Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Palestinian Activists Manipulating Western Christians

An informative article by Daniel Swindell:
Since the recreation of the modern state of Israel in 1948, there has been a Christian doctrinal anti-semitic revolution. After Rome adopted Christianity as the state religion, the early forms of Christian anti-semitism were created and fixed, and remain embedded in Catholic policy. The most common forms of Christian anti-semitism were built on the accusation of deicide, the depiction of Jews as Satanic, and replacement theology. There was very little variation in these forms until after the recreation of Israel in 1948: the rebirth of Israel presented a serious theological challenge to replacement theology. For those who wished to deny the Jewish people the right to freedom from Christian and Islamic overlords, new theological reasons had to be formulated to argue that the Jewish people should be denied a nation...keep reading
These Christian Palestinian activists are fully aware that many western Christians support Israel, based on the biblical promises made to the Jewish people. If they are going to cut off this support, they must find a way to get around the Bible verses which promise the land to the Jewish people for eternity: the Bible itself is the greatest barrier standing in their way. Thus, the Scriptures themselves have to be circumvented. How to do this? By waging an attack against the major foundational pillars of the Bible...First attack: The Jewish Bible is not a reliable source of history.

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Church & Israel in the 70th week

Is there a Church-Israel overlap in the 70th week? Can God work with both Israel and the Church during this period? I briefly discussed this years ago. I wasn't born into a pretrib dispensational system so hopefully I haven't brought too many presumptions into the conversation.  At the time I wrote:
It’s true that God is currently working with Israel. He has brought a certain number of Israelites back into the land and has set up His “chess pieces” for the Final Week. 
I'm sympathetic to the notion that if God can (currently) focus on the church, while keeping Israel in play, then the same might apply to the 70th week of Daniel. Back then I also observed:
...if there are seventy weeks allotted to Israel and there is an overlap where God works simultaneously with the Church and Israel then what makes the 70th week what it is? ....if God is now working with the Church but also with Israel then what defines the 70th week and how is it different to the status quo?
I suspect that it’s not a matter of whether God can deal with Israel and the Church simultaneously during Daniel’s 70th week. It’s more a case of the purpose for the Tribulation. One of those purposes is to put Israel through a process where the nation will be redeemed.

In an earlier post I mentioned following rabbit trails regarding Jacob Prasch's Pre-Wrath Intra Seal system. Incidentally, he was one of the contributors to the polemical "Left Behind or Led Astray?" doc. What prompted my rabbit trail was a video someone shared in which he discussed the Antichrist.

At one point he makes several interesting comments.

He contends that post-rapture believers will not be in the same situation as the faithful church, and will experience terrible times. So there will be believers after the church is raptured. He cautions against people who talk about "tribulation saints." Is this because he thinks the "tribulation" is shortened, or another reason? He also adds that "mostly God turns His grace back to the Jews and it's not really grace as we would understand it."

One could write up another blog post speculating what we ought to call post-rapture believers and the length of the tribulation - likewise his cryptic remark about grace. Note that these post-rapture believers live under conditions of God's wrath, like the 5th seal martyrs in the pretrib model. That the 5th seal martyrs ask to be avenged doesn't indicate that God's wrath isn't already present. We see a similar situation when God used Assyria as the rod of His wrath against Israel, and later punished it.

Of particular interest is this statement:
"...once the faithful church is removed God turns His prophetic purposes back to Israel and the Jews - the age of the church is over." 
What happened to the juggling act?

How closely does the Intra Seal rapture align with Robert Van Kampen's model? The latter takes Matt 24:21-22 and applies it to v 31 to conclude that God cuts the tribulation short via the rapture of the church (contra Israel's final gathering). I've noted before that v 31 occurs after the tribulation, after the cosmic signs, after the sign of the Son of Man and the mourning of the tribes. The premise of Van Kampen's book "The Sign" is that signs precede Christ's coming. It's difficult to see how v 31 cuts the tribulation short.

This view asserts God intervenes (v 22) otherwise no Christians are saved alive to be raptured. A better fit is an intervention to keep people alive in order to enter and populate the millennial kingdom. At the rapture, dead saints are resurrected.

Does God intervene at this point so some believers are raptured alive (as some state), or in order to refocus on Israel? Or is it both? If the church is removed so that not all believers die, in what way is the Antichrist "hamstrung" so that post-rapture believers aren't completely wiped out?

Van Kampen asserts only Christians and Jews suffer "Antichrist's Tribulation" - for testing purposes; that the church and Israel are the targets of the 4th seal. This is because his view requires God's wrath to occur later. But how do we get this from 2 Thess 2:8-12 and Rev 6:8?

He draws parallels between the authority given to the beasts in the 4th seal and that of the beast in Rev 13 (The Rapture Question Answered pp 143-147). The fact that the Beast is given authority for 42 months (Rev 13:5) would seem to undermine his shortened great tribulation theory. See also Dan 12:7; Rev 12:14.

Note: My copy of Marvin Rosenthal's book has the 4th seal occurring prior to the Abomination of Desolation. Because of his view of the 4th seal, Van Kampen places it immediately after the AoD. This may be a source of confusion to those unfamiliar with the PW system, and even those who subscribe to it.

All this is to suggest that rapture themes aren't always "face value." Sometimes they're deductions built upon assumptions which can appear contradictory.

But regardless of Jacob Prasch's views on all the above, he does believe God removes the church in order to return His "prophetic purposes back to Israel." At that point he says the church age is over.

So for what it's worth here's what I think...

Everyone brings assumptions to the table. I believe God's wrath is evident prior to the 6th seal, and even in the ministry of the Two Witnesses. Why, exactly, is God's wrath only in effect during a narrowly defined Day of the Lord period? Why can't God's wrath be present when Satan descends in wrath? These assumptions affect our view of passages such as Rev 3:10.

With all this in mind, Daniel was told that 70 weeks were decreed for his people (Dan 9:24). It's obvious that this is speaking of Israel. Therefore it's reasonable to propose that God's purpose and focus for Israel begins at the start of the 70th Week. Not at some arbitrary point after its beginning. Hence it isn't unreasonable to see the church removed by that time. But that's my assumption.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Jews and Credit Card Identity Theft

I borrowed heavily from Barry Horner for this article. Horner needs to be read by all Christians. After writing the article I received negative feedback from some professing Christians. Some claim that the "Jews" we see in the land today aren't Israelites and that the Jews haven't been Israelites since "killing the Lord." Or something like that!

Read On Jews and Credit Card Identity Theft

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sam Smith on his "imminent pre-wrath" view

Years ago I came across Sam Smith's prophecy website. He's now updated it.

Like Smith, I don't hold that the rapture was always imminent. But I do think it is now. Of course if one believes-knows that the church is on the earth during the tribulation then the rapture cannot be imminent. You'll inevitably debate certain "imminent" texts based on this presupposition. 

The rapture can only be imminent if one isn't aware that an event has to occur prior. Furthermore, it doesn't follow that the rapture is the next "prophetic" event (e.g., Gog-Magog etc) just because one holds to imminence. Pretribulationists also bring their presuppositions to various "imminent" passages.

I found Smith's article (linked below) interesting. One objection I have is with this statement:
....while pretribulationists regard the entire tribulation as divine wrath, I think that is an assumption rather than a biblically or theologically demonstrable fact.
I'm aware that some have come up with allegedly irrefutable arguments against God's wrath being present prior to the 6th seal. I don't buy into them. In my opinion pretribulationists like Renald Showers have made biblically compelling arguments for their view.

Either way you can read Smith's article HERE

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Wretched Art of Loveless Discernment

Thought this was timely. I'm reliably informed that I need to take some of the points raised here to heart.
Christians are called to speak the truth (Eph 4:15). It is no surprise, therefore, that our enemy’s preferred tactic is deception (Rev 12:9). Consequently, because of this war between truth and deception, believers are called to exercise discernment—to be vigilant in dividing truth from error (Acts 17:11; Jude 3).
Tragically, the modern church often neglects this essential duty to contend for the truth. Even worse, professing Christians often scorn attempts at discernment as uncharitable and judgmental, subsequently dismissing it all together. This is one reason why those of us who practice discernment must be vigilant to not embody what the scoffers accuse us of. As we contend for right doctrine, we must take care to adorn it with right attitudes and behavior (Titus 2:10)...keep reading

Saturday, May 19, 2018

What Does Paul Mean by "That Day" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3?

From Tony Garland of Spirit and Truth:
There is considerable [y] confusion among Christians concerning passages which refer to a future "day" associated with the arrival of Christ. This confusion is mainly caused by assuming that all references to a future "day" involving Christ must either refer to His return for the Church at the Rapture or His final return in judgment at the Second Coming. However, Scripture reveals a third situation in which Christ is said to “come” which, unfortunately, many erroneously conflate with the Rapture...keep reading

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tribulation is Coming

Tribulation is coming. As far as the church is concerned it has always been present to varying degrees throughout history. God has never exempted Christians from tribulation, persecution or martyrdom. In fact we Christians ought to expect it...If any pastor tells you that you should or can be living your best life now in terms of worldly success, he is lying to you...keep reading

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

High King of Heaven

Recently reviewed the book "High King of Heaven" HERE

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Master's Seminary Journal Spring 2018

This edition is in honor of Dr. Robert L. Thomas.

Single PDF format file HERE

Or go HERE

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Who was Horatius Bonar?

Thanks to Barry Horner for making this available:
Better known as a nineteenth-century hymn writer, Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
fulfilled a ministry of far greater dimensions, both practically and scholarly. He
participated in a remarkable spiritual awakening in Scotland, and in 1839 joined
a tour of the Holy Land, a Mission of Enquiry to the Jews on behalf of the
Church of Scotland.
His prophetic writings were considerable.  In 1847 he published Prophetical
Landmarks, Containing Date for Helping to Determine the Question of Christ's
Premillennial Return. He was also editor of The Quarterly Journal of Prophecy
from 1849 to 1873. In 1849 he also published The Coming and Kingdom of the
Lord Jesus Christ, being a refutation of the postmillennialism of the Rev. David
Brown...keep reading
See also J. C. Ryle 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Jacob Prasch on the Rapture

Back to eschatology.

I went down some rabbit trails-holes this morning. I have friends who hold to Prasch's position on the rapture. The view is sometimes referred to as "Pre Wrath", "Inter Seal" and "Intra Seal."

In one article he appeals to Lovett (he calls Lovett the father of the system), Treggalis (he means Samuel P. Tregelles) and Gundry. I suspect, however, that his position varies from Van Kampen's etc. One notable difference is his view that the Restrainer is the Holy Spirit, contra the Michael position. Gundry also holds to the Holy Spirit view.

I include the following links largely for my own reference. You can read more HERE and HERE

Our view pre dates Pre Wrath in that Jacob Prasch, like various others, believed the rapture is between 6th & 7th seals etc. prior to the Pre Wrath position  being crystallized by the books of Marvin Rosenthal and Robert Van Kampen.  Our position is documented and explained at length in the Book "Harpazo" (available on Amazon, Kendal [sic], from Moriel etc.). It is nothing more than what was later called Pre Wrath that in common with Pre Trib holds that The Holy Spirit is the Restrainer of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, and certain other more minor differences to do with the timing of the ministry on the Two Witnesses in Revelation  chapter 11. Intra Seal is a version of Pre Wrath and Pre Wrath has the same primary elements as Intra Seal. The two positions are  in essence not only very  similar or more accurately two variations of the same fundamental position although the Pneumatological differences are marked.