Sunday, April 18, 2021

God's Sovereignty, the Antichrist etc

Marvin Rosenthal noted in his seminal book,

“To attribute the emergence of the Antichrist to God is obviously preposterous. It is to have a divided house – to have God opposing himself - and a house divided cannot stand.” (Page 142)

In fact God is sovereign and uses all means to achieve His purposes - even Satan and the Antichrist. Paul tells us that God will use the lawless one to judge unbelievers (2 Thess 2:8-12). Calling the Great Tribulation Antichrist's Tribulation is a misnomer.

For a Reformed high view of God's sovereignty in His use of Satan and the nations, see Terry L. Johnson's The Identity and Attributes of God:
The apostle Paul refers to Satan as the ‘god of this world’ who blinds ‘the minds of unbelievers’ (2 Cor. 4:4). Yet elsewhere he attributes this blinding activity to God, saying, ‘Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false’ (2 Thess. 2:11); see also Matt 13:14-15) [compare with Luke 8:10]. ~ (pp 126-127)
Another objection constantly raised is that of the 5th seal martyrs. How can God's wrath be present in the 5th seal if believers are said to be spared God's wrath? And if God's wrath is present why are the martyrs asking for vengeance?

The seal reveals the martyrs; it isn't the cause. There have always been martyrs. We see martyrdom occurring today. The judgement on the world occurring during the 5th seal is in a different category to the final destruction of the perpetrators promised at the end of the 70th week of Daniel (Rev 6:11; 19:20-21; 20:4).

An illustration of this would be a King who sends an army into a rebellious city in order to regain control. The King's wrath is present in the army's actions. If the rebels were to kill those who become faithful to the King in that city, the King's vengeance on that specific crime would be in a different category to the original intent of his army.

Renald Showers covered the above in "Maranatha: Our Lord, Come." It isn't as if these alleged problems have been ignored. I further discuss it HERE

It doesn't matter how often these objections are answered in Social Media forums, the same ones get regurgitated with monotonous regularity. Some people are determined to hold to a position while correcting everyone else. It isn't a simple difference of opinion; they exhibit a zealousness which puts network marketers to shame. I'm sometimes accused of using eisegesis when non-pretrib folk disagree with me - a tactic long past its use-by-date. What is taken to be biblical exegesis on their part is often an importation of assumptions to a set of texts. The Parousia issue is a case in point.

One more thing. Someone wrote:

While there are similarities with Ezekiel 5:5-17, Ezekiel 7:14-15 and Ezekiel 14:21, the context of these passages is not eschatological, i.e. these OT passages refer to the desolation of Jerusalem/Israel, not to the 70th week of Daniel.

This is a basic regurgitation of an old superficial response to Renald Showers. The fact is that every element found in the 4th seal is called God's wrath in the OT, including the Day of the Lord (Ezek 7:19). Asserting that "there are similarities" and that the "context" in the OT was Jerusalem is just a way of  avoiding the obvious. If God uses OT wrath language in the seals, then the only reason one will argue that it isn't wrath in an "eschatological" sense is if it doesn't suit one's rapture assumption. If you're looking for context in deciding whether elthen (Rev 6:17) is forward or backward looking, it's there in the 4th seal. 

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