John then told me about a pastor that contacted him and ordered 150 of his books for his church. This pastor had a Dr. of Theology degree, very strong in the Word, and has pastored for over 40 years in a well-known and well-respected denomination that has preached a pre-trib rapture forever! John read from his letter:
I pastor a large Baptist church in North Carolina, and as such I have been taught and have taught for many years that there would be a pre-tribulation rapture. Several weeks ago, a member of my previous congregation called and told me that I just had to read your book. As I told you on the phone, I probably would not have purchased this book at first glance at a book store. But at my friend’s insistence, I ordered it. I did my first reading per the advice of a former college professor who told us to read books like we eat fish, ‘eat the meat and spit out the bones.’ In other words, if you stop reading a book at the first place where you disagree with the author, you will probably never finish, or you will finish very few books.
After the first reading, there came a second. With pen and legal pad in hand, alas, there came a third in an effort to truly grasp the truth of the matter. My conclusion: there will be a mid-tribulation rapture. Contrary to all the learning and teaching I have received and done.”
John said that this man later preached a sermon to his whole church, sent him the DVD, and told his congregation, “I have to tell you, in good conscience, I have been wrong for 40 years!” And then he challenged his congregation to read John’s book. Well, 150 families signed up, 90 something percent of every family in his church. He later told John that not one person came back in disagreement after reading his book. He told John, “I gave your book to a dozen pastors and to the vice president of a Bible college. Every one of them came back and said, “I can’t refute the Word of God. I can’t believe we didn’t see it.”
No, we can’t refute the Word of God, and we shouldn’t resist the truth even when we’ve taught and been taught a wrong thing our entire lives! When Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Lord, what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?” Jesus’ answered in Matthew 24 and told them about all this bad stuff that we’re going to go through. And then… “Immediately after the distress of those days… Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
John said that when we’re going through the opening of the seals, it will be a time of distress although it will not be the wrath of God. He believes, and I do too, that we are not appointed to wrath and the seals are not the wrath of God. But we’re going to go through a time of distress. And Jesus’ own words said, “Immediately after the distress of those days…” Part of that distress is the antichrist showing up in Jerusalem and desecrating a temple that hasn’t been built yet (Matthew 24:15).
I’ve preached ever since prison days; in Matthew 24, in verse 15, is the antichrist! “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand…”
One of the main points I’ve heard preached all my life is you’ll never see the antichrist. How many have heard that preached? We preached that you’re not going to see him because he’s coming after the rapture.
But Jesus said, here it is, in verse 29, after the pressure, or the persecution, of those days “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” There are nine verses, I believe, in the Bible that tell you before the coming of the Lord, the sun and the stars are going to be darkened. I believe an earthquake is literally going to cause volcanoes. And the Bible talks about those volcanoes when it says the sun and the stars will be darkened. How is it dark outside when the sun and stars should be lighting things up? It’s dark because of the ash cloud from the volcanoes.
John continued: “The rapture’s not happening tomorrow, I’m sorry to disappoint you. It’s written in the Word. It says, “Immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,” (vs. 29) and Joel, speaking of the same day, says the sun, the moon, and the stars will be darkened. And in Revelation chapter 6, the opening of the sixth seal, ‘There was a great earthquake and the sun went dark and the moon did not give its light.’ It’s all written in the Word.
And you know what is sad? I ask so many people that email and say, ‘I’m just not buying this mid-trib rapture stuff.’ So I respond back to them and ask if they read my book, and it’s usually ‘no.’ Then I ask them, ‘Could you give me a Bible verse that in plain speak tells you that the rapture is pre-trib?’ And the answer is usually silence or no. The only way you can give me a scripture for pre-trib is if you use types, symbols, symbolic meanings; it’s not in the scriptures in plain speak.”