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January 9, 2001

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Q/A Topics:
Pre-trib & Margaret MacDonald?

Tonight I am once again digging into the hours of twilight searching for what my hart cries out for ,TRUTH! .... I am looking at the "Rapture" teaching. I was raised in the AG church. I have always been taught that the "Rapture" teaching came out of a "charismatic revival" that happened in Scotland in 1830. It was the vision of a woman named Miss Margaret Macdonald. She was on her death bed at home and in a "sprit out pouring" trance. she spoke in tongues regularly .... in 1st Corinthians 15:52 I read "at the last trump" .... much has happened at the "last trump" of Rev. Chapter 9 ! ..... once again I ask for your wisdom on yet another matter..... please, how can this be pre.tribulation? .... and .....how could someone speaking blasphemies have prophesied something to the Christian church?

First of all, let's clear up one thing. Rev ch9&11 do not speak of a "last" trumpet. Revelation speaks of trumpets "first" through "seventh". Do we know for sure that the "seventh" trumpet (11:15) is the same as the "last" trumpet of 1Cor15:52? For more on this let me direct you to a past writing at: The "Last" Trumpet?

And also read the link that comes off the bottom of it. For teachings on the pre-70th week Rapture, check out the TopicSearch: pre-trib

OK, now let's address Margaret MacDonald...

There was a young girl who followed Paul and Silas saying, "These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation." (Acts16:17) She was demon-possessed, and Paul subsequently commanded the demon to leave her. Because she was demon-possessed, did that make her statements false?

On another occasion a demon-possess person "in the synagogue...cried out with a loud voice". A charismatic ..."word of prophecy" or "word of knowledge"?? What did he cry out? "I know You, who You are-the Holy One of God!" (Lk4:33-34) Because he was demon-possessed, did that make his confession false?

Demons "believe--and tremble". (Jas2:19) They know Truth. That's why the false teachings of apostasy, the "doctrines of demons" (1Tim4:1) contain so much truth, and are referenced by so much Scripture. Only... "twisted..to their own destruction" (2Pt3:16)

What better way to get people to -not- believe Truth, than to -actually- Proclaim Truth... and then, have the messenger Discredited!

An example:
About 20 years ago there was a 'tape' being copied and circulated, of Johnny Todd, who was going around from church-to-church. Supposedly from a background in the rock music industry... but 'now', supposedly, "saved". And was 'alerting' the "church" to the evils of rock music; its intrinsic evil, as well as the demon-possessed aspects of master tapes being 'blessed' in the halls of satan-worship, and its infiltration into the "church" through "christian" rock and what was then, the precursors to what is today known as "worship music". Telling how satan-worshipers would infiltrate into the "church" through the music, 'pretending' to be Christians. Most notable of these were groups doing music similar to today's "worship music".

I was fellowshiping with the bunch at the EFC in Bismarck, ND at the time. There were several key people in that church who really liked the contemporary "christian" music, and were featured in special music frequently. And when they heard the tape, it really SCARED them into starting down a path away from that music. Indeed, when I heard the tape, as a Believer, in my spirit I was receiving confirmation about many things I already knew about rock music, but had not heard an "expert" proclaim them. In my heart, what he had to say EXPLAINED what I had been observing with the "Jesus people music", but could not put my finger on. I -KNEW- that the main points he was making were TRUTH. The Holy Spirit within me witnessed (Rom8:16) to the TRUTH of what he was proclaiming.

But then, it came out one day that "Johnny Todd is a fraud...he is none of the things he claims to be". And indeed, the latest I have heard about him is that he is serving prison time for something-or-other.

However, the amazing thing was... JUST AS SOON AS the news came out that he was a fraud, these same people who had begun to be "scared straight", reverted -IMMEDIATELY- back to their first love. The "contemporary" music. After all, their reasoning went, "If Johnny is a fraud...then his message is also fraudulent...-all- the stuff he said was lies...thus, the contemporary music is OK after all".

I fear that the Margaret MacDonald story is -just- such a scenario. Her purpose seems to be having the same effect as Johnny Todd. If she is shown to have been charismatic, then her message "must be" fraudulent. Thus, the Lord's coming for His Believers is not "pre".

But remember, Paul and Silas -WERE- "servants of the Most High" and they -WERE- "proclaiming the way of salvation". Remember that Jesus -IS- the Son of God. Things which demons, even, proclaimed.

Don't pay attention to Margaret MacDonald, or Hal Lindsey, JNDarby, or the early 'church fathers' and 'great men' of the Reformation. What does the -SCRIPTURE- say? The doctrine coined "pre-trib" Rapture comes from the Scriptures. When people come up with reasons to believe otherwise, well... Jesus already predicted that such would be the case, "But if that -evil- servant says in his heart, 'My master is -delaying- his coming..." (Mt24:48)


Different Gospel after the Rapture?

Thank you for your interesting and provocative studies. I agree with your basic approach and with you love and concern for Israel. I wonder about the ministry to those who are "left behind." Will there be a second chance for friends who have heard the gospel and rejected Christ?

I'm so glad that it is Christ who "knows the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb4:12) and "knows those who are His". (2Tim2:19) It is not 'my' determination as to 'who' gets saved.

When we read Paul's description of those who will be deceived BECAUSE they "did not believe the truth" (2Th2:12), the context of that passage begins with the "falling away" (vs3).. or "apostasy". Such a context would seem to be those who had the -label- of "Christian", but either "left/drew back" (Rev2:4, Heb10:38-39), or were "weeds/wolves" among the "wheat/sheep". (Acts20:29-30, Mt13:25-30)

And yet, there are many who have heard, but have not made any pretenses of "being a Christian", but do not now believe. There -are- going to be those who are saved "out of THE great tribulation" (Rev7:14) They will not have worshiped the beast or taken his mark. (20:4)

Also please give some consideration to the "Gospel of the kingdom" which was preached by John the Baptist and Jesus. This gospel will be preached during the tribulation period. It is not the gospel of the grace of God which brings believers into the Body of Christ. Do we preach the gospel of the kingdom today? I think not. Please comment. The destination of the believer in the Body of Christ is to be transformed into the image of Christ. The destination of the believers who respond to the gospel of the kingdom is to receive the King Messiah (Jesus) and enter into His Messianic Kingdom. Right or wrong?

The "King Messiah (Jesus)" comes back to Israel at the Mt.of Olives. (Zech14:4) It is Israel who will "mourn" when they see Jesus. (Zech12:10)

But salvation has -ALWAYS- been by "grace through faith" (Eph2:8) Abraham was counted righteous when he "believed God" (Gen15:6, Rom4:3), just as the Philippian jailer was exhorted to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.." (Acts16:31) Just as Israel was implored to "turn/repent" (Eze33:11), so too, "God...commands all men everywhere to repent" (Acts17:30) Which is what Paul preached, "repentance & faith" (Acts20:21) Just as the O.T. prophet speaks of "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved" (Joel2:32), the N.T. writer includes it as part of the doctrine of salvation. (Rom10:13) And furthermore, Joel2:32 prophesies that the same holds true for the period of time during the 70th week, because that passage speaks -specifically- of the end times of God's Wrath.

The woman's "Seed" was first proclaimed in Gen3:15. He is the One through Whom salvation comes, and no other. (Acts4:12) When the Kingdom is set up, it is "this -SAME- Jesus" (Acts1:11) Who rules.

Yes, the Law may have been in the O.T. and "grace" in the N.T. But "grace" is not limited to the N.T... it was in the O.T., too. (Lam3:22) Otherwise, David and Bathsheba would have been stoned to death. And the basics of the Law (Ten Commandments) are reiterated throughout the N.T. It may have been the Law and ordinances in the O.T., and the "Church" in the N.T., and the "Kingdom" in the coming millennium. But salvation has been, is now, and will be by the same method. Christ's death and resurrection (1Cor15:1-3), and man's response through repentance and faith. (Acts20:21, Lk24:47, etc)

In the O.T. the message said that Jesus "is coming". Now we proclaim that He "came". During the 70th week it will be proclaimed that He is "coming again". But, the Salvation Message has been, is now, and -will- be the same message. Man will -still- need to humble himself and repent. (Jas4:8-10)


Eternal == forever and ever?

I recieved a subscription to e-mail from the [website-name] and never paid close attention to its site as I subscribe to it until I go thru it and found something very new to me which is "aion" greek word translated into English.

I looked up in Vine's dictionary for eternal and everlasting, and it says it is without duration of time so it is forever as it is in english definition. [website-name] says it is mistranslated and explained in depth and it made me confused but I believe in eternal punishment. I do not know who to turn to to talk with except with your help to right divide the word of truth.

According to the lexicons with Online Bible we have

165  aion ahee-ohn'

1) for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity
2) the worlds, universe
3) period of time, age

However, in Mt25:46 which they were proof-texting it is

166  aionios ahee -o' -nee-os

1) without beginning and end, that which always has been and always
   will be
2) without beginning
3) without end, never to cease, everlasting
According to 165 it appears that 'both' definitions might apply (1 & 3). But where it is used in Mt25:46, which was the major point they were making, it is 166 where it is, indeed, "everlasting" (NKJV)

If you notice in the article that links from the 'top' link of that collection [Ed: at the website-name URL], the author references "Bishop Westcott". That is the same "Westcott" of "Westcott/Hort" who were responsible for the "Critical text" rendition of the Greek texts, with heavy emphasis/reliance on the 'older' Alexandrian manuscripts. Perhaps you recall the recent Q/A on the "Amplified"? Your conundrum in this instance is a prime example of what that whole Q/A item was about. The different 'origins' of the manuscripts, and the heresy from Egypt. Of course, heresy is going to teach that God's punishment isn't "everlasting". Such a teaching, then, lessens man's need for repentance and Salvation...and/or modifies it into something 'other than' what it truly needs to be.

It also have "Bible Threatenings Explained" under the "AION" that explains differently than what we believe.

I guess it does!!! I didn't bother to read it 'all'. Only a couple of paragraphs. And it was sounding like some stuff I've read in the past. Basically...how can a "loving" God "torture" people forever. You mean a "Christian mother" would be forced to watch her "unsaved child" being tortured forever in hell?? But they do not recognize God's "holiness" and "jealously".

It looks like it is twisted and hard for maturing christians to defend the truth so I would like you to show me whether they are wrong or not.

I think, from what you said, your own heart told you "whether they are wrong or not". Yes?

Can you help show me that they are wrong that hell is not eternal with the scriptures? I am not good at Greek and Hebrew so I am awkward with their explantion of eternal in other view.

"Greek and Hebrew" are not necessary, necessarily. Check out Isa66:24; "their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched". What sort of time 'limit' is attached to the word "not"? And where Rev20:10 says "tormented day and night forever and ever" (NKJV) the LITV says, "to the ages of the ages". In other words, from age to age, to the next...continuing on and on, to "aion of the aion". That sounds like "forever" to me. It means the same thing as the bliss of those who reign "forever and ever" (Rev22:5) I suspect they would have no problem with the "loving" God blessing His children 'forever'. The same expression is used for those who come under His judgment...as the one author was speaking of the context of the "whole" of the Bible...that it is not going to "contradict" itself. Thus, if Believers reign forever and ever, then, those whose names are not in the Book of life are in the Lake of Fire forever and ever. The judgment of Babylon is "forever and ever" (Rev19:3, 14:11) the same as God "lives forever and ever". (Rev15:7) Unless, they believe that at some point in time God "dies" and/or ceases to exist..?

Going back to their own 'proof-text' Mt25:46, it says, "..these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life" (NKJV) The -same- Greek word is used for both "everlasting" and "eternal". The LITV translates it as "everlasting" in both cases. It is the (166) "aionios". If they [website-name] wish to put a "limit" in time to the punishment, then, following their own stated criteria that Scripture does not contradict itself, they would have to also believe that the righteous do not live forever. The -same- time period applies to both... just like we saw above where "aion" is doubled. If the Lake of Fire is not forever, then God's existence and rule is also not forever. By their own criteria, they cannot have "everlasting life" and "limited punishment". By the context it is the same for one, the same for the other. If they believe God's existence is forever, then, punishment is forever.

So...notice that Mt25:46 uses "aionios". But in the passages where "aion" is used...it is used -double-. Ages of the ages. So, even if they wish to choose the time 'limiting' definition of "aion", the fact that it is doubled as it is, means it is an 'extending' of time...as I expressed above. But whichever definition they choose to follow, the -same- time period (whatever that is) applies, equally, to both the reward -AND- punishment.

Does this help?

The whole problem comes from wrong manuscripts and those who promote them and the doctrines which were responsible for them...heresy and apostasy. For more on Westcott/Hort, if you go to the VW website, click on "BibleText" and scroll down to the link on "Westcott & Hort"...you will find a couple of illuminating exposes on them and their occult backgrounds, and their 'deliberate' corruption of the Greek texts.

However, in checking just now in the NASB, which comes from the critical texts, in Mt25:46 it uses aionios. I expect this [website-name] is straining out gnats, telling lies, to -deliberately- distort the Scriptures (like their favorite "Bishop Westcott"), even from their favorite perverted texts, to promote their false doctrines. Even the blasphemous "The Message" says, "eternal doom" and "eternal reward". So, these people are obviously working 'overtime' to "twist to their own destruction.." (2Pt3:16)

Yes...listen to your heart. The Holy Spirit wrote the Scriptures in the first place. (2Pt1:21) If you are a child of God, and thus, have the Holy Spirit resident within you (Rom8:9), then, the -same- Spirit Who wrote it will recognize it (or a perversion of it) as you are reading. He guides into Truth. (Jn16:13) It is His "anointing" to this end. (1Jn2:27) As Believers, through the Holy Spirit we "have the mind of Christ". (1Cor2:16b) because "the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God" (vs10)



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