Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Extreme Monetary Interventions And The Destruction Of Civilization

The destruction of civilization – implications of extreme monetary interventions

Thus, this very concept of a central authority being able to bend and twist the rules, even when the result is illogical, has implications that extend way beyond daily economic activities. In fact, it ultimately divides society into two classes: those who profit from this arbitrary and unilateral re-writing of the rules, and those who are forced to pay the price, even though they never agreed to it; in fact, they weren’t even asked.

So far, total credit on a global scale stands around $240 trillion. It’s hard to conceive of such number, but if you consider that 1 trillion seconds are equal to 31’709 years, you might begin to wrap your head around just how leveraged the system has become. 

As Ludwig von Mises described this a long time ago: There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved”.

It is thus clear that the current path that governments and central bankers have selected is utterly unsustainable and their attempts at short-term “patches” have little hope of stopping the inevitable implosion, that has already been decades in the making. Pretending otherwise is as futile as it is naive. As Ayn Rand would have it: We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

The masses are trained and forced to consume and spend money they don’t have to buy things they don’t need. Our monetary system in combination with this kind of public policy is therefore the cause for mass-overconsumption, the destruction of wealth, capital consumption and the destruction and exploitation of nature. 
Thus, what is at stake is not only the world economy, but the accelerating decline of western culture...This dangerous decline is nothing new either, as it began after WWI, when Europe turned towards a more centralized approach, with all sorts of collectivist ideas causing all kinds of schisms that we still see today in modern societies. Today, we see a rapid acceleration of this decline, as our economic system can barely remain standing and as our politics and our societies devolve even faster into tribal or more precisely into “political identity” groups, fighting each other over meaningless feuds. All the while, they are distracted from the real threat, the one that governments and central banks pose to their future and to their children’s future.

As long as people are afraid of liberty and falsely delegate their self-responsibility to a central authority, hope is dim. It’s time to think independently about whether today’s centralized system really makes sense, if it is sustainable and for how much longer. If the answers to these questions scare you, it is pointless to expect solutions to come from above. It is then time to act directly and responsibly, with a solid plan, hard physical assets privately owned and long-term strategy that does not depend on the whims and caprices of those in charge. 
“It is easier for governments to control the spending of people in debt than those with savings. A person with financial resources is free, while debtors are hostage to their creditors.” – H.S.H. Prince Michael of LiechtensteinPresident of the Foundation Board of the Liechtenstein think tank European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation (ECAEF)

Erdogan Rants Against Israel - Can He Destabilize The Region?

ANALYSIS: What's Behind Erdogan's Rants Against Israel

Yochanan Visser

The Turkish leader is sounding increasingly like the kind of unhinged dictator who could destabilize the region

Turkey’s autocratic leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan again blasted Israel on Monday and accused the Jewish state of openly “executing and merciless murdering innocent girls, fathers, mothers, eldery people, children and young people on the streets of Palestine.”
While presenting Turkey as the sole defender of the Palestinian Arabs Erdogan also lambasted the West and “some Arab states” of encouraging “this brutality of Israel while he called upon his Muslim brothers and sisters to unite and confront the West and conspiracies against Islamic countries.”
The Turkish tyrant also claimed that because of Turkey’s stance on the Palestinian issue the country had witnessed terror attacks and “economic sabotage” in recent years.
He then tried to present his government as a victim of loneliness because of “Turkey’s objections against the oppressions in al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Palestine.”
“We will continue to uphold the truth and justice and stand by the oppressed at all costs. We will never stop defending the Al-Quds cause and the rights of the Palestinians or acting in solidarity with all the oppressed,” Erdogan said at the end of this part of his speech.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center in the United States will no doubt update its statement about an earlier anti-Semitic diatribe by Erdogan and declare the latest rant against Israel the most anti-Semitic one since Goebbels and Hitler.
The Turkish leader’s obsession with Israel, as well as the Kurds, is well documented with some Middle East experts thinking Erdogan is suffering from serious psychological problems.
“Mr. Erdogan is a dictator with strange ideas, wild ambitions, and no restraints,” wrote Daniel Pipes, the president of The Middle East Forum at the end of October, in an article named “Turkey may go the way of Venezuela.

When one looks at Erdogan’s own track record of severe human rights abuse, one could at least conclude that he is totally lacking self-knowledge.
Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz seem to address this lack of self-knowledge when they react to Erdogan’s rants and remind him of his own track-record in the field of war crimes and human rights offenses.
Erdogan is in no position to preach to Israel about human rights matters according to the Israeli leaders.
“Erdogan’s regime systematically violates human rights, brutally persecutes the Kurds, and supports the terrorists of Hamas. He is the last person who should be preaching morals to Israel,” Katz wrote on Twitter in September.
A short look at Erdogan’s human rights track record will teach us that Netanyahu and Katz are right.
He ordered his air force to bomb the Yazidi homeland Sinjar on April 25, 2017, a couple of years after ISIS committed the 72nd genocide on the non-Muslim minority in Iraq killing at least 70 people.
A European tribunal consisting of seven esteemed judges from various countries in the continent came to the conclusion that the Turkish tyrant had committed war crimes against the Turkish Kurds.
From June 1, 2015 to January 31, 2017, Erdogan committed “war crimes against the Kurdish people, by bombing, bulldozing and indiscriminately shooting at the population in several towns in Southeast Turkey including Diyarbakır; and that it facilitated common crimes such as bomb attacks, targeted assassinations and kidnappings, both on Turkish soil and abroad, including the murder in 2013 of three Kurdish women in Paris,” the judges said in their verdict.
More recently the Turkish dictator committed war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Syrian Kurds when he launched “Operation Spring Peace” in northern Syria, the attempt to use ethnic cleansing to change the demographic make-up of a large part of what the Kurds call Rojava, the Kurdish autonomous region along the Turkish border in Syria.
He, reportedly, also used chemical weapons against the Syrian Kurds during the latest illegal incursion in Syria.
‘Operation Peace Spring’ caused the displacement of at least 300.000 Syrian Kurds and resulted until now in the death of at least 90 civilians in both Turkey and Syria.
Moreover, Erdogan’s crackdown on the Kurds in Turkey since 2015, when he sabotaged peace talks caused the displacement of 355,000 people and the killing of 338 civilians according to Human Rights Watch.
The Turkish dictator also personally ordered to shoot down a Russian SU-24 warplane when it was flying over Syrian airspace in November 2015 the minutes of NATO meetings learned.
The ‘coupe’ against Erdogan in July 2016, which was according to some observers a false flag operation, has led to the sacking of 130,000 people and the incarceration of another 77.000 Turks.
Then there is Turkey’s cooperation with Islamist terror groups so as ISIS and Hamas which has a permanent headquarters in Turkey.
Erdogan’s family was actively helping Islamic State during the rise of its Caliphate and Hamas leaders frequently consult with the Turkish Islamist who considers himself as the leader of the Sunni Muslims.
Under Erdogan, Turkey became a foe of Israel and tries to brainwash the Muslim population in Jerusalem while also trying to take over control of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

A Realistic Look At The Israeli-'Palestinian' Conflict

At Last, A Realistic Look at the Israeli-‘Palestinian’ Conflict

Things are seldom what they seem to be, but we live in an age that is unusual for the dominance that fiction and fantasy have in the public debate about so many key issues. 

The House of Representatives is about to impeach a successful and popular President on hearsay, innuendo, and outright falsehood; you must believe that men can become women and women men or face vilification and ostracism; and of course if you dare whisper even the smallest hint that Islam is not a religion of peace, even as the jihad body count steadily mounts, your public career will be over and your name ruined. But there is no area of national and international discussion so rife with rigidly enforced propaganda falsehoods than the conflict between Israel and the so-called “Palestinians.” In The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process, the historian and scholar of Islam Robert Spencer clears away the lies.

And there are so very many lies to clear away. 

The Palestinian Delusion begins by exploding the common modern-day claim that the Israelis are descendants of Europeans who have ties to the Middle East that are largely mythical at worst and far-distant ancient history at best. Spencer marshals a large body of evidence to show that not only were Jews always living in the land that is today the state of Israel, without interruption even after the Romans expelled them in the year 134, but that the Arab presence there began considerably later and was always sparse. 

In fact, the presence of Muslim Arabs in the geographical region known as Palestine only began to increase significantly after Zionist leaders began to exhort Jews to return to their ancestral homeland. With the Jews came jobs and opportunity; many, if not most, of the people known today as “Palestinians” only came to that area when it started to be settled by Jews in great numbers. Spencer proves this by reference to the names of the “Palestinians” themselves, which all too often betray an origin somewhere else

The second great myth that The Palestinian Delusion explodes is that “Palestine” was ever the name of anything more than a geographical region.

 The claims that Israel is occupying “Palestinian” land are predicated on the assumption that there ever was Palestinian land in the first place. Spencer briskly traces the history of the region, showing that while the Romans renamed it Palestine, there never was a nation of Palestine at all, and the land that is supposed to be occupied by Israel today was actually designated by the League of Nations (and confirmed by the United Nations) to be the site of a Jewish national home. No one rightly owns “the West Bank” (another propagandistic neologism; it’s Judea and Samaria) and Gaza except Israel.

There is much, much more in this book as well. What I found most compelling, and most shocking as well, was Spencer’s account of the Camp David accords, and how rather than their being a quest for peace by three groundbreaking world leaders, they were actually a successful effort by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and his lackey, the man Sadat called “poor naïve Carter,” to browbeat Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin into making numerous concessions that were disastrous for Israel’s national security and its future. 

Forty years later, we still don’t have peace, but few appear even remotely interested in questioning the premises upon which the whole endeavor is based. In The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Spencer does so. Jared Kushner and Donald Trump should read this book before making the smallest new overture to the “Palestinians.” If they did, and absorbed its important lessons, a great many lives and a good deal of time and money would be saved.

Kosher Supermarket Shooters 'Targeted The Location'

New Jersey kosher supermarket shooters 'targeted the location,' mayor says

Investigators believe that the gunmen in a Tuesday shootout at a kosher supermarket in New Jersey deliberately attacked the store.
“Based on our initial investigation (which is ongoing) we now believe the active shooters targeted the location they attacked,” Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said.
Authorities had initially said that they did not believe that the JC Kosher Supermarket had been singled out. Fulop did not elaborate on why authorities now believe the market was targeted.
The gun battle left at least six dead, including one police officer, three bystanders and two suspected shooters.
Authorities have not released information on the bystanders or gunmen who were killed.
The slain police officer was identified as Detective Joseph Seals, 40.
The shooting took place at multiple locations, starting at a cemetery, where the officer was gunned down, and continuing at the kosher supermarket about a mile away, where five more bodies were found, Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly said.
Fulop said that there were no signs of further threats, although earlier reports had said a third gunman may have escaped the scene, and said he had been in close contact with Jersey City’s Jewish community following the attack.
“I know the entire Jersey City community stands together with the Jewish Community during these challenging times,” Fulop said.
New York City councilman Chaim Deutsch, a member of the city’s Jewish caucus, said that New York City police was providing extra security to synagogues and other sites.

The bullets started flying early in the afternoon in the city of about 270,000 people, situated across the Hudson River from New York City. Seals, who worked for a unit called Cease Fire, was shot around 12:30 p.m. The gunmen then drove a stolen rental van to another part of the city and engaged police in a lengthy shootout.
Kelly said when police responded to the area of the kosher store, officers “were immediately engaged by high-power rifle fire.”
“Our officers were under fire for hours,” the chief said.
Inside the grocery store, police found the bodies of who they believed were the two gunmen and three other people who apparently happened to be there when the assailants rushed in, authorities said. Police said they were confident the bystanders were shot by the gunmen and not by police.
“‘JC Kosher Supermarket’ is a focal point of the Greenville neighborhood’s growing Jewish community,” the Chabad statement said. “The store is located next door to a small, yet visible, synagogue.”

EU vs Israel:

Europe No Longer Hides Its Hostility to Israel

The European Union has, over the years, become increasingly hostile towards Israel. That attitude was confirmed in early November when the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that food products made in the so-called settlements of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights must be labeled as such and may not carry the generic label "Made in Israel."

As rightly argued by the strategic studies expert Soeren Kern, there are many territorial conflicts all over the world, but the European Court singles out only Israel. Examples of the EU's bias against Israel are numerous, particularly compared to the United States.

The EU seems deliberately not to recognize that Israel, a sovereign state, is regularly under threat -- even extreme continuous rocket fire from Gaza and Syria -- and, for that reason alone deserves its full support. No country in the world, especially one roughly the size of Vancouver Island, undergoes military attacks as perpetually as Israel does. On November 12 and 13, in under 48 hours, more than 450 rockets and mortars were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli towns. Rockets fired from Gaza caused countless damage, injuring at least 63 persons, and reached as far as the Tel Aviv area.

Four hundred and fifty rockets in under 48 hours is not a skirmish or a minor attack; it is a large-scale military attack. Any similar attack on France or Germany -- if they received even a single missile -- would have sparked a major crisis.

The official EU response was, to say the least, underwhelming:
"This morning, Israel conducted an operation inside Gaza targeting a senior leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In response, rockets were fired from Gaza on southern and central Israel. The firing of rockets on civilian populations is totally unacceptable and must immediately stop. A rapid and complete de-escalation is now necessary to safeguard the lives and security of Palestinian and Israeli civilians. As the EU has consistently reiterated, only a political solution can put an end to these continuing cycles of violence".
The statement is revealing for many reasons. It fails to mention that Israel had killed a terrorist belonging to an extremist group about to launch another attack. The statement also fails to mention the number of rockets fired on the country, or the right of Israel to defend itself. There are no words about the consequences for the civilian population of Israel. There is no mention of who launched the rockets, or who is fueling this supposed "continuing cycle of violence", and there is no empathy whatsoever for the bombarded people of Israel.
By comparison, a US State Department spokesperson tweeted:
"The United States stands in solidarity with Israel as Israeli families and cities shelter from rockets fired by Iranian-sponsored Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Israel has every right to defend itself and its citizens."
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman tweeted:
"Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an Islamist terrorist org backed by Iran, is again attacking Israel with 100's of missiles aimed at civilians. We stand w our friend & ally Israel at this critical moment & support Israel's right to defend itself & bring an end to these barbaric attacks."
In addition, Avi Berkowitz, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations, tweeted:
"The U.S. fully supports our partner & ally Israel in their fight against terrorism and the terrorist group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)."
The disparity speaks for itself. The United States is a friend of Israel. The European Union is not.

Egypt: Three Christian Churches Torched In Two Weeks

Egypt: Three Christian Churches Torched in Two Weeks

Recently, over the course of two weeks, three Christian churches were torched in Egypt.
First, on Sunday, October 13, “a massive fire swept through a major Coptic church in a Cairo suburb causing heavy damage, but no casualties.” Online images and video of the St. George Church in Helwan — considered “one of the greatest and oldest churches belonging to the Coptic Orthodox Church” — confirm that, to quoteBishop Bishara, it “had been completely destroyed.”
“I immediately rushed to the church and found it on fire with heavy smoke filling the place,” said Fr. Andrew, who personally served at the church for three decades: “The old wooden building burned down very fast and the fire destroyed everything inside, even before the firefighters arrived…. Our loss is great. We have lost a great historical building and we can’t rebuild anything like it.”

Three days after the fire, on October 16, another blaze broke out in another St. George Church, this time in Mansoura (images here and here). “The fire completely ate up the wooden chapel,” stated the report. Five people—two of whom were firefighters — were injured in the inferno.
The cries of schoolgirls first alerted Fr. Samuel, who lives near the church, that something was amiss. He rushed out to find “a huge fire erupting in the chapel on the upper floor of the church and the services hall attached to it.”
Two weeks after that, on Friday, November 1, yet another fire broke out in yet another St. George Church, in Shubra. According to the report, “The fire had started at around 8:30am close to the church theatre hall, in a building adjacent to the church itself. Anba Makary, Bishop of South Shubra, was then officiating Mass on the ground floor for persons with disabilities. They were all safely evacuated.”

According to Fr. Samuel of the Mansoura church, “The fire started from the wooden ceiling of the adjacent hall.” Video footage, he added, indicated that something from the market behind the church was hurled onto its roof. Another clergyman, who is also a professional engineer, at the same church, said: “When we built the church, we designed the electrical circuits in the best possible way and we make sure to switch everything off when we are not around. Also, the electricity distribution panel is equipped with devices to protect against overcurrent and high voltage rise.”
A local source speaking on condition of anonymity added that a short while before the fires, the security services had contacted several churches and told to make sure their surveillance cameras were in working order: “This indicates,” he postulates, “that the national security had information suggesting that some churches in Egypt would be attacked.”
In certain respects, these recent blazes in Egypt and the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral in France are similar. To the casual observer, they appear as tragic accidents of historic churches. In both countries, however, a long paper trail of attacks on churches exists. In the days before the fire at Notre Dame, for example, a report revealed that, on average, two churches a day were attacked in France — a country that holds one of Europe’s largest Muslim populations — and in some cases had human fecal matter smeared on them.
In Egypt, attacks on churches are an even more common — and often deadly — occurrence. To name some of the more notable incidents, on Palm Sunday of 2017, two Coptic churches were bombed and 50 worshippers killed; on Sunday, December 11, 2016, a Coptic church was bombed and at least 27 worshippers killed; on New Year’s Eve of 2011, another church was bombed and about 23 Christians killed; and on Christmas Eve of 2010, seven Christians were shot dead while leaving their church.  This is to say nothing of the nearly 70 Coptic churches that were attacked and/or destroyed by Muslim Brotherhood supporters in 2013.
Discussing the recent fires — which he does not think were accidental — Fr. Ephraim Youssef, a priest at the church in Mansoura, observed that “Terrorists change their operations, from bombings to burning.”
In other words, Islamist hostility for churches remains as keen as ever. However, instead of choosing spectacular bomb blasts, these three recent cases may suggest that those who hate churches in Egypt are turning to more subtle tactics — ones that look like and are dismissed as accidents, and therefore draw less attention and blame. Either way, Egypt’s Christians are left with fewer churches.

Diverse Places:

Earthquakes in the world on December 10 , 2019 (M4.5 or more)

Refresh this list
SRCLocationUTC Date/timeMDINFO
ERI Felt A (not Listed) EarthquakeDec 10 23:594.60MAP I Felt It
  • Burhaniye - Light shaking
  • Malia - 10 sec schudden
  • Каир - Very weak shaking
  • Каир - 3
  • USGSPalaikastron, GreeceDec 10 21:585.457MAP
    EMSCCrete, GreeceDec 10 21:585.480MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Heraklion - About 30 seconds shaking from doors, lamps etc. The children woke up from it.
  • Ismailia - Weak shaking
  • GEOFONCrete, GreeceDec 10 21:585.364MAP
    GEOFONTurkeyDec 10 20:244.810MAP
    USGSBigadic, TurkeyDec 10 20:144.710MAP
    GEOFONTurkeyDec 10 20:144.710MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGSIzu Islands, Japan RegionDec 10 17:295.212MAP
    EMSCIzu Islands, Japan RegionDec 10 17:295.230MAP
    GEOFONSoutheast Of Honshu, JapanDec 10 17:295.110MAP
    EMSCIzu Islands, Japan RegionDec 10 17:056.020MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGSIzu Islands, Japan RegionDec 10 17:055.915MAP
    GEOFONSoutheast Of Honshu, JapanDec 10 17:055.810MAP
    USGSTres Picos, MexicoDec 10 11:134.628MAP
    EMSCOff Coast Of Chiapas, MexicoDec 10 11:134.640MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSCLoyalty IslandsDec 10 08:405.72MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGSTadine, New CaledoniaDec 10 08:405.610MAP
    GEOFONLoyalty IslandsDec 10 08:405.710MAP
    USGSBehbahan, IranDec 10 08:214.810MAP
    GEOFONNorthern And Central IranDec 10 08:214.810MAP
    EMSCSouthern IranDec 10 08:214.740MAP I Felt It INFO
    GEOFONSouth Sandwich Islands RegionDec 10 02:084.810MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGSBristol Island, South Sandwich IslandsDec 10 02:084.910MAP I Felt It INFO

    Tuesday, December 10, 2019

    A Biblical Case For Pretribulation Gathering Up

    A Biblical Case for the Pretribulation Rapture

    While I could expound on other biblical texts and provide additional validation of the pretribulation rapture, I believe the previous signposts suffice to bring us to our destination, that of establishing a solid biblical case for the pretribulation rapture.

    Jesus is coming for His saints, for us, before the start of the tribulation.
    In the points below, I review the previous signposts that have led to this conviction regarding Jesus’ return. I believe that combined, they provide a solid scriptural foundation for placing the rapture before the start of the day of the Lord.


    Premillennialism is absolutely foundational to a belief in the pretribulation rapture. Those who deny the reality of a literal millennium, the amillennialists, also relegate the tribulation to allegory or past history. If there is no literal tribulation, then determining the placement of the rapture becomes a moot point. That’s why premillennialism appears on our first signpost.
    The case for premillennialism is exceedingly strong as I have shown in several previous articles on my blog. For further reference, please see my articles entitled 5 Perils of Denying Jesus’ Future Reign and The Biblical Necessity of Jesus’ Reign.


     In order to place the rapture before the tribulation, we must first determine if it’s a distinct event from the second coming. Is the rapture unique?
    Yes, it is. Consider the following significant difference: The resurrection of those who have died in Christ happens first in the event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 while with the second coming, the resurrection of tribulation saints occurs much later after a lengthy sequence of events (Rev. 19:11-20:4). During the rapture, the resurrection of the dead in Christ happens immediately; during the second coming, the resurrection of saints happens much later, perhaps not even the same day as Jesus’ return to earth.
    This was just one of seven significant differences we highlighted between the rapture and second coming. They are not the same event; the rapture is unique.


    The sense of imminency in the New Testament regarding the appearing of Jesus further distinguishes the rapture from the second coming. Because many events in the tribulation must occur before the second coming, it’s not possible to regard it as truly imminent event.
    As we found at this signpost the New Testament saints eagerly awaited the Lord’s appearing as though it could happen at any moment. Philippians 3:20-21 and 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 are just two examples of many biblical texts that portray believers eagerly watching for Jesus’ appearing as though it could occur at any time and certainly in their lifetime.
    The sense of imminency not only separates the rapture from the second coming as a distinct event; it pushes it to a time before the tribulation. As we see next, the expectations of the New Testament saints further confirm this eager anticipation of the Lord’s soon appearing.


    When some in the church at Thessalonica died shortly after Paul left the city, the believers there mourned as those “who have no hope” (1 Thess. 3:13). What caused their unnecessary grieving?
    Paul’s response in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-16 tells us the issue was not that of failing to believe in the future resurrection of their loved ones, but of thinking they had missed out on the rapture. In these verses, the apostle emphasizes that “the dead in Christ will rise first” during the rapture (v. 16). They would be the first to participate in the rapture. Why would the apostle stress this aspect of the Lord’s appearing if it was not the issue causing the unnecessary distress in the church?
    If the problem had been a failing to believe in the resurrection of the dead, the apostle’s response would have been similar to 1 Corinthians 15:1-19. He would have assured them that Jesus was indeed the “resurrection and the life” (John 11:25) and they had nothing to fear regarded their loved ones. Instead, Paul emphasized the participation of the dead in Christ in the rapture.


    Now if the rapture is such an event that can happen at any moment, we would expect a sense of surprise to wrapped into it. And, this is exactly what we see in Scripture.
    One such place is 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 where Paul tells his readers that the day of the Lord would surprise people “like a thief in the night” with its sudden destruction from which the world will not escape.
    At this point you might object saying these verses refer to the onset of the day of the Lord, not the rapture and you would be correct. However, as we saw with this signpost, the sudden and shocking start to the day of the Lord tells us the rapture must occur before it begins and surprise many as well.
    Notice Paul’s promise in verse 9, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 9). Through the apostle, the Lord promises that those of us in Christ will not experience the wrath of the day of the Lord. Jesus will catch us up to paradise before this time starts.
    If the wrath of the day of the Lord began at any time after the seal judgments of Revelation 6 commence, it would not catch anyone by surprise nor would people be saying, “There is peace and security” (v. 3). For this day to start in such a startling and unexpected manner, it must begin before the misery and huge loss of life that occurs under the seal judgments.
    Although those of us watching for the Lord’s return see the signs of the approaching tribulation everywhere we look in this world, the Lord’s sudden appearing will be a surprising and welcome intrusion into our daily routines.


    How would the Thessalonians saints respond if someone told them the day of the Lord had already begun? What if they thought they were in the midst of the tribulation?
    We know the answer to these questions. The errant message caused so much panic among them that they literally shook with fear (2 Thess. 2:2).
    I believe this happened for two reasons. First, the message of the false teachers contradicted Paul’s earlier promise they would miss the day of the Lord, what we call the tribulation today. Second, they understood that those alive during this time would experience horrific suffering and death such as we see in the Apostle John’s description of the tribulation in Revelation 6-16.
    To alleviate the panic, Paul quickly wrote a second letter telling the Thessalonians that this day had not yet begun and again assured them they would not experience God’s wrath that will characterize the beginning of the day of the Lord and continue until the second coming.


    In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, the apostle tells the Thessalonians they could know the day of the Lord had not yet started because they were still on the earth. Why do I say that?
    The key to my startling statement is found in the identity of the Restrainer. In his response to their panic, Paul tells his readers that this time of wrath cannot start until God removes the Restrainer, which allows the unveiling of the antichrist (compare verse 3 with verses 6-8).
    As we saw in signpost 7, the Restrainer is the Holy Spirit.
    If the “rebellion” or more accurately the “departure” of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is the rapture (and the context suggests it is), this ties the whole passage together. When Jesus comes for His church, He removes the unique presence of the Spirit within the saints, which allows the antichrist’s work to become public.
    The rapture must thus occur before the tribulation that starts with the antichrist’s covenant with Israel (Dan. 9:27) because we will know his identity at that point.


    If the pretribulation rapture is true, we would expect to find the church in heaven rather than on the earth during the tribulation. And, that is what we find in the book of Revelation.
    The apostle John highlights the church’s absence on the earth during this time in two ways.  As we saw in this signpost, the elders of Revelation 4-5 represent the church and they are already in heaven with Jesus before the start of the seal judgments of chapter 6.
    Second, we see this in the church’s absence during the tribulation. In Revelation 3:20-21a, John identifies two groups: those who will miss the time of testing to come upon the world and the earth-dwellers, who the apostle repeatedly refers to in chapters 6-16.
    While the apostle keeps referring to the earth-dwellers, he never mentions the church as being on the earth during the judgments of the tribulation. We so see the presence of those who come to Christ during the tribulation as the martyred saints standing before the Lord in heaven (Rev. 6:9-11).


    Those who claim no one in the church believe in a pretribulation rapture until 150 years ago make two critical errors. First, they base their denials of the rapture on church history rather than on the words of Scripture. Second, the claim that a belief in pretribulation rapture originated with John Darby in the 1800’s is demonstrably false.
    To be clear, the Bible must be our only source for faith and practice. However, in order to encourage believers who often hear this false and deceptive claim regarding church history, with this signpost I provide much evidence from the early centuries of the church demonstrating an early belief in the pretribulation rapture.
    The witness of church history is not the basis for our belief, but it does completely nullify the claim that no one believed in a pretribulation rapture before the time of John Darby. The quotes I provide in this signpost prove its existence at an early time in the church as well as a century before the time of Darby.


    I do not intend my above points to be exhaustive; I could have brought up other passages of Scripture and provided other arguments in support of a pretribulation rapture. These are the most convincing arguments for me.
    All the evidence points to Paul’s assurance in 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.”
    Jesus will take all those who truly know Him out of this world before the wrath of the day of the Lord begins. Is this not an unmistakable promise that we will be in paradise with our Savior with the tribulation begins on the earth? I believe it is; we cannot separate any of judgments in Revelation 6-16 from this wrath.
    While many may not agree with those of us who anticipate such a pretribulation rapture, we do have a firm biblical foundation for believing that Jesus will come for His church before the start of the tribulation.