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#7. NO PRE-TRIBULATION OR MID-TRIBULATION RAPTURE FOR A SEPARATE GENTILE CHURCH

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Related Greek Word Studies
601 || ἀποκαλύπτω || apokalupto || to reveal.
602 || ἀποκάλυψις || apokalupsis || revelation.
2347 || θλῖψις || thlipsis || tribulation.
3952 || παρουσία || parousia || coming.

Introduction 7

The purpose of this section is to show that there is no spiritual difference between physical Jews and physical Gentiles when we become believers in Jesus. As we are all part of the same church, the same body of Christ, how then can some be raptured before the others? This would require a separation equivalent to an amputation of the body of Christ to get some to heaven, while others are left behind to go through the tribulation, and obviously the scripture does not teach this. If every Christian were raptured before the tribulation, there would be none to preach the gospel during it; no apostles, or prophets, or evangelists, or pastors, or teachers; so even if people could be saved, they could not be perfected (Ephesians 4:11-12). The wicked will have been deluded so that they cannot be saved (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12), and "the fullness of the Gentiles" will have come in before God fully opens the spiritual eyes of the Jews (Romans 11:25). Everywhere that we have examined, the scriptures teach that all the righteous go together (See #1.1; 1.2; 1.3; 1.4), and so gives scriptural proof that there will be no pre-tribulation rapture or mid-tribulation rapture for separate a Gentile church.

#7.1 Salvation is of the Jews

JOHN 4:21-22 (Jesus)
21 Jesus says to her, Woman, believe me, the hour is coming, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 You do not know what you worship: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

Note: Jesus himself testified, "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matthew 15:24), and when he chose his disciples, who were the New Testament church at that time, they were all Jews except Simon the Canaanite who was a proselyte. The early New Testament church was completely Jewish until God ordained Gentiles to become part of it (Acts 10:44-48; 11:15-18; 15:7-11). There is therefore no such thing as "a Gentile church" which will be raptured before the tribulation, or during the tribulation.

#7.2 All Christians are branches in the same olive tree

ROMANS 11:16-25 (Paul)
16 For if the first-fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them partake of the root and the fatness of the olive tree;
18 Do not boast against the branches. But if you boast, you do not bear the root, but the root you.
19 You will say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be high-minded, but fear:
21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, take heed lest he also does not spare you.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them who fell, severity; but towards you, goodness, if you continue in his goodness: otherwise you also shall be cut off.
23 And they also, if they if they do not stay in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.
24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
25 For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

Note: Paul here is talking about Israel and the Gentiles (Romans 11:25). Figuratively speaking, we could say that Christ is the olive tree, and the Jews are the natural branches, some of which were broken of through unbelief (Romans 11:20), showing that the olive tree is symbolically Jewish. The Gentiles are the wild olive branches which are grafted in, because Paul is talking to "you Gentiles" (Romans 11:13) when he says, "you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them," (Romans 11:17). The attachment to the olive tree is for "natural" and "wild" branches by faith (Romans 11:20), showing that there is no such thing as "a Jewish church" and a "Gentile church", where one could be raptured, and the other go through the tribulation.
Jesus also likened himself to being a vine (John 15:1; 15:5), in which all believers are branches, and either had to abide in the vine, or be cast into the fire and burned (John 15:6). The only way that we can bear fruit is to abide in the vine (John 15:4). The vine is Jesus, and he is both holy and Jewish: there is no such thing as a Gentile olive tree or a Gentile vine. There can therefore be no such thing as a Gentile church which can be raptured before the tribulation, while the Jews are left to go through it. Paul said, "if the root be holy, so are the branches." (Romans 11:16); he could also have said, "If the root is Jewish, so are the branches." To become part of the church, Gentiles need to become spiritual Jews (#7.3).

#7.3 Circumcision of the heart makes Gentiles spiritual Jews

ROMANS 2:26-29 (Paul)
26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge you, who by the letter and circumcision does transgress the law?
28 For he is not a Jew, who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But he is a Jew, who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

ROMANS 9:4-8 (Paul)
4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
6 Not as though the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel, who are of Israel:
7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, in Isaac shall your seed be called.
8 That is, Those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

GALATIANS 3:26-29 (Paul)
26 For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Note: Paul made it clear that a real spiritual Jew was anyone who is circumcised in the heart (Romans 2:8), whether they are Jews or Gentiles (Romans 2:26-27). They are those who "keep the righteousness of the law," (Romans 2:26), and "fulfil the law," (Romans 2:27; 8:4), which is done by love (Romans 13:8; Galatians 5:14). This includes all those who are saved through faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Galatians 3:26-29), even "every one who sees the Son, and believes in him," whom Jesus will raise up together on the last day of this pre-millennial age (John 6:40; #2.1). These scriptures therefore refute that there is any separate "Jewish church" or "Gentile church", one of which could be raptured while the other goes through the tribulation.

#7.4 Not all Jews are heirs

JOHN 8:33-44
33 They answered him, We are Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how do you say, You shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, Amen I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant does not remain in the house for ever: but the Son remains for ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.
37 I know that you are Abraham's seed; but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you.
38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father.
39 They answered and said to him, Abraham is our father. Jesus says to them, If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.
40 But now you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God: Abraham did not do this.
41 You do the deeds of your father. Then they said to him, We are not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
42 Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither did I come of myself, but he sent me.
43 Why do you not understand my speech? even because you cannot hear my word.
44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

ROMANS 9:6-8 (Paul)
6 Not as though the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel, who are of Israel:
7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, in Isaac shall your seed be called.
8 That is, Those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Note: The Jews claimed to be "Abraham's seed," (John 8:33), because they were perhaps hoping to inherit the promises which were made to Abraham and his seed:

(Galatians 3:16) "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He does not say, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to your seed, who is Christ."

The promises came down through Isaac and Jacob to Christ, so that those who believe in Jesus inherit the promises made to Abraham:

(Galatians 3:29) "And if you are Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Just as then, the promises made to Abraham did not pass to all his physical children, but only came through Isaac who was promised (Romans 9:7), so now all Jews do not inherit Abraham's promises, except through Christ, who was the promised seed. Gentiles who belong to Christ also inherit the promises through him (Galatians 3:29), by becoming spiritual Jews (#7.3). Therefore there will not be any separate rapture for a Gentile church, because "There is neither Jew nor Greek ... you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28; See #7.5). With no separate Gentile church there can be no pre-tribulation rapture, or mid-tribulation rapture for it.

#7.5 Jews and Gentiles are all one in Jesus Christ

ROMANS 10:11-13 (Paul)
11 For the scripture says, Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich to all that call upon him.
13 For whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

GALATIANS 3:26-29 (Paul)
26 For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

EPHESIANS 2:11-22 (Paul)
11 Therefore remember, that you being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made with hands;
12 That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of two one new man, so making peace;
16 That he might reconcile both to God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity by it:
17 And came and preached peace to you who were afar off, and to those who were near.
18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
19 Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together grows to a holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom you also are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.

COLOSSIANS 3:9-11 (Paul)
9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, who is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.
11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Note: No one need look any further than these scriptures to see that Jews and Gentiles are all part of one church:

(Romans 10:12) "For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:"
(Galatians 3:28) "There is neither Jew nor Greek ... you are all one in Christ Jesus."
(Ephesians 2:16) "That he might reconcile both to God in one body"
(Ephesians 2:22) "In whom you also are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit."
(Colossians 3:11) "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, ... but Christ is all, and in all."

All this refutes the idea that there is a separate Gentile church, and so there can be no pre-tribulation rapture, or mid-tribulation rapture for it.

#7.6 God made no separate covenant with the Gentiles

JEREMIAH 31:31-34
31 Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says the LORD:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

HEBREWS 8:6-13
6 But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8 For finding fault with them, he says, Behold, the days come, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in my covenant, and I did not regard them, says the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
13 In that he says, A new covenant, he has made the first old. Now that which decays and grows old is ready to vanish away.

Note: In the Old Testament, a mixed multitude came out of Egypt with the Israelites (Exodus 12:38; Numbers 11:4), and when God made the covenant with Israel, these "strangers" had to keep the law the same as the Israelites (Exodus 12:19; 12:48-49; 20:10; Leviticus 16:29; 17:12; 18:26; etc.). In the New Testament God has made no separate covenant with the Gentiles, but only with "the house of Israel," and with "the house of Judah." (Jeremiah 31:31; 31:33; Hebrews 8:8; 8:10). So how then do Gentiles become part of this new covenant?

(1) By being grafted into the Jewish olive tree (#7.2).
(2) By being circumcised in the heart, and becoming spiritual Jews (#7.3).
(3) By becoming children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-29).
(4) By hearing God's word (Exodus 24:7-8; Isaiah 55:3), which is how we get faith (Romans 10:17).
(5) By having God's laws in our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10; 10:16).
(6) By speaking God's word (Isaiah 59:21; Malachi 2:5-6), which comes from our hearts (Matthew 12:34-5; 15:18-19).
(7) By knowing God (Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 8:11), which means obeying his commandments (1 John 2:3-4).
(8) By crucifying our "old man" (Romans 6:7; Hebrews 9:16-17).
(9) By sacrifice (Psalm 50:5; 51:17).

All this confirms that there is no such thing as a separate Gentile church, and so there can be no pre-tribulation rapture, or mid-tribulation rapture for it.

#7.7 There are no Gentile gates in the new Jerusalem

REVELATION 21:10-13 (John)
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.
11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like to a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

Note: The question is obvious. If we are part of a separate Gentile church, which is raptured before the tribulation, and do not become spiritual Jews, that is "of Christ", which gate do we enter the new Jerusalem at? There is no gate for Gentiles! All Christians should be able to go in at the gate of Judah, because we are spiritually the seed of Jesus, and confirms that there is no such thing as a separate Gentile church and so there can be no pre-tribulation rapture, or mid-tribulation rapture for it.

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