Thursday, June 17, 2010

Revelation Chapter 20

The most frequently requested Christ in Prophecy television show episodes on Revelation have been pulled out of the vault and re-released!

Over the six episodes, Dr. David Reagan and guests Don McGee of Crown and Sickle Ministries and Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries go chapter by chapter through the book of Revelation, explaining that the book of Revelation isn't difficult to understand, rather it is difficult to believe. But, if you will believe it for its plain sense meaning, you will understand it. For anyone who's been born again and has the Holy Spirit residing within them, Revelation can become very clear.

We're going to take a look at the most controversial chapter in the book of Revelation — Chapter 20. It's the one that tells us about the Millennium — the one thousand year reign of the Lord over all the nations of the world. We'll particularly look at what those of us in glorified bodies will be doing during that peaceful thousand year time.

Feel free to watch, listen, or read along by clicking one of the icons below.

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Revelation Revealed: Chapter 20

[Read Chapter 20 in the NASB version via Biblegateway.]

Dr. Reagan: As Chapter 20 opens, Jesus is ready to begin His reign here on Earth. But, there's one last piece of business He's got to take care of. He has taken care of the Antichrist and the False Prophet. He's defeated them and their armies, and He has thrown them into the Lake of Fire, which is Hell, where they will be tormented forever and ever. But, there's still one last rebel left, and that's Satan. So, the Lord's first business in Chapter 20 is to bind Satan and put him into a great abyss where he will be confined for the next thousand years. During that time, Satan and his demonic hoards will not be allowed to roam upon the Earth.


Who will reign?

Then, Chapter 20 says that we the Redeemed are going to reign with the Lord Jesus Christ for a thousand years. That reign is not described here in great detail. You will find the detailed description of it in the Old Testament, particularly in the book of Isaiah. We are told that Jesus will rule with a "rod of iron," and we are told that some people will reign with Him, specifically, those to whom judgment has been given.

Now, who specifically will reign with Jesus? According to Daniel 7, Old Testament saints will be included in this group. "The saints of the highest one will receive the kingdom, then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the highest one."

The apostles will also be included. In Matthew 19:28 Jesus promised his apostles that, "In the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Those of us who have become saints during the Church Age will certainly be included. That promise is made in several places in the New Testament. For example, in Revelation 2 it states: "and he who overcomes, to him I will give authority over the nations; and He shall rule them with a rod of iron."

Finally, the Tribulation martyrs who die for Jesus will be included, according to Revelation 20. "And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years."


What will we do?

Some of us will be administrators serving as mayors, governors and kings. Jesus made this point in one of His parables that degrees of reigning authority would be part of the rewards that believers would receive, based upon their faithfulness in this life. Others of us will serve as judges. Most of us will serve as teachers. That's right, we're going to provide the worldwide educational system, serving as shepherds and priests of God. It will be our responsibility to bring each person born during the Millennium to salvation through a saving faith in Jesus.

None of us will be legislators — none of us — because the government of the world will be a theocracy in which Jesus will be both the spiritual and governmental leader. The offices of priest and king will be combined in Him. He will give the law and we will teach it and enforce it.


Who will the Redeemed be ruling over?

Where will the millennial population come from? The people who will be allowed to go into the Millennium in the flesh will be the small number of Jews and Gentiles who live to the end of the Tribulation who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. You see, when Jesus returns, we're told that He will judge immediately all those left alive. The Jewish judgment is described in Ezekiel 20 and the Gentile in Matthew 25. Those who have not accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior at the end of that Tribulation period will be consigned to death.

You and I — the Redeemed — will be in glorified bodies, like the body Jesus has now. And, just as He mingled and interacted with His disciples after His resurrection while He was in a glorified body and they were in fleshly bodies, in like manner, we who will be in glorified bodies will live among and rule over those who are in fleshly bodies.

Jesus will reign in His glorified body as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords from Jerusalem. We're told in the Old Testament that David in his glorified body will rule as the king of Israel. And, as I said before, some of us will be administrators and some of us will be judges, and most of us will be teachers. We will be scattered all over the earth reigning over those who are in the flesh.

We're told in the book of Isaiah that life spans will be returned to what they were at the Fall in the Garden of Eden, that is, a thousand years. That means the people who enter the Millennium in the flesh and the children born to them during the Millennium will live the entire time. And, because death will be curtailed and life spans will be extended, the earth will experience a great population explosion. Most likely, by the end of the Millennium, there will be more people on the face of the earth than ever before in the history of mankind. And, it will be the responsibility of the Redeemed to bring those born during that time to salvation in Jesus Christ.


In the next part on this series on Revelation, we'll continue to explore Chapter 20 and life for those living in fleshly bodies during the Millennial Kingdom.


Resource

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94 comments:

hartdawg said...

i dont wanna be a mayor, governor or teacher. what i wanna do in the milleneum is what i do now. do you think jesus will allow me to be a leader to the youth born in the milleneum, thats where my heart is, to invest myself into the youth. you think God will allow that?

Laura said...

Hartdawg,

Since God gives us the desires of our hearts, and teaching youth is one desire He has given you, I'm of the opinion that you'll be teaching your heart out to those millennial youth! That is, if we get to interact intimately with the unglorified on earth. That last bit I'm not too certain of.

Mitchell said...

Dr. Reagan says, "Finally, the Tribulation martyrs who die for Jesus will be included, according to Revelation 20. 'And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.'"

The next verse (Rev 20:5b) makes an extremely important point about those who are killed for Christ during tribulation: "This is the first resurrection." John did not say that this was a part of (or a phase to) the first resurrection. He called it the "prōtos" (G4413) resurrection, which means "first in time or place; first in any succession of things or persons", which is very specific - there is no other resurrection of the dead in Christ before this.

Does it not stand to reason that if the first resurrection of those who have died in Christ is after the tribulation like John says it is, then there is no resurrection before it, and if there is no resurrection before the tribulation then there is therefore no rapture before the tribulation? And does it not also stand to reason that due to any "phases" contention of "a first resurrection" the pre-trib position is essentially stating that the rapture takes place before the First Resurrection is even fully completed when Scripture is clear that the dead in Christ rise first, and then we who are alive and remain will be caught up?

Nathan Jones said...

Ah, but Mitchell, Jesus was part of the First Resurrection (Col. 1:18), and that was almost 2,000 years ago, so the Resurrection of the Just does happen in stages. (I'm sure you've got something to explain away that, though).

Mitchell said...

Hi Nathan, it doesn't need to be explained away because Paul already made it very simple for us to understand by explaining that there are three distinct resurrections only (and not phases to the first resurrection).

Some try to use Paul's words in 1 Cor 15:22-24 as support for the idea of "phases" in the First Resurrection, however Paul is telling us of an order of three different resurrections, not about "phases" to the First Resurrection. Here are the three resurrections he tells us of:

1. Christ's resurrection -- He is the First Fruits

2. Those in Christ who are resurrected at His coming -- Rev 20:5b tells us that this First Resurrection of the dead in Christ is after the tribulation, not before it.

3. Then the end. Revelation 20:5a tells us that the rest of the dead after the post-trib First Resurrection are not resurrected until the thousand years have finished.

Notice that [cometh] in 15:24 is often in brackets or italics in the text of many translations. Your Bible will tell you that the word "cometh" is not in the Greek text. When we take from the text its intended meaning we come to the inescapable conclusion that there are no phases whatsoever to the First (prōtos) Resurrection, which is "first in time or place; first in any succession of things or persons".

(Also remember that according to pre-tribism the rapture takes place before the First Resurrection is even finished, yet Scripture is clear that the dead in Christ rise first, and then we who are alive and remain will be caught up with them.)

hartdawg said...

mitchell, "the dead in christ will rise first, then we who are alive and remain will be caught up with them to meet the lord IN THE AIR" 1 Thess 4:17-18 but in rev 20:4 john only saw the souls of those beheaded. 2 problems 1)where are the rest of those in christ since they rise 1st and 2)

hartdawg said...

2)they dont rise til AFTER the defeat of satan,the beast and false prophet. for the post-trib to be correct jesus is going to return, defeat the armies of anti-christ, split the mt of olives, raise the dead then they are all going to jump in the air so we can rise to meet them. NO SENSE!

DrNofog said...

I see someone has exhumed the dead horse for another beating... obviously, and according to scripture, there's "no rest for the wicked" animal!

This is for those who are new or unsure on this topic, we're talking of types or KINDS of resurrections according to the "types, patterns, and feasts" given in the Scriptures, not the order, which is clearly a give-away by the use of the terms "First" and "Second"...

The first kind of resurrection is the Resurrection unto Life, AKA the First Resurrection

Jesus is the first born of the dead, of the First Resurrection.
The rapture of the NT saints will be the First Fruits of the First Resurrection.
And the resurrection of all the OT saints, both prior to the church age and those of the tribulation after the rapture, are the full harvest of the First Resurrection.

The only other kind of resurrection is the Second Resurrection unto damnation, AKA the 2nd death.
------------------
The preceding has been a community service announcement...
------------------

Sorry Mitchell, we've been over all this before, we know you took the proverbial "left turn in Albuquerque" and your spin on the Scripture isn't convincing. Can we leave the poor horse in the grave...?

Mitchell said...

hi hartdawg, it makes perfect sense. John saw the souls, and then they lived because he sees them resurrected, which he calls the First Resurrection.

If we read 1 Thess 4:17 the way that it was intended to be understood we will see that it does not even allow a pre-trib rapture.

The word used for “meet” in 1 Thess 4:16-17 is the Greek word “apantesis”, and this word only occurs here and in three other places. In "Vocabulary of the Greek Testament" by G. Milligan and James Hope Moulton, "The word apantesis seems to have been a kind of official welcome of a newly arriving dignitary – a usage which accords excellently with its NT usage." And indeed it does! In Matt 25:1,6 it describes the virgins going out to meet the bridegroom, to escort him back into the house. In Acts 28:14-16 it is used to describe brethren from Rome coming out to Appii Foru, to meet Paul and his company, and then escort them back to Rome. In each example of "apantesis", the escort back is immediate. We don't have them going out to meet the subject, then going to where the subject came from for days, weeks or years, and then escorting the subject back. That was not the custom. The subject who was coming is met by those who are already at his destination. And what is His destination? Where we are -- EARTH.

Zech 14:4-5, "And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, [Making] a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee [through] My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, [And] all the saints with You."

Aside from 1 Thess 4:17 these are the only occurrences of the word. In the post-trib view, the elect are gathered in the air to meet Jesus as soon as all the dead in Christ are resurrected, and then we accompany Him back to Earth immediately according to the "apantesis" of 1 Thess 4:17, which is consistent with its usage in each of the other three verses of Scripture. The pre-trib position, however, suddenly changes the intended meaning of the word. Instead of us escorting Jesus back to Earth immediately for His Second Coming, the pre-trib position has us conveniently going to Heaven instead, which the text does not say anywhere, at any place, at any time.

Mitchell said...

Hi DrNofog, your explanation has no Scriptural basis unfortunately. It is an eisegetical reading of the text, superimposed with the idea of a pre-trib rapture and a classic example of 'explaining things away' in order to support a preconceived idea. I wish you were right, but I take from the text what is in the text, not add to it.

Nathan Jones said...

Mitchell says: "yet Scripture is clear that the dead in Christ rise first, and then we who are alive and remain will be caught up with them."

Ah, so you agree, there are stages.

DrNofog said...

Or as EI recently said: "Yawwwnn! zzzz"

What to do, what to do...?
Oh! I could go find some postie camps and lob some rocks. That could be fun!

DrNofog said...

As things heat up in the ME...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
The USS Harry S. Truman carrier Strike Group of 60 warplanes and 6,000 seamen has turned course from the Persian Gulf and deployed in the Mediterranean within easy reach of potential flare-ups, after incoming intelligence attested to the Turkish premier Recep Erdogan's determination to give his screws on Israel another turn - or two.

Just a thot, but if Obumr ping-pongs our ships back and forth between the P-gulf and the Med-pond for each little intel rumor, they might just be out of range at a time that could give opportunity for the flotilla show-down to flare into Ps83...

Scott quotes ynetnews "The "flotilla offensive" is expected to climax at the end of the month of Ramadan, which takes place on October 12", which puts the brakes on the "9th of Av" scene unless Israel is forced to do something preemptively...

Personally, I don't see enough build-up yet to support going directly into Gog/Magog so I am leaning strongly that we will see Ps83 before the **"Rapture"** and as an excellent witnessing opportunity before Ezek38, but I gotta throw in that word 'theoretically' to keep EI from breathing "imminent" on the back of my neck...

hartdawg said...

few things 1)about the rapture: it is my belief the the bible supports a pre-trib rapture but it is also my belief that we are not talking about a biblical vs nonbiblical view. when i study both positions it seems to me that tho the evidence stacks in favor of pre-trib the evidence on BOTH sides is circumstancal and the only difference is 7 years. ones position does not affect ones standing with christ 2)to nofog: i wouldnt rule out the timing of any day with psalm 83 or the rapture (tho i agree with your statement)

hartdawg said...

one more thing. this is for mitchell:this discussion(the rapture)has gone on in circles on this blog so do me this favor,i would to know all the reasons you believe in a post-trib, but to spare everyone further discussion why dont you email your points to me at hart_thizzle10_9@hotmail.com i`m not going to respond or discuss i`m just curious as to what all your points are.

hartdawg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hartdawg said...

hey, forgot to put my name thats jon hartman hart_thizzle10_9@hotmail.com

Nathan Jones said...

Since Hartdawg just shared his real identity, I'll share mine. It's Nathan Jones.

hartdawg said...

now nathan, that takes the fun out of it:) hey, hope to hear from you mitchell.

Dennis said...

LOL!!!

I don't know why I waited so long to try this blogging stuff out and be led here, this site is so fun, and funny. Yet so powerful.
MARANATHA

Anonymous said...

3. "Then the end. Revelation 20:5a tells us that the rest of the dead after the post-trib First Resurrection are not resurrected until the thousand years have finished."

Looks like a post-trib/post-wrath resurrection to me.

rg

Expected Imminently said...

RG!!!
There you are, I missed ya!:)

DrNofog
Good lad. ;)

Susan E.M.Jakeway (Mrs):D

Brad L. Burge said...

You said: "None of us will be legislators — none of us — because the government of the world will be a theocracy in which Jesus will be both the spiritual and governmental leader. The offices of priest and king will be combined in Him. He will give the law and we will teach it and enforce it."

During the tribulation, it will be similar. But, Satan will be allowed to be a temporary leader via the Antichrist. The Sanhedrin will give the law while the Third Temple exists with its sacrificial system in place. Then, the Antichrist, the leading Kabbalist, will stop the sacrifices, deeming them no longer needed within the new spiritual leadership that he will introduce. He will give the law and the people will teach and enforce it. All people except those that refuse to be a part of his system and take the mark of the beast. The mark will simply be a worldwide internet economy with bio identifiers using retina scans and fingerprints. Eventually, without the mark, a person will not be able to participate in the economy anywhere in the world.

Expected Imminently said...

Mitchell said “If we read 1 Thess 4:17 the way that it was intended to be understood we will see that it does not even allow a pre-trib rapture”

Nathan and all.

I don’t have time to go into all of Mitchell’s comments! By reading ‘Thayer’s’ in the ‘Blueletter Bible’ the following point is further evidence of ‘a little knowledge (of Greek) being a dangerous thing’. Likewise, I am also unskilled; yet just reading the text carefully it is easy to spot Mitchell’s faulty reasoning. Imo

1Thess.4:16-17 The Church MEETS Jesus in the air ‘And so shall we EVER be WITH The Lord”

MEETS – ‘apantesis’ to meet one, a meeting.
EVER - ‘pantote’ (meaning at all times, always –Thayer’s)
WITH – ‘syn’; rare usage, usually ‘meta’ is used. ‘syn’ denotes a fellowship far more intimate than can be expressed by ‘meta’. Syn is not used once in the Revelation (which is revealing) but is reserved for this very special form of fellowship such as in marriage.

By Mitchell placing his emphasis upon meet (apantesis), he has ignored the vital RESULT of the meeting which is ‘everlasting fellowship’ i.e. wherever He goes, she goes!

Crudely the Church could be seen as Christ and His ‘shadow’, one is always with (syn) the other. We clearly see Jesus leaving the heavens in Revelation on a white horse; and lo and behold, coming with Him, also on white horses is the army in white linen which is His Bride.

It isn’t a question of meeting, leaving, going back, in or out it is a question of Christ and His Church always being WITH one another in intimate fellowship.

Hope that’s clear?

Nathan Jones said...

Could be, Brad, concerning the Mark of the Beast, but we can only guess at what it will be at this time. For an in-depth analysis on what we do know, check out Stop Panicking Over the Mark of the Beast.

Anonymous said...

Hi EI,

I don’t post much here even tho I read every now and then. When I have time, I tend to spend it in another forum and in another guise ;-)

You make excellent points. The word apantesis has been used to argue for a posttrib setting by claiming it only has a narrow u-turn meaning. That isn’t correct and I have read articles that refute it.

The word protos does mean first but it can also mean chief as a good lexicon will point out. I can’t think of any exegetical reason to discount a “first resurrection” being a type or category.

I notice that some of us can get technical and woodenly literal with some words and verses and yet get loose with others that don’t quite fit a presupposition e.g. mark of the beast. Same goes for chronology. We can retrofit the resurrection in Rev 20 when it suits us yet get nitpicky regarding the chronology of the Marriage Supper when it doesn’t.

rg

Expected Imminently said...

rg
You are very kind, thank you for not 'ridiculating' an old lady' :)
I hadn't realised I had taken on a Postie 'holy grail'.

Hm a mystery, where's me Miss Marple head? Come to think of it, that forum is likely one I'm banned from. ;D

Anonymous said...

Banned? You? Surely not.

I'm sure even a postie forum would welcome your thoughts. After all, they're happy to spread their own.

rg

Dennis said...

well if you just have to insist on sticking around for the part of the entire tribulation, great tribulation you may not be dissapointed. But I ask a favor, please keep my grass green until its burned up or the water is full of wormwood, and don't let my gas tank get lower than half full please. Because I'll be gone to a wedding ya'll. Anyone else want to be apart of that wedding.


MARANATHA

Mitchell said...

Nathan says, "Ah, so you agree, there are stages."

There are two steps to the completion of the gathering, not separate stages to the First Resurrection. In the gathering, the dead in Christ must rise first, and then those who are still alive (survive) and remain will be caught up with them.

hartdawg says, "this is for mitchell:this discussion(the rapture)has gone on in circles on this blog so do me this favor,i would to know all the reasons you believe in a post-trib, but to spare everyone further discussion why dont you email your points to me at hart_thizzle10_9@hotmail.com i`m not going to respond or discuss i`m just curious as to what all your points are."

Hi brother, better yet, I've posted many of my reasons here (scroll to the bottom of that page for other items).

Mitchell said...

rg says, "Looks like a post-trib/post-wrath resurrection to me."

In my view, it is post-trib/pre-wrath. The wrath that we are promised deliverance from is "orge" wrath only, not "thymos" and I believe we will be here to witness the "thymos" wrath poured out upon the Antichrist and his followers. Just before the "orge" wrath comes is when Christ returns and gathers the elect.

Mitchell said...

EI says, "By Mitchell placing his emphasis upon meet (apantesis), he has ignored the vital RESULT of the meeting which is ‘everlasting fellowship’ i.e. wherever He goes, she goes!"

Not at all. When a Roman emperor approached a city, the leading citizens went out to welcome him and had the honor of processing into the city with him. This whole event was described as the "apantesis." Christ is coming back to Earth, thus where ever He goes, we go, and He is going to Jerusalem to set His feet upon the Mount of Olives.

The Early Church Father John Chrysostom (347-407) comments on this passage by saying the following: "If he (Christ) is about to descend, on what account shall we be caught up? For the sake of honor. For when a king drives into a city, those who are in honor go out to meet him; but the condemned await the judge..."

Apantesis from apantáo from apó = from + antáo = to come opposite to, to meet especially to meet face to face describes a meeting especially a meeting of two who are coming from different directions.

In Greek culture the word had a technical meaning to describe the visits of dignitaries to cities where the visitor would be formally met by the citizens, or a deputation of them, who had gone out from the city for this purpose and would then be ceremonially escorted back into the city. Apantesis was often used to suggest the meeting of a dignitary or king, a famous person, describing people rushing to meet the one who was coming.

Mitchell said...

Dennis said, "Because I'll be gone to a wedding ya'll. Anyone else want to be apart of that wedding."

Which wedding are you going to, because the only wedding mentioned in Revelation is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb which John says happens after the "great harlot" is judged (Rev 19:2), which is at the end of the tribulation. Additionally, the "great multitude" is again mentioned (Rev 19:6), which we are told previously as coming out of the Great Tribulation (Rev. 7:14). In order to come out of the Great Tribulation, they had to be in it.

Moreover, Rev 19:7 declares that the marriage of the Lamb is come "and his bride has made herself ready." In Rev 21:9-12 we read, "And there came unto me one of the seven angels... saying, come hither, and I will shew thee the bride, the lamb's wife. And he ... shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem ... which had a wall great and high, and twelve gates... and names written thereon which are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel." According to Revelation 21, what best describes the bride of Christ -- the New Testament Church, or Israel?

Here is a quick 4-minute video you may find interesting regarding the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

Hartdawg, I've sent you an e-mail, hopefully you've received it ok. If you have any comments or questions feel free to write me any time.

Blessings ...

Anonymous said...

The In my view, it is post-trib/pre-wrath.

That's fair enough. However Rev 20 places that resurrection post-wrath and after Satan is thrown into the abyss.

The word apantesis simply means to meet. Nothing more. The saints meet Christ in the air, and whether or not they return to the earth or heaven is not determined by that word.

[GING] avpa,nthsij, ewj, h` the act of meeting someone; eivj avpa,nthsin to meet

avpa,nthsij, ewj, h` as an action meeting, encountering; eivj avpa,nthsin to meet

Louw-Nida ἀπαντάω ; ἀπάντησις, εως f ; ὑπαντάω ; ὑπάντησις, εως f: to come near to and to meet, either in a friendly or hostile sense - 'to draw near, to meet, to meet up with.'

rg

Mitchell said...

rg says, "However Rev 20 places that resurrection post-wrath and after Satan is thrown into the abyss."

John's description of the First Resurrection is parenthetical to his post-wrath description of events (remember, the Marriage Supper is mentioned in the previous chapter as just taking place after the "great harlot" had been judged). In the initial verses of chapter 20 John describes how Satan is sealed until the thousand years are fulfilled, and let loose for a little season at the end. Surely, one would not then assume that what he describes next in Rev 20:4-6 is post-millennial because the dead in Christ are said to reign with Christ for those thousand years.

Revelation 20:1-3 John describes what happens to Satan at the beginning of the millennium.

Revelation 20:4-6 (John describes what happened to the dead in Christ at His post-trib Second Coming and that those who are resurrected in the First Resurrection reign with Christ for a thousand years)

Revelation 20:7-15 John then continues to describe Satan's post-millennial judgment, and the "Great White Throne" judgment of the dead (the Second Resurrection).

rg says, "The word apantesis simply means to meet. Nothing more. The saints meet Christ in the air, and whether or not they return to the earth or heaven is not determined by that word."

It is most definitely determined by that word. If Paul wanted to convey the meaning that we simply meet Christ in the air he would have chosen the word "apantaō" (G528), but the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to use the word "apantesis" specifically, and for good reason. It is a very significant word. Paul wrote to the church of Thessalonica because there were some misunderstandings regarding the return of Jesus Christ, and Paul's use of "apantesis" cleared up their misunderstandings. Unfortunately, the intended meaning is "lost in translation", but the readers of Thessalonica understood exactly what Paul was saying.

Anonymous said...

In Rev 20: 3 we’re told that Satan is bound and when he’ll be released. The comment about his release is a notation to the main point. It does not provide a basis to argue that you can therefore move the resurrection of v 4 backwards. Whether chap 20 is parenthetical or not, the events are chronological. Other than assumptions, there is no reason to think otherwise.

My searches on Strongs and Thayer for apantao came up with 528 ἀπαντάω apantao {ap-an-tah'-o}
Meaning: 1) to go to meet, to meet 1a) in a military sense: a hostile meeting

Not all uses of apantao involve hostile meetings so the lesson is that we should be careful when ascribing a technical meaning to a word. The word apantesis applies to the actual/type meeting and NOT to the direction that the parties travel afterwards. The fact that people customarily met a visiting dignitary and returned back to where they came from (not the other way around) should not impose that same meaning on apantesis.

Michael R Cosby (Bulletin for Biblical Research 4 1994) wanted to validate Peterson’s "Die Einholung des Kyrios" to refute the pretrib view. Peterson had argued that behind Paul's words in 1 Thess 4:17 stands the custom of the Hellenistic formal reception of a dignitary. In “Hellenistic Formal Receptions and Paul's Use of APANTHSIS in 1 Thessalonians 4:17” Cosby ended up stating, “Only after a period of about a year was I able to admit the possibility that Peterson's exegesis was eisegesis. With great hesitation I carefully examined the data, and honesty forced me to admit I had been wrong.”

rg

Mitchell said...

rg says, "It does not provide a basis to argue that you can therefore move the resurrection of v 4 backwards. Whether chap 20 is parenthetical or not, the events are chronological. Other than assumptions, there is no reason to think otherwise."

Chapter 20 itself is not parenthetical, and I think you're missing John's point. The reason why John mentions the First Resurrection here is to show that the resurrected dead in Christ (who have already taken part in the Marriage Supper in the previous chapter) will rule and reign with Christ during the thousand years that Satan is bound. John makes it a point to mention when they are resurrected (jumps back) parenthetically while explaining what happens to Satan during the Millennial Reign of Christ. In fact, John even mentions the Second Resurrection itself as a ((parenthesis) within this parenthesis(!)). We see this quite often throughout Johannine Literature.

If you contend a strict chronology to Rev 20 then one could argue you'll need to conclude that the First Resurrection is post-millennial due to the preceding verse stating that "the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he [Satan] must be loosed a little season." That, obviously, would create many theological and textual problems, unless you agree that this preceding verse itself jumps ahead to the end of the "millennial binding" of the Adversary to tell you what happens.

rg says, "Not all uses of apantao involve hostile meetings so the lesson is that we should be careful when ascribing a technical meaning to a word. The word apantesis applies to the actual/type meeting and NOT to the direction that the parties travel afterwards."

Of course, not all uses of "apantao" involved hostile meetings, and not every single use of "apantesis" in Greek society always referred to meeting an arriving dignitary. However, "apantesis" was much more commonly used in its technical sense when referring to the meeting of someone of great significance. When Paul uses "apantesis" he is using it when referring to not just any governor or king, but of "the Lord Himself" who descends from Heaven, the undeniable King of Kings. The readers in Thessalonica would have seen these words and understood the intended meaning of "apantesis" very clearly.

It should be noted as well that every other use of "apantesis" in Scripture always reveals the immediate escort back of the subject by those who were at his destination. There is no reason to change the intended meaning of the word in an effort to support a pre-trib presupposition.

Mitchell said...

rg says, "Michael R Cosby ... wanted to validate Peterson’s "Die Einholung des Kyrios" to refute the pretrib view... Cosby ended up stating, '... With great hesitation I carefully examined the data, and honesty forced me to admit I had been wrong.'"

As for Michael R Cosby (who is a post-tribulationist by the way like myself), even he admits that most Greek scholars do not agree with his conclusion. For him, the intended meaning of "apantesis" is moot and therefore inconsequential because the whole of Scripture itself unquestionably supports the post-trib position.

Regardless, there are many assumptions and oversights that Cosby needed to make in order to arrive at his personal conclusion regarding "apantesis", as Robert H. Gundry of Westmont College shows. In part, Gundry writes:

"Cosby is correct to note the difference between the summoning shout and trumpet blast at the Parousia (1 Thess 4:16) and the shouts of acclamation at Hellenistic formal receptions,4 but this difference is understandable in view of the need for supernatural action in the raising of deceased Christians and in the catching of them and living Christians up to meet the Lord in the air. At least the Parousia and Hellenistic formal receptions share the element of happy noise.

Cosby argues that for the Parousia "no donations are encouraged nor taxes levied to purchase presents to honor the heavenly king [as at Hellenistic formal receptions]. Instead, he brings rewards for his faithful servants."5 But no such rewards are mentioned in the passage at hand (1 Thess 4:15-17); and going elsewhere in Pauline literature, we find not only rewards for faithful servants of the king at his Parousia but also a reception-like presentation to him: "to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him ... that we may present every person mature (teleios) in Christ" (Col 1:22, 28b; cf. 2 Cor 11:2: "to present you as a pure virgin to the Christ").

The execution of "wrathful judgment of the wicked" at the Parousia does not lack a counterpart in Hellenistic formal receptions,6 for Cosby himself references the execution of prisoners at those events.7 The comment that "divine judgment occurring as part of the event [of the Parousia] ... is far different from Peterson's assertion that arriving dignitaries sometimes pronounced judgment as part of the ceremonies" looks itself like an assertion having little or no probative value.8

Again, Cosby himself supplies a reason why "Paul makes no mention of the Hellenistic custom of a dignitary offering sacrifices on local altars after the reception," i.e., "in Paul's thinking ... Jesus already offered himself as the definitive sacrifice, so this aspect of the formal reception would be abhorrent, a grim reminder of the paganism from which he sought to deliver people."9

On the whole, then, Paul's description of the Parousia in 1 Thess 4:15-17 comes closer to what we know of Hellenistic formal receptions than Cosby allows. True, apantēsis does not by itself connote a reception of that kind.10 But the Thessalonian context, the autos which calls special attention to Jesus' dignity as Lord or Emperor ("the Lord himself "--1 Thess 4:15), the remarkable fact that only here in the NT are Christians said to be "caught [up] ... to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess 4:17, though cf. Matt 25:1, 6), and the appearance of elements of Hellenistic formal receptions also in other Pauline mentions of the Parousia all combine to favor such a connotation for apantēsis.11 Of course, this connotation is hardly needed to keep Cosby or anyone else from slipping back into the doctrine of a pretribulational rapture of the church.

Read in full here.

DrNofog said...

Mitchell,
discouraging...
boring...
No Hope!
Totally Discouraging!!!

You continually come here and 'seriously' want us to believe in "your" 'post-trib rapture', "Doom & Gloom" for the 'Beat-up-Bride', a 'Protestant Purgatory' -- and you claim there is "hope" in it???

So, according to you, in your self-appointed 'Evangelistic duty' to recruit us 'poor, misguided 'babes' in Christ', we 'believers' now have no **imminent** "Blessed Hope" of the 'Rapture'...

Your "hope" is that we won't be "disillusioned and lose our faith" while we're getting beat up by the Bridegroom... What kind of 'Blessed Hope' is that???

You spend an inordinate amount of time trying to destroy the faith of others [under the guise of 'meaningful discussions' on the error of our false hope], destroying the doctrine of the **imminent** return of Jesus [since we know the EXACT NUMBER of the end DAYS from AC's covenant], the Blessed Hope, true 'Isreal', the Church, and more.

Mitchell, - Seriously Dude!

You need to do a **real** search, -- a direct comparison of "Israel" and "My Great Namesake"!
And... then go back to Genesis 3, and discover the real issue! -- Not hard at all to do with all our modern search engines!

It's not about you and your petty issues of the 'church' is 'Israel', therefore 'Bad News', therefore 'Buckle-up and git ready for 'Tribulation' will be upon us soon', therefore Doom & Gloom for the 'Church', and therefore a "what's the point of this reverse bungee-jump", 'post-trib' rapture..., yada, yada, yada, etc..."

IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT Genesis 3!!!

Mitchell said...

DrNofog says, "So, according to you, in your self-appointed 'Evangelistic duty' to recruit us 'poor, misguided 'babes' in Christ', we 'believers' now have no **imminent** "Blessed Hope" of the 'Rapture'..."

Hi DrNofog, the pre-trib position teaches that the "blessed hope" is the pre-trib rapture and the post-trib rapture cannot be true because that would mean that there could then be no 'blessed hope'. Is this true? Let's have a look, not at what I say, but what the BIBLE says.

The Apostle Paul wrote in the epistle of Titus the following:

Titus 1:2, 2:13, 3:7, "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began ... Looking for that blessed hope [eternal life], AND the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ... That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

Paul uses the word "hope" three times in his epistle -- at the beginning when speaking about eternal life and then later while referring to that blessed hope, and then once more again near the end. Each time he is referring to the blessed hope of eternal life. Nowhere does Paul ever say that the "blessed hope" is our gathering to Christ. We are looking for the blessed hope of eternal life, and (in addition to) the glorious appearing of Christ.

If you want to now somehow say that the "glorious appearing" is the blessed hope, then let's look at what the BIBLE says about that, too: The glorious appearing is the "epiphaneia" (G2015). What is significant about the "epiphaneia" of Christ? Let's have a look:

2 Thess 2:8, "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness [epiphaneia G2015] of his coming"

The "epiphaneia" is post-trib, unless you now wish to contend that Antichrist is destroyed at a "pre-trib rapture", which would then create even more theological and textual problems for you than you already have. If we are to believe that the "blessed hope" is the "epiphaneia", then we must therefore also believe that the blessed hope of eternal life is actualized at Christ's post-trib appearance and gathering of the elect.

According to the BIBLE, the "blessed hope" is eternal life, and the appearing of Christ mentioned in Titus is obviously his post-trib Second Coming. Everything that pre-trib uses to support a pre-trib rapture always points to a post-trib rapture when we contextualize the Scripture and learn the intended meaning of the text.

As for the rest of your post, I really encourage you to do a serious study on the true nature of the Church according to Christ and the Apostles, not according to John Nelson Darby et al. Traditional dispensationalism has many people so confused that they've already failed to see what even the "blessed hope" really was, let alone the Church.

Blessings ...

Mitchell said...

DrNofog says, "You spend an inordinate amount of time ... destroying the doctrine of the **imminent** return of Jesus [since we know the EXACT NUMBER of the end DAYS from AC's covenant]"

So, in your way of thinking, if the rapture is post-trib, then we would be able to know the day or hour of Christ's return by simply counting 1260 days from the Abomination of Desolation, but Jesus says that no one can ever know the day or hour, right?

Let's look at what the BIBLE says.

The words referred to here by Christ are in Matt. 24:36; 25:13 and Mark 13:32 when He said that "no one knows the day or hour" of His return. As we would all agree, everything that Christ says is truth. But are we understanding what He said here the way that it was intended to be understood? If we are to understand the verses above to mean that we can never know, then Revelation 3:3 presents a serious problem for us. Scripture does not contradict Scripture and I believe that Revelation 3:3 alone, not to mention Matthew 24 and Luke 21 as a whole, are serious problems for those who say that we can never know and will never know when Christ will return. Here is why.

Revelation 3:3 says, "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. IF therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."

This statement by Jesus is often overlooked, but it uses the exact same language as the verses above and reveals something that is very significant and profound: IF we do not watch He WILL come upon us as a thief and we WILL NOT know what hour He will come upon us. If this verse is true, then the inverse must also be true: If we DO watch, He WILL NOT come upon us as a thief, and we WILL know. If this is correct, and if we watch and can know, then some of the pop theology positions that are being taught have a bit of a problem from a textual and theological standpoint.

Christ's words in Rev 3:3 are true just as His words in Matt 24:36. So, how could Jesus say that we could never know the day or the hour of His return and then imply that we could know in Rev 3:3? As mentioned previously, Scripture cannot contradict Scripture so either one of the verses is wrong (which is not possible), or our understanding is wrong somewhere. It's not hard to figure out which one it is.

Let's look at Mat 24:36 closely: "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only". Are there other clues here that can help us to resolve the seemingly contradictory statements by Christ? YES. As with all Scripture we must maintain context, context, context. If we look closely and read the verse in its proper context we realize that Jesus does *not* say anywhere in this verse, nor in the context of Matthew 24 or elsewhere, that we can not know and that we will never know. Jesus is merely saying, in the present tense per the Greek, that we do not know right now, today, when He will return. A few verses later in Matthew 24:42 Jesus tells us to WATCH for the signs that He just gave us. Why watch? Watch so that we CAN KNOW, because today we do not know the day or hour of His return.

So you see? Rev 3:3 makes perfect sense, because this is exactly what Jesus was referring to! This is also the exact same thing that Paul wrote about in 1 Thess 5:1-6 and 2 Thess 2:1-5, telling us that the Day of the Lord is our gathering (rapture) unto Christ, and that that day - the Day of the Lord - will NOT overtake us as a thief IF WE WATCH. Watch for what? Exactly what Jesus told us: "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand)" (Matt 24:15).

Dennis said...

Mitchell, lets agree to disagree friend.

WOW!!! Paul had to endure a lot of worldly educated Greeks who thought they were spiritul, and religious. knew a lota big fancy words and such, I know (JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED). and the hope of salvation, so I can be caught up in the air before the wrath of God comes. Where's the spirit of discernment anymore? MITCH, I wont debate with you sir. I can promise you that I will never convince you that we are not appointed unto wrath, and you will never convince me that we are! I Pray that you are wrong, and my view is more accurate along the lines of what the Lord teaches in his blessed word. I believe I am. I wish you blessings in the Lord, and I will continue to look for (I) know my redemption is drawing nearer, not cause I was taught, but I studied for myself and asked the spirit to give me understanding on my own accord I believe the evil one wont be revealed until the truly reborn are taken out to deliever us from his wrath. EVEN SO COME QUICKLY LORD JESUS

MARANATHA

DrNofog said...

Dennis said...
WOW!!!

And WOW!!! is right!
It didn't take Dennis, a "newbie" here, very long to size up the truth!

Sad!
372 words of dismal confusion [and yes, I first removed the untaintable Scriptures and my 'quoted' words from your word count]...

640!
And then, yet again, another overwhelming, 640 words of your typically, veeeeeery looooong blinded blather...[same removal used.]

I see now why 'UK Sue' took up the "indomintable" moniker "Expected Imminently" against the "Posties"!

"Imminent"!!! - A destroyed Doctrine by posties!

Do you really think that you have a 'God-given' "calling" to trouble the saints rather than finding a more useful street corner and exercising the great commission?

You really should ponder more on Gen. 3...

Mitchell said...

Hi DrNofog, with all due respect, you've written much but have said very little. Instead of addressing the discussion you are mocking and belittling the historical position of the Church. That is unfortunate.

Dennis said, "I can promise you that I will never convince you that we are not appointed unto wrath, and you will never convince me that we are!"

Dennis, I agree that we are not appointed unto wrath. Some people assume that the "tribulation" is the wrath of God that we as believers are not appointed to suffer, but what is the "wrath" specifically that we are saved from? Let's look at what the BIBLE is really saying.

First, here are the verses that the pre-trib position loves to quote:

1 Thess 1:10, "And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, [even] Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."

1 Thess 5:9, "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ"

Romans 5:9, "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."

Eph 5:6, "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."

Next, let us exegete the text to see what we discover in the Greek:

1 Thess 1:10, -- The wrath that we will be delivered from is the Greek "orge" (G3709).

1 Thess 5:9, -- The wrath that we are not appointed to is the Greek "orge" (G3709).

Romans 5:9, -- The wrath that we are saved from is the Greek "orge" (G3709).

Eph 5:6, -- The wrath upon those who are disobedient is the Greek "orge" (G3709).

Now let's examine the "wrath" that is described in the Book of Revelation. The word "wrath" itself is found 13 times in Revelation from the Greek word "thymos" and "orge", but the "orge" of God that we are promised to be saved from according to each verse above is only found six times. Each time "orge" is used it is in a post-trib context:

1 and 2. It is mentioned AFTER the cosmic signs and the revealing of Christ Jesus (Rev 6:16-17). Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms that these signs happen immediately AFTER the tribulation (Matt 24:29).

3. It is found AFTER the SEVENTH trumpet (Rev 11:18). (When the 7th and last trump begins to sound we find the rapture described in Rev 10).

4. It is used to describe the final torment of unbelievers in hell (Rev 14:10).

5. It is found AFTER the SEVENTH bowl (Rev 16:19). (The trumpets and bowls are separate descriptions of the same events. The trumpets are the cause, the bowls are the effect).

6. It is used in connection with Christ's Second Coming (Rev 19:15).

Therefore, even if the rapture does not happen until after the tribulation, we are still saved from the "orge" of God as promised. This is further evidence that the rapture will in fact be post-trib.

Mitchell said...

The Difference Between "Orge" and "Thymos" Wrath:

We should first be aware that some incorrectly assume that these two words have essentially the same meaning, however if that were the case then why did the Holy Spirit inspire the writers of the New Testament to use them both, and at times why were they both used in the same sentence? Though they will have similar meanings they must, therefore, be qualitatively distinct.

Here are some examples of where they are both used in the same verse:

Col 3:8 - "But now ye also put off all these; anger (orge), wrath (thymos), malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth"

Rev 14:10, "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath (thymos) of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation (orge); and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb"

Rev 16:19 - And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness (thymos) of his wrath (orge)."

thymos - sudden passionate anger; anger boiling up and subsiding again

orge - deliberate anger; indignation; hostile vengeance

Those upon whom the bowls of "thymos" are being poured are still given the opportunity to repent, but they refuse. When the "orge" wrath comes, there is no such provision for repentence.

Why is this "thymos" called the "bowls" of wrath? Look at it this way (and this may be one reason why John describes them as "vials" or "bowls") -- as each bowl is being poured, the "thymos" subsides as it is nearly completed. However, because of their refusal to repent and their continual rejection of God, their continual persecution of the saints, their murders and idolatry, another "bowl" is poured, and another, and another... but they still refuse to repent. Once the bowls are nearly completed they will soon find themselves under the "orge" of God where His vengeance allows no provision for repentance. Though we will be here to witness the "thymos" wrath upon Antichrist, his land and his people, we will not be here for the "orge" wrath -- the Day of the Lord.

Every time in Scripture we read that we as believers are not appointed to wrath, or will be delivered from wrath, it is always the "orge" of God, and it is only found in a post-trib context each time we see it in Revelation (Day of the Lord/Lake of Fire). In this "orge" the anger will not subside, it will not abate. The punishment will be continual for it is not a punishment to chasten and invoke correction (like thymos). Unlike "thymos", when the "orge" of God comes it is then too late.

DrNofog said...

Mitchell said...
Hi DrNofog, with all due respect, you've written much but have said very little. Instead of addressing the discussion...

Ahhh, but Mitchell, rather it is you that are not addressing the issue that I have raised with you!

This is a PTR site and in spite of all the current, 'prophetic' news events that excites us, causing us to lift up our heads and look up, you are singularly focused on a failed, depressing doctrine, which most certainly is NOT "...the historical position of the Church!!!

There are, and have been a great variety of interesting topics to discuss, question, debate, and share insights, and there have been a great number who come through with some very interesting "perspectives", but in looking over the past couple of years of your posts [sorry, I really am pedantic in my research as file searches are so much, much faster on a hard drive than searching sites and articles online], TO THIS DAY, you bring NOTHING NEW to the table! They all look like the "same old same old" "cut & pastes" from all your other ones. You have but one horn with one sour note and you are clearly, and undeniably on that "mission"!

This is still unanswered from my last post: Do you really think that you have a 'God-given' "calling" to trouble the saints rather than finding a more useful street corner and exercising the great commission?

Mitchell, it is not my intention to be harsh with you, and if you were here on various topics I would have no bone to pick with you, but there is a Biblical admonition against vain contentions and so far the evidence speaks for itself...

Mitchell said...

DrNofog says, "... which most certainly is NOT '...the historical position of the Church!!!'"

Ahh, but it is the historical position of the Church my brother, whether we like it or not, and it is not depressing. WE WIN.

Would you not agree that those whom the Apostles personally instructed (and whom they taught in turn) were most likely to know and adhere to the original teachings?

Justin Martyr (100-167 AD) lived near the time of the Apostle John. Justin taught the resurrection and rapture of believers would occur at the beginning of the Millennium (which starts just after the Second Coming). Justin also wrote, "the man of apostasy [Antichrist] ...shall venture to do unlawful deeds on earth against us the Christians" (Trypho cx).

Irenaeus (130-200 AD) who said he held the actual Apostles' teaching, wrote, "they [the ten kings of Rev. 17:1-13] shall ... give their kingdom to the beast [Antichrist], and put the Church to flight" (Against Heresies V, 26, 1). Irenaeus also said, "but he [John] indicates the number of the name [666 of Antichrist] now, that when this man comes we may avoid him, being aware who he is" (Against Heresies V, 30, 4).

Tertullian (150-220 AD) attached the rapture of 1 Thess 4 to the start of Christ's Millennial Kingdom on earth. Tertullian said the tribulation situation will be such "that the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the Church of God" (On the Resurrection of the Flesh xxv).

Cyprian (200-260 AD) writes, "Nor let any of you, beloved brethren, be terrified by the fear of future persecution, by the coming of the threatening Antichrist" (Epistle 55,7).

Pseudo-Ephraem (perhaps 400 or 600 AD) was a man who "borrowed" materials from the real Ephraem of Syria, and some pre-tribulationists have taken several sentences out of context in an attempt to say that there was an early date for the pre-tribulation rapture teaching. The main two sentences of Pseudo-Ephraem which are quoted, state: "Why therefore do we not reject every care of earthly actions and prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord Christ, so that He may draw us from the confusion which overwhelms all the world? ... For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they ever see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins." Note, that these quoted sentences do not mention a coming of the Lord, or a resurrection of the dead or a glorification or a heavenly destination of believers.

However, in a very solid and thorough analysis of the writings of both pseudo and real Ephraem, Dr. Robert Gundry concludes that in reality, "Pseudo-Ephraem urges Christians to forsake worldliness in preparation for meeting Christ when he returns after the great tribulation. Meanwhile, Christian evangelism is taking people to the Lord and gathering them into the Church. ... This interpretation takes account of Pseudo-Ephraem's leaving the corpses of Christians unburied during the tribulation, putting the resurrection of Christians and their meeting Christ at his coming after the tribulation to destroy the Antichrist, making imminent the advent of Antichrist rather than that of Christ, and utilizing the plainly and heavily post-trib tradition of true Ephraem, who repeatedly portrayed present-day evangelism as a gathering."

Not only did the early Church teach that we would face Antichrist, but in all of Church history, there is never a pre-trib rapture teaching, until Edward Irving writes of it in the 1830s.

Mitchell said...

By the way, outstanding Bible teachers in subsequent generations who taught that the Church would encounter the persecution of Antichrist before the Second Coming include John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Knox, John Bunyan, Isaac Newton, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Hodge, Henry Alford, J Sidlow Baxter, FF Bruce, Thomas Chalmers, Adam Clarke, Jonathan Edwards, Jim Elliott, WJ Erdman, Robert Gundry, Carl F Henry, Matthew Henry, John Huss, Orson Jones, CS Lovett, J Gresham Machen, Peter Marshall, Walter Martin, Gary Matsdorf, G Campbell Morgan, Leon Morris, George Mueller, Ian Murray, BW Newton, John Newton, HJ Ockenga, Bernard Ramm, Alexander Reese, A Saphir, Demos Shakarian, AB Simpson, Oswald J Smith, Jim Spillman, RC Sproul, Charles Spurgeon, Corrie TenBoom, SP Tragelles, William Tyndale, BB Warfield, Charles Wesley, RF Youngblood, and premillennial post-tribulationists also include Bengel, Brooks, Cameron, Delitzsch, Derstine, DeWette, Ellicott, Ewald, Frost, Godet, Godwin, Joyner, Kellogg, Moorehead, Orelli, Robertson, Rothe, Ryle, Spener, Stier, Trench, Volck, Van Ostersee, West, Whiston, Zahn, and many more.

In looking at the whole history of the Church, the overwhelming majority of great Bible teachers have believed that the Church would encounter Antichrist and the rapture and the Second Coming would happen at the same time: after the tribulation. I challenge anyone to find any teachers before Irving and Darby in the mid 19th century that taught a pre-trib rapture, because the truth is that there are none to be found.

DrNofog says, "This is a PTR site ... TO THIS DAY, you bring NOTHING NEW to the table!"

I realize that this is a pre-trib site, and one of the things that makes this website great is its openness to allow debate. I have been written a number of times already by readers either asking me questions or thanking me for, at the very least, making them think. And thinking is always a good thing. For them, at least, I've brought something new to the table to chew on ...

Brad Burge said...

The mark of the Beast may also be hand vein scanning and face recognition, since they are more hygienic and less obtrusive, respectively, than fingerprint scanning and iris scanning.

(http://www.zdnetasia.com/emerging-biometric-technologies-poised-for-growth-62201018.htm)

Mitchell said...

That's possible Brad, but here is another position for your consideration that you might find interesting.

Kurt J. said...

I read through the entire thread. Really impressive Mitchell. Thanks. The Word of God is plain on the subject of the rapture/resurrection.

I was once pre-trib, but that was before I really paid attention to what scripture was saying. I grew up "pre-trib" (A Thief in the Night/Larry Norman's "I wish we'd all been ready"). By the time La Haye's "Left Behind" series came out, I was alittle disallusioned, and then watching IHOP's "Onething 08" conference really started me digging into scripture. Now I'm teaching a small group on the end times where I am laying out the end of the age events and coming Millenium from a post-trib view point.

I have to say, I've seen very good scriptural breakdown and an exceptionally respectful attitude by Mitchell, and not so much from several others.

If you're interested in a different perspective on the end of the age and the possible identity of the beast system, please visit http://joelstrumpet.freeforums.org/index.php This is a forum that discusses a Jerusalem and Middle East-centric end times paradigm. It was created by author Joel Richardson, writer of "Islamic Antichrist".

I look forward to more enlightening writing from Mitchell. Thanks.

Kurt J. said...

I would like to comment on one paragraph of Dr. Reagan's initial commentary.

Reagan wrote: "Where will the millennial population come from? The people who will be allowed to go into the Millennium in the flesh will be the small number of Jews and Gentiles who live to the end of the Tribulation..."

Up to this point I'm on board.

Reagan continues: "...who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior."

And that's where I get off, for obvious reasons. If the resurrection/rapture (they are really the same event as clearly shown by Mitchell above) occurs post-trib, then all living believers of any stripe (there is one people of God, another good topic that Mitchell alluded to) will be instantly changed into their spiritual bodies per 1 Cor 15:58-59. So if its not Tribulational believers who enter the Millenium, who is it?

Well for one, its unbelieving Jews, at least unbelieving until Jesus shows up to deliver them. Then "all Israel will be saved" (Romans 11:26), because they will turn to Christ as their Messiah and receive Him as Savior.

More from Reagan:

"You see, when Jesus returns, we're told that He will judge immediately all those left alive. The Jewish judgment is described in Ezekiel 20 and the Gentile in Matthew 25. Those who have not accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior at the end of that Tribulation period will be consigned to death."

Ezekiel 20 describes the judgment Jews experience during the Tribulation, and their subsequent reception "into the bond of the covenant"--the salvation provided in Christ.

But what does Matthew 25's Prophecy of the Sheep and the Goats describe? The Tribulation Saints have received their spiritual bodies, and Israel is saved by belief in Christ (though still in their natural bodies), so who are these that fed, housed, clothed, cared for, and visited in prison Jesus' "brothers"? Jesus is not talking about believers, who are not saved by good works, but by faith in Christ. In fact he's not even talking about salvation in the sense that we understand it now. He's talking about being granted entrance in the Millennium based on a non-believer's treatment of Jews and Christians during the Millennium.

Remember, this prophecy is in the context of Jesus' teachings on the End of the Age. While it seems clear that at the beginning of the Millennium every person granted entrance thereto does in fact become saved, they are not so prior to Jesus' return. Please note it is both the Sheep and the Goats that call Jesus "Lord", as it has become completely clear to these Tribulation survivors that Jesus IS Lord. The people who did good to God's people, much as the French Underground and others ferried Jews out of Hitler's Germany, weren't necessarily Christian, but they were DOING GOOD to God's people. It is the same in this story, and Jesus has mercy on them based on their mercy to his "brothers"--Christians and Jews during the Tribulation.

I'm sure that view will shake things up! Blessings.

Nathan Jones said...

Hey, Mitchell, looks like you've got a fan, Man! I've even seen Ray Gano repurposing your writings.

Still, Kurt, you'll want to go to Prophezine or Joel's site to get deep into the thinking behind Mitchell's and the Post-Trib view. We all know Mitchell, so there's no disrespect here, just exasperation at times among the brethren. We can argue just as succinctly for the Pre-Trib view and still be left with some hope by the end of the day. I couldn't say that for the Post-Trib view, which virtually places God as the enemy of the Christian.

For those who wish to check Joel and his "Beast from the East" view of the Antichrist out, I recommend visiting our Antichrist a Muslim? article first.

Kurt J. said...

Nathan,

One obvious response to your desire to "still be left with some hope by the end of the day", one that no doubt you've heard or thought of but perhaps other readers of this blog haven't, is that once the tribulation begins and we're not raptured, how do you think the Christian Church will respond?

While the truly born again will realize their error, I'm sure that many will end up disillusioned, fearful, or even deceived by the AC, who will evidently per prophetic scriptures be very convincing as the awaited Messiah. I see in the harlot of Revelation 17 a melded religion of believers in one God that will dupe many "Christian" denominations.

Millions of born again Christians over the last two millenia have been martyred for their faith--God was not their enemy, was He? Our hope is in the eternal life that can never be taken away--this life is a vapor. While we all fear death, in the end, it has no sting to the Christian because sin has been dealt with and we have a "blessed hope."

I would forget about what you would like scripture to say and actually determine what it says. Jesus says "AFTER the tribulation..." (Matt 24). Noah went through the flood, but God kept him safe. There will be Christians alive at the 2nd Coming, as is evident from 1 Thes 4:17. When you realize the great exploits to be done for God when all Hell is breaking loose, and you get to participate in the great end time harvest, you will thank God that you were there.

Mitchell said...

Hi Kurt, thank you for the kind words. I was pre-trib at one time as well. Many who are now post-trib were pre-trib originally, but there are very few -- if any -- who were originally post-trib that are now pre-trib.

Nathan says, "For those who wish to check Joel and his "Beast from the East" view of the Antichrist out, I recommend visiting our Antichrist a Muslim? article first."

And Joel's response can be read here. I respect Dr. Reagan, but there are a few errors in his article that needed to be addressed.

Additionally, I would encourage anyone who is interested in the East or West question to read through a thread I started here. I try to keep it updated with thoughts and current events

Nathan Jones says, "I've even seen Ray Gano repurposing your writings."

Ray Gano is a great teacher who isn't afraid to think outside the box and challenge the status quo, and he's free to use anything I write. He called me once and we chatted for a while, so he's resourceful as well and is a good thinker. Maybe one day he'll begin to re-think the pre-trib rapture position. Or maybe not, but that's OK. :) It's a non-essential doctrine, but Ray, IF you're reading brother! ... :)

* Paul ties in the gathering with the Day of the Lord (2 Thess 2:1-2), which comes immediately after the tribulation -- post-trib

* Jesus teaches the gathering is immediately after the tribulation (Matt 24:29-31) -- post-trib

* Paul says the dead in Christ rise first before the rapture (1 Thess 4:16) and John puts this first resurrection after the tribulation (Rev 20:5) -- post-trib

* We meet Jesus in the air and escort Christ immediately to earth per the "apantesis" of 1 Thess 4:17 -- post-trib

* The Blessed Hope of eternal life (Titus 1:2, 2:13) is actualized at the "epiphaneia" of Christ (2 Thess 2:8) -- post-trib

* The rapture is found in Revelation 10 at the last trump -- post-trib

* Not appointed to wrath is always "orge" wrath only, which is only found after the tribulation (Rev 6:17,11:18,14:10,16:19,19:15) -- post-trib

* The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is after the "great harlot" is judged at the end of the tribulation (Rev 19:2-3,6-7) -- post-trib

* Jesus must remain in heaven (Acts 3:21) until the restoration of all things -- post-trib

* Jesus implies that we can know "the hour" of His return if we watch (Rev 3:3) -- post-trib

* Peter suggests that we will be here to witness the revealing (apokalypsis) of the glory of Christ (1 Pet 4:13) -- post-trib

* We will only appear with Christ when He appears [made manifiest, visible, realized] (Col 3:4), which is after the tribulation (Mat 24:29-31) -- post-trib

* The "144,000" (Rev 7:4) are only seen by John after the tribulation (Rev 6:12-7:14), and the meaning of the 144,000 reveals the union of Christ's elect with Him -- post-trib

I'll leave it at that. For now....

Blessings!

Mitchell said...

Kurt said, "Millions of born again Christians over the last two millenia have been martyred for their faith--God was not their enemy, was He?"

That's a very valid point. A friend wrote me just today and said, "The final Beast Empire is the 8th and anti-Christ one. In all 7 earlier ones, more often than not, it was God's will that believers would stand firm under persecution even unto death. Why then should the 8th be different?"

There are more than 26 million documented cases of martyrdom in the 20th Century alone. More than in the prior 1,900 years combined. Close to 165,000 Christians are martyred every year, one every 3 minutes. And it's getting worse. More than 250 million Christians in over 60 nations are currently living under the threat of persecution, 60% of these are children.

John 15:18-19 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Nathan Jones said...

Those who hold to a Post-Trib Rapture seem the most worried that Christian's will become disillusioned with Christianity should the Rapture not happen Pre-Trib. It's the point I hear most from them, even to the extent of being accused of working for Satan in getting all those Christians to give up on God. Then, they'll fail to recognize who the Antichrist is and fall for his lie and take the Mark and be doomed to Hell for all eternity.

In response, I show them John 10:27-29.

Correction, the last 2,000 years were not God's wrath upon the earth. The Tribulation is different.

I question the motives behind the Post-Trib view.

Nobody in their right mind would want to wish to live during the Tribulation. Go watch "Terminator Salvation" and see if you say, "Gee, I wish I could live like that."

I have participated in the evangelism of those who will live during the Tribulation (see Jesus Came. What's Next?). That doesn't mean I need to be in the Tribulation, though, for God has 144,000 Jews, 2 witnesses an angel and everything we've left behind to share the Gospel. He's got it covered, and doesn't need our help.

Mitchell said...

And one more thing that I've read recently that really moved me in the spirit to give praise and glory to God. Notice what these Christians said:

500 Christians Slaughtered In Northern Nigeria

Quote: “These attacks have actually encouraged and strengthened (the Christians) in their faith. The people have resolved to remain firm and strong in their faith in Jesus Christ. ... They are committed to their Christian faith and to continue to serve the Lord.”

“A pastor’s wife, her head was cut off (and) she was buried without a head. In that church (where her husband is the pastor) the Sunday after the incident, people came in that burned church to praise God. To sing praises to the Lord. To affirm their faith in Jesus Christ.”

Spirit of God give strength to Your People to stand firm in You and in Your Word.

Nathan Jones said...

Dennis Pollock (one of our discussion teachers in this series) has a ministry dedicated to evangelism in Africa and India. He reports that the conversions to Christianity in Africa have been staggering.

I don't remember the name of the evangelist at the moment, but he holds crusades in Nigeria and other African countries that make Billy Graham crusades look like a Sunday service in a little country church. At one revival, they had nearly HALF A MILLION people come forward! No wonder the Muslims are terrified of losing Africa to Christianity.

We can get down on Christianity in North America and Europe, but God is still in the business of saving lives. The world is currently experiencing the largest conversion rates in history.

Praise God's patience (2 Pet. 3:9)!

Mitchell said...

Nathan says, "God has 144,000 Jews, 2 witnesses an angel and everything we've left behind to share the Gospel. He's got it covered, and doesn't need our help."

Nobody wants to be persecuted, believe me. But we must know before hand what we will do if that day does come (and no, I do not believe that Antichrist will be able to persecute every Christian in the world. He will not have global control, anyone interested can read here to understand why I believe this.)

As for the 144,000, they are only first mentioned after the tribulation, not before or during. For those interested, I explain my view on this here.

Mitchell said...

Nathan says, "At one revival, they had nearly HALF A MILLION people come forward! No wonder the Muslims are terrified of losing Africa to Christianity."

Praise God! And I agree, Muslims hate this, and in my view it will be one of the reasons why the Antichrist will make Christianity illegal. He will be Islamic and will desire to subjugate the world under Islam (but will be unable to do so). It is going to get very bad for Christians in the Middle East and Africa where there are such large Muslim populations.

Nathan Jones said...

Only if Ezekiel 38-39's Gog-Magog Battle is Armageddon, Mitchell, which we've discussed in detail (see Is Ezekiel 38-39 Armageddon?) that it is not. Islam doesn't have much time left here on earth. There will be a new religious system during the Tribulation - the False Prophet's system.

Mitchell said...

Nathan says, "Only if Ezekiel 38-39's Gog-Magog Battle is Armageddon, Mitchell, which we've discussed in detail (see Is Ezekiel 38-39 Armageddon?) that it is not. Islam doesn't have much time left here on earth. There will be a new religious system during the Tribulation - the False Prophet's system."

And I believe that Gog-Magog is indeed referring to Armageddon (see here). When all things are considered, there are way too many similarities between Gog-Magog and Armageddon to ignore. I believe that the "differences" that some try to point out between Gog-Magog and Armageddon are easily resolved once the whole of Scripture is compared hermeneutically (using Isaiah, Daniel, Joel and Zechariah as well instead of just Revelation) and the similarities are astounding. In a nutshell:

* Both Gog and Antichrist come at a time of peace and security (Dan 11:24, Ezekiel 38:12-13)

* Both Gog and Antichrist are kings that come from the North (Dan 11:40-42, Joel 2:19-20; Ezekiel 38:14-16; Ezekiel 39:1-3)

* Both Gog and Antichrist have the same coalition of nations (Dan 11:43, Zech 14:14, Joel 3:11-12; Ezekiel 38:5-6)

* Both Gog and Antichrist take spoil, loot and plunder (Isa 10:5-7, Dan 11:24; Ezekiel 38:10-13)

* Both Gog and Antichrist are temporary leaders that are destroyed at the end of the battle (Ezekiel 39:11; Daniel 7:11)

* In both the Gog-Magog and Armageddon battles, the armies are confused and attack each other (Ezekiel 38:21-22; Zech 14:12-13)

* Both Gog-Magog and Armageddon end with a great earthquake (Ezekiel 38:19-20; Rev 16:18-20)

* Both Gog-Magog and Armageddon experience great hailstones (Rev 16:16-21, Ezekiel 38:22)

* Both Gog-Magog and Armageddon are followed by "The Feast Of God" (Ezekiel 39:17-20; Rev 19:17)

* After both battles Christ is physically present IN Israel (Ezekiel 39:7, Zech 12:9-10)

* After both battles God's name will no longer be profaned (Ezekiel 39:22, Ezekiel 39:7-8, Zechariah 12:9-10, Ezekiel 38:23)

* After both battles God pours out His Spirit upon Israel (Ezekiel 39:29; Zechariah 12:10)

* After both battles weapons of war are destroyed (Ezekiel 39:9; Isaiah 2:4)

* After both battles God declares "It is done" (Ezekeil 39:8; Revelation 16:17)

Without any doubt in my mind, Gog-Magog and Armageddon are separate descriptions of the same battle. The Gog-Magog description that Ezekiel gives is a broader view of the final battle which, I believe, will begin as early as the Abomination of Desolation. Armageddon itself is more of a focused or zoomed-in view of how the Gog-Magog battle ends with the return of Christ.

In my view, to say that "Islam doesn't have much time left here on earth [because] There will be a new religious system during the Tribulation" does not exemplify a sound hermeneutic of allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture. Instead, it is indicative of using an interpretation of Scripture to interpret Scripture. That is a tremendous difference.

Nathan Jones said...

But, Mitchell, you believe in a local Tribulation, not a global one as the Bible CLEARLY again and again states. That colors all your interpretations. You may think you've got some good hermeneutics going there, but they're built on the wrong structure and so draw the wrong conclusions.

The fact that it takes 7 years to burn the weapons and 7 months to bury the dead is proof positive that the Gog-Magog Battle cannot occur at the end of the Tribulation and so be Armageddon.

Therefore, Islam will be wiped out at the beginning of the Tribulation, and therefore the Antichrist will not be a Mulim.

(Go ahead, Mitchell, I know you can't survive unless you get the last word in. I stand by Is Ezekiel 38-39 Armageddon?)

Mitchell said...

Nathan says, "But, Mitchell, you believe in a local Tribulation, not a global one as the Bible CLEARLY again and again states."

The tribulation is global, but the scope of Antichrist's power is limited to primarily the Middle East and Islamic nations, though his influence will be felt throughout the world because there are thousands of Islamic terror cells in Western nations as well as millions upon millions of Muslims, many of whom will, I believe, be convinced that their "Islamic Judgment Day" is near and will engage in and/or support the sudden upswell of Islamic terrorism. They will play an active role in the persecution of the saints, even here in North America. Although the Antichrist's influence will be felt throughout the earth, he will not have global political control (this position is Scriptural and I lay it out here and here).

Nathan says, "The fact that it takes 7 years to burn the weapons and 7 months to bury the dead is proof positive that the Gog-Magog Battle cannot occur at the end of the Tribulation and so be Armageddon."

For one, you are assuming that there is a "7 year tribulation", which is found nowhere in Scripture. This view is derived from one narrow interpretation of Daniel 9:27. The Bible does, however, speak of a time of great tribulation in the eschaton that is 3.5 prophetic years only, never 7 years.

Second, if your position contends that there is no need to burn weapons in the Millennium, then why will there be the need to beat swords into plowshares (Isa 2:4)? Converting guns, bullets, tanks, aircraft, missiles, grenades, rocket launchers, etc. into something else will involve disassembling them and melting them down into something useful. This nuclear weaponry (where the fuel can then be truly used for "peaceful purposes"). Surely, you don't believe that this is all going to happen during the tribulation. Although Christ is present on Earth it does not mean that He snaps His fingers and everything magically disappears. Weapons of war will be destroyed after Gog-Magog / Armageddon.

Nathan says, "Therefore, Islam will be wiped out at the beginning of the Tribulation, and therefore the Antichrist will not be a Mulim."

I disagree my good friend. :)

Mitchell said...

Drnofog asks, "Do you really think that you have a 'God-given' 'calling'"

How do you define that? If you came across a position that you believed was not completely Scriptural (such as Oneness theology which denies the Triunity of God), would you not want to share why you believed in the Trinity and not Oneness theology? What would you have to say about what I posted here? Would you say that it is a "God given calling", or simply someone who wants to share what they believe, and why they believe it? Are we here to defend a doctrine, or to seek and share Truth?

Kurt J. said...

Mitchell, thanks again for a very well-researched exegesis of scripture. Its clear to me that your positions are scripturally deduced. I can't find anything in your last two posts that I disagree with. I'm not sure why Nathan and others are not swayed by your argument and remain intransigent; its almost like they are protecting their turf rather than being Bereans.

I would ask Nathan and those who believe that at some point Islam will no longer be a factor--exactly where do you think the religion is going? How is it just going to disappear or at least become insignificant? Is one ME war going to wipe out their influence world-wide? The largest Islamic country is not even in that region--its Indonesia. There are millions of Muslims in African countries, not to mention America, Europe, Central Asia... Not only is your belief an eisegesis, but its rather unreasonable.

Another point Mitchell made that is easy to gloss over, but is gloriously natural and speaks to the continuity of humanity into the Millenium, is that "we" will have convert the weapons to useful purposes and restore world infrastructures for years and decades after the end of the Trib. Jesus indeed does not just "snap His fingers", just as He did not do at His first coming.

Nathan Jones said...

It's only that you are working off the same preconceived ideas/structure that you conclude that Mitchell's reasoning is biblically sound. Birds of a feather, eh, Kurt? The usual result when one adopts Mitchell's views is an accusation that the rest of us are not biblically sound and the word "Berean" is thrown about.

If one begins with a preconceived idea that all the Tribulation destruction won't be global but local to the Middle East, then naturally one concludes that mankind can restore the earth over time during the Millennial Kingdom. But, if one was to take the scope of the Tribulation destruction literally, that it will affect the ENTIRE world, then it would take a miracle from God to reclamate the world, rather than living for decades if not centuries in a post-apolyptic horror.

If one begins with the notion that Ezekiel 38-39 is Armageddon, despite all the glaring differences, then one would conclude that Islam will be the Antichrist's religion. But, if one takes those glaring anomalies literally, one sees the Gog-Magog and Armageddon cannot be the same battle. Islamic nations comprise Ezekiel 38-39, so if it happens at the onset of the Tribulation, then such a supernatural destruction would devastate the faith of Muslims internationally. The war the Antichrist's takes upon the world in the Second Seal Judgment most logically is against the remaining Islamic countries.

See, it's not too hard to see the glaring flaws in Mitchell's logic, and that the Pre-Trib view is populated by good Bereans.

Mitchell said...

Nathan, when I first began to really study Biblical eschatology in depth my preconceived idea was that of a pre-trib rapture, followed by a European Antichrist, followed by a tribulation that would be so horrendous over every square inch of land on the Earth that virtually no one could possibly survive. Not what I hold now. But the deeper I got into the Word, the more I began to have those preconceptions challenged on every level.

The pre-trib position posits that Islam -- which took nearly 1400 years to get to where it is today and is the greatest anti-Christ force on the face of the earth that actively pursues the death of Jews and Christians -- will be destroyed and replaced virtually overnight by a new humanistic, new age, ecumenical religion that will seek the same goals of global domination as Islam.

Pre-tribism posits that at the 'stroke of a pen' an 'effeminate European Union' that is so opposed to the death penalty by the masses will suddenly write new laws and enforce their new religion that will sanction the beheading of peaceful "tribulation Christians" who do not agree with their new religion, when Islamic Shariah Law is already here, today, doing precisely the exact same thing in increasing measure as I write this.

Pre-tribism posits that even after Islamic nations and the Islamic religion are destroyed in a pre-trib and pre-Armageddon battle, that they will all miraculously recover and conveniently develop a serious case of "short-term memory loss" so that they come up against Israel to be destroyed yet again for a second time at Armageddon, even after knowing that the God of Israel judged them for coming against Israel a few years earlier, and even after they fully know that the Holy One IN Israel is Lord (Ezek 39:7,21).

Pre-tribism posits that even during the Great Tribulation when Israel is being attacked and is being destroyed, suffering mass deaths and a 'second Exodus' out of Israel because of the Antichrist's persecution, that they will still find the time, manpower and reason to burn the captured Gog-Magog weapons of war while being overrun.

Pre-tribism posits that even after the Lord declares that He will bring back the captives of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel when Gog-Magog is finished, that the Lord will still allow Israel to be attacked yet again by the surrounding nations and nearly destroyed, even after Israel knows the Lord their God from Gog-Magog onward (Ezek 39:25,27-29).

Pre-tribism posits that even though God declares "Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this [is] the day whereof I have spoken" (Ezek 39:8) that it is in fact not done until seven years later at Armageddon, which in truth is the day that God speaks of - the Day of the Lord.

Pre-tribism posits that the Day of the Lord is the seven year tribulation, yet Scripture declares that the Day of the Lord does not come until the armies are gathered for the battle of Armageddon after the tribulation (Joel 3:9-17). See more here.

In my opinion, the signs of the times are all around us and are happening before our very eyes, but because so many are geared toward one narrow European-centric model of the End Times they are missing much of the significance regarding what is happening, interpreting events through the lens of a pre-trib prism. The Gog-Magog battle will happen, perhaps sooner than we think...

Here are a couple of articles you find interesting:

The Closer We Get by Jack Kinsella

The Revived Ottoman Empire? by Jack Kelley

Islam Rides - The Fourth Horseman by James Lloyd

Nathan Jones said...

And there, Mitchel, is the rub (Hamlet). You come to your interpretations because you can't believe that events will play out that way. YOU'VE decided that's not how it could happen. As a result, you seek another interpretation. So finally, that's why I question the Post-Trib motives.

Mitchell said...

Nathan says, "You come to your interpretations because you can't believe that events will play out that way."

Hi Nathan, correct my friend, I can no longer believe that events will play out the way that the pre-trib position teaches because of the overall wealth of information that Scripture paints for us. In Ezekiel alone for example and according to reason, it is impossible for God to truly declare in Ezekiel 39:7 that "I will no longer let my holy name be profaned" after a pre-trib Gog-Magog battle yet still contend that the Antichrist will repeatedly profane the name of God during the tribulation (Dan 7:25; Dan 11:36; Rev 13:5). Either Ezekiel 39:7 is wrong, or the pre-trib position has the timing of the God-Magog battle wrong.

Additionally, in my mind it is a highly tenuous contention for the pre-trib position to teach on one hand that God will bring back the captives of Jacob to the land and have mercy on the whole house of Israel (Ezekiel 39:25), yet on the other hand still teach that these freed captives who were brought back to Israel by the Lord will be taken into captivity all over again (cf Zech 14:2). Did God change His mind? What is the point if God Himself declares in Ezekiel 39:22 that the house of Israel would know that He is Lord from that day forward? The One who is executing "my judgment" (Ezekiel 39:21) is the Lord Jesus Christ, and for Israel to know their Lord who executes that judgment means that they will know their Messiah from that day forward as their God (Zech 12:10).

It is not I who decided that the pre-trib scenario is not how it will happen. The text made that decision for me. My motivation has always been, and continues to be, to seek the Truth only regardless of whether or not it fits any preconception.

Blessings ...

Kurt J. said...

I tried posting a long comment last night, but it was late and I must have screwed something up. In any case, its not here. Quickly I was first going to say to Nathan regarding the use of Berean in a previous post of mine--I do think that the Bible is fairly straightforward and easily understood on these topics if you step out of the pre-trib echo chamber and just compare scripture with scripture.

Mitchell, I read those links you provided several posts ago--the one by Lloyd was fascinating, but without recreating my lost post can you comment on his belief that the Pale Horse represents Islam and Rev 6:8 means "death" in a metaphorical sense? I don't take it that way. I do like his revealing of the Greek "chloros" as the actual word translated "Pale" in most versions, which means "green" in Greek (Chlorophyll, Chlorine, etc.)

Also, doing the math of Rev 6 and 9, 1/4 dead plus 1/3 dead = 1/2 of the world dies in 1260 days (3.5 years of Great Trib). If the war is mainly ME, which I agree with you it is, how might this happen? Care to speculate on this?

Mitchell said...

Kurt says, "Mitchell, I read those links you provided several posts ago--the one by Lloyd was fascinating, but without recreating my lost post can you comment on his belief that the Pale Horse represents Islam and Rev 6:8 means "death" in a metaphorical sense?"

I agree with Lloyd that the Green Horse (who has power over 1/4 of the earth) represents Islam (see here). Death is Islam's "trademark". The rider of the Green Horse, named "Death", in my view represents a fundamental element of the Islamic religion that its adherents seek -- to be martyred and kill "infidels" for the sake of "Allah". Under Islam, the only way to guarantee Paradise is to seek and attain death in Jihad (see here. There may even be an allusion to this in Rev 9:6. Their punishment by the hand of God will prevent them from seeking death).

Islam teaches to love death more than life. Writer Steven Stalinsky of the National Review writes, "Another chapter from early Islamic history — serving as a lesson for today's Muslims at war against the West — is the concept of the love of death. This originated at the Battle of Qadisiyya in the year 636, when the commander of the Muslim forces, Khalid ibn Al-Walid, sent an emissary with a message from Caliph Abu Bakr to the Persian commander, Khosru. The message stated: 'You [Khosru and his people] should convert to Islam, and then you will be safe, for if you don't, you should know that I have come to you with an army of men that love death, as you love life.' This account is recited in today's Muslim sermons, newspapers, and textbooks." (Dealing in Death, May 2004). This is fundamental to the core of Islam, whether it is from the extremists or the moderates (see here and here). These are the enemies of God who worship the Beast and are doomed to separation from God. As God declares in Proverbs 8:36, "All those who hate me love death."

They may believe that their love of death and martyrdom for the cause of Allah will guarantee them entry into Paradise, but in truth it is a one way ticket to that which follows them -- hell.

Kurt says, "Also, doing the math of Rev 6 and 9, 1/4 dead plus 1/3 dead = 1/2 of the world dies in 1260 days (3.5 years of Great Trib). If the war is mainly ME, which I agree with you it is, how might this happen? Care to speculate on this?"

At this time, I don't think that the 1/4 referenced in Revelation 6:8 refers to 1/4 of the earth's inhabitants being killed, but rather that it is 1/4 that follows the Fourth Horse. The extent of which inhabitants of the earth are killed, however, is yet to be seen. I just don't know. But it will undoubtedly include mass Islamic terrorism on both the state level (10 nation coalition of Antichrist) and individual level (terror cells and terrorist acts, eg, like the Fort Hood shooter).

Kurt J. said...

OK, I just lost another post. This is getting frustrating. Quickly--looked at all your links, read/watched as much as I could stand. I agree, Muslims think they love death, and some certainly do. I'm on board with that.

Are there others that interpret Rev 6:8 the way you and Lloyd do?

Lloyd believes the four horsemen are kingdoms; they are the first 4 seals. You've written about the correspondence of the Seals and the Trumpets. What do you think of Lloyd's interpretation?

Nathan Jones said...

Kurt, after being burned a few times, I CTRL+C before posting, just in case.

We discourage long posts in the Comment section here only because people never read them.

All his talk about literal exegisis in the Post-Trib view, then saying "all the world" only means the Middle East, or the Four Horsemen represent kingdoms, or a quarter of the people on the Earth dying doesn't mean a quarter of all the earth. Sheesh, so much for a literal, exegetical interpretation! No wonder we've been dancing in circles with Post-Tribbers for years.

If Kurt and Mitchell want to talk Post-Trib spiritualization, please do it on Mitchell's site. Thanks!

Mitchell said...

Kurt asks, "Are there others that interpret Rev 6:8 the way you and Lloyd do?"

Yes. Raggio, Baxter, Dick Carmack, WBS. I may not agree with everything from these sites, but I keep the meat and spit out the bones. I'm sure there are many others who are beginning to see the Fourth Horseman as Islam as well.

Kurt asks, "Lloyd believes the four horsemen are kingdoms; they are the first 4 seals. You've written about the correspondence of the Seals and the Trumpets. What do you think of Lloyd's interpretation?"

The correspondence that I see are with the trumpets and the bowls (I view them as separate descriptions of the same events where the trumpets are the cause, and the bowls are the effect that are the completion or fulfillment of the trumpet causation).

I view the seals as a general overview of tribulation from beginning to end and immediately afterward, and the trumpets/bowls as judgments that take place during the tribulation and immediately afterward. The 7th seal, 7th trumpet and 7th bowl all end right around the same time.

I think that Lloyd's "kingdoms and eras" position regarding the first three seals is very possible and I've had similar feelings for quite some time in that regard, though it could be argued either way (and one shouldn't base their position on simply a "feeling"). I keep my thoughts (and eyes) open in this regard.

Mitchell said...

Nathan says, "All his talk about literal exegisis in the Post-Trib view, then saying "all the world" only means the Middle East, or the Four Horsemen represent kingdoms, or a quarter of the people on the Earth dying doesn't mean a quarter of all the earth."

I try to use common sense and logical reasoning Nathan in conjunction with sound hermeneutics using the full counsel of Scripture, and exegete the text to gain additional understanding. It is a fact that "all" and "earth" and "world" does not always refer to the entire literal planet. For example:

Luke 2:1-3 "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that ALL THE WORLD should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And ALL went to be taxed, every one into his own city."

Mark 1:5, "And there went out unto him ALL the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were ALL baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins."

Dan 2:36-38, "This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them ALL. You are that head of gold."

Ezra 1:2, "Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD Elohim of heaven hath given me ALL the kingdoms of the earth;"

Romans 10:18 "But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into ALL THE EARTH, and their words unto the ends of the world."

We know the answers to the following questions, but in light of the verses above let's ask the obvious: Did Caesar literally tax the whole world? Did every last man, woman and child in Judea and Jerusalem get baptized in the Jordan River? Did Nebuchadnezzar or Cyrus literally rule over the entire earth, ruling over the native Indians in North and South America? Was the Gospel preached to the whole literal planet during the lives of the disciples? We know that the answer to each of these questions is a resounding NO.

The verses above are obvious example of a figure of speech known as a synecdoche. This figure of speech uses a part for the whole, or the whole for a part. This is especially true when we read about kings and their kingdoms, and Antichrist will be no different. There are many other reasons for this, but I'll leave it at that.

As for Rev 6:8, I do not see this verse saying anywhere that 1/4 of the earth is killed, but rather that the Fourth Horse is given power over 1/4 of the earth (control), and that they kill "with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth." There is not one single translation that says "and they killed 1/4 of the earth", so I cannot assume that this is what it means when that is not what it says.

DrNofog said...

Sorry, I took a simple "Time-out in the corner" day for Monday... which, by some alien Time-Dilation technology, has now morphed into Thursday...

Mitchell said...
DrNofog says, "... which most certainly is NOT '...the historical position of the Church!!!'"

I knew it!... I knew it!... I know you Mitchell! I knew you would do that!

When I first drafted my post "...Mitchell, rather it is you that are not addressing the issue that I have raised with you!... [of explaining your 'mission' here], I withdrew a comment as "un-necessarily accusatory", ==>[ that I have no doubt that you will seize upon that last fragment as the springboard for yet another 'dive' into one of your deep, dark, long dissertations to the minimalization or complete side-stepping of explaining your 'mission' here...], but in my gut I knew "...the historical position of the Church!!! would be your 1st grab for a come-back, and NOT the weightier matter!

Example:
Mitchell quotes...
Dennis said, "I can promise you that I will never convince you that we are not appointed unto **wrath**, and you will never convince me that we are!"

Mitchell does NOT quote where...
Dennis said, Where's the spirit of discernment anymore? MITCH, I won't debate with you sir.

Mitchell,... not wanting to discern, nor admit the obvious rebuff, seizes upon any word: "Hmmmm. "wrath"! Yes, wrath, that's the ticket..." as yet another green light to continue his one-sided "dialog" with himself... to the tune of 478 words, followed by another post of 483 words, absolutely devastating the 'already withdrawn' opponent's position... to the applause of thousands of 'anonymous' one-handed clappers...

Mitchell said...
I challenge anyone to find any teachers before Irving and Darby in the mid 19th century that taught a pre-trib rapture, because the truth is that there are none to be found.

Mitchell, you have already been shown ==> **Chiliasm** previously and you don't even give it an honorable mention because it overturns your "recent history" snipe! See -"Augustine was briefly into chiliasm..."

And the Shepherd of Hermas!

And we also claim Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Ireneus, Tertullian, Methodius and Lactantius, even though you would like to put your own spin on them.

This was well before "post-trib" apostasia began to fully worm it's way in and spread like a cancer!
Con't.

DrNofog said...

Con't.
Mitchell said...
I have been written a number of times already by readers either asking me questions or thanking me for, at the very least, making them think. And thinking is always a good thing. For them, at least, I've brought something new to the table to chew on ...

Dude! I humbly bow and apologize. I had no idea!

However, in my 'limited' search, I don't find anyone 'conceding' you any points here, nor 'converting' to your failed doctrines...

And only not too long ago, I do recall Nathan mentioning somewhere, that he was able to win over a "postie" to the truth of the Pre-Trib Good News -- Oh, => here.

Did I miss something? Did you list your web-blog or email address wherein people can come and pat you on the back?

If you have actually 'recruited' that many adherents from PTR sites, then for only a mere $35.00, you too, can have your very own "Domain [Website] Name" for One Full Year!!!

But Wait! There's More!!!
You too, can also have your very own "Blog-Forum" wherein you can post and rant against other websites [without having to actually go there and "troll" for converts...], after all, you have all the credentials, and **all** the 'answers'...

Oh! Now we have "Kurt J." to your aid... - On Blogger Since? - June 2010. [Oooooh, on short notice too.]

Mitchell, Mitchell! Tell me you didn't just create an alias to boost yourself up! Or is he a 'comrade' follower you just called up for "back-up" support??

Mitchell said...
...that makes this website great is its openness to allow debate.

A definite Yes!...for this site, -- but are you really that clueless?

When **anyone**..., Ohh, say... like maybe... - 'Dennis'!!!,... - who just barely finishes saying: "MITCH, I won't debate with you sir."

And yet again, as Nathan noted, you still launch your "Must get the last word counter-point" anyway!!!...?!?

Is it then "still"... a 'debate'?,
or is it a... 'monologue'??,
or is it a... "Diatribe"???
???

DrNofog said...

Mitchell,
Since you go sooooo long on everyone, I suppose it's only fair that some, if not all, will eventually begin to go long on you. [-But why me God, I didn't want the short straw!]

All of your cut & paste "postie" stuff, that's in your extensive database has been previously picked apart elsewhere, and put to bed, and now it is becoming more obvious that it all seems to stem from a "reading/comprehension problem" " identified here.", and
Here !

And so now, what do we finally find here?

Mitchell said...
Drnofog asks, "Do you really think that you have a 'God-given' 'calling'"

What is amiss here??? ...wracking my brain...Ooh!!
Wasn't it **you**, just a few "short" [Not!] posts above, who emphatically stated: we must maintain context, context, context.

...and yet **here** we find, for your 'expedient' means, you deliberately strip off the "defining context" of my point; "... to trouble the saints rather than...etc...", cutting it short, to denigrate it in order to make your point!

So now, in addition to your reading/comprehension problem, we find that you also resort to relieving context!

Then, artfully, and deceptively, you posit: If you came across a position that you believed was not completely Scriptural (such as Oneness theology which denies the Triunity of God)...

WHAT an astounding comparison!... As though your failed doctrines, the "non-essential" minor doctrines of "posties" vs. PTR are, in any way, of the same import as the 'salvation essentials', the Triune Divinity and Personhood of the Son!!!

That is pathetic that any 'scholar' should put such forth!

You have validated the necessity of my original question:
So again, why trouble ye the "saints"?

BTW, I did check out your defense of the Trinity, overall a very good post and a nice recovery in your final explanation after trying to explain it by dredging up a medieval "candle" analogy?!?... Even if you had tossed in the "egg = shell, white, and yolk = are one", or any of several others, those are so "impersonal" ...so antediluvian!

Mitchell said...

DrNofog says, "And the Shepherd of Hermas! [taught a pre-trib rapture]"

Hi Drnofog, I am stunned that this argument is even put forth as a pre-trib argument. To my knowledge Grant Jeffrey was the first to claim that the Shepherd of Hermas taught a pre-trib rapture in his book "Apocalypse" (page 90). But Jeffrey's historical revisionism and out-of-context quote does not fool everyone, only those who neglect to do their own research.

If anyone would take the time to read the entire vision of Hermas they would soon realize that it is a completely different picture than what Jeffrey portends. Hermas did not speak of any complete removal from the tribulation at all when he used the word "escape" but rather that of "survival" by making it through the tribulation without falling to Satan's deception.

Let's look at the full context of Hermas' vision (3rd and 4th). I'll include what Jeffrey quoted, and what Jeffrey left out will be in bold:

3rd vision: "Happy ye who ENDURE THE GREAT TRIBULATION that is coming on, and happy they who shall not deny their own life. For the Lord hath sworn by His Son, that those who denied their Lord have abandoned their life in despair, for even now these are to deny Him in the days that are coming."

[Fourth Vision] "Has nothing crossed your path? I say, I was met by a beast of such a size that it could destroy peoples, but through the power of the Lord and His great mercy I escaped from it. Well did you escape from it, says she, because you cast your care on God, and opened your heart to the Lord, believing that you can be saved by no other than by His great and glorious name. On this account the Lord has sent His angel, who has rule over the beasts, and whose name is Thegri, and HAS SHUT UP ITS MOUTH, SO THAT IT CANNOT TEAR YOU. You have escaped from great tribulation on account of your faith, and because you did not doubt in the presence of such a beast. Go, therefore, and tell the elect of the Lord His mighty deeds, and say to them that this beast is a type of the great tribulation that is coming. If then ye prepare yourselves, and repent with all your heart, and turn to the Lord, it will be possible for you to escape it, if your heart be pure and spotless, and ye spend the rest of the days of your life in serving the Lord blamelessly. ... I asked her about the four colors which the beast had on his head. And she answered, and said to me, Again you are inquisitive in regard to such matters. Yea, Lady, said I, make known to me what they are. Listen, said she: the black is the world in which we dwell: but the fiery and bloody points out that the world must perish through blood and fire: but the golden part are you who have escaped from this world. For as gold is tested by fire, and thus becomes useful, so are you tested who dwell in it. Those, therefore, who continue steadfast, and are put through the fire, will be purified by means of it. For as gold casts away its dross, so also will ye cast away all sadness and straitness, and will be made pure so as to fit into the building of the tower. ... This then is the type of the great tribulation that is to come. If ye wish it, it will be nothing." (The Shepherd of Hermas, Vision III, IV)

It is OBVIOUS that Hermas did not teach a pre-trib rapture: "Happy ye who endure the great tribulation that is coming on." In his vision he had to face the beast head on. Yet because of his faith, God did not allow the beast to harm him. Clearly then, to "escape" the great tribulation means emerging from it safely, not being removed prior to it.

Grant Jeffrey's use of this out-of-context quotation from the Shepherd of Hermas, to infer a pre-trib rapture, recklessly misrepresents this passage. It is blatantly dishonest, and biased revisionism. The Shepherd of Hermas does not support a pre-trib rapture in the slightest. Hermas was post-trib.

Mitchell said...

DrNofog says, "And we also claim Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Ireneus, Tertullian, Methodius and Lactantius, even though you would like to put your own spin on them."

Not a spin at all. I keep them in their proper context, and the only way that the pre-trib position can use them is to again rip statements out of context and misconstrue the intended meaning of the message. When the truth is shown, the fact is that they are all post-trib only.

DrNofog says, "not wanting to discern, nor admit the obvious rebuff, seizes upon any word: "Hmmmm. "wrath"! Yes, wrath, that's the ticket..."

Your response was a non-response. It is not I who "seizes upon" the word wrath. It is the pre-trib position that incorrectly equates the word "wrath" that we are saved from to the entire tribulation. I have demonstrated why the pre-trib position misapplies the English word translated as wrath (thymos and orge), and even you have been unable to offer a rebuttal. If you have a solid response from Scripture, I welcome it.

DrNofog says, "you have already been shown ==> **Chiliasm** previously and you don't even give it an honorable mention because it overturns your "recent history"

Chiliasm has nothing to do with whether or not the early Church taught a pre-trib or a post-trib position. Again, I ask you to show me even one source from the early Church that expressly taught a pre-trib rapture before the tribulation. I would encourage you however to research any pre-trib claims first.

DrNofog says, "in my 'limited' search, I don't find anyone 'conceding' you any points here, nor 'converting' to your failed doctrines... Did I miss something? Did you list your web-blog or email address wherein people can come and pat you on the back?"

The post-trib position is the historical position of the Church, and a growing number of people are switching their view from pre-trib to post-trib (and even to pre-wrath). Your research is not only limited to being unable to find anyone with a positive word for me. ;) Here is one example. Here is another one. My email was posted there as well, and I got quite a few questions from readers.

I do recall Nathan mentioning somewhere, that he was able to win over a "postie"

Rare, but it can happen (like winning the lottery lol). The overwhelming majority, however, are away from pre-tribism. Even the Gospel Tract Society has seen the numerous problems with pre-tribism and no longer teaches it. Where you have seen one go from post to pre, I have seen many go from pre to post (myself included). See here and here.

DrNofog asks, "Mitchell, Mitchell! Tell me you didn't just create an alias to boost yourself up!"

Kurt J. is a forum member over on JT. You can have Nathan compare our IP addresses if you have such difficulty believing that there is another person in the world who shares the same position as me. :)

Drnofog retorts, "as Nathan noted, you still launch your "Must get the last word counter-point" anyway!!!"

Does that bother you?

Mitchell said...

DrNofog mimics the voice of Ben Stein and retorts, "Since you go sooooo long on everyone, I suppose it's only fair that some, if not all, will eventually begin to go long on you."

That's ok brother, I welcome your thoughts and encourage you to be as thorough as you need to be. I will read it.

DrNofog pounds fist on desk and blurts, "All of your cut & paste "postie" stuff, that's in your extensive database has been previously picked apart elsewhere, and put to bed"

Do you have any links?

DrNofog pulls out hand full of hair and hollers, "now it is becoming more obvious that it all seems to stem from a "reading/comprehension problem" " identified here.", and Here!"

Would you like me to address what you've attempted to say here? If so, what point would like me to focus on first?

DrNofog reaches for a deep breath of air and screams, "for your 'expedient' means, you deliberately strip off the "defining context" of my point; "... to trouble the saints rather than...etc...", cutting it short, to denigrate it in order to make your point!"

Why is it troubling for you to discuss another view? If it is so troubling, why not just refrain from reading what I write and do something else that does not trouble you? It is not for your benefit per se that I share my thoughts, but rather for those who are willing to be open and examine another view in light of Scripture.

DrNofog stomps his feet, kicks the dog and blathers, "WHAT an astounding comparison!... As though your failed doctrines, the "non-essential" minor doctrines of "posties" vs. PTR are, in any way, of the same import as the 'salvation essentials', the Triune Divinity and Personhood of the Son!!!"

Do you at the very least understand my point?

DrNofog calms down and at a normal speaking volume states, "BTW, I did check out your defense of the Trinity, overall a very good post and a nice recovery in your final explanation after trying to explain it by dredging up a medieval "candle" analogy?!?"

Thanks brother. The candle analogy is one that I use with Muslims and Oneness proponents. They insist that it makes no sense for God to be "Three in One", so I explain to them that with the fire of a candle we have three distinct things: light, heat, and a flame. The light is fire, the heat is fire, and the flame is fire. But are there three fires, or only one?

That seems to rattle around in their brains for awhile.

Btw, hope you don't mind the dramatic descriptions I included prior to quoting you. Just wanted to add a touch of levity.

DrNofog said...

Mitchell said...
Quoting me: "...you deliberately strip off the "defining context" of my point; "... to trouble the saints rather than...".
And then **again**, side-stepping the original question of 'mission', Mitchell "innocently" asks: "Why is it troubling for you to discuss another view?

No! That statement was to show that you do, indeed, have no qualms about resorting to relieving text of its context when it suits your means [or could it be that you really are unaware of what you're doing?], and...
No! I am absolutely secure in my understanding of the Word, and not at all 'troubled' to discuss another 'view'...

I feel no need whatsoever to visit postie camps and throw rocks at them. If they know Jesus, they will find themselves in heaven in an abruptly 'surprisingly' manner irregardless of their misplaced belief. I have no concern for that.

What I am concerned about is the 'babes in Christ' and the 'weak in faith' that occasionally traverse thru here, and that is why I question your 'mission', your 'calling', an apparently, overwhelming compulsion to continually haunt PTR sites, instead while "the fields are white already unto harvest", with your dismal tribulation scenario for *us*, not “them”...

Is this your 'calling”? - Are **you** "saving" us?

Quoting me again: "...non-essential" minor doctrines of "posties" vs. PTR are, in any way, of the same import as the 'salvation essentials'..."
And then, Mitchell "innocently" asks: "Do you at the very least understand my point?

Dude! That hasta be that comprehension thing again! I would not have called it an "astounding comparison!" if I did not fully understand your "point"... which is simply: You got caught in foisting an extremely unworthy comparison and wanted to draw my fire away from your backside!

It's your persistent badgering of us on 'non-essential' doctrines, which you yourself admitted, "...someone who views non-essential items differently than you..." here, compared to the needs of the lost, who need the 'essential' Good News, - THAT is what I question!

Again, do we need "saving"... and are **you** "saving" **us**?

As I said earlier: You have validated the necessity of my original question:
So again, why trouble ye the "saints"?


The candle analogy is one that I use with Muslims and Oneness proponents.
I can understand it working for Muslims... they are so 14th century, but the Oneness proponents?

"Just wanted to add a touch of levity.

"Levity", now that's a good thing. It shows that you might indeed have a personality lurking somewhere behind all that dismal postie stuff.

Mitchell said...

Drnofog says, "... you do, indeed, have no qualms about resorting to relieving text of its context when it suits your means ... So again, why trouble ye the "saints"?

Hi brother. Please demonstrate for me once where I pulled something out of context to suit my position.

In your view, seeking the truth of Scripture "troubles the saints" if in the end you discover that it does not line up to your preconceptions? What I am hearing from you is:

You want to believe the Blessed Hope is a pre-trib rapture, even after being shown that it is eternal life actualized at the post-trib Second Coming of Christ, not a pre-trib rapture.

You want to believe the "seven-year tribulation" is the wrath that we will escape by being removed from the planet, even after I've shown that we will be here to witness the "thymos" wrath against the wicked and be gone for the post-trib "orge" wrath only.

You want to believe so desperately that the pre-trib rapture was taught by the early Church, even after I've shown you time and time again that the early Church was post-trib only, never pre-trib, and every effort to show otherwise requires quotes ripped out of context and historical revisionism by pre-trib proponents.

You want to believe that we meet Jesus in the air and then go to heaven for seven years, when I've shown you that the text uses specific language to tell us that we escort Christ back immediately instead.

You want to believe that the First Resurrection is in "phases" only and that it happens before the Tribulation (and that the rapture actually happens before all the dead in Christ are even resurrected), when I have shown you that the First Resurrection is after the tribulation only.

You want to believe that the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is during the seven-year tribulation, when I have shown you that it is after the "great harlot" is judged at the end of the Tribulation only.

You want to believe that we can never and will never know the day or hour of Christ's return, when Jesus Himself implies that we will know if we watch.

You want to believe that the rapture is before the tribulation, when I have shown conclusively previously that the rapture is found only at the seventh and last trump in Revelation 10.

You want to believe that Jesus descends from heaven with a shout and the voice of the archangel for a secret pre-trib rapture, when Acts 3:21 says that Jesus must REMAIN in heaven until the restoration of all things.

You want to believe in a pre-trib rapture when Peter suggests we will be here to witness the "apokalypsis" of the glory of Christ after the tribulation (1 Pet 4:13).

You want to believe in a pre-trib rapture, yet Col 3:4 says that we will only appear with Christ when He is made manifest/visible, which is after the tribulation (Matt 24:29-31).

You want to believe in a pre-trib rapture and will claim that this is what Paul taught, when in fact Paul paralleled the Olivet Discourse when teaching the rapture and taught a post-trib gathering only.

If I am right on even one of these items, the likelihood that others are correct increases exponentially.

What I am hearing from you is that in your mind it is being shown this truth from Scripture that is "troubling the saints", and that you will do and say anything to protect pre-tribism. What is it that you desire -- to defend your doctrine, or to seek the truth?

Mitchell said...

Drnofog says, "What I am concerned about is the 'babes in Christ' and the 'weak in faith' that occasionally traverse thru here, and that is why I question your 'mission', your 'calling'"

So you would rather that new Christians believe in a pre-trib rapture, even if it were not true? Do you not think it is good that people be made aware that there are other views regarding this?

Drnofog asks, "Is this your 'calling”? - Are **you** "saving" us?"

You are already saved. The question is, what does Scripture say regarding the Second Coming of Christ and our gathering together to Him?

Drnofog says, "You got caught in foisting an extremely unworthy comparison and wanted to draw my fire away from your backside!"

Please explain.

Drnofog says, ""Levity", now that's a good thing. It shows that you might indeed have a personality lurking somewhere behind all that dismal postie stuff."

I am actually an android, first generation model T-800. I've been reprogrammed to defend Truth. I'll be back.

DrNofog said...

Mitchell said...
Hi brother. Please demonstrate for me once where I pulled something out of context to suit my position.

This is what I stated: "Do you really think that you have a 'God-given' "calling" to trouble the saints rather than finding a more useful street corner and exercising the great commission?"

And this is what Mitchell quoted me as saying...
Drnofog asks, "Do you really think that you have a 'God-given' 'calling'"
...thereby leaving it an open-ended question: calling to what?

It's really an 'either/or' question. Let me shorten it up to make it blatantly obvious: "calling to trouble saints or calling to preach to lost." That is the "defining context".

Mitchell then asks How do you define that? If you came across a position that you believed was not completely Scriptural (such as Oneness theology which denies the Triunity of God),...
Please explain. - caught in foisting an extremely unworthy comparison


Since you have made this convoluted [your forte maybe?] in your questioning of my questioning your motives, let me ask you:
Do you feel it fair or "worthy" to elevate and compare an apparently, overwhelming compulsion to continually haunt PTR sites, persistently badgering of us on 'non-essential' doctrines, vs the needs of the lost, "the fields that are white already unto harvest", ones caught in Oneness and the myriad of cults who need the 'essential' Good News?

In your looong series of "You want to believe... ", rather it is you who would want us to believe that you have resolved of ALL of these issues when it has been shown repeatedly that the majority of your problems stem from your inability to rightly divide Israel from the church,... and was already answered here!
"...and upon this ["foundational"] rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. ...He would have said "I have been building" or "I am building", but He didn't...".

Matthew 18:15-17 comes after Matthew 16:18 - here, where you shot yourself in the foot on Matt. 18:15-18...
And the entire "Church age" here!

Mitchell said...

Drnofog writes, "In your looong series of "You want to believe... ", rather it is you who would want us to believe that you have resolved of ALL of these issues when it has been shown repeatedly that the majority of your problems stem from your inability to rightly divide Israel from the church"

Hi brother, virtually all of the arguments have nothing to do with distinctions between Israel and the church. That is another topic all together, and they all stand on their own. The pre-trib assumption that the church and Israel are completely distinct is what inhibits many from accepting the plain, intended meaning of the text imho.

You are welcome to show me which arguments presented above are not derived solely from the text. It can't be the fact that the early church was post-trib only - that stands on its own merit. Is it my explanation of the Blessed Hope? The difference between "thymos" and "orge" wrath? The immediate escort back per "apantesis"? Is it the post-trib First Resurrection? Is it the post-trib Marriage Supper of the Lamb? Was it Jesus' words implying that we could know the day and hour of His return if we watch, or the fact that He must remain in heaven until it is time to restore all things? Or something else?

Drnofog says, ""...and upon this ["foundational"] rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. ...He would have said "I have been building" or "I am building", but He didn't..."."

What foundation did the Old Testament believers build upon? What foundation do New Testament believers build upon? Who is this rock? Is it Peter, or is it Christ? Read carefully the following:

Matt 16:18, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (petra, G4073) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

1 Cor 10:1-4, "I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock (petra, G4073) was Christ."

1 Cor 3:11, "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ"

Acts 7:37-38, "This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and [with] our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us"

Eph 2:19, "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone]"

How we can we be "fellowcitizens" if Israel and the Church are two completely distinct entities? If Jesus Christ is the rock upon which the foundation had been laid in the Old Testament, and if the Church is built upon the exact same foundation of Christ, then how can you imply that the Church is built upon a separate foundation and say that Israel and the Church (which has been grafted into the exact same Olive Tree!) are completely distinct?

Giving the Scriptures above, what is the most reasonable definition of build (oikodomeō G3618) in Matthew 16:18? It is "to build (up from the foundation); to restore by building, to rebuild, repair." The plain, straightforward meaning is obvious. It isn't rocket science.

Mitchell said...

Drnofog asks, "Do you feel it fair or "worthy" to elevate and compare an apparently, overwhelming compulsion to continually haunt PTR sites, persistently badgering of us on 'non-essential' doctrines, vs the needs of the lost, "the fields that are white already unto harvest", ones caught in Oneness and the myriad of cults who need the 'essential' Good News?"

Why is sharing my view and offering strong arguments in support of a post-trib gathering of the elect "haunting"? While we discuss doctrine inside the Body, can we not also be reaching the lost who are outside?

DrNofog says, "It's really an 'either/or' question. Let me shorten it up to make it blatantly obvious: "calling to trouble saints or calling to preach to lost." That is the "defining context".

What is more troubling to you -- defending a view that may be incorrect, or learning that the view may be incorrect?

Kurt J. said...

DrKnowfog said "Oh! Now we have "Kurt J." to your aid..." and "Mitchell, Mitchell! Tell me you didn't just create an alias to boost yourself up! Or is he a 'comrade' follower you just called up for "back-up" support??"

DrKnowfog, I'm more of a "comrade/follower".

No, I'm not Mitchell, but I definitely take that as a complement! Recently on the Joel's Trumpet Freeforums board I was accused of being Joel Richardson in disguise. Now that's some rarified atmosphere...accused of being undercover Joel and Mitchell in the span of a couple of weeks!

Nathan, thanks for the advice. I'm going to use "Control C" every time before posting.

Mitchell, yes, Rev. 6:8, does NOT say 1/4 of the Earth killed, only "Authority" to do so. More and more I'm seeing the picture develop, from many different sources, including pre-tribbers such as Lindsay, who is great with current events and analysis, even at about 80 years old.

And I just couldn't help myself from adding a "K" and "W" to Nofog's name...all done with a sense of humor, of course.

DrNofog said...

It is interesting to see how you are able to "slip the noose" of the 3 unanswered questions: "Do you feel it fair or "worthy" to elevate and compare...", "...an apparently, overwhelming compulsion to continually haunt PTR sites...", and "relieving text of its context" by your spin questions...

...offering strong arguments... ?!? You've succeeded only in convincing yourself.

..."haunting"? -is a euphemism.

What is more troubling to you... Those of us who are well grounded in the Word already know which is correct and which is not.

...can we not also be reaching the lost who are outside? The lost are reached by the Gospel, which is defined as: the death, burial, & resurrection of the Messiah, not lengthy eschatological debates. Mitchell, just the shear length of your posts alone, apart from the content of muddle, would likely scare any seeker away, so nice try, but NO, a definite fail!

...sharing my view...

Most here that do engage you don't feel that you are actually trying to "share" anything, but rather pummel and weary us [ my motto is still "Illegitimi non carborundum".] with your long cut & paste rehashes when many here, and many times, have already refuted the majority of your misconceptions. Ahh, that's the concept I was looking for; reading/comprehension problems are usually linked to conceptualization problems.

I had been wondering about your "...misconstruing what I said about the "majority opinion" and then going off on a tangent...".

In reflecting back on it all, I'm not sure if you ever did grasp the "concept" of a majority opinion, or if you did you certainly weren't about to admit that you were confused, seeing as you dropped off the map for a while without another long response.

Kurt J. said...
...but I definitely take that as a complement!

Before you pat yourself on the back too much for the "association", you may want to see how he recovers from his latest "step-in-it" here.
...'cause that's where I'm headed!
;-D

Bye, Mitch.

Expected Imminently said...

Yoo hoo! DrNofog! here I am at last.
I thought you were sending from a secret base, didn't realise there was life still on this planet. I tell ya, it's as well I live on an island else I would never find me way there and back. Going to catch up now. x

Expected Imminently said...

DrNofog
Can you help me please with a 'here'. I have been trying to find Mitchell’s wrong interpretation of the 'blessed hope' and I haven't much time to search and write up why he is wrong.

He’s wrong about the church fathers as well, I too have read them all. They were very muddled and double minded in their opinions. The early Church was nearly destroyed by Gnosticism which was behind all their confused ideas. The R.C. Church held sway over early writings, anything that denied their views on purgatory were either hidden away or destroyed. (The Rapture destroys purgatory). There could have been reams of Pre-trib writings that have been destroyed by Rome for all we know.

However a careful read of Scripture with The Holy Spirit, makes it plain the Church believed in the imminent return of Jesus.

The Thess thought they were actually IN the Tribulation; Paul was writing to reassure them WHY they were not IN the Tribulation as certain events had not happened like the resurrection of their dead ‘in Christ’ relatives.

Must rush. Sue x

Expected Imminently said...

DrNofog

I am embarrassed for troubling you! What a cheek I had, as if you had more time to look than I. Please excuse me, I was flapping over having to get sick friends business takings ready for the bank on Monday, what a fuss pot I can be. Hubby intervened and took mum and me out for lunch to save me cooking.
God bless you. x