The Olive Tree is Christ! Sam comments: The speaker says that one of the big factors that leads dispensationalists to believe in a pre-trib rapture is that they separate Israel from the church...he then goes on to say that...we, the church, are grafted into the tree, which is Abraham, or Israel. Sir, please re-read the chapter. It never says we are grafted into Israel... I'm sorry, but I don't want to be grafted into Israel, I want to be grafted into CHRIST... Dr. Stewart responds: The Olive tree is an OT symbol for Abraham and his offspring. Jesus is the Vine. Regarding Romans 11, John MacArthur writes, "Root-the Partiarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob...the Olive Tree-the place of divine blessing; God's covenant of salvation made with Abraham." (his Study Bible). Note that he did not say "Christ is the Olive or Christ is the root." F.F. Bruce: "The olive is Israel, the people of God" (Tyndale N.T.Commentary). Robert Haldane: "The Jewish nation was God's olive tree...whose root Abraham was..." (Commentary). Sandy & Headlam: "The root or stock = the Patriarchs for whose faith originally Israel was chosen" (ICC). John Murry: "Gentiles are reminded that they draw all the grace they enjoy from the tree whose root is Israel's patriarchs" (NIC). I hope you'll listen to rest of this message sometime, Sam.
Great Sermon! I was once a Pre-tribber until a mentor of mine showed me some books and told me to research it for myself. I did and am now convinced that the rapture will be "Prewrath" instead of the other views. Check out Marvin Rosenthal's Book, " The Prewrath Rapture of the Church," or Robert Van Kampen's books on the rapture. Dr. Stewart adds: Thanks, Darrell, for being open to a different perspective on the rapture. The excellent book by Robert Van Kampen is entitled, "The Sign" (Crossway Books). Don't forget Robert Gundry's scholarly book on the posttribulation rapture, "The Church and the Tribulation" (Zondervan). Many Dallas Theological Seminary students, I have been told, have found Dr. Gundry's book particular convincing. By the way, Marvin Rosenthal's book is published by Thomas Nelson. All three books are available in paperback now and can be purchased at Amazon.com or from your favorite online bookseller. Pre-tribbers would do especially well to have Gundry's book in their personal library. No one should ever fear discovering the Truth of God's Word, whatever that Truth might pertain to. I am delighted that finally scholars and Bible students are discussing all three of the rapture positions, not just the Pre-Trib position.
???????????? We are told to live for Christ every day. If we do that we don't have to worry when the rapture takes place. So what if we have to go through it. Didn't Christ promise to take care of us. I sincerely believe that he will be with us through anything that the devil will put us through. Noah went through the flood with no problems, Lot and his family were pulled out of Sodom & Gomorrah and we will be protected through the tribulation if we are still here.
Bro. Carter Bro. Carter.
We christians are not justified by the law, but by the faith in Jesus Christ. If we really love Jesus christ and want ( will is extremely important) to follow Him, we will leave this world and it's desires behind us. If we are truly followers of Him, we CAN'T put ourselves to such a choice. If we love Him, we cannot take a sabbatical. Communion with Him makes us to turn from our wicked ways.
Ps: what if something happened to you before the rapture ?
Great Sermon! I am beginning to lean towards a post-tribulation Rapture myself. When the Lord returns, it will be as in the days of Noah. I understand that to mean that not only will sin be rampant as it was in Noah's day, but there will be as few believers as in Noah's day. The Great Tribulation will see the slaughter of Christians and will divide the wheat from the tares.
Haven't listened yet I haven't yet listened to this sermon but I wanted to ask one question of the people who believe in a pre-trib rapture:
What if you are wrong?
I am preparing for the worst (going through the tribulation) but hoping for the best (I want the rapture to happen before the tribulation, but I cannot see it happening from a scriptural point of view).
Here I am again Dear Mr. Stewart.
I mentioned that you never really answered my questions, neither invalidated them, but each time you pointed towards other arguments.
Dr. Stewart responds: My friend, on the contrary, I have appealed to the Biblical context and the historical context to demonstrate that the post-trib rapture is not inconsistent with Jesus' statement of Mat. 24:32-51.
Faarke continues: Jesus says that his coming will be as in the days of Noah: people continue on living thear lives as if there's no threat ( they eat, drink, marry...) This doesn't really fit the image of the anti-christ reign over the earth, tribulation, plagues, persecution...
Dr. Stewart responds: Peter tells us that Noah preached righteousness and warned his neighbors of the impending judgment(2 Pet. 2:5), but they refused to take him seriously. These people should have known the season of judgment had arrived because the ark was finally finished, and the animals were coming in! What they did not know was the specific day or hour the rains would begin. We, too, are to note the signs of the times. Can we agree that Noah actually went through the flood? The ark is an excellent picture, therefore, of God's faithful provision for getting His people safely through the tribulation.
Great Sermon! Brother Carter writes: My personal opinion is this. If there is no pre-tribulation rapture, and I as a dedicated Christian am forced to endure the tribulation, why am I serving God right now? Why don't I take a sabbatical and throw my lot in with the world and enjoy all Satan has to offer? Then during the tribulation end my sabbatical and get back in line? That would be a waste if I must endure the tribulation.
Brother Stewart responds: To all dedicated Christians Titus 2:11-15 says, "For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in this present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you." And to any who might desire a sabbatical from righteousness during life's tough times, Jesus says, "I know your tribulation and your poverty...do not fear what you are about to suffer...be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life" (Rev.2:8-11). Amen.
Dear Brothers Mr. Stewart...In the old testament Dani√ęl gives a detailled outline of what will happen in the end of times, but he also says exactly how long this will be and gives the exact number of days. So if there would be a post-tribulation rapture, we would know exactly on which day Jesus would come back... Dr. Stewart responds: Interesting, isn't it, Faarke, that Daniel predicted the exact season of Messiah's first coming and His second, yet Jesus said that no man knows the day or the hour of His return. The feasts of Israel also are prophetic, indicating the season of Jesus' first coming and His second. Jesus fulfilled in His first coming the feasts of Passover, Unleaven Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost-all on exactly the day appointed by God. It makes sense that He will fulfill the Fall feasts in His return, doesn't it? It is likely that our Lord will rapture the church at the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanna). Interestingly, knowing the season, "no man ever knows the exact day or hour" this holiday will begin each year (when the new moon will be visually spotted), so the Jews traditionally have marked two days on their calendars for the Feast of Trumpets. Understanding Jewish culture helps us here to understand both Jesus' words and the writings of the prophets. Both are true.
Great Sermon! A Note to Faarke:
Eschatology is a very intricate topic and must be grounded on sound Hermeneutics. I firstly appreciate your enthusiasm, but research the strong views held by scholars before closing the door on a post-tribulation return of our Lord.
I suggest Anthony Hoekema: The Bible and the Future (A good Biblical, honest dealing with the 4 major views. A-Millennial) or Boettner: Postmillennialism.
I hope that this helps....
Your Servant in Christ
How can Matthew 24:33-51 be Post-Trib? Dr. Stewart appreciates Faarke's question. Faarke says: I've always thought that Jesus will take his bride away before the tribulation. Now I heard about Stewart's sermon, I had some doubts. I brought this to the Lord (and know that He hears my every word), and immediately I read Matt.24: 40-42. Please Read This and don't forget these are the words of our Saviour Jesus Christ ! If you read verses 34-51, you'll see that this is impossible if the rapture was post-tribulation. Dr. Stewart responds: Several things should be said in response to my Brother's comments. First, we must not separate verses 34-51 from their context of verses 1-33 in which our Lord sets forth the chronology of events leading up to His glorious Return. This chronology appears to establish the Abomination of Desolation (15), the time of tribulation (16-22), then the Sign of His Coming (27-30), and then the Rapture of the Church (31). Jesus warns His followers to be keenly aware of the signs of the times and to be prepared for His Coming (32,33). Verses 33-51 can only be properly understood in this larger context. Second, apparently those early church fathers who openly embraced a post-tribulation rapture did not believe their position to be inconsistent with Jesus' words recorded in Matthew 24:33-51.
Great Sermon! It came as no surprise to me when I saw the title of Dr. Stewart's message. I first heard his fascinating, informative sermons on the end times and pre-trib rapture when I was an unsaved teenager more than twenty years ago. Although unsaved, I was very interested in what he had to say on this subject. I even got the tapes, which probably shocked my parents as I was an extremely wild and rebellious daughter. Only a short five years ago, I finally met my Savior and began to know Him instead of just about Him. As I studied, I, too, came to the conclusion that the pre-trib story was wrong and I was disturbed to find that there seemed to be very few pastors who had grasped this truth and even fewer who were willing to preach it. When my father told me that Dr. Stewart's sermons were available on-line, I couldn't get to my computer fast enough to see what he had to say about the rapture, after all these years. I knew I wouldn't be disappointed and I wasn't. I can't thank you enough, Dr. Stewart, for your genuineness, your integrity and your commitment to telling the truth about what God's Word reveals. I'll never forget your kindness to me during those hard years. Thank you so much... Dr. Stewart responds: Thank you, Patti (Parks) Ryan for your many gracious and kind words!
Great Sermon! Why, pray tell, would the Lord spare this generation of weak kneed Christians from persecution when thousands of the faithful thorough out history suffered as martyrs, unspeakably horrible deaths (read Fox's Book of Martyrs).
It is eternal damnation the redeemed will be saved from, not earthly discomfort!
If our witness is true and faithful, we will suffer. We ought to consider it an honor to suffer for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom.
Great Sermon! I am in full agreement with Pastor Stewart. We have studied this pre-, mid-, post-, for 5 years now and we USED to be pre-trib. We found out the same thing he did. Too many holes in the teaching. Bravo, Dr. Stewart, from some friends who have emailed you a couple of times from Missouri. The geese are still on the lake!!! Please do a follow-up message on this subject. We will be watching for it. God bless you. plw
Great Sermon! Derek writes: Good point about the Children of Israel and Egypt...To answer your question, the two examples of God removing his people were Lot...and Noah with his family. In addition, I have for many years been pointed to the fact that after Revelation chapter 4, the church is no longer mentioned until after the tribulation is over. And again, what about the 144,000 that will be preaching?...I believe it is clear that the church will be gone and Israel after the flesh will be again presented the Gospel by their own kinsmen...Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the subject, this gives us the ability to sharpen our thoughts...God Bless.
Dr. Stewart responds: Several thoughts come to mind, Derek. First, only seven individual churches are singled out by the Savior in the Book of Revelation. To say that the Church is absent (raptured) because no specific "church" is referred to after Revelation 3 is to argue from silence and to insist on a rather narrow definition of the Church that excludes it from being present during the Great Tribulation. While Lot was in fact delivered prior to the judgment, Noah was actually delivered through the divine judgment by the gracious provision of God (the ark). Noah could be viewed (and is) as an "example" of the Posttrib principle.
Great Sermon! Dr. Stewart appreciates the following comments: Great points Derek...The 7 year tribulation period referred to is God's wrath upon the world, not the persecution of the church by the world and Satan. Who would venture to think that God would pour out His divine wrath on the bride that He redeemed and purchased with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Stewart responds: Humm? A closer observation of the Scriptures suggests that it is only the last 3.5 years of Jacob's Troubles that involve the "great tribulation" referred to by Jesus in Mat. 24:15-21. The wrath of this period is from two sources and is directed at different objects. First, there is the wrath of God which is directed against the unbelievers (Rev. 6:15-17, 14:9-10, 15:1, 16:19, 19:15), initially for the purpose of bringing unbelievers to repentance (Rev.9:20-21, 16:9-11). Second, there is the wrath of Satan with is directed at faithful Jews and Believing Christians (Rev. 6:9-11,12:11-13), apparently in Satan's attempt to destroy both Israel and the Church. The note of victory is struck in favor of the saints when John states, "And they overcame him (Satan) because of the Blood of the Lamb and because of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death" (Rev. 12:11). Does this help?
Believers through Judgement?? Dr. Stewart welcomes Derek's comments: The comment was made that the Church will go through the tribulation...But please consider the nature of God, who NEVER CHANGES. When God's judgement ( not the tribulation that man brings upon believers) falls upon His creation, he has always removed HIS CHILDREN. How on earth can we leap across this chasm and say that this time, God's going to leave them to suffer...Just some thoughts. God Bless.
Dr. Stewart responds: Thanks, Derek. Pretribbers and Posttribbers agree that the Bride will not be the object of the divine wrath during the last days. I would point out that the Children of Israel were in the Land of Egypt during the catastrophic judgments which befell the Kingdom. Yet, God protected His people from the devastations of these judgments. Historically, it appears that the righteous (like Daniel and Jeremiah) suffered with the unrighteous, but were sustained and protected throughout. It would be very, very helpful, my friend, if you would share with us some examples of God's removing His people prior to the falling of His judgments on the earth. Thanks for your imput!
Great Sermon! After eleven years of believing in a Pretrib Rapture, I finally let the Word of God speak clearly to me and I discovered I was mistaken. There is only one "Second Coming." I agree fully with your conclusions.
One thing to consider: In this time of apostasy, we must be able to differentiate between the essentials of the faith and the errors of eschatological misinterpretation. Pretrib's have sometimes elevated this doctrine to "essential" status and thereby alienated true brothers and sisters in the Lord. When I did believe Pretrib for those eleven years, I have no doubt I was saved, but my error came as a result of neglecting to study this doctrine fully on my own. I had simply accepted what I had been taught on the pulpit and bible studies with little investigation of my own. I also might add that I am an avid bible student and this one simply "slipped by me."
God bless you Pastor, stand firm - God's truth must always come before man's imaginations. May our "Blessed Hope" be Christ Himself and His salvation. It is certainly not a small group of "end-time Christians" being taken out of persecution that every believer of all ages has been promised.
Great Sermon! The biblical principles shared in this message will be a help to those who have questions concerning living wills. I appreciate the insight and pastoral spirit in which Dr. Stewart communicates these basic guidelines.
Great Sermon! I greatly appreciated your sermon. Several years ago I came to the same conclusion. Just a word study of the same Greek word translated "tribulation" and "affliction" in the New Testament reveals the fact that with one exception the tribulation is for God's people and not the other way around. The problem is the confusion that so many have with the "wrath of God". God has always used tribulation to prepare "saints". And though there is room for controversy in the prototypes, they too point to "going through" and being "preserved in" tribulation, and not a grand escape. The sad irony is that many who expect to escape will be a part of the great apostasy because of being disallusioned. Thanks so much for the research.