There are two great divisions of thought regarding people's view of prophecy: The Futurist and the Historicist. Both teach that Messiah will return to earth, but the division arises over the manner of His coming and its timing in relation to "the Tribulation." Now some may say, what difference does it make HOW Messiah returns, so long as we all believe that Messiah will indeed come? Is it really an important issue? How will our viewpoint of prophecy affect our thoughts and actions in preparation for the return of Messiah? First of all, it should be established that our eternal destiny and salvation does not stand or fall upon our belief in either viewpoint. However, our doctrines will determine our courses of action and our basic attitudes and outlook on the world in general. Thus, the issue is important to that degree. The Historical view holds that the tribulation in the book of Revelation is almost completely fulfilled, except for the final downfall of 'Mystery Babylon." The Futurist view teaches that almost all of Revelations events have a future fulfillment The Historicist teaches that the "Revived Roman Empire" prophesied by Daniel was fulfilled in Papal Rome, and that the "great whore" now primarily rides the "scarlet coloured beast" (Revelation 17:3) of Red Communism. The Futurist teaches that the Revived Roman Empire is yet future, and it is often identified with the present-day Common Market of Western Europe. The Historicist notes that all through the centuries the Assembly has undergone tribulation and persecution at the hands of Mystery Babylon, as it rides on various beast empires and systems throughout the course of history. The average American Futurist is confident that he will be removed from the earth before such tribulation arrives at his own door step. The Historicist, in his study of the world situation in this century, learns that communism, the Red Beast, has murdered untold millions of Believers and other innocent victims since 1917, probably more than have been slaughtered in all of past history. Many of these were tortured and were forced to live a life worse than death. From his historical perspective he reasons that such tribulation does not have to fall upon the American assembly before it can be properly labeled "tribulation." Furthermore, if such terrible tribulation has already fallen upon untold millions of Believers, how can we claim that Yahweh will remove us from the earth before it comes to America. So whereas our view of Bible prophecy does not affect our salvation, it does affect our thinking, our outlook on the world scene, and it will have a great effect upon our preparation for the return of Messiah. On the other hand, the Futurist views the rise of Red Bolshevism with a strange 3 curiosity. Since he believes that a future "anti-messiah" will arise as head of the revived Roman Empire (i.e., the Common Market of Western Europe), he cannot identify this Bolshevism with Bible prophecy, at least not directly. Instead, it has become common teaching that the Anti-messiah's empire in the West will elect the Anti-messiah to rule over them as a defense against Red Bolshevism. Thus, the Historicist generally will do what he can to oppose Bolshevism and its child, the Socialistic World Government. He is more aware of the nature of the conflict between East and West, between Socialistic Communism and Christian Republicanism. The Futurist, when confronted with the millions who have died agonizing deaths and languish in slave camps, can only say, "Well, just wait until the Anti-messiah comes; that will make Communism look like child's play!" 2. SAINTS IN TRIBULATION The Futurist are fond of claiming that the various "beasts" spoken of in the book of Revelation are representative of the "Anti-messiah" or his allies who will rule the world during a future tribulation. However, the visions of Daniel clearly identify the beasts as representing the various nations and systems of government that were to rise to power from Daniel's day to the end of this age. In the seventh chapter of Daniel those four Beasts are described as (1) a lion with eagle's wings, (2) a bear, (3) a leopard with four heads and four wings, (4) an unidentified beast with iron teeth and great strength, and (5) a "little horn" arising out of the previous beast. Daniel beheld this "little horn" warring against the saints, and it "prevailed against them" (Daniel 7:21) until the time came for the saints to take the Kingdom from him. There is no hint that anyone will be able to escape to heaven before this "little horn" appears. This is especially made plain in Daniel 7:25-27. 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. This passage is usually explained to mean that the saints are the Jews, who will supposedly be left on the earth during the great tribulation. However, Yahshua taught that the Jews were not to inherit the Kingdom of Yahweh in Matthew 21:43-45. 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of Yahweh shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 4 45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. Note especially that in speaking of the Kingdom of Yahweh, Yahshua called it "this stone" in verse 44. He was referring to the great Stone Kingdom of Daniel 2:34, 35, which is said to smash the image of the beast and break in pieces all of the empires it represented. Yahshua said that this stone would grind to powder all on whomsoever it shall fall. And it was to fall on the Jewish Pharisees, and by implication, all who followed their anti-messiah religion. Thus, it is not possible that the saints against whom the "little horn" wars should be the Jews. They must be a Covenant keeping people. The notion that Believers will not have to face the tribulation of this world is foreign to the Scriptures. If a modem rapture-teaching preacher had lived in Rome 1800 years ago, proclaiming that those persecuted Believers would escape tribulation, he would have been dis-fellowshipped from the church as a deceiver, or he would have been laughed out of the church for being a fool. In those days Believers were being slaughtered just for sport. The Red Beast of New World Order and Catholic Church is the modem vehicle that carries the "great whore" of Mystery Babylon. The Believers behind the Iron Curtain do not believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. They-like the Christian martyrs of ancient Romesee tribulation all around them. How odd it is that Believers living in the West would be so near-sighted and so insensitive as to suppose that the tribulation could NOT have arrived on the earth until it lands on American soil! Thank Yahweh the full force of evil has not yet come upon this late great Christian Republic, but let us not forget our persecuted brethren or think that Yahweh measures tribulation by its exclusive effect upon American Believers. 3.WHERE IS THE KINGDOM OF YAHWEH? A strange phenomena has appeared in the doctrinal position of thousands of today's professing Christians. At one moment they speak of going to heaven in the rapture (or when they die), where they say they will live FOREVER; but then in the next breath they speak of Messiah coming to earth with His saints to rile all nations with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:26,27). This doctrinal schizophrenia is readily apparent to those who teach only one of the above positions. However, there are literally millions who believe both to be true, in spite of their inherent contradiction. So we must examine the Scriptures to see where the Bible locates Yahweh's Kingdom and where Messiah shall reign with His saints. Where is the inheritance of the believer? Does the Bible promise heaven or earth as the eternal abode of the Believer? 5 If believers are to receive their inheritance in heaven, then the rapture would be a logical method of ferrying them to their reward. If, however, our inheritance is on the earth, then there would be no need for a rapture, except (as is supposed) to prevent us from undergoing tribulation. We have already seen that the Beast-systems were to make war against the saints here on the earth. We also touched upon the great Stone Kingdom that was to smash the other kingdoms and grind them to powder. This great Kingdom, the Kingdom of Yahweh, "became a great mountain, and filled the whole EARTH" (Daniel 2:35). Those who rule with Messiah in His Kingdom will be on earth as well, for we read in Revelation 5:10, "and we shall reign on the earth." This is but a reflection of the Old Testament Scripture. As far back as the days of Moses, this was the great hope of the believers. Numbers 14:21 reads, 21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the YAHWEH. Two other prophets took up the same themes. See Isaiah 11:9 and Habakkuk 2:14 David's theme, repeated over and over in Psalm 37 was that "the meek shall inherit the earth." Yahshua verified His doctrine in His sermon on the mount, when He taught the people in Matthew 5:5, 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Yahshua viewed the earth with a great deal more respect than many Believers do today. After all, He was the Creator of this earth (John 1:3), and thus His was the voice which pronounced it "very good" (Genesis 1:31). It was Yahshua who inspired the Psalmist to write Psalm 115:16 16 The heaven, even the heavens, are YAHWEH'S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men. When we learn to view Creation with the same love as does it Creator, we will not despise Yahweh's good earth. Instead, out of love we will attempt to fulfill the first and foremost responsibility that Yahweh gave to man: to subdue and have dominion (authority under Yahweh) over the earth (Genesis 1:28), which is Yahshua's footstool (Matthew 5:35). When Yahshua Messiah finally sets up Hs Divine Government on the earth, and when true Believers rule with Him in the Kingdom, then the earth will indeed become a paradise once again. It will be "heaven on earth," fit for habitation for Messiah and Hs people. 4. MEETING YAHSHUA IN THE AIR Perhaps the most well-known Bible passage known today in rapture-believing circles is 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17. 6 16 For Yahshua himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of Yahweh: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet Yahshua in the air. and so shall we ever be with Yahshua. This passage teaches that Messiah shall return to the earth some day, and that the resurrection of the dead in Messiah shall occur before the living believers are caught up to meet Messiah in the air. BUT THERE IS NO MENTION OF ANYONE GOING TO HEAVEN. So the question is this: When the believers "meet Yahshua in the air," will they escort Him back to earth to rule in His Kingdom, or will Messiah escort them back to heaven for a time? In other words, shall we "ever be with Yahshua” in heaven or on earth? The key to understanding this question is found in the verb, "to meet." The Greek word used by Paul here is apantesis, and this particular word is loaded with meaning which does not come forth in our English translation of the word. It is a word which was used in ancient times to describe the actions of an official welcoming delegation that had been sent "to meet" a visiting dignitary. Thus, it literally means, "meeting and returning with." It was customary back then (as it is today) that when a V.I.P. visits a city, the leader of that city send out a delegation to welcome him and escort him to the mayor. Thus, when the Queen of England visited President Ford during the American Bicentennial, she was not expected to get off the plane and call a cab to take her to the White House. No, she was met by a special committee that escorted her to the White House. Therefore, when Paul uses the term apantesis to describe our action in meeting Messiah, he uses this particular term to show us that we are going to be sent TO ESCORT MESSIAH BACK TO EARTH WHEN HE SETS UP HIS KINGDOM. Those who find this information to be unbelievable may do further study on this Greek word by noting how it is used in other Bible passages. The word is used in three other New Testament passages: (1)Matthew 25:1 and 6 speaks of the ten virgins, who "went forth TO MEET the bridegroom." It was common practice in ancient times for the wedding parry to escort the bridegroom to the bride after the marriage supper. (2) John 12:13 speaks of Messiah's triumphal entry into Jerusalem (a prophetic type of Messiah's second coming at which time He will truly have a triumphal entry). 1t says that the people "took branches of palm trees and went forth TO MEET Him." Yahshua certainly did not turn around and escort the people back to Bethany with Him! No, the people escorted Yahshua to Jerusalem. (3) Acts 28:15 speaks of Paul's journey to Rome as a prisoner. When the Believers 7 heard that Paul was outside the city, "they came TO MEET us as far as Appii forum," which was about 43 miles from the city. They treated Paul like a Believer V.I.P., and Paul's heart was encouraged at their boldness to be identified as Believer friends of his. Thus, we conclude that Paul was not teaching that Believers would return to heaven with Messiah, but rather that Believers would form Messiah's escort back to earth. A few verses later (in chapter 5) Paul writes further about "the day of Yahshua." 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of Yahshua so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and Safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. In reading this passage, most of us immediately picture Messiah coming as a burglar and stealing something of value in secret. However, 2,000 years ago a "thief in the night" usually meant something entirely different. It was common in those days for a band of robbers to swoop down upon an unprotected and unsuspecting village in the middle of the night, when the people were sleeping peacefully. The thieves would storm into town, throw everyone out of bed, strip the village of all its valuables, and kill anyone who resisted. This is what Paul meant when he compared the return of Messiah to "a thief in the night" While the world sleeps in "peace and safety," then will come "sudden destruction" upon the wicked, "and they shall not escape." However, the Believers, who are "men" on the walls, will not be taken by surprise. They will have prepared themselves for this "sudden destruction" (called "tribulation), and thus they will not be harmed. Amos 5:18 has this to say about that day: 18 Woe unto you that desire the day of Yahweh! To what end is it for you? The day of Yahweh is darkness, and not light. The prophet Joel echoes the same theme in Joel 1:15. 15 Alas, for the day! For the day of Yahweh is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. Again, he describes the day in chapter 2, verses 1-2. 1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of Yahweh cometh, for it is nigh at 8 hand: 2 A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong, there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. The descriptions of this alien enemy invading the land fits perfectly the armies of Red Communism today. Yahweh said that they would be "my great army which I sent among you" (2:25) in order that the people might repent from their sins, call upon Yahweh for divine intervention and protection, and that Yahshua would then come to save them. For the vast majority of the people, including, sad to say, many professing Believers, this day of Yahweh will come upon them unexpectedly. They will not have prepared themselves spiritually, mentally, or physically for such times. So let us strive to be as those to whom Paul wrote: 'But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." Thus, we see that in I Thessalonians 4 and 5 Paul does NOT teach a pre-tribulation rapture, but rather that when Yahshua comes, we will welcome I-Jim back to earth, where He shall rile all nations in righteousness. 5. FOR HIS SAINTS AND WITH 5. FOR HIS SAINTS AND WITH HIS SAINTS It is common among rapture teachers to hear the theory that the Bible teaches two separate comings of Messiah in the future-the first time FOR His saints, and the second tine WITH His saints. In other words, the theory says that Messiah will only snatch the Believers off the earth when they go out to "meet Him in the air," and then after a period of either 3 1/2 or 7 years in heaven, Messiah will return to earth WITH those Believers. This is not true. The Assembly will all stay here till the end of the tribulation when He comes for them to include them in His final judgment. This theory of a double coming is only partially based upon 1 Thessalonians 4:17, 18. It is mostly based upon Jude 14 and 15, which reads: 14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, Yahweh cometh WITH ten thousands of His saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince (convict) all that are unrighteous among them of all their unrighteous deeds which they have committed, and of all their hand speech which unrighteous sinners have spoken against Him. Yahshua did come with ten thousand angels at Sinai, but these are not the saints that 9 will came with Him, to judge the world at the end time, at the last Trump, the last Feast of Trumpets at the end of the three and one half years. Nor was Sinai the time when all were judged. The coming at Sinai was to give the law, not to judge! One must realize also, that in some scriptures saints represent angelic host (Deut 33:3), where in others like Jude, (Matt 27:52; acts 9:13; Rom 1:7) represents the believers or the very elect that are in the first resurrection. This also includes the two witnesses that are called up and are raised from the dead as they lay in the streets of Jerusalem. (Rev 11:3) Now when Yahweh (Yahshua) descended upon Mount Sinai to give the Law to Israel, did He come with ten thousand Believers? No! He came with angelic host, but the term saints now means the ones that died in faith or were alive at His corning. These verses 14 and 15 are speaking of the judgment and Yahshua’s final victory over all His enemies and to claim the earth as Ids throne, dwelling at Jerusalem. There is not two coming as we hear the Sunday people say, but one. One return at the end of the tribulation to take them up or meet Him in the clouds and escort Him back to finish the judgment. It can not be any other way. To start with, look at Revelations 1:7. 7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so... 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall other _ her his elect from the four winds from one end of heaven to the other. Again we see that He does come with angelic host, but also to gather His elect to Him as He returns. And notice that it says after the tribulation this occurs. Nowhere does it say that He comes twice, or even at the beginning. The Assembly is still an earth during the tribulation! Remember, all scripture has to agree. And every fact is established by two or more witnesses as we give you here. Now look at what happens to the Assembly in the end time. Revelation 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time from the face of the serpent See that John is very specific. He says that she is in the wilderness, which can not be heaven. And he says that she is there for the entire time of the tribulation, three and one half years. If this is not enough, let us go to the book of Corinthians for a third witness. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eve, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. We have already seen that the dead are raised and given glorified bodies at Hs coming Here it makes it clear that that coming is at the last trumpet of Revelation, at the end of 10 the tribulation or three and one half years. Now let us finally go to the first scripture that was mentioned, but was not discussed, l Thessalonians 4:14-17 14 For if we believe that Yahshua died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Yahshua will Yahweh bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of Master, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Master shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For Yahshua himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of Yahweh: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet Yahshua in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Master. What does this say? Yahshua will come at the last trumpet, and raise the elect and we will be with them and meet Him at His coming What could be plainer than that. Notice also that it says that they that sleep in Him shall be raised. This means two things. It means that they died in faith keeping the commandments and whole covenant including Saturday Sabbath, but they are in the ground sleeping, not in heaven as the Sunday doctrines teach. So in conclusion of this discussion of " FOR HIS SAINTS AND WITH HIS SAINTS" it is a clear teaching of error to say that Yahshua comes twice. It is error to say that He comes at the beginning or the middle of the tribulation. Even Yahweh, our father Himself said in Psalms 110:1. 1 Yahweh said unto my Master, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make throe enemies thy footstool. This explains that Yahshua stays at the right hand of Yahweh as intercessor till He comes to finish the judgment after His enemies are made Ids footstool. Any other doctrine is not the doctrine of Messiah.