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The Tribulation to Come, Dennis R. Dinger, 2003, 2nd Edition.

     This book was written before The Coming of the Lord Draweth Nigh and should be considered a companion to it.

     This is a study of the Book of Revelation.  Early chapters consider the subjects of tribulation, suffering, and wrath in the lives of Christians.  Later chapters delve into the details and intricacies of each chapter of the Book of Revelation.  The subject of prophecy is valuable for all (Christians and non-Christians alike) to know and to understand -- especially as the day of the Lord's return approaches.

     Many today believe the church will not be present (on earth) during the time known as The Great Tribulation.  No one wants to be here during that time, and the popular pre-trib approach to Bible prophecy teaches that believers will not be here.  They will have been raptured prior to that event.

     This book presents a well-referenced post-trib view of Bible prophecy as an alternative to the pre-trib view.  The church will endure the tribulations of this time period because they are caused by the world, the flesh, and the devil --- not by God.  During the Tribulation period, believers will be aided by the Holy Spirit to overcome the devil and his beast. Following the Tribulation, the Lord Jesus Christ will return to earth, the dead in Christ will be resurrected, all believers will be caught up into the air and changed (at the rapture), and only then (after the Lord's return, the resurrection, and the rapture) will God pour out His wrath on a sinful, rebellious world.

     Many Christians today have never heard anything but pre-trib teachings.  There are other approaches, however, and this book presents one of them.  All topics are well-referenced for those who, as the Bereans, are constantly checking the scriptures to determine whether these things are so.

     All who are interested in the prophetic scriptures, the events surrounding the Lord's return, and the Book of Revelation should read this book.


Excerpts from the book:


Preface to the 2nd Edition

     A whole decade plus a few years has passed since the 1st Edition of this book was printed. Why revise it now?

     There were a few things said in the first edition that I wanted to clarify and improve. During these years, I have had the opportunity to study more and observe more world events. Hopefully, I have matured somewhat, due to the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Have I changed my mind about what the Bible teaches on the subject of prophecy? No – I am more strongly a proponent of a post-trib rapture today than I was when I wrote the original volume.

     Since the 1st Edition was completed, we have moved many years along the prophetic time line so we are closer now than ever to the Lord’s return. We are closer than ever to The Great Tribulation as well. Are Christians, or the church as a whole, prepared for either of these events? No. Are we any better prepared for either event than we were when the 1st Edition was written? No. For these reasons, an understanding of Bible prophecy concerning the events of the last days is more urgently needed today than ever.

     Throughout this study, every attempt will be made to give clear, supporting references. As the Bereans did in Acts 17:11, each of us should receive God’s Word with all readiness of mind and search the scriptures daily to determine whether these things are so. In many places, I have quoted the scriptures and provided the references. This way, you won’t need to be constantly flipping back and forth from this book to your Bible to understand what I am trying to say. It will all be right in front of you.

     When I do only provide a reference, it is simply to answer your question: “Where does the Bible say that?” At that point, you can pause to look up the verse for yourself, or you can simply continue reading. My recommendation, when this happens, is that you simply keep reading. As you go back at a later time to look into details, then you can check out all references.

     When you do take a break from this book to study the passages in your Bible, read whole chapters in the Bible so you can see the context. Read whole books of the Bible to see the context. In fact, it is a good idea, and I recommend it heartily, that you read through the Revelation several times before beginning this book. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide as you read, to show you what He has written, and to teach you the important points that He wants you to learn. God will be delighted if you request the Spirit’s guidance in this way as you read.

     I said this before, and I stand by this comment: It is of no great concern to me whether or not you believe a word I say throughout this study. I do care, however, that you have the opportunity to see the presentation and hear supporting scriptures for a post-trib approach to prophecy. Then, it’s between you and the Holy Spirit. He will teach you the clear meanings of God’s Word in truth. I ask for nothing more than this.

     Many distractions will attempt to muddy the waters in a study like this. Neither likes, dislikes, wishes, desires, emotional responses, biases, pre-conceived ideas, nor traditions should be allowed to distract from the teachings in the Bible. It is difficult to put all of these aside, but the Holy Spirit can teach the truth while providing the wherewithal to overcome any distractions.

     All scriptures, which are quoted in bold text, are taken from the KJV except where noted. The author has used bold italic fonts for emphasis within scripture quotations, and bold and italic fonts for emphasis in the regular text.

     I pray that the Lord will bless and guide all who undertake this study. I especially pray that each of you will be able to clearly see the simplicity God has placed in His Word and the prophecies He wrote and preserved for His people.

                                                      Dennis R. Dinger
                                                      4 December 2003


Preface to the 1st Edition

     The question you may now be asking yourself is, “Why another book on prophecy and the Revelation?” The main answer is that this study presents an alternative view to the current popular teachings of the church. This study has been difficult, because many things have had to be “unlearned” to try to start with a reasonably clean slate.

     This does not suggest that everything that has been taught is necessarily bad. It just means that at some point in one’s education, it would be nice to sit down with the help of the Spirit, and start from scratch. Just yourself, the Spirit, and God’s Word, with no biases in place, no positions to defend, no bones to pick, working together to learn and understand the wealth of information in the Bible.

     It is nearly impossible to wipe the slate totally clean, and I know I have biases, positions to defend, and bones to pick, which will hinder this effort. I will try to minimize any distortions and clearly present what is written in the Holy Scriptures.

     As I have said many times before, I will not be upset if you don’t believe a word I say. I do, however, care that you believe the truths of God’s Word. Therefore, I will give you the references to check for yourselves.

     The King James Version of the Bible has been used throughout this work. All Bible quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the KJV and will appear in upright bold type. Italics will be used by the author for emphasis to words or phrases.

     As an educator, I have found that people really don’t learn from other people, especially where scripture is concerned (see 1 Cor. 2). Having read this book, you will be familiar with what I have learned, but you still need to study the subject for yourself. We can listen to sermons, expositions of particular verses of the Bible, or outlines of themes within the Bible, but unless we study the subjects carefully for ourselves with the Lord’s help, all the wealth of the treasures presented to us will be lost.

     The teacher who opens the Word in a Bible study will learn the most of anyone in attendance at that study. If our only goal is to hear and learn from his presentation, without studying the subject for ourselves, we will learn very little.

     If our goal is to learn as much as we can by listening to preachers, teachers, or professors, in person or on the radio or TV, without studying the subjects for ourselves, not only will our growth be limited, but we will be subject to every whim, tangent, and crazy teaching present today (and there are a lot of them floating about.) Such a result is the very opposite of Peter’s description (1 Peter 5:10) of God’s will to make us “perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”

     This study of the Revelation is the result of a recent search on the part of the author to find out what God has written for us in the Revelation. Much has been written recently concerning these last times, but most of it is the well accepted pretribulation rapture approach. Other views, although present, seem to have faded into the shadows and are hard to find.

     Most of the author’s Christian friends subscribe to the pretribulation rapture view. Most of the Bible teachers the author has heard over the last twenty years have also taught this view. In the author’s attempt to clearly learn and understand these teachings, many questions arose concerning the consistency of the explanations and the supporting scriptures.

     Rather than finding the expected proofs in the scriptures, many references were accompanied by the authors’ explanations in support of prior assumptions. Some events were positioned where they “must have happened” or where they were “assumed” to have happened, even though there were no clear references to them in those specific sections of scripture. Later arguments and conclusions were based upon these earlier “proofs,” which were really only suggested interpretations or assumptions. In some cases, accompanying statements, bordering on arrogance, strongly suggested these were the only conclusions any educated person could possibly draw from the evidence.

     If such views are as faulty as they appear, what are the alternatives? To answer this question, the author put most of the commentaries aside for a considerable length of time, to dig into the Bible. Only after this time, were commentaries again sought, and then it was to look for other alternative views to the pretribulation approach. A few good references have been found, but not many. Most contain the same suggested interpretations, assumptions, and arrogance noted above.

     Some books presenting the historicist views were quite valuable up to the point where the conclusions were presented. Background information was excellent, but the conclusions were found wanting.

     My conclusion concerning the available literature is that there are few good alternatives to the pretribulation rapture view. I am therefore writing to present an alternative view. I expect readers will check the references and in prayerful, spiritually guided studies, make their own informed decisions whether these things be so.


     I want to thank those friends who have read and offered comments on early versions of this manuscript. Special thanks go to Jim Funk for his encouragement, suggestions, give-and-take, and critical comments during the study of the Revelation and during the writing of this book.

                                                   Dennis R. Dinger
                                                   20 December 91