Friday, August 31, 2012

A Prophetic Manifesto

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

My newly published booklet, A Prophetic Manifesto, is all about trumpeting a warning cry that our nation has passed the point of no return and that God is now in the process of withdrawing His protection, allowing us to implode.

A Prophetic Manifesto

In the booklet I point out that we have been following in the footsteps of ancient Judah. I provide many parallels, both positive and negative, and I conclude by declaring:

Like ancient Judah, our fate is sealed. Our collapse will be just as sudden and overwhelming. Why should God treat us any differently? We can be assured that He will not.

The second half of the manifesto focuses on the signs that clearly indicate that we are at the end of the Church Age. Based on those signs that God's Word tells us to watch for, I assert that Jesus is at the very gates of Heaven, waiting for His Father's command to return.

But is that message being urgently proclaimed from our pulpits? No! The Church is asleep. Pastors are more concerned with attending church growth conferences and trying to catch up with the latest fad in worship entertainment.

Even worse are those who mock the signs and scoff at the idea of the Lord's return anytime in the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, our society continues to secularize and paganize at breathtaking speed, and true Christianity is coming under increasing attack.

Is there any hope for our nation? I do not think so. Our only hope is Jesus, and thus we have no hope, because our nation has rejected Him.

But there is, of course, individual hope for those of us who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and I conclude the manifesto by talking about that hope.


Manifesto Issued

At our annual Bible conference the last weekend in June, we distributed the first copies of A Prophetic Manifesto.

A manifesto is a brief statement of principles, and that is a good description of our manifesto. It is only 40 pages long, and it contains a declaration of biblical principles concerning two issues: the fate of our nation and the return of Jesus.

The cover is stark in nature, printed in black and white, containing only the title and the name of the author. It is intended to set the tone for the hard-hitting message that the booklet contains.

The booklet is aimed primarily at pastors, calling them to a recognition of the terrible moral and spiritual condition of our nation. Its message is also designed to alert them to the fact that we are living on borrowed time and that they need to start preparing their congregations for the Lord's imminent return.

In the introduction of the booklet, I pointed out that it is titled, "A Prophetic Manifesto," not "A Prophecy Manifesto," and I stated that the difference is important. My purpose was not to present a prophecy given to me by God. I have no such prophecy. Rather, my purpose was to share some sobering truths that are based on prophecies which God gave to biblical prophets thousands of years ago. They are also based on principles the Bible reveals about how God deals with nations. The Manifesto is a shout of warning to America and its pastors.

Please consider giving a copy to your church pastor. Copies are available through our online resource center.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Revelation Panel: Location of Babylon - Part 2

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Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. The remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to address:

#8. Could the city called Babylon the Great in Revelation 17 and 18 possibly be a city inside the United States?

Nathan Jones, Lamb & Lion Ministries
Well, it's not called "Mystery Babylon" for nothing! It's a mystery. So, we can only guess. But, there are some clues in the Bible that give us kind of an indication what this mystery is not.

Revelation 17 and 18 explains Babylon as an economic powerhouse, but then also a great source of immorality. The people are sinful and they live for pleasure, and that's clearly a picture of the United States today. But, the Antichrist's government is a global government, so it will incorporate the United States. It will rise from the European Union and the whole world will become part of it.

Then there is the Harlot aspect, this prostitute whom the Bible talks about, who rides the back of that world government. Well, the world government cannot be the Harlot and be the Beast of the Antichrist kingdom it is riding on at the same time. So, we must be reading about both a political Babylon and a separate religious Babylon.

The United States will not be the Harlot system the Bible talks about either, for when it talks about women, especially adulterous women, the Bible is referencing religious systems. What it's talking about is not a nation, but a religious system that will exist during the first half of the Tribulation which is made up of apostate Christianity, but will have its basis in humanism. It will soon after be destroyed, and then the Antichrist for the second half of the Tribulation will institute his religion which is self-worship and the worship of his master who is Satan.

Terry James, Rapture Ready
I really personally don't think so. For one thing concerning America, if we look at history, I think that we can pretty much see the way things are going by today's history. America is no longer remaining the apex nation. The flower is quickly fading, so to speak. We can't say that the United States is going to be the premier nation during the Tribulation, especially during chapter 18 of Revelation. We see chapter 17 concerning Mystery Babylon which is the harlot system or an apostate Church system, but I don't see anywhere a mystery Babylon with regard to that city that is doomed to be destroyed in a single hour from Revelation 18. Therefore, I'm more or less of the conviction that the Beast's headquarters is going to be the rebuilt Babylon.

Tom McCall, Tom McCall Ministries
I think Revelation 17 and 18 both speak about Babylon, but I believe they are different. I believe Revelation 17 is the professing church that remains after the Rapture of the true Church. It will become manifest as the Great Harlot that never did believe in Christ. It just pretended and was very hypocritical of the whole thing. It'll become the world religion after the Rapture and will attract the whole world, as I think most of the false religions of the world like the Muslims and the Hindus and all these various religions of the world will coalesce around the Mother Church that survives after the Rapture. But, it will be destroyed by the Antichrist who gets tired of it. He uses the false Church to gain power, but once he's gained it after 3 1/2 years he says, "I'm through with you. I don't need you anymore." He devours it the Scriptures say.

Then there is the Babylon of Revelation 18 which seems to be the actual city of Babylon. This is the old city of Babylon where it all began, where the Tower of Babel was, and where pagan religion had its origins.

Mark Hitchcock, Faith Bible Church
A lot of people think Babylon is the United States. A lot of people think Babylon could be the United States, or many people will say that it is New York City, because clearly whatever it is it is a city as Revelation 17 and 18 says, "Babylon is that great city which rules over the kings of the earth." So, clearly Babylon is a city.

Now, some people think it's Rome, some rebuilt Babylon, and some New York City in the United States where the United Nations is headquartered. For me, making it the United States, when you really go through Revelation 17 and 18 and look at what those passages say concerning how this Babylon kills the prophets, to me it's a stretch to take the specific statements there and have them apply to the United States. I take the view that it's a literal, rebuilt Babylon in the future. I reject the idea that Babylon has anything to do with New York City or the United States.

David Reagan, Lamb & Lion Ministries
I personally agree with the experts when they say there is no possibility that the Antichrist's headquarters could be located in the United States. I happen to agree with Ed Hindson's view that the headquarters will be located in Rome. For more detailed information about why I believe that, go to my article entitled Mystery Babylon.


In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, the members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will answer the nineth question, "Is Jesus returning to set up an actual thousand year long kingdom?"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Revelation Panel: Location of Babylon - Part 1

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Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. The members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will now address:

#8. Could the city called Babylon the Great in Revelation 17 and 18 possibly be a city inside the United States?

Don McGee, Crown and Sickle Ministries
No, I don't believe that Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18 could be the United States. There are several reasons for it. If you look at the system in Revelation 17, you'll see a very powerful religious system. The United States in my opinion does not fit into that kind of description. Our country has never been considered the heartbeat of any kind of worldwide religious system. I don't think that applies. When you look at some of the descriptions of this religious system, there are colors that are associated with it like purple and scarlet, and those don't have anything to do with our country.

Then there are the seven hills Revelation's Babylon sits on. We don't have anything in this country that's associated with seven hills. So, no, I don't think the Revelation 17 Babylon is the United States.

Concerning Revelation 18's economic system, I still believe that is not the United States. The reason for that is the United States is not the only mega, economic powerhouse that has existed on the face of this planet. If you look at it carefully, I think you'll understand and see clearly that the context of both Revelation 17 and 18 is a 2,000 year old context that has to do with Europe and the Middle East, and not the Western World.

Al Gist, Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries
No. Babylon the Great in Revelation 17 and 18 is a reference to a specific city I believe. It's not a country like the United States. Although, I have to admit that much of the description that is given to Babylon certainly seems to fit the United States of America, but no.

I'm convinced and believe in a literal Babylon on the Euphrates River in the modern country of Iraq; the same place where it's always been. There will be a resurrection of that city. It will become a great commercial and religious center, and also most likely the headquarters of the Antichrist during the second half of the Tribulation. So, I take a literal approach to Babylon. I do not believe that it is the United States of America.

Daymond Duck, Prophecy Plus Ministries
The book of Revelation doesn't say God is talking about a nation. It says that He is talking about a woman, and it says He is talking about a city. I believe we have a double identity there with Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations on the earth. She is a woman and a city.

Concerning Mystery Babylon's identity as a woman, we know that the Bible teaches especially in the Old Testament that wicked women characterize false religions. In the New Testament and even in the Old Testament a good woman is characterized as true religion. The Church who is the Bride of Christ is a good woman, and she's true religion. So, we have that teaching. In the Old Testament, on more than one occasion God called the unfaithful Jews harlots. He called Jerusalem the Mother of Harlots. I believe that Mystery Babylon, the mystery about Babylon, is that it is a harlot religion which will be located as the rebuilt city of Babylon at the end of the Tribulation period.

Ken Humphries, Treasured Truth Today Ministries
I would have great difficulty believing the United States is Babylon quite frankly. I suppose I find it difficult to believe that Babylon could be any other city, certainly not any country, because the text tells us that Babylon is a city, number one. If we are prepared to ignore what I call the plain text, which is when we come to the book of the Revelation we should come to it with a literal understanding or try to interpret it literally as far as we can, if instead we come to the Scriptures non-literally and are prepared to ignore what is the plain text or the plain message of the text, entertaining our own ideas or our own fancies about who Babylon could or could not be, then I think we could easily be deceived. It simply won't do for us to just walk right past what is the interpretive clues given to us.

Ed Hindson, World Prophetic Ministry
It's obvious in the book of Revelation that John portrays Babylon, whatever he means by that, as the Kingdom of the Antichrist, which is the ungodly world system of the last days that controls a world economy where nobody can buy or sell without the Mark of the Beast and is controlled by a world government that to some degree attempts to impose a world religion so that all the world will worship the Beast as though he were God. So, whether we say the Antichrist's headquarters is localized in a specific place, or whether if people take it as literal Babylon in Iraq, which I do not, or a symbol of Rome which I think is much more likely, or a symbol of the final world empire, wherever the Antichrist rules from he will rule the whole civilized world. It will all be under his influence and his control.

I personally believe that John is using the term Babylon by calling it "Mystery Babylon" as a symbol for Rome. John is a prisoner of the Roman government, so he's not going to name Rome specifically and create more problems at that point for himself. But, at the same time, John wants his reader to understand what he is talking about. It's the city that sits on seven hills, which historically has always been Rome.


In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts plus Dr. David Reagan will continue to answer the eighth question, "Could the city called Babylon the Great in Revelation 17 and 18 possibly be a city inside the United States?"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Revelation Panel: Witnessing After the Rapture - Part 2

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Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. The remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to address:

#7. If the Church is not going to be present on this earth during the Tribulation, will people be able to be saved, and if so, how?

Mark Hitchcock, Faith Bible Church
People will clearly be saved I think during the Tribulation period. We've got this picture in the book of Revelation from chapter 7:1-8. Here we have these 144,000 Jewish males, 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel who I believe will evangelize the world.

In the beginning of Revelation 7 in verse 9, where you have this great multitude that no one can number, John asks who these people are. The response is, "These are those who've come out great tribulation, they've washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb." So, clearly there is an innumerable host who are on the earth saved during the Tribulation. These multitudes from Revelation 7 are martyred, so by that time they are Heaven.

People are always asking me, "How are people going to get saved if you believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture?" Well, there is going to be all kinds of materials left on the earth. There are going to be people who had heard the Gospel from the people who ended being raptured. There are going to be people maybe who are reading this right now who will then have heard the truth of Jesus Christ and the Gospel. I think the Rapture itself may be one of the greatest evangelistic tools in all of history as millions upon millions of people leave this earth.

Ultimately it's the work of the Holy Spirit that brings people to faith in Christ. The Spirit will still be here actively drawing people to Himself. I like to say there will be great revival during the Great Tribulation.

Gary Fisher, Lion of Judah Ministries
I believe the scenario will be this: the Church will be removed and very, very shortly thereafter God will ordain according to Revelation 7 exactly 144,000 Jewish witnesses. According to verse 9, it is implied that they will be some of the greatest evangelists the world has ever known. The Bible names them by tribe, so they are not the Church. The Church will not be here during the Tribulation. Revelation names them by tribes, but I still find people claiming, "I'm part of the 144,000." So I ask, "Good, what tribe are you from?" But, yes, I believe those guys are going to preach to the lost during the Tribulation.

I would like to add some perspective to all of this. What happens in biblical history when a Jewish person gets full of the Holy Spirit? We have all these Bible records of these guys like the prophets and so forth to give us the answer. Where would we be without the ministry of the Apostle Paul who was a Jewish man filled with the Holy Spirit? Now, we're not talking about during the Tribulation when just one man will be full of the Holy Spirit. I think of the millions who have been affected by Paul's ministry. No, we're talking about 144,000 of these guys full of the Holy Spirit and armed with the Gospel, and they're going to preach during the seven years like the Church hasn't done in 2,000 years. Millions will be saved!

Daymond Duck, Prophecy Plus Ministries
I do believe that people will be saved during the Tribulation period, even when I'm talking about those people who didn't hear the Word of God and reject it before the Rapture of the Church. The reason is that John saw a great multitude in Heaven. He asked who this multitude was. He was told these are they that come out of the Great Tribulation. They wouldn't be in Heaven if they weren't saved first of all. They are saved and they came out of the Great Tribulation. So, I do believe that people will be saved during the Tribulation period.

I believe that people will be saved during the Tribulation as the result of the preaching of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and the Two Witnesses. Also, in Revelation 14 there is an angel who flies through the air and preaches the Gospel to every nation and kingdom and tribe and people on the face of the earth.

I want to get across the point that the Holy Spirit does a lot of things and operates in a lot of different ways. The Holy Spirit is not limited to operating through the Church or in baptizing people into the body of Christ. For example, the Holy Spirit was present at the Creation hovering over the waters, but there was no Church. The Holy Spirit was active during Old Testament times working through the Old Testament writers and leading them in what to say, but there was no Church. The Holy Spirit was active through people like Samson, and even over in the New Testament Mary and Joseph, but there was no Church. And so, the Holy Spirit can act and do things without the Church and without baptizing people into the body of Christ.

I believe that Jews will be saved in the future during the Tribulation period, but they won't be added to the Church. These are the people whom we usually refer to as Tribulation Saints, and they will be saved during that time, but they won't be added to the Church.

Don McGee, Crown and Sickle Ministries
Yes, I believe people will be saved during the Tribulation. I suppose in a nutshell you could say they will be saved in the Tribulation just like any other time that people are saved, and that's by grace through faith. We understand that, but specifically there are some things I believe that's going to lend toward the salvation of a whole multitude of people during the Tribulation, not the least of which I believe will be the fact that a lot of people quite simply will not buy into the official government religious explanation for the sudden disappearance of multitudes of people. I don't think they are going to buy into that.

I also believe that there will be a residual effect of evangelization during the Church Age that's going to carry over into the Tribulation period. For example, Bibles will be everywhere, or at least in the free world. There will be access to Internet sites where people can get information. Not only that, I believe people are going to go to certain websites where authors have left instructions regarding what has happened, what to expect, and what the reader needs to do. When you take all of those opportunities and combine them with the Two Witnesses and the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and the angel that preaches the Gospel, you take all of those things together and you can't help but see that, yes, there will be many people saved during the Tribulation period.


In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, the members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will answer the eighth question, "Could the city called Babylon the Great in Revelation 17 and 18 possibly be a city inside the United States?"

Monday, August 27, 2012

Revelation Panel: Witnessing After the Rapture - Part 1

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Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. The members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will now address:

#7. If the Church is not going to be present on this earth during the Tribulation, will people be able to be saved, and if so, how?

Nathan Jones, Lamb & Lion Ministries
Revelation 7:9-14 clearly says there are going to be people saved during the Tribulation. Two of the verses state, "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count from every nation, tribe, people and language standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches. These are they who came out of the Great Tribulation. They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." That's clearly a reference to people being saved during the Tribulation.

Now, how are these people being saved? Firstly, they are going to witness the Rapture, so they are going to see millions of people disappear. Then secondly, hopefully all the materials and literature and videos we are leaving behind for them will help lead them to the Lord and explain what has happened. Thirdly, there will be the Two Witnesses from Jerusalem as Revelation 11 talks about who will preach to the world from that city. Fourthly, there will be 144,000 Jewish evangelists whom the Lord has set aside for just that time period. Fifthly, there will be the very judgments of God. People will say, "Hey, there's got to be a God for all of this to be happening." And finally, there will be an angel of God as Revelation 14:6 tells us. That angel of God is going to circumnavigate the whole world and share the Gospel so that Matthew 24:14 will be fulfilled. So, there will be plenty of opportunities for people to come to the Lord and be saved without the Church having to be there as witness.

Ed Hindson, World Prophetic Ministry
I think the seventh chapter of Revelation makes it pretty obvious there are people who are going to be saved due to the 144,000 Jews, where 12,000 come from each of the 12 tribes. That passage makes it pretty clear those are Jewish people who will be converted. Later in chapter 7, John says an innumerable host of every people, tongue and nation will be martyred, and that sound like Gentiles. So, you have a whole host of people being converted during the time of Tribulation.

The question is often raised, how are they converted then if the Holy Spirit is gone due to the Rapture? Well, the Holy Spirit's not gone. The Church is what's gone, because the Church will have been raptured out. The Holy Spirit is God. God is omnipresent. God is in Heaven. God lives in our heart. God is ruling over the whole world. God's presence was personified on the Ark of the Covenant in the presence of His glory, but when the glory departed from the Ark of the Covenant as the book of Ezekiel reveals, and God departed and judgment fell, that doesn't mean that God was missing from the world. God was still there dealing with Ezekiel's heart and Daniel's heart during the Babylonian captivity. The Holy Spirit will still be here during the time of Tribulation, convicting people of sin, righteousness and judgment, so that when people are saved they are still born of the Spirit. In my opinion, they are not baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ and into a unique relationship with the body of the Church, that is typically just for the Church Age.

Al Gist, Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries
The Church is going to be in Heaven during the Tribulation for sure. But, we're not saved by the Church. We are saved by the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God contrary to what some believe will still be active during the Tribulation here on earth. And so, people will be saved during the Tribulation the same way they've always been saved, and that is through faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone for their salvation. So, yes, there will be many people saved during the Tribulation.

We are quick to talk about the horrors of the Tribulation, but we overlook the harvest of the Tribulation. In Revelation 6, the Bible speaks of a group of people who have been persecuted unto death for their testimony in God, and we find them in Heaven in Revelation 7. We find the innumerable multitudes of people who are before the Throne of God. The Bible says they came out of Tribulation, and their robes have been washed white by the blood of the Lamb. So, yes again, there will be many people saved during the Tribulation.

Unfortunately, I believe that most of those, not all, but most of those who will accept Jesus as Savior during the Tribulation will also be martyrs for their faith. They will have to die a physical death for their faith. It will be very difficult on people during that time.

Ken Humphries, Treasured Truth Today Ministries
Yes, I do actually believe that based on Revelation 7. That's another passage I would just love to read. Revelation 7:9 really reveals to us the truth that, "And this I beheld, and lo a great multitude which no man could number of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues stood before the throne and before the Lamb clothed with white robes and palms in their hands. Crying with a loud voice saying, 'Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the Throne.'"

I suppose the question arises, "Who are those people?" Obviously they are not the Church as the Church saints are in Heaven. They're not Israel because they are from every tribe and kindred and nation. These surely are Gentiles who after the Church has been raptured and have left and who may never have heard the Gospel beforehand and who don't know what it means to be saved will be born again. But, because the waited until after the Rapture, they are now faced with living during the period called the Tribulation, or the Great Tribulation and may want to call out upon the name of the Lord. Having rejected Christ as Savior in their earlier days, they may now want to call upon the name of the Lord and be saved.

August Rosado, Today in Bible Prophecy Ministries
Matthew 24:14 tells us, "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached unto all the nations and then shall the end come." So, even during the Tribulation period you will have those who will be preaching the Gospel. Well, how do we know that? Revelation 7 reveals God raises up 144,000 male Jewish Israelites consisting of 12,000 each from the 12 tribes of Israel. These guys are going to be prophesying during the Tribulation period, and I believe multitudes are going to get saved due to their witness.

Then we jump to Revelation 11 where God raises up these Two Witnesses. Revelation 11:3 says, "And I will give power unto my two witnesses and they shall prophesy thousand two hundred and threescore days in sackcloth." That's 1,260 days the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation period! Agai,n I believe multitudes are going to become saved due to their witnessing.

Then we jump to Revelation 14:6 where John says, "I saw an angel preaching the everlasting Gospel to them who dwell on the earth."

So, the Church isn't going to be here preaching the Gospel during the Tribulation, because we are going to be in Heaven for that seven year period of time. God is going to raise up these three groups to preach the Gospel, and unsaved people will be getting saved during that time.


In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to answer the seventh question, "If the Church is not going to be present on this earth during the Tribulation, will people be able to be saved, and if so, how?"

Friday, August 24, 2012

Revelation Panel: Salvation After the Rapture - Part 2

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Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. Some of the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to address:

#6. What about those who hear the Gospel before the Rapture and reject it, can they be saved during the Tribulation?

Don McGee, Crown and Sickle Ministries
That's an interesting question, and the answer that I have is, yes, they will have the opportunity to be saved after the Rapture. The way I see it is this, the passage in question that Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians has to do with the Tribulation period. That's when people will hear the Gospel and their hearts will be hardened against it and they simply will not want to have anything to do with it. If you look at this passage, you also see that what Paul said in Romans 1, which is basically the same thing. He said that there are people who simply don't want to believe. Their hearts are hardened, so God is going to give them their ultimate judgment, which is He is going to give them exactly what they asked for. If you look at this carefully you'll see that both Romans 1 and the passage in 2 Thessalonians are actually saying the same thing, just at two different times.

The hearts of men can be very wicked and evil, and there will be hatred of God and a hatred of God's Word. We see that today even, and the world will see it during the Tribulation period. At the same time, there are people whose hearts are permeable. I believe that there will be people during the Tribulation who have heard the Gospel earlier in their lives or they will see it maybe in a new light. Though they rejected the Gospel, yet their hearts were not so hardened as we see in Romans 1. They I believe will hear it again, and this time perhaps because of events that are happening around them will accept Jesus as their Savior.

Ed Hindson, World Prophetic Ministry
I think ultimately only the Lord knows that for sure. The debate there is really over how one interprets the passage in 2 Thessalonians 2. That they will all believe a lie and be condemned, does that mean everybody who rejects the Lord and continues to reject the Lord before the Rapture that after the Rapture tends to believe the lie and will not be converted? Or, does Paul mean if they had an opportunity to hear the truth but they willfully and deliberately rejected the truth?

Technically in the text of 2 Thessalonians 2 it doesn't say they heard the truth and willfully rejected it. It simply says they didn't believe it and instead they believed the lie. If they ever did hear it may be a matter of debate.

I was saved as a young person and grew up in a church that preached very strongly that if you don't get saved before the Rapture you will not have a chance after the Rapture. There are many good people who teach Bible prophecy that believe you will have another chance after the Rapture. They believe that it's almost impossible to think the grace of God has limited itself to only speaking to you once, and if you've made a rejection at one point you'll never have another opportunity.

For me, I believe that, yes, people will have an opportunity to be saved after the Rapture, but the tragedy is very few will. Most will not. Constantly through the book of Revelation it says, "And they did not repent. And they did not repent. And they did not repent." I remind people all the time, if you're not going to accept Christ in an age of peace and prosperity for the most part, why in the world do you think you would accept Him after the Rapture when you are going to get your head cut off for your faith in Christ? Why would you even take that chance? Plus, you don't even know if you are going to live until the Rapture comes. So, if you can't say "Yes" to Jesus and live for Him now, why do you think you are going to be willing to say "Yes" and die for Him later? You'd better not take any chances. You need to come to Christ right now.

Mark Hitchcock, Faith Bible Church
There is a question that often gets asked. These people who have heard the Gospel clearly before the Rapture and they reject it and then the Rapture comes, these are the people who are going to be doomed and not have an opportunity to be saved. This is based on 2 Thessalonians 2 where it talks about those who reject the love of God so as not to receive the truth and the therefore believe the lie.

Many say people who rejected the Gospel clearly are finished after the Rapture. They are done getting any more chances. The difficulty I have with that view is if one reads 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 in the context of that chapter, I believe it's talking about people during the Tribulation period who reject the truth of the Gospel and believe the lie, that is the lie that the Antichrist is God. So, in other words, they rejected the Gospel, they've not accepted Christ, and they've turned to worshipping the Antichrist. I think what Paul is saying is that the people who will accept the Antichrist during the Tribulation period God then is going to send upon them it says "strong delusion." That's kind of like once they've made their choice during the Tribulation for Antichrist, God is going to say they've made their choice now and He's going to drive them even further into that delusion.

Now, it's true, I think if someone doesn't accept Christ now in this time it's certainly not going to get any easier for them to accept Christ after the Rapture. So, it may be that many who reject Him now will continue to do so, but I wouldn't use 2 Thessalonians 2 to prove that point.

Ken Humphries, Treasured Truth Today Ministries
No. If my understanding of 2 Thessalonians 2 is correct, I don't think their acceptance of Christ after the Rapture can be the case. In 2 Thessalonians 2 we read in verse 8, "Then shall that wicked one be revealed whom the Lord consume with the spirit of his mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause…" This is about those who have rejected Christ; those who have refused to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul writing to the church of Thessalonica says, "For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie," as it is in other translations.

To me, the following verse says it all in verse 12, "That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." So, those who have come through this period of grace, these days of grace, and having heard the Gospel preached to them very powerfully and very forcefully and rejected and rebelled the call of God, when that day of grace is over and when the Rapture comes and the Church is taken home, they will be left to face this amazing punishment. They will receive this delusion that will come even from God and it will bring permanent damnation to their souls.


In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, the members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will answer the seventh question, "If the Church is not going to be present on this earth during the Tribulation, will people be able to be saved, and if so, how?"

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Revelation Panel: Salvation After the Rapture - Part 1

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Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. Some of the members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will now address:

#6. What about those who hear the Gospel before the Rapture and reject it, can they be saved during the Tribulation?

A quick summary of how our experts responded to this question shows answers are varied, in that seven answered "Yes" and four "No." Two were not sure. Off interview, Dr. David Reagan expressed his own personal answer as "No" because he believes that 2 Thessalonians 2 teaches that such a person will continue to reject the Gospel even during the Tribulation.

Daymond Duck, Prophecy Plus Ministries
This is a tough teaching, but I do believe that those who hear the Gospel before the Rapture and reject it won't be saved after the Rapture of the Church. Now, I know that many men, women and children will perish if that is true, but I go back and cite the example of the Ark. When God shut the door to Noah's Ark many men, women and children perished in that instant.

Second Thessalonians 2:10 reveals why people will perish in the future. It says, "The Antichrist will come with all deceivableness of unrighteousness and them that perish…" Why? "Because they receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved." Verse 11 reveals what kind of judgment will fall on those who didn't get saved. It says, "God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie." Verse 12 reveals how many will perish. It says, "that they all might be damned who believe not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

There are people who want to water this down. They want to say all won't perish, just some will perish and some will be saved. Part will perish and part will be saved some say. But, my answer to that God said "all." If God didn't mean all, God would have said "some" or "part," but He said "all." A-L-L. I don't believe that God is mentally challenged. I believe God says what He wants to say and He means what He says. He will do what He says.

The strong delusion reminds me of the blinding of the Jews, the hardening of Pharaoh's heart, and God giving gays up to a reprobate mind. Remember Jesus talking about the Laodicean Church which I think is the church at the end of the age? He says the lukewarm will be spewed out. He didn't say "some of them." He said the lukewarm will be spewed out. And so, I believe all of them will be spewed out. He told us that there is a straight gate and a narrow way, and I believe that and I believe people need to believe exactly what the Bible says, too.

Al Gist, Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries
I know there is a lot of debate about this topic. I've heard this question asked a lot of times. In response, I take the time to go back again and read 2 Thessalonians 2 to arrive at a really firm conclusion. My conclusion is that, yes, people who have heard the Gospel prior to the Rapture and rejected the offer of salvation will still be able to be saved after the Rapture of the Church. Now, I know that some people would try to say that is Second Change Theology. Second Change Theology is not that at all. Second Change Theology is trying to say that people can be saved after they die. I don't believe that, but I am glad that God gave me more than one chance in this life. He gave me many chances to be saved until I finally accepted what He was offering me. So, yes, I do believe that people will have that opportunity even though they may have rejected the Gospel before the Rapture.

After the Rapture God will send a strong delusion. Like I said, I am familiar with that passage in 2 Thessalonians, but a careful study of that for me personally says that everything that is being talked about there has to do with the Antichrist and the things that are going on during the Tribulation. And so, those people who will reject the truth I believe is a reference to people who are living in the Tribulation.

The long answer would take some time to go through it, but in short, yes, I do believe that people will have that opportunity. In fact, I believe immediately after the Rapture people who have heard the Gospel and rejected it will immediately fall on their face before God and cry out for the mercies of God. Our God whose mercies are infinite will hear their cry and they will be saved.

August Rosado, Today in Bible Prophecy Ministries
That's a real popular question. I get this question a lot during at prophecy conferences that I preach at around the country.

How I interpret 2 Thessalonians 2 is that during the Church Age that we are in right now, because the Rapture hasn't taken place yet, if someone hears and understands the Gospel and they willfully and outright rejected it, they would probably not have the opportunity during the Tribulation period to get saved. The Bible says that God will send a strong delusion that they would believe the lie of the Antichrist when He comes on the scene, that they all might be damned who believe not the truth but have pleasure in unrighteousness.

However, on the flip side of the coin, I believe those during the Church Age who have not heard the Gospel and have not understood it would probably have that opportunity during the Tribulation period to get saved. They'll simply accept based on the preaching of the 144,000, the Two Witnesses, and the angel preaching the everlasting Gospel.


In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, some of the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to answer the sixth question, "What about those who hear the Gospel before the Rapture and reject it, can they be saved during the Tribulation?"

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Revelation Panel: Rapture in Revelation - Part 2

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Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. Some of the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to address:

#5. Can the Rapture of the Church be found anywhere in the book of Revelation? And if so, where?

Jack Kinsella, The Omega Letter
I believe it is, yes. I believe that in Revelation 4:1 where it says, "Then I looked and I heard a voice from Heaven, as it were the sound of a trumpet, and it said, 'Come up hither," and instantly John says, 'I was transported in the spirit into heaven.'"

Also, if you follow the perspective of the rest of the story or outline of the revelation from John, everything about the Church is in Heaven. Everything that has to do with what is going on earth is separate from where John is looking at it. John is looking down from Heaven. He is in the presence of the Lord. He is in the presence of the martyrs. He's in the presence of the Tribulation saints. But, at no time is the Church itself present on earth. So, I believe the vision that's here is between the Lord in the first three chapters to the Seven Churches, speaking essentially to the churches of this Church Age. And then after God reveals this is what is going to happen next.

Ed Hindson, World Prophetic Ministry
That's a good question! It's there obviously by implication. Is there a clear cut, slam dunk verse that we can say that's absolutely the Rapture no matter what? No, but I think it is a matter of accumulative evidence. Certainly the message to the Church of Philadelphia is that you will escape the judgment that is coming in the future and that you will be taken out from the hour of trial. That certainly sounds like the Rapture. It's a promise to a church that's pictured as a faithful church that is doing everything right. There are no words of condemnation against that church.

John being caught up into Heaven many see as a kind of picture or type of the Rapture.

The one thing that I think a lot of people overlook is you've got a very clear Rapture in the book of Revelation in the story of the Two Witnesses. They're preaching the Gospel. They are executed and put to death by the Beast who is the Antichrist. Their bodies lie dead in the street for 3 1/2 days before the Spirit of God enters into then and resurrects them. God then says to them, "Come on up," and — Zap! — they're raptured right out of sight. Now, why would God go to all the trouble to let them die, resurrect them, and rapture them presumably at the middle point of the Tribulation period? I think it was to convince people that the Rapture had occurred earlier and that this disappearance of millions of people that seems so unexplainable is now explained by God himself in a mini-rapture if you will of the two witnesses who are then a picture of the greater Rapture in the book of Revelation.

Terry James, Rapture Ready
Yes, I believe it is to be found in two places. First, and maybe moreso than any, but first is in Revelation 3:10 where it says that, "Because you've kept the word of my patience I will keep you out of the hour of testing," which we believe to be the Tribulation hour. The Tribulation hour includes the wrath that is coming upon the whole world for rebellion and sin.

The second place I think the Rapture is found for sure is in Revelation 4:1 where it says the door is open in Heaven and John hears a voice say, "come up hither." Then John suddenly is in the Throne Room of God and he sees all the things he sees there.

I think also there are types of raptures probably associated with the Two Witnesses as they are lifted up into Heaven.

Gary Fisher, Lion of Judah Ministries
When I first started studying the book of Revelation I found Revelation 3:10 and I memorized it in the old King James Version. "Because thou hast kept the word of my perseverance I will also keep thee from the hour of testing. That hour that is about to come upon the world to try them that dwell upon the earth." Is the Rapture in the book of Revelation? I don't know what else we could conclude from that verse. There is a group of people who are going to be kept from not the Tribulation, but the hour of the Tribulation, the time of it. That's a little bit different. So, yes, I find the Rapture there.

Also, in the construction of the book, we get through the first three chapters and the churches are mentioned. Then Revelation 4:1 John says, "Come up here." Many believe that is symbolic of the Rapture. John becomes a representative of the whole Churches showing the church is now gone to Heaven. In Revelation 4:1 it's very, very conspicuous that the Church is not mentioned again until we get through Revelation 19. The Church is absent from Revelation chapters 4-19.

Tom McCall, Tom McCall Ministries
I believe it is. We have the promise to the Church through one of the Seven Churches that they will kept from the hour of the wrath of God. That is so important because then they have that promise that they will not go through the wrath of the Lamb which is described so fully in the later chapters.

I also think we have a type of the Rapture with John where the Lord says to John, "Come up here." John then sees the wonders of Heaven. That's so much like what is going to happen to the Church when we are caught up to be in Heaven with the Lord. I think that is a similarity, and of course, it is at the end of the Church section there with the three chapters of John being caught up to Heaven. It seems like that is where the Rapture is portrayed. The Rapture is not highly developed in Revelation, but it's there.


In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, the members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will answer the sixth question, "What about those who hear the Gospel before the Rapture and reject it, can they be saved during the Tribulation?"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Revelation Panel: Rapture in Revelation - Part 1

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Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. Some of the members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will now address:

#5. Can the Rapture of the Church be found anywhere in the book of Revelation? And if so, where?

Al Gist, Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries
The Rapture is found in an indirect way in Revelation 4:1. The Bible there says that the windows of Heaven are opened up and John hears a voice saying, "Come up hither." Next we find John in the very Throne Room of God in Heaven. I think that's a picture of the Rapture of the Church — the snatching away, the sudden calling up of God's people to Heaven to be with the Lord. So, in that sense, I would say the Rapture is mentioned. Although, I wouldn't say that it's a major topic of Revelation, but it certainly is mentioned in an indirect way.

August Rosado, Today in Bible Prophecy Ministries
Some would use Revelation 4:1 to teach about the Rapture of the Church. But, I see it as John being translated from Earth to Heaven where he is seeing this heavenly scene. What he is seeing are the events of Revelation chapters 4 and 5. He sees the four and twenty elders around the throne. I believe that is the raptured Church. And so, I do believe that Revelation 4:1 is a Rapture per-say, but not directly referring to the Rapture of the Church. It is just John being transported from Earth to Heaven to see the events that will happen in the not too distant future.

You can use what John sees though Revelation 4:1 to prove a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, because we have the four and twenty elders around the throne who are the raptured Church. Then we have chapters 6-19 which deal with Daniel's Seventieth Week of prophecy which is the Tribulation period. Then we have Revelation 19 where Jesus is coming back with His Church, especially verse 14, and the armies which were in Heaven followed Him upon white horses clothed in fine linen white and clean. I'm convinced that verse 14 is referring to us. That's our cue! We are coming back with Jesus at His Second Coming.

So, Revelation 4:1 is a Rapture per-say, but it's more or less John being transferred from Earth to Heaven.

Daymond Duck, Prophecy Plus Ministries
Some people place the Rapture of the Church when the Seventh Angel blows the Seventh Trumpet. Others place the Rapture of the Church when the Two Witnesses ascend up into Heaven. Still others like me place it in Revelation 4:1-2.

We can go to Revelation 4:1-2 and see that John heard this voice in Heaven, he saw a door open, and he heard this voice in Heaven which sounded like a trumpet. The voice says, "Come up hither." John was caught up into Heaven. I believe his body was changed. He was in the spirit. He finds himself suddenly before the throne of God. That's a pretty good picture of what is going to happen at the Rapture of the Church.

I disagree with those who say the Rapture happens when the Seventh Angel blows the Seventh Trumpet for several reasons. I want to just quickly give three reasons. Firstly, the rapture of the Church is about catching believers up into Heaven. The Seventh Trumpet is about the judgment of unbelievers on earth. Secondly, another reason would be the Rapture of the Church is about grace. It is about an undeserving Church being caught up into Heaven. But, the Seventh Trumpet is about wrath. It's about the judgment falling on unbelievers on earth. And thirdly, another reason is that God says, "Comfort one another with these word." Well, we find that the Seventh Trumpet makes people on earth angry.

Concerning the Two Witnesses, we see that they ascend up into Heaven before the Seventh Trumpet. Their ascension really doesn't look like it occurs in a moment and in a twinkling of an eye like the Rapture of the Church. They stand up on their feet, they walk around, and the whole world sees them as they ascend up into Heaven.

Mark Hitchcock, Faith Bible Church
I don't think the Rapture is found specifically in the book of Revelation. A lot of people will look at passages like Revelation 4:1 where it talks about a trumpet and John is caught up to Heaven. That is John being caught up to Heaven I don't really think is a picture of the Rapture.

Now, in Revelation 3:10, there is a statement about God's people the Church. It is written to the Church of Philadelphia, but I think the letter to those Seven Churches are to all believers, because he says to each one he says, "Hear what the Spirit says to the Churches." So, it is for all of God's people. Revelation 3:10 does say there that God is going to keep us from the hour of testing that is coming upon the whole earth to test those who dwell on the earth. There is a beautiful picture! He doesn't just say, "I'm going to keep you from the testing," but he says, "I'm going to keep you from the time of the testing." The only way I know to be kept from the time of the test is to not be there. So, I think Revelation 3:10 is a statement that certainly implies at least strongly the idea of a Pre-Trib Rapture.

Another place where I think we could see the idea of the Pre-Trib Rapture in Revelation is where we have the word ecclesia or Church mentioned twenty times in the book of Revelation. We have it 19 times in chapters 1-3 and then all of a sudden no mention of the Church. The next time the Church is mentioned, the word ecclesia is used is Revelation 22:16.

By these kinds of statements we can see the idea of a Pre-Trib Rapture in Revelation, although it's never just clearly spelled out or stated. There are a lot of these clues in there, therefore I think we can indicate that Christ is going to come and take the Church out before the Tribulation begins.


In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to answer the fifth question, "Can the Rapture of the Church be found in the book of Revelation?"

Monday, August 20, 2012

Revelation Panel: History or Prophecy? Part 2

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Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. The remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to address:

#4. Is the book of Revelation history or prophecy?

This question regarding the book of Revelation is a very important one. It has to do with a very strange interpretation of the book of Revelation that's called Preterism. That word is based a Latin word that means "past tense," and thus, a Preterist is a person who believes that most of the prophecies in the book of Revelation were fulfilled in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. Extreme Preterists even believe that the Second Coming of Jesus occurred at that time.

In summary, Preterists believe the book of Revelation was written before 70 AD and that it contains prophecy that has been fulfilled rather than prophecies that relate to the future. So, the question for our Bible prophecy experts is really more on how they would respond to the Preterist argument that the book of Revelation is history rather than prophecy.

Tom McCall, Tom McCall Ministries
The Preterists believe that the Second Coming of Christ occurred before or at 70 AD. Well, that means they've got to get everything in the New Testament including the writing of the book of Revelation occurring before 70 AD. But, that just doesn't stand up to history. That would mean that John would have been put into prison on Patmos during the time of Nero. Nero was very concerned about Christianity in Rome, but one never reads about him persecuting Christians outside of Rome. So, how would that fit in? It just doesn't make sense. We do see that the emperors later were very concerned about Christianity all throughout the Roman Empire. That would have fit very well with the scenario of John being on Patmos and writing the book of Revelation in the 90's. That's the traditional view and it fits into history, and that's the better view by all means.

Nathan Jones, Lamb & Lion Ministries
With all due respect to our brothers and sisters in Christ who follow the Preterist view, but they've got to be blind. I mean, Israel is a nation again. After almost 1,900 years of Israel being exiled and roaming the world, they became a nation again in May of 1948. They're not just any nation either; Israel's the nation of the Bible. So, clearly God still has a purpose for them.

The Preterist view is based on the fact that the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD and so the book of Revelation must have been written before 70 AD. But, Irenaeus who was one of the Early Church Father's stated that at the end of Domitian's reign, which was 81-96 AD, that that's when John wrote the book of Revelation. So, about 95 AD. Clearly the references to the Temple in the book of Revelation are to a future temple, not the Temple which was destroyed in 70 AD. I think between those two facts it is very obvious that Preterism isn't a correct interpretation of end time prophecy.

Don McGee, Crown and Sickle Ministries
There are some reasons why I believe that the book of Revelation was written at a late date. Irenaeus was an Early Church Father. He lived during the Second Century. He said that Revelation was written in the last part of Domitian's reign. Domitian died about AD 96.

If you look at the structure of the book you can see that there is a flow of events there. The seven letters written to the Seven Churches were written at a time when the Seven Churches were in decline. If we place Revelation before 70 AD at the early date, those churches were not in decline. During the time of Paul the churches were doing pretty well. During the time of Nero the first generation of those Church leaders were still there. They were conservative and they were very fundamental in both doctrine and theology. But, by the time of Domitian, the second generation was there. Because of the influence of the Greek and Roman world, that second generation of leaders had changed their thinking concerning doctrinal kinds of things. So, the letters written to the Seven Churches were written to correct those faltering. They could not have been written during the time of Nero.

Lastly, if you look at the book there are some things that are clearly and plainly addressed that must be relegated to a future date.

Ed Hindson, World Prophetic Ministry
Revelation says that it is prophecy. The book itself calls itself a prophecy. It is a revelation of what will come here after in the future, not in the past. Next, trying to date the book in the 60's is virtually impossible. None of the Early Church Father's thought that. Preterists argue that the Antichrist figure in the book who is the beast is Nero, and yet for the first 500 years of Church history not one person in print suggests Nero was the Antichrist. If the people living closest to the time of Nero did not think he was the Antichrist, why in the world should we think that 21 centuries later?

Jack Kinsella, The Omega Letter
I think there is plenty of evidence which says the book of the Revelation was written well after AD 70. But, whether or not it was is really irrelevant, because the events that are described in the book of Revelation have not been fulfilled in history, or even come close to being fulfilled in history. Not the least of which, the events described in the book of Revelation is the Second Coming of Christ. So, if Revelation is all history, then well that certainly doesn't make any sense.

Ken Humphries, Treasured Truth Today Ministries
I believe the Lord came in judgment in AD 70, although not visibly. But, He did not come in His kingdom. To me that's the big part of this question.

I was researching this and found there are actually ten amazing thoughts about when Christ comes in His kingdom. Number one, He will return to earth and be seen by every eye. Now that did not happen in AD 70. When He comes in His Kingdom, the Jewish people will be regathered. That didn't happen in AD 70. When He comes in His Kingdom there will be no wars on earth. That didn't happen in AD 70. When He comes in His Kingdom the Kingdom will be restored to Israel. That didn't happen in AD 70. When He comes in His Kingdom it will be a time of great deliverance. That didn't happen in AD 70. And when He comes in His Kingdom God's Sanctuary which is His Temple will be in the midst of His people. That didn't happen in AD 70. When Jesus comes in His Kingdom there will be a priesthood operative again in the Temple. That didn't happen in AD 70. When He comes in His Kingdom the Jews will posses their land again. That didn't happen in AD 70. When He comes in His Kingdom there will be a message of good news declared to Jerusalem. That certainly didn't happen in AD 70. And, when Jesus comes in His Kingdom there will be joy and gladness brought to the people of God. That didn't happen in AD 70. I believe this didn't take place in AD 70 because the Jews were fortunate enough to survive the Roman invasion, yet they didn't have joy and gladness. They didn't have anything other than sorrow, and real depths of sorrow after that.


In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, the members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will answer the fifth question, "Can the Rapture of the Church be found in the book of Revelation?"

Friday, August 17, 2012

Revelation Panel: History or Prophecy? Part 1

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Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. The members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will now address:

#4. Is the book of Revelation history or prophecy?

This question regarding the book of Revelation is a very important one. It has to do with a very strange interpretation of the book of Revelation that's called Preterism. That word is based a Latin word that means "past tense," and thus, a Preterist is a person who believes that most of the prophecies in the book of Revelation were fulfilled in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. Extreme Preterists even believe that the Second Coming of Jesus occurred at that time.

In summary, Preterists believe the book of Revelation was written before 70 AD and that it contains prophecy that has been fulfilled rather than prophecies that relate to the future. So, the question for our Bible prophecy experts is really more on how they would respond to the Preterist argument that the book of Revelation is history rather than prophecy.

Mark Hitchcock, Faith Bible Church
The difficulty that Preterism has is when they try to go through the book of Revelation and consistently take what it says in a literal way. If you use a consistent, literal interpretation they can't fit the events in the book of Revelation into the events around 70 AD. They try to fit it all in the Roman war, the Jewish War, and the events of 70 AD concerning the destruction of Jerusalem. But what they do is they find some things that you could fit with a stretch, but then when they come to places that don't fit they say, "Well, that's just symbolic." So, they're not consistent. And a friend of mine used to say, "If you keep changing the rules in the middle of the game then you know anybody could win that way." And, that's what they do.

The other big problem they have is the book of Revelation was not written in 65 AD. They take it as prophecy of events in 70 AD, which means it had to be written before 70 AD. Whereas, the consistent witness of Church history from the very beginning is that the book of Revelation was written near the end of Domitian's reign in 95 AD. So, if the book of Revelation was written one day after 70 AD, then the whole view goes down the drain. What's really the Achilles' heel of Preterism is that the book of Revelation was written in 95 AD.

Al Gist, Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries
I would say that Preterism is probably the most ridiculous interpretation of Bible Scripture ever devised by man. The idea that the book of Revelation was fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD is utterly ridiculous. I mean, where in 70 AD do we find the great Two Witnesses? Where do we find the 144,000 special servants of God? Was there a great earthquake, the mother of all earthquakes, at that time? Were there 100 pound hailstones falling from the sky? And above everything else, did Jesus come at that time?

The only way a Preterist can answer any of those questions and many more like them is to just spiritualize the Scriptures. They simple say that even though the Bible says it clearly this way, it doesn't mean it that way, it means something different. Of course, if you do that you can make the Bible say anything in the world.

So, Preterism in my mind is just is way off the mark. It doesn't even come close to truly understanding end time events.

Daymond Duck, Prophecy Plus Ministries
Preterism is nonsense. I just want to cut right to the chase — its nonsense. Preterists spiritualize the Scriptures. They allegorize them. They have the Bible saying things that it does not say. I think because they do this kind of thing they do a lot of harm. They cause a lot of misunderstanding and a lot of damage in the Church.

I believe the book of Revelation is a book of prophecy. One, because God gave it and He never calls it a book of history. In fact, five times in the book of Revelation He calls it a book of prophecy. So, if God calls it a book of prophecy, I really am kind of offended by people calling it a book of history. God knows what He wrote.

The Bible tells us to watch for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. There would be no reason to watch for it if all prophecy has been fulfilled if Jesus has come back. It is not a book of history. There is no evidence that there was a seven year covenant before 70 AD for peace in the Middle East. There is no evidence that Babylon was destroyed by fire in 70 AD in one hour, and in fact it wasn't. There is no evidence that the Euphrates River dried up so the Kings of the East could cross in 70 AD. There is no evidence that anybody was able to track all buying and selling in 70 AD. There is no evidence that the sun and the moon were darkened and the stars fell out of the sky in 70 AD. There is no evidence that the Two Witnesses were killed and their bodies lay in the street of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days and the whole world could see them in 70 AD. There is no evidence that Jesus came back and rescued Israel at the Battle of Armageddon in 70 AD. Rather, if you think about it, there is tons of evidence that these things are coming on the scene right now in the form of the peace negotiations and globalism and technology and barcodes and television, and all of these kind of things.

Don Perkins, According to Prophecy Ministries
My response is that the Preterist view is wrong for a number of reasons. I believe that there are many events in the book of Revelation that have not been fulfilled. We just haven't seen them completed after 70 AD. Case in point is the Mark of the Beast. Chapter 20 of Revelation gives us the literal reign of the Messiah. No where in history do you see Christ reigning on the throne of David as the Messiah. So, there are a number of events that the book of Revelation talks about that just haven't happened. We have the 21 judgments of the Great Tribulation. No where do we see that in world history to make the book of Revelation complete. No, I believe the Preterist view in incorrect.

August Rosado, Today in Bible Prophecy Ministries
I disagree strongly with the Preterist interpretation. Many of the Early Church Fathers believed that the book of Revelation was written between 90 and 96 AD. For instance, Irenaeus who was a disciple of Polycarp was directly discipled by the Apostle John, and he said that John authored the book of Revelation at the end of Domitian's reign. Domitian reigned roughly between 81-96 AD, so here we have an early source that confirms that John wrote the book during 81 to 96 AD. I would rather believe an earlier source rather than an 18th Century source, in this case Luis del Alcázar. That's the main reason why I strongly disagree with the Preterist's viewpoint. The Early Church Fathers believed that John wrote that book between 90 and 96 AD. With that case the Preterist's view goes out the window.

Gary Fisher, Lion of Judah Ministries
First of all, if Revelation is history then where is Jesus at the Mount of Olives in Revelation 19? There is no account of Jesus ever coming back to this earth as of yet. Praise the Lord He is coming as King of Kings and Lord of Lords! But, He hasn't been here yet. To insist that this is history is nothing but an insult to the glory that will appear when He shows up on the Mount of Olives, and that never has happened.

Second of all, in Revelation 6 carnage is described in the first eight verses. I believe 25% of the world's population will die. That has never occurred in history. The problem emerges and the question comes: "Do we take this book literally?" Is the Second Coming of Christ even allegorical? Is Revelation 6 allegorical? This 25% of the population dying, is that just an allegorical statement that some people die? We get into so much trouble allegorizing the Scripture. If we take it literally, then none of it has ever been fulfilled in history.

There is also a third issue concerning the question of the date Revelation was written. We have the writings of the Early Church Father's that give credence to the fact that it was written at a later date, say 95 AD, Irenaeus wrote something about Domitian being in place when John wrote. There couldn't be an early date of 70 AD then, so Revelation had to have been written at a later date.


In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to answer the fourth question, "Is the book of Revelation history or prophecy?"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Revelation Panel: The Theme of Revelation - Part 2

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Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. The remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to address:

#3. What is the theme of the book of Revelation?

Don McGee, Crown and Sickle Ministries
The theme of the book of Revelation is God revealing to us through Jesus what He is going to do. If you look at the first verse of chapter 1, you see that God gave Jesus this revelation to give to us. Again, that implies a need for us to know some things. It's also a statement that says man does not know what's going to happen, but he needs to know. Only God knows what the future holds. Our Lord is not the kind of God that's capricious in any kind of way. He doesn't just act randomly. He wants us to understand a course of history that He has set about and which He is going to bring to a conclusion.

Mark Hitchcock, Faith Bible Church
The overall theme of the book of Revelation I believe is the reign of the Messiah. It's the kingdom of God on the earth.

A couple of key chapters in Revelation are Revelation 4 and 5, an there we have a picture especially in Revelation 5 of Jesus the Son of Man and the lamb who is a lion. Jesus takes the Seven Sealed Scroll from the hand of the Father. Jesus is the one then who begins to open the seals on the scroll. The only document in ancient times that was sealed that way with seven seals by seven witnesses was one's last will and testament. So, I think Jesus there in this passage is taking the will or the inheritance from the Father. In order for Him to get the inheritance these seals have to be opened, which is one judgment right after another.

The Seventh Seal then issues forth into Seven Trumpets. I believe the Seventh Trumpet and the Seventh Bowl is when all that is finally taken place in Revelation 20 happens and the Kingdom of God comes to this earth. I think that's what the book of Revelation is about.

What I would say to kind of give a definition is that the book of Revelation is the advanced history of how Jesus Christ by means of judgment becomes King. God's given the advanced history of how Jesus Christ becomes King, but it's through judgment He judges the sinful world first. All of human history reaches it pinnacle and zenith in the Kingdom of God instituted here on earth.

Ken Humphries, Treasured Truth Today Ministries
To me the overall theme of the book of Revelation of Jesus Christ is Jesus Christ. You read through the Book of the Revelation chapters 1-3 and you see Jesus there as the Lord walking in the midst of the Churches. You come into chapter 4 and 5 and you see the Lord Jesus in the midst of the throne. You come into chapter 6-20 and you see Jesus as the lion in the midst of the tribes. Chapters 21-22 you see Jesus as the light in the midst of eternity. So, for me the whole theme of the Book of the Revelation is primarily Jesus Christ. There would be more added themes to that, but primarily for me the theme is Jesus Christ.

Terry James, Rapture Ready
I'd say it is a revelation, not of many prophecies or many different unfolding of events and things like that, but a revelation of Jesus Christ in all of His power and glory and honor. Revelation is also a record announcing the end from the beginning of the history until the consummation of human history. The fact is that God knows the end from the beginning, of course, which is another reason to study Bible prophecy.

Tom McCall, Tom McCall Ministries
Revelation is about Jesus Christ. It is His revelation. He is the one being revealed. It's specifically about His Second Coming. That's the overall theme. But, there are a lot of details involved. Revelation includes Church history. There's the Rapture of the Church. There's the Tribulation period. There's the whole rise of the Antichrist and his fall, and then Armageddon. Then, there is the Second Coming of Christ followed by the truth about the Millennium and the eternal state. There are a lot of details, but the basic theme is — Christ is coming again.

Nathan Jones, Lamb & Lion Ministries
I got a crash course in this question during my ordination interview. When I was being ordained a bunch of elders surrounded around me and they were all asking questions. The one sitting right in front of me says, "In a few words sum up the book of Revelation." Well, I went on and on and on about sheep and goats and the Antichrist and topics like that. But he stopped me and said, "No, no, no! It's this: get ready." That was so simple! He was right, Revelation is about getting ready. Get ready for Jesus to come back. Get your life in order. And, get ready for an eternity with Christ.


In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, the members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will answer the fourth question, "Is the book of Revelation history or prophecy?"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Revelation Panel: The Theme of Revelation - Part 1

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Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. The members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will now address:

#3. What is the theme of the book of Revelation?

Ed Hindson, World Prophetic Ministry
I think the ultimate theme of the book of Revelation is the person of Jesus Christ Himself. That it's not just a prophecy of what is going to happen in the future, that's certainly involved, but it's ultimately all about Who is coming in the future. Jesus is coming, and He is coming in triumph and in victory.

The theme really is like a two-sided message. The Seven Sealed Scroll is written on the inside and on the outside. I think it's a message to the world on the outside — bad news, you lose. And, it's a message to the Church on the inside — good news, we win. That's as simple as you can make the message of the book of Revelation.

Al Gist, Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries
The theme of Revelation is that God is going to be the ultimate victor in everything. The day is going to come when Jesus Christ will return to this earth and He will destroy all the enemies of God. He will establish His kingdom, His rightful kingdom on this planet. He will rule for a thousand years in what we call the Millennial Kingdom. Even beyond, we enter into the eternal ages of ages where we will live with our God in His very presence. So, to me, the theme of Revelation is to give us that future hope.

In Revelation 1:19 I believe, the Bible says that God told John something like, "I'm going to show you the things which you have seen. I want you to write about those things which you have seen, those things which are, and the things which shall be here after." That statement kind of gives us an overall overview of the format of what's going to be told.

The emphasis I think for us as Christians is that glorious future that we have in Christ. I would nail that down as the theme.

August Rosado, Today in Bible Prophecy Ministries
The theme of the book of Revelation is the person and program of Jesus Christ, as well as the theme of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. When you read Revelation 1:7 John says, "Behold, He cometh in the clouds and every eye shall see Him. And they also who pierced Him: and all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." When you look at Revelation 1:7 that parallels with the Jewish prophet Zechariah in 12:10 where he says that, "I will pour upon the house of David, upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and supplication: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced." Parallel that with Revelation 19:11 where it says, "I saw Heaven open and behold a white horse and He that sat upon him was called faithful and true and in righteousness doth He judge and make war." So the theme of the book of Revelation is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ back to this earth.

Those verses I just quoted all are Second Coming passages and not about the Rapture. At the Rapture Jesus is coming for His Church, and not every eye is going to see Him except the Church itself. But, at His Second Coming, Jesus is going to come back with His Church. So, the Rapture and the Second Coming are separated by Daniel's Seventieth Week of prophecy which is that seven year period of the Tribulation.

So, the theme of the Book of Revelation I believe would be the Second Coming of Jesus back to this earth.

Daymond Duck, Prophecy Plus Ministries

It's all about Jesus. That's what I would say. It is a prophecy. It is a book of prophecy about Jesus Christ.

In Revelation 19:10 the second part of that verse says, "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." The book of Revelation starts out with the resurrected Jesus and then it starts talking about His dealings with mankind through the Church Age, and then through the Tribulation period, and then through the Millennium, and finally on the New Earth.

In the book of Revelation Jesus is presented as the head of the Church of the line of the tribe of Judah. He's the coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and He's going to sit on His throne and judge mankind. When Jesus is going to come back, He's going to straighten out this world. He's going to defeat the Devil. He's going to finish what He started in the Garden of Eden. It's going to be a wonderful thing!

I just love the book of Revelation. We are living in exciting times and I just wish more people would read it.


In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to answer the third question, "What is the theme of the book of Revelation?"