Palin's Church Does Not Teach A Pre-Trib Rapture
Rachel Tabachnick printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 05:12:32 PM EST
If we are going to make the assumption that Palin shares the belief of her churches and pastors with whom she is associated, then we must assume that Palin does not believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture!  In other words, all of this talk about Palin and the Rapture is well-intentioned, but missing the most important points.

To Frank Rich, Jeffrey Goldberg, Heeb Magazine, and everyone else who is writing about Sarah Palin's comment in the Barbara Walters interview: you are doing the country a great service by questioning Palin's end times beliefs, but it is important to get the details right.

Palin's church of twenty years, Wasilla Assembly of God, does not teach a pre-Tribulation Rapture.

The New Apostolic Reformation leaders with whom Palin has been associated do not teach a pre-Trib Rapture.

Another one of Palin's pastors, Larry Kroon, has written that believing in a pre-Trib Rapture is like telling "a football player that he can't be on the field in the last three minutes" or telling a soldier that "you've got to get ready for it but you're not goin' on the beach at D-Day."  Yes, all of the above have very literal end times beliefs, but their eschatology is actually much more problematic than belief in a pre-Trib Rapture. They believe that born again Christians will still be on earth to battle evil in the Tribulation, and this is precisely what makes Palin's beliefs a matter of concern.

Those who believe they may be Raptured at any moment have no logical incentive to take control over government and society.  However, those who believe that they will remain on earth during the prophesied horrors of the end times (the Tribulation or "time of Jacob's trouble") are motivated to prepare to fight the anti-Christ and his demonic forces.  This is a somewhat complex theological issue which has been made more confusing by the fact that the gradual shift away from dispensationalism created a lot of illogical and hybrid eschatology. The recent popularity of end times fiction, like the Left Behind series, obscured the fact that these books represented the last gasps of a dying theology.  Tim LaHaye actually helped the process along by selling 60 million plus books that made heroes out of those who were still around to fight during the Tribulation, not those who were Raptured.

Simply put, the churches and pastors with whom Sarah Palin has the closest association, believe that in preparation for the end times the church must take "dominion" over the earth. They believe that a unified church will emerge victorious in the end times.  They have very specific agendas such as the 7-M or ”Reclaiming the Seven Mountains of Culture” campaign designed for the purpose of taking dominion over key areas of society. This process for taking dominion has been taught at Wasilla Assembly of God by Lance Wallnau, one of the international promoters of the campaign, and by Thomas Muthee, one of the stars of the internationally viewed series The Transformations, which teaches spiritual warfare techniques.  Wasilla AOG has helped to support Muthee's Kenyan ministry and Muthee anointed Sarah Palin in a ceremony before she ran for state office.

Jeff Sharlet has tried to explain this same concept in regard to "The Family."  They are also not waiting around to be Raptured but are working to break down the walls of separation of church and state so that the their brand of religion can exercise control over government policy.  The "Seven Mountains" campaign concept is attributed to the late Bill Bright of Campus Crusades and Loren Cunningham of Youth With a Mission (YWAM), which is closely associated with The Family and the C Street House.

Most of the evangelists with whom Palin has been mostly closely associated are part the New Apostolic Reformation, or "Apostolic and Prophetic" movement, which has completely abandoned the belief in being Raptured prior to the Tribulation. They view dispensationalism as being wimpy, defeatist, and an insult to the church.  This movement has taken root throughout many independent charismatic churches but also many churches in denominations such as the International Foursquare Gospel and the Assemblies of God. A 2002 study conducted by sociologist Margaret Poloma found that 58% of AOG pastors responding "believed in a dispensationalist interpretation of scripture."  This points out the dangers of trying to identify the eschatology of a specific pastor or church based on a simplistic definition of their denomination, a practice which is no longer viable given the fracturing in denominations and growth of post-denominational ideology.

Those taking part in the New Apostolic Reformation are primarily teaching mid-Trib or post-Trib premillennial narratives.  A few of the leaders have moved into full blown post-millennialism, similar to that taught by Gary North, however, most New Apostolics are still premillennial and they have distinct theological differences from Reconstructionists. They teach that the Tribulation is imminent and that these events could begin at any moment.  Youth in the movement are being taught to be prepared to fight in the coming battles with some leaders already openly calling for martyrs. Following Palin's speech at the Wasilla AOG Master's Commission event in June 2008, the ceremony was completed by the awarding of swords to the graduates.

Jeffrey Goldberg wrote in The Atlantic that he contacted Thomas Ice of Tim LaHaye's Pre-Trib Center to asks Ice about Palin's comment that "more and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel." Goldberg quotes Ice as saying,

"I've read that Palin has been part of an apparently unique movement I've heard of -- that her pastor, when she was in the Assembly of God, believed based on some personal revelation he claims to have gotten from God, that the Jews would move to Alaska during the Tribulation."

The dispensational theology of the pre-Trib center is based on interpretation of biblical scriptures. The New Apostolics believe that they continue to receive prophecy revelations directly from God and these messages are then disseminated throughout their extensive spiritual warfare networks in all fifty states.  This has included many prophecies concerning Palin.

This should be of the utmost concern to all Jewish leaders.  While John Hagee still shouts that the Rapture could take place before his sermon is over, and his dispensational beliefs are permeated with anti-Semitic themes, much of his Christians United for Israel (CUFI) leadership and event hosts are now New Apostolics. Many of the leaders of Christian Zionist activism at the international level are part of this Apostolic and Prophetic movement.

Shifts in eschatology mean changes in activism. In plain English, the current trend removes theological restraints and mandates humans to move the hands of the prophetic clock themselves. This includes support for aggressive proselytizing and Messianic ministries. Only Messianic, or evangelized Jews are necessary in this end times scenario in order to bring about the 1000 year Christian utopia or Millennium. Most New Apostolic media still includes the dispensational-based prophecy of "hunters" who will persecute Jews and lead to a "second" or "final Holocaust" forcing the remaining Jewish communities of the world to flee to Israel.  This was the meaning of the fishers and hunters reference in Hagee's now infamous sermon quote, which was unfortunately almost completely disregarded by most pundits. In the New Apostolic narrative, born again Christians will not watch from the grandstands of heaven, but still be on earth to shelter these fleeing Jews.  They believe that that out of gratitude to a new generation of "Righteous Gentiles" those fleeing Jews will convert in mass numbers and that this will help to bring about the prerequisite condition for the Millennium.  

This was the meaning of Wasilla AOG pastor, Ed Kalnins, reference to Alaska as a refuge state in the end times.  Numerous books by evangelists in the New Apostolic movement portray graphic details of the coming persecution of Jews and also promote support of the growing Messianic movement in Israel.  I have seen mission statements from airport ministries which claim to exist to move fleeing Jews in the end times.  Charismatics across the denominational spectrum have been working to bring Christian Zionists and Messianics together as "one new man in Yeshua."  Instead of the armies of Christ fighting the wars of the end times, they believe that they will jointly represent the body of Christ and fight the enemy themselves.

These Messianics, together with "Spirit-filled" or charismatic Christians, believe they will jointly share in the earthly utopia which will be headquartered in a "greater Israel."  Increasingly this utopia is being described in New Apostolic media in earthly and human terms as opposed to being a heavenly and futuristic event. In other words, as conservatives Eric Voegelin and William Buckley might warn if they were still alive, this is a massive effort to  "immanentize the eschaton."

and with people emboldened with this theology in high positions in the United States military and government- and their obvious desire for total control of the United States and fascist dreams for it- ----- and to destroy the Constitution----------- Huckabee_officially_endorsed_by_hate_group_support_and_does_some_ cross_endorsement_of_his_own ------- we just might have a Dominionist version of the Ustashi here in America ( ) Just like Joseph Fuiten wants to denationalize all non dominionists and the game "Left Behind" kills all non-believers- so did the Ustashi kill those whom they wanted to "cleanse" - Jews, Gypsies, Serbs, and other groups ----- if it looks like a duck, talks like a duck, walks like a duck, it is a duck----

by zowie on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 06:48:40 PM EST

Not all eschatologies were created equal, but the mainstream press treats all apocalyptic beliefs as if they were one and the same. Those wanting to be transported off of the earth at any moment do not share the end-times narrative of those wanting to take control of governments. Failure to see and understand the differences among the various literal apocalyptic beliefs, and the historical predominance of dispensationalists in popular media, allows all millenialists to be viewed as harmless since they are supposedly just biding time on earth until time to be airlifted to heaven.

by protectdemocracy on Thu Nov 26, 2009 at 03:19:59 PM EST
One of my motivations for writing this article is the infuriating use by many journalists of the term "dispensationalism" for any and every form of literal end times beliefs, as if there were no other end times prophecy narratives being taught.

This is particularly problematic in addressing Christian Zionism.  Those who want Jewish communities to embrace Christian Zionists are promoting the idea that the move away from dispensationalism is a move away from literal eschatology altogether.  For example, Stephen Spector in his 2008 book Evangelicals and Israel, and at a speaking engagement which I attended, claimed that current Christian Zionist leadership is not motivated by eschatology, but simply love Israel and wish to fulfill the mandate in Genesis 12:3.  However, most of the Christian Zionist leaders he included in his book actually promote a very literal end times narrative and many of them are New Apostolic.  The book was reviewed by Walter Russell Mead in the Jan/Feb 2009 issue of Foreign Affairs and Mead suggested that the Democratic Party should consider courting Christian Zionists!

by Rachel Tabachnick on Fri Nov 27, 2009 at 05:51:03 PM EST

Rachel Tabachnick is to be congratulated for bringing out info about Palin that should have been brought out long ago. The very thought of Alaska becoming an earthly "sanctuary" during future trouble on earth is the exact opposite of pretrib rapturists who think they will be raptured off earth before the future trouble on earth. Several unique articles on Google touch on all this including "Pretrib Rapture Diehards," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)," "Edward Irving is Unnerving," "Pretrib Hypocrisy," "The Unoriginal John Darby," "Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism," "America's Pretrib Rapture Traffickers," "Pretrib Rapture - Hidden Facts," "The Rapture Index (Mad Theology)," "The Newest Pretrib Calendar," and "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty." This is proof that evangelicals are beginning to think for themselves and finding out how unscriptural and illogical their 179-year-old fringe-British-invented pre-tribulation rapture notion really is - not to mention how anti-Jewish and anti-Catholic it is and the fact that it didn't take over American evangelicalism much before 1909! Thanks go to Rachel for doing some great behind-the-scenes investigation!

by LoueyNorey44 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 12:15:05 AM EST

Granted I am sure I am about to step on toes here, but hear me out. We all know Jesus talked about us not knowing the day or the hour. We also know that Paul mentions a great deal about the tribulation and rapture as well. Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 talk about the birth pains before Christ returns. They equal to Rev 6 and the 7 seals. Then shortly after we have 7 trumpets. 1 thes 4:16-18 mentions that Christ will come in a cloud - similar to what Christ said to the original disciples that he would come the same way he left in the clouds. Mentions that there will be a loud voice and a trump blast. 1 Cor 15:51-54 declares this to be the LAST Trumpet. This is key to understanding this whole picture. So now we play connect the dots with every verse out there, but before we do we should remember 1 Thes 4 mentions as well as 1 Cor. 15 that the dead in Christ rise first. Not all dead just those who believe. Rev 4:1 as many assume to be the rapture. Cloud - yes Voice - yes Son of God - no Trumpet - similar it said voice like a trumpet. Dead in Christ rise - no. So we already find that the grade scale doesn't pass inspection. Mark 13, and Luke 21 mention the tribulation Christ said this must be before Christ returns. So we see Rev 6 matches the same tribulations mentioned, but is it the tribulation? Well according to Christ this is the birth pains telling you it is coming. Revelation continues with the 7 trumpets. Okay seems like we might be getting closer as we know it is the Trumpet of God and the Last Trumpet. So if there are 7 we should look after this for any clues. Low and behold Rev 14:14 and on mention something about a harvest. Cloud - yes Son of man - yes Angels - This is new Trumpet - yes this is after the 7th trumpet. Voice - yes. Harvest? this is new Burning of the tares - this is new. Now we ask ourselves if this carries majority of this passage what is this new stuff from? I challenge you that it is in Matt 13:24-30;36-43 describes this in a parable of the tares. Christ explains the parable in the latter verses. He says the farmer is the Son of God, the good seed is us His Children, the bad tares are the world trying to pull us away. Christ said the Kingdom of Heaven is like this and it said that in the end when the Harvest is Ripe - it will be time. So now we have Angels are collecting the harvest and burning tares. That was mentioned in Rev 14. You also have the Harvest description also mentioned in Rev 14 Burning of Tares also mentioned. Now it seems we completed our puzzle and have yes's to all, but wait - THE DEAD IN CHRIST WILL RISE FIRST. Hmm we still need this to happen. I challenge you that it wasn't mentioned yet. Rev 15:2 the saints that didn't take the mark of the beast, but died defending Christ's name are standing on the sea of Glass. Rev 20:4-5 talks about the same saints are given authority over others as judge. Verse 5 says it is the first resurrection of the dead. - wait the dead rise first. So the harvest has happened and the dead in Christ are in Heaven on the sea of Glass. I challenge you that the rapture is in full swing and described in Rev 14:14-20. As they say - don't take my word for it. Check me for errors and if you find one let me know. Oh yeah remember that i said you had to define tribulation? Some believe that the 6 seals and the 7 trumpets are part of the tribulation so then this is considered mid trib. Some believe Dan 9 describes it as 3 years and 2 weeks. For that to be so even if it is 3 and a half years. Then the GREAT Tribulation is the bowls of God's Wrath and the Plagues of God. Mind you their are 4 7's at play. 7 Seals to be opened which match Matt 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. Then you have 7 Trumpets. We have a rapture then 7 bowls of wrath and 7 plagues. If all of these 7's = the time of tribulation and some believe the tribulation time to = 7 years. Then the GREAT Trib is the second half of this. Thus again Mid Trib. If the Trib is not considered until the GREAT TRIB then it is pre trib. But for Rev 19 to be true. Rev 20:4-5 can not be the rapture just an explanation that the saints will judge. Again test me.

by wjohn1983 on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 12:58:37 AM EST

Nice response in return of this issue with firm arguments and explaining everything on the topic of that. six game

by patsm00re18 on Tue Oct 01, 2019 at 09:05:16 AM EST

And I don't wanna fit wherever guitar lessons boulder

by yeoyeo on Mon Jun 21, 2021 at 08:52:15 PM EST

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