Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Sheep-Goat and White Throne Judments

Mike Vlatch explores whether the Sheep-Goat & White Throne judgments are the same:

Amillennialists, Postmillennialists, and even some Premillennialists view the Sheep/Goat judgment of Matthew 25:31-46 and the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20:11-15 as being the same event. But a close examination reveals that these two judgments are not the same judgment...keep reading

Mike also has two great books out – one is called “Has The Church Replaced Israel” and the other is a 73 page booklet on Dispensationalism’s Essential beliefs and Common Myths.

The fist book analyses the major pro-Replacement Theology arguments and then deconstructs them. The latter book clarifies many important points that might be missed in Ryrie’s “Dispensationalism”.

You can read a review of his Dispensationalism book HERE.

Both books are highly recommended.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Those misleading pretribulationists (Part 2)

Continuing on from the previous post:

Dr Cooper claims that if the rapture was pretribulational the Thessalonians should have been reminded that they would be taken away before any part of the 70th week began and that the very first sign (Joel 2:31) could not have been missed. Yet, while talking about the apostasy and AOD in 2 Thess 2, Paul does not mention Daniel’s 70th week or the so-called cosmic precursors.

He bundles Joel 2, Matt 24:29 and Rev 6:12-13 in the same bucket as the same event. But if we were to apply the same exegesis that he demands of 2 Thess 1-3 to those verses we would be confronted with the obvious differences in the cosmic moon signs.

On a side note, prewrath demands and boasts a single technical parousia yet it actually teaches a multi-phase second-Advent. The Antichrist is slain at 2 Thess2:8 (see Rev 19) yet the prewrath system re-interprets this to state that he is only handcuffed there and destroyed later. See Douma’s analysis of the prewrath parousia p 11.

Dr Cooper:

“It is obvious that the coming of the day of the Lord will be thieflike (sic) for unbelievers. “Sudden destruction” is the prospect for the wicked in connection with that “day”. On the other hand, Paul states that believers who are alert and sober will not expect the day of the Lord to surprise them as would a thief’s sudden appearing. Nothing that Paul wrote here is contradicted by what he wrote in II Thessalonians 2:1-3. Thomas completely misunderstands what Paul has written. Sadly, he attempts to prove a position which from the beginning was never true. This is so typical of the pretribulational position...For their definition of imminence to be correct, pretribulationalists like Thomas must distort Scripture to prove it. There are no contradictions in the writings of Paul. The only contradictions are found in the writings of those who simply will not take Paul at face value!

Another PRI post states: “…He [Paul] consistently notes a peace and security (albeit a surface-level quality) that will precede the day of the Lord. But this peace and security is illusory, a false security, for unbelievers because unforeseen sudden calamity will come on them just as unexpected labor pains on a pregnant woman...”

Let’s take some verses at “face value”.

1Th 5:2-6 Note that the labor pains and sudden destruction are directly connected to the DOL. Once a woman experiences the first birth pang she cannot escape. The birth pangs are sudden, the delivery isn’t. At the point of the birth pangs one knows the baby is due.

Rev 6:4 Scripture plainly tells us peace is taken from the earth at the 2nd seal. A delusory peace beyond this point is a deduction based upon a pre-understanding or requirement for the DOL occurring later in the week.

Rev 6:8 PRI has claimed that this verse isn’t saying that a quarter of the world’s population (1.7 billion) will be killed. Yet, in fact, that’s exactly what it is saying.

Mat 24:21-22 This will be the worst period of time there ever was or ever will be and so terrible it must be stopped or no life would be saved. The language in the first sentence indicates that this tribulation encompasses all people (see Rev 6:8). Given the description in Matt 24:21-22, the DOL cannot be worse that the GT, therefore it must comprise the same period. And it’s highly unlikely that there will be any delusory peace during the worst time in history.

Mat 24:38-39 Compare that normal situation with Matt 24:21-22 & Rev 6:4, 8.

Mat 24:42-44 The Lord tells His disciples "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect”.

How can the DOL not be expected if at Rev 6:17 the unbelievers are said to be anticipating the future wrath and hiding in caves and under rocks? Compare with Isaiah 2. There the 6th seal is within that day (the DOL).

Posttribbers and prewrathers focus on the cosmic sign precursors of the DOL and insist that the rapture and DOL are tied together. The DOL is sometimes treated as a broad period and sometimes as the coming at Armageddon. And because the rapture timing is inferred in Scripture, any argument tying the DOL with that event is based upon theological deductions.

The thief coming in the night as opposed to day denotes surprise. It’s not that the believer will know approximately when the thief will come by watching. The watching idiom represents the position of the believer. The believer will not experience loss – not because he knows the “signs” of the thief’s coming but because of his continuous abiding in Christ.

Prewrath holds that, because the great tribulation has been changed to an unknown length, it qualifies as a sort-of imminency expectancy that involves “watching” for the cosmic precursors etc. However, that premise doesn’t match the face-value sense of Matt 24:44.

Moreover, the idea that the great tribulation is cut short in this sense is contrary to Scripture (Dan 7:25, 12:7; Rev 13:5, 7).

Why were the Thessalonians troubled? Had they missed the rapture?

Whatever the reason, one must ask the question that if the great tribulation of Matt 24:21-22 was a period that the Thessalonians would have to eventually endure – why didn’t Paul prep them for it?