive you in believing a pre-trib (pre-night) all at once Rapture, for nothing about redemption is automatic—again, watch therefore and keep your garments (Mark 13:33-37; Rev. 16:15)! In this vein, the Trump of God in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is not an anytime trump before the night, but the Last Trump of the Last Day (John 6:40), being the traditional Second Coming. Even the idea of the Lord returning with a shout, and the Trump of God, and the voice of Michael the Archangel clearly also testify of this, and these represent a battle cry of the traditional Second Coming. The irony is, that there is no battle at Christ's initial appearance (1 John 3:2), wherein again, we are COMMANDED to watch (1 Thess. 5:6 8) for His appearing and keep our garments in That Night (Rev. 16:15).
The Day of the Lord, wherein Christ initially returns, again, has the attributes of nighttime (Luke 17:34; Mark 13:35; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Pet. 3:10 14; Rev. 2:1, 16:15), that is, before it dawns (2 Pet. 1:19). Thus Christ is the Bright and Morning Star, the sign of the Son of man at the traditional Second Coming—or the first light after the NIGHT—the dawning of the That Day (2 Pet. 1:19) wherein, the God man returns at the Second Coming with all of His saints (Duet. 33:2; Zach. 14:5; 1 Thess. 3:13, 4:14; Jude Vs. 14), who wear the righteousness of the saints (clean white fine linen), which is not the righteousness of the angels, but the righteousness of the Bride who has made Herself ready (Rev. 19:8, 14). Indeed, again, it is That Day, that is, its prior night segment that we are to look for (Heb. 10:24 25), that will come upon the world and much of the Church as a thief in the night (Luke 21:36; 1 Thess. 5:3), which is not the Second Coming or dawn of That Day.
Indeed, again, it is That Day and its prior night segment (as Peter Greek-wise tells us) to earnestly expect (1 Pet. 3:12). Moreover, it is That Day when literal redemption will take place (1 Cor. 5:5). Indeed, it is the Day of Christ (2 Thess. 2 3), being the Day of Jesus Christ (Philip. 1:6, 10)—being the Day of Redemption (Eph. 4:30)—again, watch therefore and keep your garments (Mark 13:33-37; Rev. 16:15)! Speaking of the Day of the Lord, it begins when there is a Great Apostasy, and that the Man of sin is revealed to the Body of Christ (2 Thess. 2:2 3), that is, when the Antichrist confirms (Hebrew: insolently prevails) the Old Covenant and/or the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in a peace movement (Such will cause great distress amongst the nations who will call for peace and safety (1 Thess. 5:1 3.). Moreover, Paul tells the Thessalonians that he wishes their whole bodies, souls and spirits to be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord with all His saints (1 Thess. 3:13; Jude 14). No, the Trump of God won’t happen long before the Last Trump (pre trib). Simply, the Trump of God is the Last Trump. No, the first Resurrection won’t happen long before the Resurrection of the Last Day. Simply, the first Resurrection will be the Last Day (John 6:40). Suitably, the Lord returns with all those who sleep in Jesus (1 Thess. 4:14), and again, all the saints at the traditional Second Coming.
Not to change the subject, but all Christians don't live and walk after the Spirit; many of the saved walk after the flesh. When it comes to being literally redeemed, the Lord will require an active faith in overcoming the flesh (The exception being new born babes in Christ.). This doesn't mean perfection, but in process; faith works by the use of agape love, no other way (Gal. 5:5 6, 14). Additionally, faith grows by servitude of others (Luke 17:5 10). In complete sync, biblically, to watch in that night, is this process (1 Thess. 5:6-8). It is to turn on Christ’s inner light of love flowing out to others, which is a choice and a decision!
Thus, in all of this, the Night-trib position as taught in Midnight’s Cry is both biblical and correct. This position alone teaches to biblically watch in the coming night of the Day of the Lord, as does the New Testament. The Night-trib position emphasizes the Lord’s Like Manner Return, which is His Bridegroom Return with two male witnesses, just as He left (Acts 1:10).
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savoir Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, ZEALOUS OF GOOD WORKS.
Greetings—I’m Robert Harris; in writing Midnight’s Cry I’ve combined doctrinal readiness with the fact of Christ’s Bridegroom Return. Suitably, this work makes plain Christ’s initial return, which is not an at-once redemption—whether it be the at-once Rapture, or the Second Coming.
Actually, both above teachings negate large portions of Scripture. Indeed, if either of these teachings represented the whole truth, then there wouldn’t be a need to watch, or a need to prepare. No Tribulation Night? No Midnight Cry? No four watches? No doors? No knocking? No Jewish Wedding? No Bridegroom Return with two male witnesses? No First Fruits? No Like Manner Return? No partial Summer Harvest? No Early and Latter Rains? No thief like coming in That Night? No place prepared for us? No, we are not bought with a price? In perceiving Christ’s first coming, these many Scriptural references all intricately link to a Jewish nighttime wedding. No, these many references are not just allegoric and meaningless, as many would have us believe.
Jesus warned, "Take heed to yourselves, lest at anytime your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting (overindulgence), and drunkenness, and the cares of this life, so that day come upon you unawares. . . .Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things. . . .and to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:34-36). Here, in praying always, Christians are to be sober, and not to be overtaken with overindulgence and the cares of this life, not unbelievers. First, unbelievers don't believe. Secondly, unbelievers won't pray always. Thirdly, only Christians own the ability to watch, or to put on faith that works by love (1 Thess. 5:6-8). Fourthly, Christians are to stand worthily before the Lord, not unbelievers. In this vein, we need to look for the Day of Redemption in preparedness (Eph. 4:30; Heb. 10:25; 2 Pet. 3:10-12; Rev. 16:15).
The Night-trib View Is That Christ Returns in The Spiritual Night Of The Seven Year Tribulation As A Surprise In The Night!
Newly Revisedas of May 2nd, 2011!
There are plenty of books on the Rapture and the Second Coming, but only one that details the night-trib position!