Your End Time Beliefs and the State of the World

[Download MP3]
Is the world getting better or worse? How do your end time beliefs affect your outlook? And hear some important principles of revival! Dr. Brown raises some essential questions on today’s show!

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: What we do know is that we are alive, we do have breath, and Jesus is Lord though the world is messed up; we are called to be salt and light, make disciples, and change the world. Let’s stop speculating, let’s roll up our sleeves, and with the grace and power of God, let’s go do it!

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: We serve a God of overflowing abundance, who Himself is Fire, who loves to draw near to His people and drench us and soak us with the Spirit. There is no lack on His end, let us seek Him earnestly until the rains come and drench our souls!

Featured Resource: Is Homosexuality America’s Greatest Moral Crisis? Brown/Boteach Debate

Other Resources:

Joel Richardson Interview; and Sorting Out End-Time Theologies

Why I Look Forward to the End article by Joel Richardson

Israel and the “Peace Process” article by Joel Richardson

Our Hands Are Stained With Blood by Dr. Brown: this shocking and painful book tells the tragic story of the “Church” and the Jewish people. It is a story every Christian must hear.


Jewish Roots Class with Dr. Brown: This 10 lecture class will open your eyes to God’s eternal purposes for Israel; give you a deeper burden for the salvation of the Jewish people; open up the Jewish background to the NT and show the prophetic importance of the biblical calendar.


How To Pray For Israel And The Middle East article by Dr. Brown

Israel and the End-Time Revival with Dr. Brown: listen for free online!

  1. Hi,
    About the Endtimes I often get a picture of light and darkness that is kind of mixed in our world. The world is almost a grey zone, I think God will change that by gathering his children closer together and push darkness out of our midst, by cleansing us further. The darkness will gather and getting darker because of the acting holiness and our right response to it. So I think we need to respond to the holiness in us and live it out, it will get really good with us even when the darkness will also raise up and shows it true face. May Jesus help us to respond and bless strengthen our inner holy being.

  2. This World is acting just like it should be acting. Jesus is not their Lord, how do we except them to act?

    I pray the Lord will give us a President of the United States who is totally born again. Who has a true understanding of Jesus. I pray He will have a healthy boldness to speak Jesus to this Nation.

    Someone has to open the eyes of this Nation. Lord give this Nation ears to hear what your Spirit is saying. Raise up that Man of God. Not a Legalistic, Legalistic turn people off and people don’t feel comfortable with them because they are judgmental and have no compassion. Someone Like Jesus. Someone like a David Wilkerson. That’d be AWESOME. Full of Mercy and Compassion, Gentle and who is very Giving, yet at the same time teach repentance. To teach what Jesus taught us in Matthew chapters 5-7.

    Imagine living in a world like that? No one would be poor or hungry or homeless.

    To live like they did in the book of Acts, people selling what they had to help out those in need. Healing taking place.

    Deb, Wake up, wake up your dreaming.


  3. I enjoy listening to your show on my drive home but I am unable to call in. I wanted to make some comments regarding your show on 20 July. Is the world getting worse? Yes. Look at what is happening in the US. An 8 year old Jewish boy in New York gets lost, ask for directions from someone on the street and is murdered and chopped to pieces. I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, did that happen back then? Was the news so terrified that they wouldn’t report something like that? Was there school shootings then? Yes, I remember the incident I believe it was a Texas A&M where there was a person shooting people from a tower on campus. Today shootings are a daily occurrence.
    Are we getting close to the end? Yes. Look at the US since President Obama change his view on family values and publicly stated he was no longer going to support the one man, one woman concept. Shortly after that statement, worse ever tornado season, worse ever flooding, worse ever forest fires, worse ever drought, and now worse ever heat wave. God is not happy with the United States. I would state that within 5 years the US will be another 3rd world country. Will there be a revival? With everything going on, it hasn’t started yet. How much more of a wake up call does the US need? Your one caller was right about each one of us letting our light shine as a Christian but when do we let it shine? Only on Sunday mornings or all week. I believe it was Gandhi that was so impressed with the teachings of Jesus that he wanted to become a Christian; that was until he meet some Christians and then he was no longer interested. What a loss for Christianity. It’s time to light a fire, let’s stand up, be heard and make a difference.

  4. I just want to make a brief point about Dispensationalism which was alluded to by a listener (Kurt in Billings, Montana). I am a dispensationalist, perhaps with a little modification from Mr. Darby’s view point – but what was presented was not dispensationalism at all. As a dispensationalist, I do not live a fatalistic lifestyle…I do not wish to blow my own trumpet here – but suffice it to say that dispensationalism does not force you to live a life which says – “Let the World go and do its thing, I do not care, I wish it will become even more evil. I am out of here anyway, I am blessed I do not care what happens to the world.”

    I know of dispensationalists who went to the “third world countries”, built schools and hospitals for the betterment of the local population, cared for the poor and the hungry and lived and died with them.

    I beg to disagree with the way the question was framed in today’s show “Is the world getting better of is it getting worse”. It may be my bias, but in my mind, that is a direct allusion to dispensationalism.

    As far as I can tell, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a theology which states that God deals with different people at different times in different ways (How He dealt with Adam and Eve is different from how He dealt with Israelites under the Law). And that in all ages or dispensations (economies) it all was to the GRACE OF GOD and ALL GLORY TO HIM alone.

    As with every Theology, there are advancements that take place over time, and different strands are formulated, I do not deny that. Dispensationalists are generally secessionists – and that is another debate. But let me just say this – dispensationalism does not cause a person to hold on to a fatalistic lifestyle.

    Israel must render a thousand thanks to dispensationalism – they are the ONE group that stood against the bad doctrine of Replacement Theology.

    One last thing – I believe we should not judge a Theology only by what it makes a fringe group do, rather it must be tested on the basis of the Word of God. Is it in the Word of God? Then do it. If not, throw it out. In other words, the end should not justify the means.

    Just my humble very worn out 2 cents.

  5. James,

    Don’t read anything into the question I raised re: dispensationalism. It was straightforward and nothing less. Note also that I said that SOME people who hold to a pre-trib rapture theory might live with the “we’re out of here” mentality (I know plenty who have and who did), but certainly not all.

    And yes, of course, we must judge a theology based on the Word, which is why I personally abandoned dispensationalism more than 35 years ago, but I continue to have good friends and colleagues who are dispensationalists.

  6. Dr. Brown,

    Got it. I do not wish to enter into a debate with you, (I am not qualified for it) – but what are your real objections against dispensationalism? I ask because you said you abandoned it 35 years ago out of your study of the Bible – not that I expect every Christian to be a dispensationalist. Also if you can point me to some good resource that would be helpful for my understanding of the faults of dispensationalism (not hit pieces put out by the “peebs” people – their fight is against some extreme branch of the Exclusive, and totally unbiblical, they sprang up because some homosexual person was not admitted in – but lots of errors on both sides).

    One area I myself have a trouble with dispensationalism is that it leaves all the woes to the Jews and all the blessings to the Church during the Tribulation – YET, on the positive side it maintains that after a Jewish National repentance all Earthly promises to her will come to pass.

    My only quandary is that the caller suggested that dispensationalism prompted him to live a fatalistic lifestyle. If someone depends upon the Lord for retirement – then that is between them and the Lord, if the Lord asked them to give away all their life saving for HIS Kingdom, then that is between him and the Lord. I depend on the Lord for everything in my life – that does not stem out of dispensationalism per se. and yet I do plan ahead and say, “Lord willing, on such and such a day I will do this, save this much etc.”

    Thanks again.

  7. Debbie,

    If you have ever used a Scofield Bible, it is soaked in dispensational thought in its explanations and notes. If you have any books by H.A. Ironside, L.S. Chafer, J. Dwight Pentecost, D. L. Moody etc. these men held on to a dispensational position (I say this just to make it plain that its some kind of a crazy Theology, very distinguished and respectable teachers have held to Dispensational teachings).

    It is not exactly easy for me to explain dispensationalism in a few words, and instead of sending you to a partisan website first, let me send you instead to a neutral 3rd party website which will give you a basic understanding of it –

    Here’s a link to an Open Brethren site that talks about dispensationalism –

    Hope this is helpful. Just like Calvinism can be watered down to one point Calvinism, or made it to its extreme form in Hyper Calvinism, dispensationalists can go to Extreme Dispensationalism. (BTW, I am not even a one point Calvinist, nor an Armenian nor a Hyper-dispensationalist, for the sake of clarity)

  8. Very telling typo in the above 🙂 Ha hahaha!

    Pls. read-
    I say this just to make it plain that its NOT some kind of a crazy Theology, very distinguished and respectable teachers have held to Dispensational teachings).

  9. Dispensationalism is…
    periods in history in which God relates to human beings in different ways under different Biblical covenants.

    Well, after understanding what dispensationalism is. I think 🙂 An example in the bible of dispensationalism would be Ananias and Sapphira.

    They both died when they lied to the Holy Spirit Question… Does the Holy Spirit still react the same way today to Christians who lie to Him?

    Is this an example of dispensationalism, it may not be a good example of it?

    TY James.

  10. James,

    There were several reasons I abandoned dispensationalism, one of which is that the NT plainly tells us that we are looking forward to and longing for the appearance/revelation/arrival of Jesus, not a secret event that takes place in the clouds. Look at 2 Thess and take notice of when the believers are promised rest — it is when Jesus appears in flaming fire! There is simply no way that someone reading the NT on their own could ever come to the conclusion that there was a secret rapture and separate second coming — and on and on. Also, take a Greek concordance and look up the word thlipsis, meaning oppression, tribulation, affliction, something that is part of our common lot as believers, not some future period of time from which we are exempt. For me, aside from many, many biblical issues, coupled with the realization that everything I believed I found confirmed in my own study of the Word, whereas I only learned the whole pre-trib system by reading books that explained it, I also realized that the only way a passage like Matt 24 could be read from the pre-trib viewpoint was to radically change the recipients of Jesus’ words in the text in midstream in the chapter, yet that’s just how the early dispensationalists read it, even saying that the Sermon on the Mount was not for today — because it was addressed to the Jews not the Church — and was rather the constitution for the millennial kingdom.

    That being said, I do believe God has used dispenationalists and their teaching to bring positive awareness to the promises to Israel and to remind believers to live in anticipation of the Lord’s return, despite my disagreements with their approach to prophecy.

  11. Debbie,

    I consider Ananias and Sapphira incident as part of the period of the Assembly, or the Church. When Christ said to Peter, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Mat 16:18) – He was saying the Chruch was still in the future – which I understand started at the Pentecost with the coming of the Holy Spirit. So all believers since Pentecost are part of the same class of believers, which includes you and I, and all part of the same Assembly.

    Why is it that today no one is struck down as dramatically as Ananias and Sapphira were for lying to the Holy Spirit? It is because, I believe, that God makes a major example of His requirement for Holiness at the beginning of the dispensation. For example, at the Inauguration day of Priesthood under the Mosaic Covenant, Holy Fire came from the Most Holy Place to consume the two oldest sons of Aaron – Nadab and Abihu – for offering up strange fire to God (Leviticus 10).

    Just as that was a vindication of God’s Holiness and HIS Holy Requirements, I believe Ananias and Sapphira were struck down at the very beginning of the history of the Assembly to serve as an example to the rest of them. Just as in the “Old” Testament, so also in the “New” Testament.

    Perhaps a better example of dispensationalism would be “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. (Mat 11:13)” That is to say the Covenant of the Law was until John, something new was established with the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into the World.

    The page has a schema of the different dispensations.

    Hope this is of help.

  12. Dr. Brown,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. I totally understand where you are coming from. I too have a problem with Mr. Darby’s idea of a pre-trib rapture for the whole Church and relegating the Gospel of Mathew for the Jews.

    All said, would you kindly read a small 29 page booklet regarding the end-times? It would only be a small payback for making me read “Israel’s Divine Healer” 🙂 – which I still do not understand. The link is

    God’s blessing on you.

  13. My end times beliefs.

    Mahdi (an Arab) is the Antichrist.
    We have 3½ years of a pseudo-Messianic age, of false peace.
    The false prophet (a Jewish Muslim called Isa) comes and annuls the false peace, by abolishing the one thing that makes peace possible with non-Muslims in Muslim countries, the Jizya. Once he abolishes the Jizya, it’s open season on Christians and Jews.
    Things go from bad to worse, and at the darkest point of human history, Yeishua comes to save the day, killing hundreds of thousands of murders, rapists, etc, who attacked Israel.
    Yeshua sets up the kingdom according to the Tora which will apply until heaven and earth passes away, and Jerusalem’s landscape will dramatically change. Mount Zion will be higher, perhaps because of the huge earthquake and Ezekiel’s temple will be on top of it, where all the nations will gather to worship the God of Israel every feast of Tabernacles, and Yeshua will be Nasi, ruling of the people and also a priest in the temple. The knowledge of God will cover the world, and sin will be greatly diminished, at the end of 1000 years, Satan gets his last chance to stick it to the man, for which he’ll get through straight into hell forevermore, of course he’ll drag as many human souls with him as he can, and they all die by fire coming down from heaven. Then Yeshua ends this universe and starts a new one, and we enter a new reality for eternity.

    How’s that? 🙂

  14. I’m pretty much in agreement on the rest of it, with maybe some small clarifications beyond my ability to participate right now.

    I see the Church as gathered to Christ immediately when He returns. As the Scripture says we will rule with Him and the Apostles will reign over the twelve tribes of Israel. We will be changed in an instant and will receive our new bodies.

  15. James,
    Blessings upon you for explaining things to me.

    David Roberts,
    I didn’t realize or even comprehended once there could be such thing as a Jewish Muslim.

    Are there actually groups who are Jewish Muslim? Worshiping 2 Gods at once. HMMM.

    Or is it Jewish through nationality and has Muslim as a religion? That could be more understandable yet on the same page quite odd.

  16. So I guess when Satan goes after the ‘HOLY ONES” as stated in the book of Daniel he’s going after the ones waiting on the clouds who were Raptured? and I guess when Jesus said the Martyrs were before his throne worshipping him in the book of Revelation He was lying? So if we’re all raptured who are the HOLY ones left and the Martyred ones?? It is total Elitism almost like what Jehovah witnesses believe that by works if your good enough you will be one of the 144,000 (chosen ones)and get to be raptured? NOT! ummm If God himself was slaughtered and he said pick up your cross and follow him and used the Cross as the example , Why do we get to escape persecution? are we better than God himself? why didn’t God get raptured? He is our example and why many early believers stopped following him they couldn’t handle the persecution.Christianity today is watered down and in LA LA land if they think they get to escape persecution (esp. If worse persecution comes in our time) ..I seem to remember a certain someone saying this all before when He kept telling Christ “If you worship me I’ll give you the good life so you can escape the crucifixion” (paraphrased)Sound familiar? Only the Devil makes people believe in the Easy street life .He’s the one who seeded the Rapture Theology.. because it’s escapism umm Jesus came once he’s only coming again one more time FINAL ..He is not coming back 3 times ..The rapture would make it 3..If they say O look here he comes look up there its the Christ! do not go look (Jesus explained to his disciples)The Rapture to me is this very thing …

  17. Rapture

    By Watchman Nee

    In order to understand Matthew 24 and 25, it is essential to have a clear knowledge of the subject of rapture. For it is one of the most important matters in this last hour. Unfortunately it is greatly misunderstood by many. Rapture is the same as the word “receive” found in John 14.1-3. It does not signify the idea of “climbing up” to heaven but of the Lord receiving us to heaven. Hence rapture is a specific term used to denote His receiving us at His soon return.

    There are different views on rapture among believers. Some say (1) that the whole body of the saved will be raptured before the Great Tribulation; others believe (2) that the whole body of the saved must go through the Great Tribulation before they are raptured; while still others feel (3) that a part of the saved will be raptured before the Great Tribulation and a part of them will be raptured after the Great Tribulation. There are mainly these three schools of interpretation on the subject; yet merely because any one of them is different from the one you hold to does not give you any warrant to denounce the different view as heresy. It is wrong to withhold fellowship simply for this reason. Well-known believers are found in all three schools.

    Of the first school mentioned, names can be cited such as J. N. Darby, William Kelly (C. H. Spurgeon once said that Kelly’s brain was as large as the universe), R. A. Torrey (who later changed to a post-tribulation rapture view), Phillips Brooks, James Gray, Arno G. Gaebelein, J. A. Seiss, C. I. Scofield, and so forth. Of the second school, there could be listed such names as George Muller (who first believed in pre-tribulation rapture), A.J. Gordon of Boston, A. B. Simpson, W. J. Erdman, W. G. Moorehead, Henry Frost of Canada, James Wright, Benjamin Newton, and so on. And as to the third school, we have names such as Hudson Taylor, Robert Chapman, Robert Govett (Spurgeon praised his writings as having light a century ahead of his time and as being full of gold), G. H. Pember, D. M. Panton (the “prince of prophecy”) and others. None of the three schools can completely ignore the others, yet only one is correct. Let us therefore examine them with fairness, having the attitude of a judge and not that of a lawyer.

    I. Reasons given by the first school – that is to say, by the adherents of a pre-tribulation rapture – are presented in the following paragraphs

    A. 1 Thessalonians 1.10 “The wrath to come” – This is the Great Tribulation. Since the Lord Jesus will deliver us from the wrath to come, we must be raptured before the Great Tribulation. Also, 1 Thessalonians 5.9 “For God appointed us not unto wrath” – Once again this “wrath” has reference to the Great Tribulation. Let me say, though, that such an interpretation of “wrath” here as being the Great Tribulation is incorrect. How do we know that this wrath must necessarily be the wrath in the Great Tribulation? And even if it were granted that it is, such an interpretation of this word “wrath” would still be unreasonable because the Great Tribulation, on the one hand, is God’s punishment and wrath coming upon the unbelievers, and on the other hand is Satan’s attack and wrath descending on the believers. When Satan assaults the believers, the latter enter into the experience of the Great Tribulation but do not come under the wrath of God.

    B. Jeremiah 30.6-7 “The time of Jacob’s trouble” – The Great Tribulation is only for the Jews, not for the Gentiles or for the church. Since the church is not the Jews, we therefore will not go through the Great Tribulation. See also Daniel 12.1. If there were only these two passages in the entire Bible which speak of the Great Tribulation, then the Great Tribulation would indeed be exclusively for the Jews. But we can read other passages in the Bible, such as Revelation 3 which speaks of “the hour of trial, that hour which is to come upon the whole world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (v.10). The prophecies of Jeremiah and Daniel were directed toward the Jews, and hence they used such words “Jacob” and “Thy people” quite logically.

    C. Revelation 4.1-4 Interpreters of this first school consider Revelation 2 and 3 as depicting the sage of the church; 4.1 as referring to the rapture of the church; 4.4 (with the 24 elders) as representing the glorified church after the rapture; and chapters 5 and 6 as having reference to the beginning of the Great Tribulation. But 4.1 is not spoken to the whole church. It is only spoken to John. “Come up hither” is an accomplished fact in the personal experience of John on the isle of Patmos. Otherwise, Philip’s experience as recorded in Acts 8.29 might also be taken as signifying the rapture of the whole church. As regards the 24 elders, it is rather absurd to deem them as signifying the glorified church, for the following reasons:

    (1) 24 is not the number of the church; only seven or multiples of seven are, such as the seven churches in Asia.

    (2) Nowhere in the Scriptures does “elder” ever represent the church. There are elders in the church and among the Jews, but not all believers are elders. God first created the angels, then He chose the Jews, and finally gave grace to the church. How can the church bear the title of elders?

    (3) In Revelation 4 and 5 we learn that the elders sit on thrones with crowns of gold on their heads, whereas Christ is standing there. Can the church receive glory before Christ is glorified? Thrones and crowns are symbols of kingship.

    (4) The elders are clothed with white garments. Some suggest that these garments speak of Christ our righteousness for His blood has washed them white. Yet nowhere in the Scriptures is there mention made that the garments of the elders are washed with the blood. Our robes need to be washed with blood because we have sinned; but the 24 elders have never sinned.

    (5) The elders never experience redemption. In chapter 4 we observe that they sing the song of creation. And we see in chapter 5 that though they sing the song of redemption, they sing not of themselves but of men who are purchased by the blood of the Lamb. “And madest them to be . … ,,(v.10) – The word “them” here refers to the church. Now if it is the church who sings, would she use “them”?

    (6) Revelation 4 deals with the universe and not with the church, the nations, or the Jews. And hence we may say that these are the elders of the universe, The church is not an elder of the universe.

    (7) Revelation 5.8. The church cannot bring people’s prayers to God.

    (8) Revelation 7.13 If John also represents the church, it would then be the church asking the church.

    (9) John calls one of the elders “My lord” (7.14), thus indicating that his position is lower than the elders. If the 24 elders represent the church, then John who is among the first in the church, should be the elder of the elders.

    (10) The number 24 should be taken literally, not symbolically. Since one of the elders speaks to John, how can one twenty-fourth of the church talk to John? The number is fixed, and hence the elders are fixed. These 24 elders are archangels who rule the universe. Even under Satan in his domain there are principalities and authorities.

    D. 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17 Do not these verses speak of rapture? Obviously they do, yet they do not specify what time. They deal with the fact of rapture, not with the time of rapture. Thus, they can not be used to prove pre-tribulation rapture.

    E. 1 Corinthians 15.50-52 Whether dead or living, all will be raptured. Yet, again, it presents the fact of rapture without specifying a time sequence that would indicate a pre-tribulation rapture. On the contrary, it can be used to prove a post-tribulation rapture. “At the last trump” is a descriptive phrase that is equal to the seventh trumpet cited in Revelation 11.15. Some people advance the theory that according to Roman custom the trumpets are sounded three times. But the Holy Spirit follows no Roman law.

    F. Luke 21.36 The Lord distinctly promises that the church may escape the Great Tribulation and “stand before the Son of man” -This no doubt refers to rapture. Nevertheless, there is a condition involved. Not for all who are simply born again, but for those born-again ones who watch and pray. “That ye may prevail” – If you watch and pray, you may prevail. Hence the promise is given to those who do these things. Does everyone in the whole church watch and pray? Let us pay attention to this.

    G. Revelation 3.10 This is reckoned as being the strongest argument, yet it too is a promise with a condition. It therefore cannot be taken as evidence for the pre-tribulation rapture of the entire church. What is meant by “the word of my patience”? Today people revile Him and curse Him, but the Lord neither punishes them nor smites them with lightning and thunder. Such is the patience of Christ in this age. Today we are patient together with Christ. We do not resist. But does every Christian keep the word of His patience in this manner? If so, the whole church would indeed be raptured. If this verse can be used indiscriminately to prove the rapture of the whole church before the Great Tribulation, then people can with equal justification forget the condition “whosoever believeth on him” and erroneously claim that all men are saved. Furthermore, the promise of the Lord here is addressed to the church in Philadelphia, not to the whole church. If the church in Philadelphia can represent the whole church, then we may surmise that the entire church will be raptured before the Great Tribulation. Yet at that time there were actually these seven churches in Asia Minor, and the promise of the Lord was given to but one of these seven. Accordingly, the church in Philadelphia cannot represent the complete church; or else the overcomers in the other six churches mentioned will not be raptured.

    II, This first school has not only no scriptural evidence but bases too much of its arguments merely on assumptions. For such a weighty problem like rapture, it should certainly not be decided on mere assumptions. Its assumptions are as follows.

    A. Revelation 1-3 speaks of the church. After chapter 3 the church is no longer mentioned, so that she must have already been raptured by the time of chapter 4ff. (in the kingdom age, all will be righteousness and majesty; there will not be the patience of Christ). If chapters 1-3 refer to this age, chapters 4-19 will be the time of the Great Tribulation, in which the church has no part. This kind of argument is called the argument from silence. However, we cannot say that from chapters 4 through 19 the church is never touched upon. Even though the word “church” is not used, many other descriptions employed do indeed fit the church, such as “didst purchase unto God with thy blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation” (5.10), “the saints” (17.6), and “the armies which are in heaven” (19.14). Unquestionably the word “church” is not used, but who can say that those in view in the above examples do not belong to the church? Furthermore, “the things which must shortly come to pass” (including the Great Tribulation) are shown to “his servants” (22.6), and “these things” (including the Great Tribulation) are testified “for the churches” (22.16). These things will not be written if they are not relevant to the church and to the believers.

    B. After the church is raptured, there will still be very many on earth who shall be saved. These are the saints who come out of the Great Tribulation (see Rev. 7.9-17). They are saved during the Great Tribulation. There is a weakness in such assumptions by this first school which it must recognize; otherwise its adherents will be unable to round out their theory. Let us understand, however, that the “great multitude, which no man could number” (7.9) must exceed the number of 200 millions (“twice ten thousand times ten thousand”) which is the biggest among many numbers cited in the book of Revelation (9.16). Taking today’s population at about 2 billions (That is, in the early 1930’s; but the world population for 1976 was estimated at about 4.3 billions – Translator), there will still be 1.5 billions after one fourth are killed (Rev. 6.8). Such a numberless multitude who “come out of the great tribulation” mentioned in the Revelation 7 passage must therefore have reference to those overcoming saints who come out of the great tribulation experienced by all believers throughout the twenty centuries of church history.

    C. Before the Great Tribulation, the Holy Spirit returns to heaven. Since the church is with the Holy Spirit, it may be assumed that the whole church is raptured before the Great Tribulation. The basis for this assumption is 2 Thessalonians 2.6-7 where the phrase “one that restraineth” is made to refer to the Holy Spirit. Yet “one that restraineth” cannot be the Holy Spirit, for the subsequent clause – “until he be taken out of the way”- is not the proper terminology to be used in speaking about the Holy Spirit. The Third Person of the Trinity has many different names, such as the Spirit, the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of revelation, etc; and the word “Spirit” is usually present – and even though in one instance the word “Comforter” is used alone, yet from the next clause which follows (“even the Spirit of truth”) it is evident that this has clear reference to the Holy Spirit (John 14.16-17). Never do the Scriptures say the Holy Spirit is “he that restrains”; moreover, how can the Holy Spirit be said to “be taken out of the way”? Furthermore, where does the Bible announce that the Holy Spirit is absent during the Great Tribulation? And how can there be the so-called believers of the Great Tribulation if the Holy Spirit is not present? For no one is saved without the Holy Spirit, He who is born of the Spirit is spirit. Moreover, this matter of the Holy Spirit’s presence during the Great Tribulation is clearly shown in Revelation 5: “and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth” (v.6). The time of the Great Tribulation is the time of the latter rain (see Acts 2.15-21, Joel 2.28-31). The prophecy of Joel was not completely fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. For on that day there were no “wonders in the heaven and in the earth: blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke”; nor was “the sun . . . turned into darkness, and the moon into blood” (Joel 2.30-31). All of these five wonders will be fulfilled around and in the time of the Great Tribulation: blood (first trumpet), fire (first and second trumpets), smoke (fifth trumpet), sun and moon (sixth seal). Pentecost is only a miniature, a foretaste. Peter does not say: “It is fulfilled”; he merely says that “this is that” (Acts 2.16). As a matter of fact, the Holy Spirit is going to do greater work during the time of the Great Tribulation. If there will not be the Holy Spirit present, how can the saints ever endure during the Great Tribulation?

    D. The disciples in the four Gospels are Jews. It is to them, that is to say, to the Jews, that the Lord exhorts to watch and pray. Since we Christians will be raptured anyway, there is no need for us to be exhorted to watch and pray. We go to the Epistles for our inspiration. However, the disciples are Christians, and they too are in the church. Are not the disciples called Christians (Acts 11.26; cf. Matt. 28.19)?

    E. Adherents of this first school of interpretation do not regard much of the four Gospels and the Acts as written for Gentile believers. C. I. Scofield, for example, maintained that the so-called Sermon on the Mount is exclusively for the Jews. They forget, though, the words in Matthew 28.20 (“teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you”) and in John 14.26 (“and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you”). They base all their teachings on the words of the apostle Paul, whereas they should remember what Paul himself said in Colossians 3: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (v.16).

    F. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world…; and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24.14). They suggest that the gospel of the kingdom is different from the gospel of grace and that the gospel of the kingdom is only preached during the time when the Lord was on earth and immediately before the Great Tribulation. Since we are saved by the gospel of grace, it is their contention that the gospel of grace need not be preached to the whole world before we are raptured. Thus, the gospel of the kingdom will only be preached again ten or twenty years before the Tribulation. Yet the gospel of the kingdom is the gospel of the kingdom of God, and the gospel of grace is the gospel of the grace of God. According to Acts 20.24-25, “the gospel of the grace of God” spoken of in verse 24 is none other than “the preaching” of “the kingdom” mentioned in verse 25. Also, please note from Acts 1 that the Lord after His resurrection spoke to the disciples “the things concerning the kingdom of God” (v.3).

    G. They view the work of Christ on earth as fulfilling the ministry towards the circumcised, thus showing a definite Jewish background; and therefore whatever is commanded in the Gospels is not for us Christians but is for the Jews. Let me say in response, however, that the dispensation of Grace also begins with Christ. Please read the following passages: (1) Matthew 11.13-14 and Luke 16.16 – where the phrase “from that time” in Luke means from the time of Christ; (2) Acts 10.36-37 and 13.25-27 – where we see that “the word of this salvation” (13.26) begins to be preached at the time of John the Baptist; (3) Mark 1.1-15 and John 1.1-15 – from which we learn that “the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Mark 1.1) commences with John the Baptist; (4) Luke 4.17-21 – which verses describe the gospel of grace in a number of ways and concludes by recording the Lord Jesus as saying: “Today hath this scripture been fulfilled” (v.21); (5) John 4.23 – wherein the phrase “and now is” indicates that during the dispensation of Grace those who worship God worship Him in spirit and truth (whereas under the dispensation of Law, men apprehended God in the flesh and according to rituals); and (6) John 5.24-25 – which verses tell us that what is included in the phrase “and now is” is the gospel of grace.

    III. The Bible has sufficient evidence to prove that the church passes through the Great Tribulation. The following are some of the evidences.

    A. 2 Thessalonians 2.1-9. Please read this passage very carefully. Verse 1 gives the topic of this passage – namely, the coming of Christ and rapture. Since the rapture spoken of here is a being gathered in the air, there is already a hint as to its being after tribulation. In verse 2, the word “spirit” signifies another spirit, not the Holy Spirit; the term “word” means rumor; “us” refers to Paul, Silvanus and Timothy; and “the day of the Lord” is the day of the coming of Christ and rapture. In those days there were people who deluded the Thessalonian believers by saying that the day of the Lord had already come and that they had been left behind. Yet verse 3 shows that this day will not arrive until after the following two signs: (1) that before rapture, there will appear the man of sin, the son of perdition, who is the Antichrist; and (2) that there will first come the falling away, which is apostasy, When will the man of sin be revealed? It will naturally be at the Great Tribulation, So that rapture will be after this Tribulation. At least part of the church must go through the Great Tribulation.

    B. 1 Corinthians 15.50-55; 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17. The first passage dwells on resurrection and change; the second deals with resurrection and rapture. These two are parallel passages. All students of the Bible agree that the events in both passages happen at the same time. Is there any intimation as to the actual time for these events? Indeed, there is. “At the last trump” indicates that the time must be after the Tribulation. The first school of interpretation insists that the blowing of the last trumpet occurs before the Tribulation, but its adherents have not a single Scripture verse to support their view. The last trumpet is sounded after the Tribulation; it is the last of the seven trumpets mentioned in the book of Revelation. How absurd it would be if after the last trumpet had been sounded there would still remain seven more trumpets to be heard! It would be like having had the last son born, only to be followed by seven more sons. Someone contends that the “trump” here is the trump of the church, not that of the Tribulation. Where, then, is there recorded in the Scriptures anything said about the first trump of the church? Still others say that Paul merely borrows from the Roman military custom, that as soon as the last trumpet is blown the entire army marches away. Yet the Scriptures have not adopted this Roman military practice. This “trump” is the trump of God, not of the church. Without a doubt it is the last of the seven trumpets cited in the book of Revelation. Furthermore, according to Revelation 10.7, at the sounding of the seventh trumpet the mystery of God is finished – which mystery is the church.

    C. Other evidences are these:

    (1) Matthew 24.3, 13.40, 28.20: “the end of the world” – The word “world” is aion in Greek, which means “age” – that is to say, the end of this age. Chronologically, the Great Tribulation falls in this age. If rapture is to occur before the Tribulation, there will be a gap of three years and a half.

    (2) 1 Corinthians 15.25; cf. Acts 2.35: “till he hath put all his enemies under his feet, – This is factual after the Tribulation.

    (3) 1 Timothy 6.14: “that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ”- The appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ will occur after the Tribulation. If He is to come to the air before the Tribulation, would there be any need for waiting, watching, and keeping?

    IV. Though there are evidences in the Bible on a post-tribulation rapture of believers, this still does not imply that the whole body of believers will be raptured after the Tribulation. And hence this second school of interpretation has its errors too. For the Bible clearly indicates to us that some believers are raptured before the Tribulation. Here are some of the reasons for this view.

    A. Were the entire body of believers to be raptured after the Tribulation, there would again be no need for us to watch and wait and be prepared. Knowing that the Lord would not come before the end of the three and a half year’s period, we could live evilly up to three years five months and twenty-nine days. Yet such a concept violates the very principle of the Scriptures.

    B. Were all of us believers to be raptured after the Great Tribulation, then our waiting would not be a waiting for Christ but for the Antichrist, since the latter must come first.

    C. The church would lose her hope – “Looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2.13) – for included in this hope is the blessing of escaping the Tribulation.

    D. The second school of interpretation does not accept the idea of a secret rapture; yet its followers forget the word, “Behold, I come as a thief” (Rev. 16.15). A thief comes secretly, is never preceded by a band, and always steals the best.

    E. This second school views the twelve disciples as being purely Christians in direct contrast with the view of the first school which considers these twelve as being merely Jews. As a matter of fact, however, these twelve disciples are Christians as well as representatives of the Jewish remnant. For example, in Matthew 10.5-6 and 23.3 we see that all have a Jewish background, a fact which is thus inapplicable to Christians.

    F. There is a failure in this second school to distinguish between rapture and the appearing of the Lord. There is a difference between Christ coming for the saints and Christ coming with the saints. That which Enoch prophesied, as recorded in Jude, points to the coming of the Lord, “with his holy myriads” (see Jude 14-15 mg.) when His feet step down on the Mount of Olives. So does the prophecy which is given in Revelation: “Behold, he cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they that pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over him. Even so, Amen” (1.7). In taking the historical view, the second school of interpretation regards that part of Revelation up to chapter 17 as having already been fulfilled, with only the part from chapter 17 onward waiting to be fulfilled. (This is exactly opposite to the futuristic view taken by the first school of interpretation which deems only chapters 1-3 as having already been fulfilled, with the rest remaining to be so). If the book of Revelation only records primarily things of the past, then how can the average child of God ever understand it? It would require doctors of philosophy and learned historians to comprehend it! Furthermore, it would no longer be revelation either!

    V. As we have come to see, the first school lacks scriptural evidences while the second school, though it possesses many proofs, nevertheless has many errors too. What, then, does the Bible actually teach? Let us consider the following observations.

    A. Revelation 3.10 “The hour of trial, that hour which is to come upon the whole world” – This is the Great Tribulation. This verse tells us that a certain class of people may escape the Great Tribulation, even those who keep the word of the patience of Christ. Instantly it tears apart the arguments of the second school of interpretation as well as those of the first. Although Philadelphia represents the true church in the dispensation of Grace, it is nonetheless only one of the seven local churches in Asia at that time. Thus it shows that only a relatively small number of people (one seventh) may be raptured before the Tribulation. Furthermore, pre-tribulation rapture is not based purely on our being born again as children of God, but is dependent on one other condition, which is, our keeping the word of the patience of Christ. Do all believers today keep the word of the patience of Christ? Obviously not. It is therefore evident that not the whole body of believers will be raptured before the Tribulation. The second school contends, however, that this passage of Scripture does not refer to pre-tribulation rapture, for it speaks of keeping – that God will “keep” them safely through the Great Tribulation: just as, for example, when an entire house is caught on fire, one room may be left untouched; or for example, when the land of Egypt came under the plague, the land of Goshen where the children of Israel dwelt in Egypt went unscathed (see Ex. 9.26, 10.23). Such an explanation is erroneous because (1) the “keeping” in view here is not a keeping through but a keeping from. In the Greek text, after the word “keep” in this verse there is the word ek which means “out of’ (as in the word ekklesia which means “the called out ones”). Here, therefore, ek signifies a being kept out of the Tribulation. And (2) “Because thou didst keep the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of trial” (3.10a) – As we have seen, the trial which is to come upon the whole world is the Great Tribulation; but notice that it is not a keeping from the trial but a keeping from the hour of the trial, In order to be kept out of the hour of trial, we must leave the world. There are only two ways for God to keep us out: death and rapture. And hence part of the living will be raptured before the Tribulation.

    B. Luke 21.36 also proves that not the entire church but only a part of it will be raptured before the Tribulation. The accounts of Luke 21 and Matthew 24 are quite alike, except that Matthew stresses more the coming of Christ and the Tribulation while Luke focuses more on the destruction of Jerusalem and the Tribulation. Hence there is the famous question asked in Matthew (24.3), and there are also more parables recorded in Matthew’s account than in Luke’s. In 70 A.D. Jerusalem experienced a terrible destruction, and at the end she will experience a great tribulation. The record in Luke can be outlined as follows: 2 1.8-9 – the things before the end; 10-19 – believers will suffer; 20-28 – how Jerusalem will be destroyed (verse 28 seems to suggest that the saints will all pass through the Tribulation); 29-33 – a parable guaranteeing the certainty of these things to come; and 34-36 – Were it not for this passage, it might be inferred that the whole body of believers would surely be raptured after the Tribulation: yet verse 34 has a change in tone from the preceding verses, verse 35 shows that the things mentioned earlier concern the whole inhabited world, and verse 36 presents the condition for escaping the Great Tribulation – which is to watch and pray. How are believers to escape all these coming things and to stand before the Son of man? Naturally by being raptured. Death is not a blessing: we do not pray and expect death. The condition here for rapture is to watch and pray. Hence here, not all the regenerated may be raptured. Pray always. What to pray for? Pray that we may escape all these things which shall come to pass. “That ye may prevail” (or, “ye may be accounted worthy” AV), It is not a question of grace, but rather a matter of worthiness. How about worthiness? God cannot receive you to the place where you have no desire to go. Some people may consider heaven as too tasteless a place in which to live as may be indicated by these words: “Lest haply your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life” (v.34). If a balloon is tied, it cannot ascend. In sum, Luke 21.36 shatters the arguments of both the first and second schools of interpretation. The second school may still raise other arguments, such as (1) that rapture is not dependent on conduct – yet in reply it should be asked whether anyone thinks a carnal believer lying on a bed of fornication will be raptured? Or (2) that the phrase “all these things” does not refer to the Great Tribulation but to the surfeiting, drunkenness, and cares of this life cited in verse 34. In reply, it should be noted that verse 36 reads, “all these things that shall come to pass” – whereas “surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life” pertain to the things which are present now. And therefore, “watch ye” means to not be deceived by such activities.

    C. Other proofs as follows:

    (1) By reading Matthew 24.42 together with 1 Thessalonians 5.2, 4, it is evident that there are at least two raptures: for note that the first passage suggests rapture before the Tribulation because one must be watchful since he does not know when his Lord will come; while the second passage suggests rapture after the Tribulation because one knows when the day of the Lord shall come.

    (2) The places to be raptured towards are also different. Whereas Revelation 7.15 mentions to “the throne of God” and Luke 21.36 mentions “to stand before the Son of man”, 1 Thessalonians 4.17 says that it is to “the air” – Such distinctions would thus indicate that the entire body of believers is not raptured all at one time.

    (3) Mark 13 states, “But of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (v.32), So that the day of the coming of Christ is unknown. But 1 Thessalonians 4 declares that “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (v.16). From this second passage we know that the appearing of Christ is after the sounding of the seventh trumpet. And hence the first passage relates to pre-tribulation rapture while the second relates to post-tribulation rapture.

    VI. Questions raised against separate rapture, and answers thereto, are submitted below.

    A. Some people say that the rapture of the church cannot be divided because the body of Christ cannot be divided. It should be noted in reply, however, that the body is a figure of speech which signifies one life. If the body is taken literally, then there is already division today because the Lord is now in heaven, Paul has already died, we remain living on earth, and some believers are yet to be born.

    B. Others object that rapture is part of redemption, that since redemption is according to grace, rapture cannot be based on the concept of worthiness. In reply, it needs to be pointed out that while the act of changing (see 1 Cor. 15.51-52) is indeed according to grace, the act of being taken (rapture) is according to works.

    C. Some observers ask, is it not rather cruel to take away hope from the church? To which we must answer that in the Scriptures there is no such false hope given; and therefore it is better to alert people to this fact.

    D. I Corinthians 15.23, say some, only mentions “they that are Christ’s” and that nothing is said about works. But let us be aware that this verse does not speak of rapture, it speaks of resurrection.

    E. Since the dead will not go through the Great Tribulation, would it not be unfair to the living for them to go through it? Will not the righteous God be unjust in this regard? In response, let me say that we do need to be concerned; for during the millennium each and every believer (including all believers who died prior to the Great Tribulation) will receive, as a consequence of appearing before Christ’s judgment seat, the things done in the body while alive, according to what he has done whether it be good or bad (2 Cor. 5.10).

    F. Since in 1 Cor. 15:50-52 (“We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed”) “all” is the word used, surely this signifies the whole body. Yes, the “all” here does indeed refer to the entire body, but it does not have reference to the same time. For example, we all will die, but certainly not all of us will do so in one day.

    G. There is a distinction made in the Bible between wheat and tares, some say, but no difference made between wheat and wheat; consequently, all wheat must be raptured. In reply, it should be noted that the times of ripening for wheat are not the same. Thus there are the firstfruits and the later harvest.

    H. Some argue that according to I Thessalonians 4.15, the living “shall in no wise precede them who are fallen asleep” -The dead are resurrected at the seventh trumpet; and so timewise, rapture occurs after the Tribulation. Now if there is a first rapture, it will have to take place before the resurrection of the dead. But since this verse distinctly says “shall in no wise,” how then can rapture take place twice? Let me say in reply that it is most precious and significant to find in both verse 15 and verse 17 the qualifying clauses “we that are alive, that are left” – Now to be alive is obviously to be left on earth; why, then, is there this apparent unnecessary repetition? Because it implies that there are people who though alive yet have already gone ahead (that is, raptured) and therefore are no longer left on earth. Would Paul enlist himself among this class of people who are alive and are left? Not at all. He uses the word “we” only because he is speaking at that moment of writing, and the proof of this is that since Paul no longer lives today, he cannot be numbered among those who are left on earth. Our summary conclusion to all this is that the third school of interpretation seems to be the correct one – that is to say, that one group of believers will be raptured before the Tribulation while another group of believers will go through the Tribulation and be raptured afterwards.

  18. “I didn’t realize or even comprehended once there could be such thing as a Jewish Muslim.
    Are there actually groups who are Jewish Muslim? Worshiping 2 Gods at once. HMMM.
    Or is it Jewish through nationality and has Muslim as a religion? That could be more understandable yet on the same page quite odd.” (Debbie Fraser)

    It was the ‘Jewish through nationality and has Muslim as a religion’ that I was referring to. You should know that hundreds of thousands, if not Muslims of Jews were forced to convert to Islam over the years, especially when Islam was in it’s conquest mode. But even today, there are Jews who convert to Islam, I think there was even an Orthodox Jew who did it. It’s tragic. But that would be such a great blasphemy, to get the son of promise to bow before the son of the bond servant, and what a great way to get people to stop worshipping Jesus, a Jewish man with supernatural powers claiming to be Jesus, yet his whole mission is to bring everyone into the camp of Islam. That’s honestly what I’ll think will happen. There are lots of reasons why, but one is the false prophet comes out of Ha’areṣ – the land (of Israel?), but the AntiChrist comes out of the sea (which represents the nations).

  19. Sorry, typo.
    ” You should know that hundreds of thousands, if not Muslims of Jews were forced to convert to Islam over the years, especially when Islam was in it’s conquest mode.” Was supposed to be “if not Millions of Jews”.

  20. Dear Dr. Brown,

    I have not listened to this podcast, but after reading the description to Hour 1, I feel so stirred (as I have been lately by the Lord). We are graduates of FIRE School, but are not truly “rolling up our sleeves and getting on with it”. I try to do what I can, but as a stay-at-home and homeschooling mother of 6, it is a challenge to move forward on my own. I know my husband still has a heart to serve the Lord, but he seems so held back by many hindrances right now. In some ways it almost seems like he is backslidden in heart. I weep inwardly every day. Will you please take a moment to pray for my husband and myself? Will you please go before the Lord as a father crying over his son? Thank you for the years that you poured into us at FIRE. My hope is that we will bear fruit, make disciples, and change the world. Thank you.

Comments are closed.