Messianic Apologetics

Addressing the Theological and Spiritual Issues of the Broad Messianic Movement

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“Elijah appeared to them along with Moses; and they were talking with Yeshua. Peter said to Yeshua, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah’” (Mark 9:4-5).

“And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Yeshua, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah’” (Matthew 17:3-4).

“And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. And as these were leaving Him, Peter said to Yeshua, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah’—not realizing what he was saying” (Luke 9:30-33).

The reasons we have just provided in the previous chapter are only the common reasons given why pre-tribulationism is supposedly a valid belief. There are, of course, many more reasons that pre-tribulationists will supply. In this chapter, we respond to fifty specific supports given by the late John F. Walvoord (1910-2002) in his book The Rapture Question. While we certainly recognize that we could address many more reasons, Walvoord’s position as former chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary, and his vast influence over many other pre-tribulationists, speaks for itself.

Before one can examine what the death expectations of the Apostolic Scriptures are, it is commonly argued that the Ancient Jews, the Pharisees in particular, picked up the idea of a disembodied afterlife from their interactions with the Greeks and not their reading of the Tanach Scriptures. For many of today’s Messianic Believers, all that needs to be said is “Belief in the afterlife is Greek!” and that is reason enough for many to reject the concept that born again Believers who have died are in the presence of the Lord, awaiting the resurrection (or for that same matter, many other Biblical doctrines). As I have far too frequently encountered, while a hyped-up fear of Hellenism or the Ancient Greeks are invoked by Messianic psychopannychists, I have never witnessed a single Messianic teacher actually quote the classical philosophers and what they believed—much less engage with such philosophers’ opinions!

Issues involving men and women in the Body of Messiah, are not too frequently discussed in today’s Messianic movement, unless they are from a relatively strict complementarian viewpoint. John McKee of Messianic Apologetics approaches the subject of men and women from an egalitarian perspective. In this episode, a number of topics are reviewed: men and women in religious vs. secular life, spiritual lessons involved with celibate singleness, and the ongoing debate of men and women in evangelical Protestantism.

The following is a list of twelve common reasons why many people believe in the pre-tribulation rapture. These reasons are those which have been most commonly given to us by website readers over the years who are pre-tribulationists. Their order primarily indicates the frequency of us hearing these arguments. As you should notice, some of the reasons listed seem somewhat absurd, some pose legitimate theological questions, and others pose some serious concern regarding the character of our Heavenly Father as He is perceived by some people.

“For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten. Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun. Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works. Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head. Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.”

The issues surrounding what many call “the rapture” and its timing have caused much unnecessary debate, slander, and criticism over the years in evangelical Christianity. People from all the various views surrounding the gathering of the Lord’s own unto Himself have at times slandered one another, and in many cases, have given eschatology, or the study of end things, an overall bad name. To those of us who believe in reasoned discussion rather than fierce debate, this is of some concern. While in mainstream and popular Christianity, the pre-tribulation rapture position is often overwhelmingly represented in comparison to post-tribulationism, the numbers are much more even in the Messianic movement. We should strive for an ample position so that we might examine this subject fairly, rationally, and above all Scripturally.

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