Harbingers News: On 12 December 2022, four Queensland police officers attended a property for, what we are told, was a routine missing person check. The property that the police entered was occupied by three people – Gareth, Nathaniel and Stacey Train. Including the police officers and the occupiers, seven people were on that property on that fateful day. By the time the day ended, only two were alive. Gareth, Nathaniel and Stacey lay dead, as did two of the police officers. According to the official report, the police officers were shot by the Train family, as was a sixth victim, a neighbour, who heard the commotion and went to investigate. It was described as one of Australia’s darkest days.
Australia has very strict gun laws, so a violent shooting of this nature is somewhat rare. The catalyst for tightening gun ownership in Australia was an event known as the Port Arthur massacre. According to the official account, on 28 April 1996, a lone gunman killed 35 people. In just 12 days after the massacre, all Australian states and territories came together to establish a National Firearms Agreement. The Agreement restricted ownership of automatic and semi-automatic weapons and made it harder to obtain a gun licence. Central to the success of the Government’s plans was a gun buy-back scheme. It resulted in the destruction of over a million guns.
As with any crime, one of the key principles of investigation revolves around motive. Since the slaying of police officers in Australia is incredibly rare, many were keen for answers. What would compel otherwise quiet Australians to commit what many in the community considered a heinous crime? Imagine our surprise when the Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Tracy Linford fronted the media to conclude that the trio were religious extremists who subscribed to “a broad Christian fundamentalist belief system known as premillennialism”. Wait. What!? Never have I heard Premillennialism described as extremist ideology. So, for the benefit of those who are not aware of the term, let’s seek to understand the basis for this belief.
Premillennialism is the belief that Jesus Christ will return physically to the Earth in order to institute His 1,000-year reign of peace and righteousness upon the Earth in fulfilment of Scripture. This is affirmed in Revelation 20:1-6. But the coming kingdom is not only dealt with in the New Testament. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos and Zechariah all deal with promises concerning the coming kingdom. During this era the world will flourish under the rule of the Prince of Peace, basking in peace and prosperity. Although some people ascribe to the Amillennial and Postmillennial view, my firm belief is that Premillennialism is consistent with a plain reading of Scripture.
Charles C Ryrie defines the Premillennial view in this way: “The millennium is the period of a thousand years of the visible, earthly reign of the Lord Jesus Christ who, after His return from heaven, will fulfill during that period the promises contained in the Abrahamic, Davidic and new covenants to Israel, will bring the whole world to a knowledge of God and will lift the curse from the whole creation.” But to be clear, I hold a dispensational premillennial position as opposed to historic premillennialism. You see, historic premillennialists do not distinguish between Israel and the church, therefore believing that the church will endure the Tribulation Period. On the other hand, dispensational premillennialists consistently distinguish Israel from the church and for this reason we believe the church will be raptured into the Lord’s presence before the beginning of the Tribulation Period (ie the 70th week of Daniel). Read More …
Opinion: Having been introduced to the pre-wrath rapture theory early in my Christian life, it took a good amount of study with the teaching of Jack Kinsella, before I came around to the Dispensational Premillennial position. Once there, the books of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians fell into place like a fantastic end-times jig saw puzzle, as did God’s plan for the Jewish people and Jesus’ bodily reign for 1000 years in literal Jerusalem.
Some time ago I attended a Revelation Bible study that taught Historic Premillennialism. What I noticed among the participants was confusion as to where the church fit in. It was almost like ‘where’s Waldo?’. The group kept trying to find the Church even in the 144,000 Jewish evangelists (Rev. 7:3-4). When I voiced my opinion that the church was not to be found after Revelation 4:1 until Revelation 19:11-16 because it had been raptured to meet Christ in the air as Paul clearly taught in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, only a few participants seemed to get it.
Lets take a look at the Book:
In Revelation 3:10 Jesus assures His church they would not be subject to the trial “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from (Greek ek, out of) the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
In Revelation 4:1 John, prefiguring the raptured church, is called in the spirit to the throne room in heaven “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
In 1 Corinthians 15:52-53, the Apostle Paul reveals that at an appropriate time, imminent without warning, “in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet… the dead will rise first incorruptible and we who are alive shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
In 1 Thessalonians 1:10, Paul reiterates the rapture promise: “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” In verse 11, Paul again concludes by exhorting us to comfort and edify one another.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 the rapture, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
In Revelation 19:11-14 the church appears with Jesus at His 2nd coming “11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.”
Excerpts from “Is the church in the Tribulation” by our late friend and brother in Christ, Centurion HERE.