The First Mention Principle supports a Pre Tribulation Rapture: The Lord God is consistent and He never changes: Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I change not…” Romans 3:4 “Let God be true, but every man a liar…” Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Since the Lord never changes and is consistent in His dealings, if we study how He handled situations and judgments in the past, we can understand how He will deal with them in the future. The science of interpreting the Bible is called hermeneutics. One of the teachings in hermeneutics is called the First Mention Principle. We study the beginning in order to learn more about the end. For instance, if we seek understanding about “the mark of the Beast” in Revelation, we study the mark placed upon Cain in the book of Genesis and all other references to this teaching about the mark throughout the Bible. Now, let us apply this to God’s judgment at the end of the church age. Would it be consistent with the Lord’s character to allow His body, the church, to go through the punishment given to the Christ rejecting world during the Great Tribulation? Let us examine three Old Testament examples: The Flood of Noah is found in Genesis 6-8. “Noah found grace in the sight of God,” and he and his family of eight believers were protected from the flood waters that destroyed the entire world. Everyone in the world would have had the opportunity to enter the ark of safety with Noah and his family. No one else believed. All of the believers were protected from God’s wrath on fallen man during the great deluge. This was a universal judgment from which the Lord protected His own! We need to consider the important person of Methuselah in reference to the global flood. Methuselah was the oldest man to ever live, passing on into eternity at the ripe old age of 969 years. What is fascinating about Methuselah is that his very name means: “When he dies, it (the flood) shall come.” The longevity of his life is a loud declaration of the Lord giving mankind an extension of time in order to repent. The godly Methuselah died the very year of the flood! Again, the Lord protects His own from His judgment on the world. Let us now fast forward to Genesis 19 and we will examine the universal judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord dialogues with Abraham about judging Sodom in Genesis 18:23-33. The Lord told Abraham emphatically that He would NOT judge the righteous with the wicked. The Lord said if there were ten righteous men in Sodom that He would not judge the city. There were not ten righteous men hence the Lord would judge Sodom. But notice how the Lord still goes to every extreme to get every believer out of Sodom before the judgment. Angels strove with Lot to get his entire family out of this wicked city. Lot’s sons-in-law mocked him and no one came with him except his wife and two daughters. His wife still craved the sin of the city and lingered behind and was judged with the city. Sodom and Gomorrah were judged and destroyed, and once again every believer was given every opportunity to escape this universal judgment of God. God is loving and consistent and does not destroy the righteous with the wicked. Finally let us study the universal judgment on the city of Jericho in Joshua 2-6. Rahab the Harlot came to the aid of the Israelite spies who came to plan an attack on Jericho. Rahab (Joshua 2:9-11) feared and believed in the God of Abraham and as a believer, she too, was rewarded for her faith and spared from God’s judgment on this city. Rahab and ALL of her extended family and her father’s household were spared from God’s wrath and universal judgment on this Canaanite city. Our Lord is perfect in all of His ways, consistent and will not judge the righteous with the wicked. Now, are we to assume that the Lord is going to change His character during the Great Tribulation? This is the time of seven years of Satan, the Beast (False Prophet), and the Antichrist in control. This is the time the world will be judged by fire. This is the time of God unleashing His awesome fury against a totally Christ rejecting, blasphemous generation. This is when the populace will be stung by creatures and not heal from their wounds, this is the time when massive portions of the population will die and people will be forced to receive the mark and worship the Antichrist. This is the period of “hell on earth” that make the aforementioned judgments look like child’s play. Beloved, I am looking for the Christ, not the Antichrist! To allow His church to go through this time would go against His own word. Yes, the Bible says very plainly that “Christians will suffer tribulation and persecution.” We suffer every day if we stand for Christ. This has nothing to do , however, with the Lord treading the winepress in His total wrath and fury, and unleashing His trumpet, bowl and vial judgments on those who blaspheme Him! What could be plainer? The Lord willing, this study will continue with more Biblical proof of a Pre Tribulation Rapture as we study more themes and scriptures. It will be headed Eschatology, Part 4.
**** Information on Methuselah was added to the above article on Thanksgiving Day, 11/27/14. ****