ICG Speaks Against the Rapture

A shofar made from the horn of a Greater kudu

A Shofar May Be Blown at the Final Trumpet Blast


Last night, ICG’s Mark Armstrong reported the following:

The Garner Ted Armstrong telecast this week offered material on the subject of the “Rapture…,”  the sermon Way of Escape and the booklet Heaven on Earth.  The numbers seemed a little low, particularly based on the timeliness of the subject matter.

Here is what ICG officially teaches about the rapture:

Doctrinal Statement on THE RAPTURE

The doctrine of a secret rapture during which Christ will clandestinely return to catch away the saints from the earth, protecting them from the great tribulation, is not biblical. It is neither taught nor mentioned in the New Testament. Christ will indeed come back to this earth, but it will be only once, with power and full glory, and will be totally visible to all human beings. This will occur at the final trumpet blast, concomitant with the first resurrection, which is after the great tribulation, and just after the seventh and last plague

ICG correctly teaches  that there is no pre-tribulation rapture (for a verse by verse analysis of the “rapture passages” according to Dr. Timothy LaHaye, please see Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected?).

However despite being correct about the rapture hypothesis, ICG does not seem to understand the end-time protection mentioned in Revelation 3:10 nor 12:14-17 as its Where is Your Place of Safety? booklet teaches:

Tens of thousands believe there is a place of safety, probably in the Jordanian desert, awaiting God’s church. Thousands fervently hope they can QUALIFY to flee to this “place” to escape the coming Great Tribulation. Is this a valid hope? WILL the church go to such a place? Are YOU headed toward a “place of safety”?…

Petra has been an attractively curious, mysterious and alluring “place of safety” to various religious groups over the centuries…Surely it would take no great stretch of the imagination to quote the scripture of Revelation 12:16: “And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth,” and apply it to Petra…

WHERE is your “hiding place”?…

If you are a member of God’s true church; if you have received the Holy Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 12:13), then your life is ALREADY HIDDEN!…

Does Jesus Christ say we are to spend a great deal of our conscious thought deeply concerned over how to “FLEE” to a physical, geographical location of PROTECTION?


God Can Protect You Where You Are…

CHRIST is your PETRA! He is your ROCK, and your hiding place!

While God can protect His people anywhere, it should be pointed out that in the time of the end, He will protect His Philadelphians in a particular place according to the Revelation of Jesus Christ as well as His words as recorded by Matthew:

7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,… 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth (Revelation 3:7,10).

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be (Matthew 24:15-21).

14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev 12:14-17).

So, the Bible shows:

  1. That Philadelphians will be kept from the hour of trial somewhere that will fall upon the earth.
  2. That a portion of the Church will flee (Matthew 24:18,20) to the wilderness (Revelation 12:14) just prior to the great tribulation (Matthew 24:21).
  3. That a portion of the Church will be physically protected for 3 1/2 years (a time, times, and half a time).
  4. That the portion of the Church that does not flee will not be protected and will have war made upon it from Satan.

Hence, it should be clear that the Bible does show that it is the Philadephia Christians (Revelation 3:7) that receive protection from the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21) also called the hour of trial (Revelation 3:10), it is in a physical place upon the earth (Revelation 12:14), this protection lasts 3 1/2 years (Revelation 12:14), but that the rest of the Christians do not receive this special end time protection.

Perhaps I should add that part of the reason that ICG does not grasp this is that it teaches against the concept of “Church eras”, hence does not seem to realize that the Bible is clear that a specific physical protection from the “hour of trial” is promised to the Philadelphians.

Some articles of possibly related interest include:

Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach? Who really is left behind?
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory.
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.
Hope of Salvation: How the Living Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 from 31 A.D. to present: information on all of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the Living Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era was predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. Non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.
End of Mayan Calendar 2012–Might 2012 Mean Something? There is a Mayan calendar prediction for change in 2012. 2012 changes were also centuries ago predicted by the Hopi Native Americans (the Hindus may have some predictions for the next decade as well). Do these Mayan/Hindu/Hopi prophecies have any value? Why might Satan have inspired this date? Does the Dresden codex show destruction of the earth by flood? Can the great tribulation start before 2012?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? When does the six thousand years of human rule end?
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2009, 2010, or 2011? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?

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