Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tribulation Passages

Note: All Scripture quotations found in this article are from the text of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.

The General Epistles are some of the most controversial books in the Bible. The books include James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Jude. Hebrews is also a very controversial book. This is because some of the verses in these books seem to say that salvation includes works and differ from the Pauline Epistles. The fact is, some of the verses in these books are Tribulation doctrine. No matter what the thumb sucking, lazy Bible students say, this is not Hyper-Dispensationalism, rather it is rightly dividing the word of God.

2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

The title of the book of Hebrews shows that the book is not restricted to Born Again Jews, rather all Hebrew Jews, lost and saved. In Philippians 3:5-8, Paul states that he is a Hebrew, but says that he counted it as dung after he was saved. Barnabas forsook his Jewish tribe when he sold his land a gave the money to the Apostles in Acts 4:35-37.

Philippians 3:5 "Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,"

Acts 4:35 "And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. 36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, 37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet."

In the Bible, Christians are never referred to as Hebrews or Gentiles, rather the church, brethren and saints. The book of Hebrews is called Hebrews because Paul was writing to all Hebrews, not just saved Hebrews. He would not have called it Hebrews because he knew that saved Jews and Gentiles are one in Christ. Whenever the word "Hebrews" is used in the Bible it is always referring to the nation of Israel and never saved Jews.

Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

1 Corinthians 10:32 "Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:"

The honest Bible student that believes what he reads will admit that some of the verses in Hebrews do not match up with the Pauline Epistles(Romans-Philemon) that are primarily aimed at Gentiles.

Hebrews 1:2 mentions the last days referring to the Tribulation. This is not the last days of the Church Age like in 2 Timothy 3:1 because the author writes as if he were in the present time. If it were referring to the last days of the Church Age it would start from the author living in the first century to our modern century. When Paul writes of the last days in the Church Age, he refers it to as a future time, not present. Hebrews 1:2 and Revelation 1:10 both speak of the end times and both are written as if the author were in the present. James 5:3 confirms that the last days in Hebrews 1:2 refer to the Tribulation.

Hebrews 1:2 "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;"

Revelation 1:10 "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,"

James 5:3 "Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days."

In Hebrews 2:5, it speaks of the world to come, which is the world at the end times. Hebrews is undoubtedly referring to the end times.

Hebrews 2:5 "For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak."

Matthew 12:32 "And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."

Mark 10:30 "But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life."

Luke 18:30 "Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting."

Hebrews 3:1-6 says that one has to hold fast and firm unto the end to belong to Christ and be a partaker of heavenly calling. Matthews 24:3, 13 says that one has to endure until the end to be saved. These are Tribulation passages and we know this because of the context. Matthew 24:3 makes it clear that it was aimed towards the Tribulation. These two passages do not matchup with Pauline doctrine because the Church Age Saint cannot lose his partaking in Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 3:1 "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. 4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. 5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."

Matthew 24:3 "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, 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? 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

Colossians 1:12 "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:"

Like in Hebrews 3:6-14, Hebrews 4:11 tells the Tribulation saint that he must labor to enter into the rest. The rest is for Tribulation saints ceasing their labors of keeping the commandments. The rest is talking about entering a physical, literal place prepared by God(Hebrews 3:9-19, Hebrews 4:5-11).

Hebrews 4:11 "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."

Revelation 14:11 "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."

Unlike Church Age Saints, Tribulation saints can lose their salvation. Compare the verses in Hebrews to the verses in the Pauline Epistles.

Hebrews 3:1 "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. 11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) 12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."

Hebrews 4:11 "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."

Ephesians 1:13 "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,"

Colossians 1:12 "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:"

Hebrews 6:4-6 shows someone losing the Holy Ghost and falling away in the Tribulation. This does not match up with the Pauline Epistles because Ephesians 1:13 says that we are sealed with the Holy Ghost.

Hebrews 6:4 "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."

The book of James is written to the twelve tribes of Israel according to the first verse in the book. These twelve tribes are not all Christian Jews, rather it is speaking of the nation of Israel. Revelation 7:4-8 proves that the twelve tribes are literal tribes of Israel.

James 1:1 "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting."

Matthew 19:28 "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Luke 22:30 "That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Acts 26:7 "Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews."

Revelation 21:12 "And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:"

John 11:52 "And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad."

The book of James has some passages that can be applied to a Christian, but some passages are clearly Tribulation passages that do not match up with the Pauline Epistles. James 2:14-26 say that a man is justified by faith and works. This does not match up with Galatians 2:16.

James 2:24 "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only."

Galatians 2:16 "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."

James 5:3 talks about the last days of the Tribulation. We know this because James 1:11 is a cross reference to Malachi 4:1-3 that talks about rich being burnt with fire at the Second Advent.

James 5:3 "Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days."

James 1:11 "For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways."

Malachi 4:1 "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts."

James 5:1-6 condemns the rich for killing the just and says they will be burnt with fire at the Second Advent. There is no possible way that this passage is for today. We know it is referring to the Tribulation because in the Tribulation the saints are poor and persecuted by the Antichrist and rich. The Tribulation saints will be poor because they will have to refuse the Mark of the Beast, which allows them to buy, sell and eat.

James 5:1 "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. 3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. 5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. 6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you."

Revelation 13:15 "And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."

A brother can err from the truth in James 5:19-20 and a fellow brother has to convert him so that man can be saved again. This goes directly against Church Age doctrine because now we are saved by faith and sin cannot make us lose our salvation.

James 5:19 "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."

Romans 8:38 "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

1 Peter also has Tribulation passages and this is known because it focuses on "in these last times" in 1 Peter 1:20. 1 Peter 1:13 teaches Tribulation salvation because salvation is by hoping to the end for the grace(Zech. 12:10) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Remember that in Matthew 24:13, the end is a reference to the Tribulation. The revelation of Jesus Christ is referring to the Second Advent according to Revelation 1:1 and 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8. This does not match Church Age doctrine because the Christian does not hope to the end of the Second Advent.

1 Peter 1:20 "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,"

1 Peter 1:13 "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;"

1 John is can apply to the Tribulation because it talks about the antichrists and the last time. 1 John 2:24 says that a saint has to abide in what he has heard if he wants to stay saved(notice the word "if"). This matches the verses in Hebrews 3 and 10.

1 John 2:18 "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

1 John 4:3 "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."

1 John 2:24 "Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father."

A Christian gets his righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ, but in 1 John 3:7, a person is righteous because he does righteousness.

1 John 3:7 "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous."

Philippians 3:9 "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"

In 1 John 3:10, someone that does not love his brother is not one of God's. This is not Church Age doctrine because Paul recognized that some of the Christians that hated and done wrong were still saved(1 Cor. 3:3, 6:8-11, 11:2, 16:11, 1 Timothy 6:2).

1 John 3:10 "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother."

Finally in Jude, we also see that this book can apply to the Tribulation because verse 18 refers to the last time. Then in verse 21 it says that a person has to keep themselves in the love of God to find mercy and gain eternal life. That goes against Romans 8:38-39 because nothing can separate the Christian from the love of God.

Jude 1:18 "How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."

When the Bible students believes what he reads, he will see a vast difference between the above books and the Pauline Epistles. So many Baptists fail to rightly divide because they are too busy trying to twist scripture to match the faith alone doctrine, but as we have seen the above books have verses applicable to the Tribulation saints. All of the Bible is for you, but not all of the Bible is written to you for doctrine.

The General Epistles have passages for both the Tribulation and Church Age saints. To some this does not make sense, but remember that the Bible contains many references within one book, chapter and even verse that are for different time periods.

Don't believe me? Look at Luke 4:18-29 where Jesus knew that Isaiah 61 had two references, which were his First and Second Coming. The author Isaiah wrote chapter 61 to the people during his time, but more than half of the passage did not contain once reference to that period. Did you notice that when quoting Isaiah 61, Jesus stops at 61:1-2a in the middle of the verse? It refers to His First Coming(Luke 4:21-27), while the rest of Isaiah 61:2b-11 referred to His Second Coming(Luke 4:18-20). This proves that we should rightly divide the word and even look for places where we need to rightly divide verses. Just like the one chapter of Isaiah 61 has two references, the General Epistles and the book of Hebrews can have two references as well.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus talks about the Church Age(Matthew 16:18, 18:15-19), the Tribulation(Matthew 24-25) and the Millennium(Matthew 5-7). That is three different time periods in one book. You are disobeying God when you fail to rightly divide. The key to know which verses in the General Epistles and Hebrews apply to Christians is to compare them to the Pauline Epistles. If they match, they can apply to us, but if they do not match Paul's doctrine, then they are to a different age.