What is the fate of the Muslims as it is revealed in end-time Bible prophecy?
Let’s consider for a moment the fate of the Muslims as it is revealed in End Time Bible prophecy. The Bible prophesies that God will pour out judgment upon the Arab nations in the end times for their hostility towards the Jews and their attempt to claim the Jewish homeland as their own.
Consider Joel 3:19 for example, this passage has a clear end-time context and in that context it says, “Egypt will become a waste and Edom will become a desolate wilderness because of the violence done to the sons of Judah in whose land they have shed innocent blood.” Keep in mind that “Edom” is often used as a symbolic term for all the Arab peoples, just as “Israel” is used as a term for all the Jewish tribes.
Ezekiel says that all of Edom will be dealt with in the end times because of its hatred against the Jews and its lust for their land. The result will be the desolation of the Arab states.
The book of Obadiah prophesies a similar fate for Edom in the Day of the Lord. Part of this destruction is going to take place in the wars of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38, most likely before the Tribulation begins. Psalm 83 indicates that Israel will defeat the inner ring of Arab nations that have a common border with it. Ezekiel 38 states that God will supernaturally destroy the outer ring of Arab nations that will invade Israel under the leadership of the Russians.
But, these wars affect only the nations in the Middle East. The vast majority of Muslims live in nations outside the Middle East. I believe the Muslims in other parts of the world like Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Indonesia will taste the wrath of God at the beginning of the Tribulation when they refuse to accept the European Antichrist. They will become the focus of the Antichrist military actions to subdue all the world to his authority. The book of Revelation states that one-fourth of humanity will die in the initial military campaign of the Antichrist — that is one and a half billion people in today’s terms! Then we are told the war will expand into what appears as a nuclear holocaust and during this second phase one-third of those remaining will die. That is another one and a half billion! So, a total of three billion people are going to be killed in the wars of the Antichrist during the first half of the Tribulation. I believe that most of these will be Muslims.
But, the future of the Arabs is not all bleak. They must suffer for their sins, just like the Jewish people will suffer during the Tribulation. And like the Jews, we are told in Jeremiah 12 that a remnant of the Arabs will emerge from their suffering with their hearts turned to the one and only true God. The Bible says in Zechariah 2:8, “that the Jewish people are the apple of God’s eye.” But, that does not mean that He has no love for their cousins the Arabs. Just as God has covenants with the Jews, He has a covenant with the Arab peoples. It can be found in Genesis 16 and 17. In this covenant God promised to make the decendents of Ishmael (the Arabs) a great nation and to give them all the land to the east of their Jewish brethren. God has been faithful to those promises. Today there are 22 Arab nations with a combined population of over 300 million people. The Arabs occupy a total area of 5.3 million square miles of oil rich land. By contrast, there is only one Jewish state with a population of only 5 million Jews who are squeezed into only 8,000 square miles of space. That is a population ratio of 58:1 and the land ratio of 662:1! The Arabs have truly been blessed.
There is no partiality with God. He chose the Jews not to be a repository of His blessings, but to be a vehicle through whom He would bless all the nations of the world, including the Arabs. But, the fundamental requirement to receive God’s blessings for both Jew and Arab as well as all people is to accept God’s gift of love in Jesus by receiving Him as Messiah.
When I consider the blessings that God has given the Arab peoples and the grace He is going to show them in the future despite their persecution of His chosen people, I am reminded of what Paul wrote when he considered God’s grace towards his Jewish brethren. He cried out from his heart, “Oh the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways.”
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Although I agree in general with the article. There are not Jewish TribeS. There is a House of Judah and a House of Israel…which consistutes the other 10 tribes. Without a thorough understanding of the two houses that presented throughout Jeremiah, Exekial, and many of the other prophets, I believe that one tends to group both groups as "Jewish tribes."
true, but the bible states they will no longr be two houses but one
God Bless your ministry.
I wanted to comment on the subject matter the fate of the muslim nations. The destruction of Damascus begins the countdown for the Arab nations to repent of their hatred for the Jewish people. The Psalm 83 scenario is the Psalmist view of the battle of Gog from the land of Magog found in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. This same battle is found throughout the scriptures, we also see it in Revelation chapter 6 beginning in verse 3 when the Lion of the tribe of Judah opens the 2nd seal and Gog comes forth riding the red horse. The Prophet Isaiah also shows us this battle, he shows the resurrection and rapture of the Church taking place at the same time this battle kicks off. We see this in chapter 26 beginning in verses 19-21.
Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
The battle of Gog from the land of Magog
For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity:
In this upcoming battle of Gog from the land of Magog millions of muslims will come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Satan and the Anti-christ in the middle of the seven year tribulation will have to force Islam on people with the sword and the mark of the beast system.
Dr. Reagan states, "Part of this destruction is going to take place in the wars of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38, most likely before the Tribulation begins."
Hi Dr. Reagan, thank you for bringing up this topic. It is a fascinating topic to discuss and there are various views regarding how the surrounding Arab nations and the Gog & Magog battle play out in the eschaton. I have to disagree with you here, however, in that this battle begins before the tribulation. To read another view regarding the Gog and Magog battle, please visit the link below which, in my opinion, is the most logical and Scriptural position to take. If we closely review the entire text of Ezekiel 38 and 39, and compare the whole counsel of Scripture, I believe that we can ascertain that this battle begins at the mid point of Daniel's 70th week — when Israel is dwelling in "safety" — and culminates at Armageddon with Christ as "The Holy One IN Israel" just like Ezekiel tells us:
Ezekiel 38, 39 The Battle of Gog and Magog
countdown to the 2nd seal says, "The Prophet Isaiah also shows us this battle, he shows the resurrection and rapture of the Church taking place at the same time this battle kicks off. We see this in chapter 26 beginning in verses 19-21."
I wouldn't say this is when the "battle kicks off", but rather it is when the battle comes to an end with the return of Christ Jesus. I believe that it kicks off when Israel is dwelling in "safety", and this is likely some time shortly right around the Abomination of Desolation in the midst of Daniel's 70th week.
I believe that what we have in Isaiah 26:19-21 is the Day of the Lord. Many are still under the idea that the Day of the Lord is the full seven years of Daniel's 70th week, or at least the final 3.5 years (or some portion of it), however we can be certain from Scripture that this is not the case. Here are a couple of reasons why:
* When Ezekiel 34:4-9 has the armies that come up against Israel already gathered for Armageddon, Ezekiel is clear that the Day of the Lord is "near" or "at hand". The Day of the Lord therefore cannot be the full 70th week of Daniel, but rather it is the event that is to soon take place — God's Divine wrath at Armageddon.
* Joel 2:31 says that "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come." Jesus tells us that these cosmic signs happen immediately after the tribulation in Matthew 24:29. The Day of the Lord, therefore, cannot be the full 70th week of Daniel, but rather happens immediately after the tribulation.
* In 1 and 2 Thessalonians the Apostle Paul directly ties in the Day of the Lord with our gathering together unto Christ — the rapture. Since the Day of the Lord does not happen until immediately after the tribulation, the rapture therefore will not happen until after the tribulation. It is post-trib. (Also note that Paul says in no uncertain terms that two things must happen first before the rapture happens: 1. – the apostasy, and 2. the revealing of the Antichrist).
– Continued on next post
* You mentioned the resurrection as well. Revelation 20 shows us when this resurrection takes place. Rev 20:4,5b reads "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years… This [is] the first resurrection." This is post-trib.
We all know and agree that the dead in Christ rise first, THEN we who are alive and remain will be caught up with them (raptured). If the first resurrection is after the tribulation as Rev 20 shows us, 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. (Also, why would the text say those who are "alive and remain" if the rapture was pre-trib?) The only way for the pre-trib teaching to get around this dilemma is to separate the first resurrection into "phases", which is not supported in Scripture at all. In fact, due to the "phases" contention the pre-trib position is essentially stating that before the first resurrection is even fully completed that the rapture takes place, yet Scripture is very specific is telling us that the dead in Christ rise FIRST, and THEN we who are alive and remain will be caught up. Since there are many dead in Christ after the tribulation, and since this post-trib resurrection is specifically called "the first resurrection", the rapture is also therefore post-trib.
The supernatural destruction of Gog and Magog, Christ physically present in Israel, the nations knowing that the God of Israel is Lord, God's Holy Name known in the midst of His people in Israel, His Name no longer being polluted, the declaration that "It is Done", etc. all points to only one time in the eschaton — the glorious return of Christ and the destruction of the invading armies at Armageddon.
At this point, I hope you get the wish you so desire and get to go through the Tribulation.
But know that when you do it won't be as a great glorification of Mtichell the Martyr with crowds ooohing and aaaahing over how wonderful your suffering for your beliefs is. You and other post-tribbers won't get the adulation you seem to desire so much. And you won't get one more ounce of salvation that you have now or one more reward in Heaven.
JESUS tells us we should pray that we ESCAPE, yes ESCAPE the wrath to come. So that's what I pray for. ESCAPE. And the Bible tells me that's exactly what Christians will receive, an escape from the the wrath of the Tribulation.
Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.
"I have to disagree with you here, however, in that this battle begins before the tribulation."
Well then Mitchell, it seems then that your disagreement is not only with Dr. Reagan but you are also in disagreement with the Word of God through his prophet Ezekiel.
Allow me to explain…
Isaiah 17/Psalm 83 may well occur prior to the Harpazo – there's no hint in either of these prophecies about the Bride of Christ being removed from the Earth when the prophecied events occur. Then again, as we all know, the Harpazo is always an imminence.
However, Gog/Magog is another matter entirely in this regard, and is something I wrote an exegetical work about one month ago. There's an entirely different contextual time perspective apparent at the conclusion of Ezekiel 39:29 in the KJV, NKJV and Young's Literal translations. The Lord's pouring out of His Spirit on all Israel (the house of Israel) is in the past tense … not "I will pour out", but rather "I shall have poured out."
Here is what I wrote about this subject in "Epilogue: The Prophetic Road to Revelation."
"And finally, in verse 29 ("Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD."), we see what I believe is a grammatical past-tense confirmation that the promised saving of all Israel by the Old Testament prophets and by the Apostle Paul (see Romans 11) will have been accomplished no later than the conclusion of the War of Gog/Magog, thereby and according to Dispensationalists such as myself, the Harpazo, the Rapture of the Bride of Christ will have occurred and the Church age will have passed into history, and planet Earth will have arrived on the doorstep of Daniel's 70th Week of Year, the 7-year Tribulation, which will conclude with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His millennial Kingdom."
I think the bottom line of your disagreement (and that of all Islamic Antichrist proponents) is that what Dr. Reagan has written about, and what God has said concerning "The Fate of the Muslims", and what Bill Salus has written in his book "Israelestine" blows a gaping and fatal chest wound into the body the entire eisegesis of the "Islamic Antichrist" proponency.
Billy says, "But know that when you do it won't be as a great glorification of Mtichell the Martyr with crowds ooohing and aaaahing over how wonderful your suffering for your beliefs is. You and other post-tribbers won't get the adulation you seem to desire so much. And you won't get one more ounce of salvation that you have now or one more reward in Heaven."
Hi Billy, you seem to be suggesting that I want to be martyred and go through the Great Tribulation. I wish the pre-trib rapture were true Billy, but Scripturally everything that I read points to a post-trib Second Coming/resurrection/rapture. I cannot believe in something like a pre-trib rapture just because it sounds good and I want it to be true. I must listen to what I believe the Scriptures are telling me.
Billy says, "JESUS tells us we should pray that we ESCAPE, yes ESCAPE the wrath to come. So that's what I pray for. ESCAPE. And the Bible tells me that's exactly what Christians will receive, an escape from the the wrath of the Tribulation."
Where do you see a pre-trib rapture in this verse, or in the context of this verse, unless you first approach the text with a pre-trib presupposition? Can you please show me where the pre-trib rapture is here? There are clues in Luke 21 that tell us when this "escape" happens.
For your consideration, let's look at what Luke tells us a few verses earlier:
Luke 21:25-28, "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars… At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
Jesus says "When these things begin to take place" AFTER describing the cosmic signs that we are told happens immediately after the tribulation in Matt 24:29-31. Why did He not say "when these things begin to take place" before mentioning those post-trib events?
A couple of verses later, in Luke 21:31, Jesus says "when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand", and again these things INCLUDE the cosmic signs and the coming of the Son of Man mentioned a few verses earlier.
Now let's look at Luke 21:34-36, "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, [referring to "that day"] and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."
What day is "that day"? Jesus just gave us cosmic signs that Joel 2:31 tells us happens just BEFORE the Day of the Lord, but immediately AFTER the tribulation according to Jesus in Matt 24:29. "That day" is the Day of the Lord. It is the day of Christ's judgment, of His Divine Wrath. The Greek for "escape" in Luke 21:36 is ekpheugō (G1628) and is used elsewhere to refer to escaping the judgment of God (Romans 2:3). So how do we escape? Paul ties in the Day of the Lord with the rapture in 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and tells us to watch for that day just as Jesus does in Luke 21:36. Since we know that the Day of the Lord is post-trib, the escape — and therefore the rapture — is post-trib as well.
Question for you Billy — where do you see that we are to escape the "wrath" of the Tribulation in Scripture?
Apparently the tribulation ain't that bad according to some folks. Just find yourself a nice safe spot away from the epicenter.
Mitchell wrote: Question for you Billy — where do you see that we are to escape the "wrath" of the Tribulation in Scripture?
Although I don't entirely agree with Billy's answer, I like it. The answer for me, though, is the Book of Revelation. There is absolutely no mention of a pre-tribulational church after chapter 4.
A cursory reading shows that large numbers of people will come to faith in Messiah (most likely due to the 144,000 Jewish witnesses) during the Tribulation. These Tribulation saints (those saved AFTER the Rapture) will be persecuted and beheaded. There is absolutely nothing that says the pre-Trib church goes through the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians says: [A]nd to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. – RSV.
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. – Ephesians 5:6.
Believers are not the disobedient. We have done what YHWH asked and put our faith in Him through His Son. Wrath comes upon the disobedient, that is those who refuse Messiah. WE are not slated to go through the wrath. WE, as believers, are promised rescue even though we don't deserve it.
In fact, Jeremiah 30:7 refers to the Tribulation as "Jacob's trouble". Who is Jacob? The church? No. It's Israel. It's not "God's childrens trouble" or the "The believers trouble", but "Jacob's (Israel's) trouble". It's a time for God's chosen people to return to Him as their King, and they will look upon the King whom they pierced, and weep.
son of thunder says, "There is absolutely no mention of a pre-tribulational church after chapter 4."
Hi buddy, how's it going? I hope all is well! It's been a while since our last chats …
As for your statement above, this is a common argument that I come across from time to time, and some even go so far as to say that Revelation wasn't even written for the church. Well, the book of Revelation is an epistle, so it was certainly written for the Church. As for the word “church” not being used after Revelation chapter 4 (and therefore not referring to the church, or intended for the church), keep in mind that the word "church" isn’t even mentioned in Mark, Luke, John, Galatians, Ephesians, 2 Peter, 1 John and 2 John either, and not until the 16th chapter of Romans, so I guess if Revelation doesn’t apply to the church or refer to the church just because the word “church” isn’t used after chapter 4 then using that logic a large portion of the entire New Testament doesn’t apply to or refer to the church either.
The word “saint” or “saints” however is used 59 times in the New Testament, referring to believers in Christ (ie, the church). This term is used repeatedly in Revelation for the church as well. For instance, Christians are directly mentioned in Revelation 14:12, saying “Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus”, and Revelation 20:4-5 says in no uncertain terms that those who do not worship the beast or receive the mark and are killed for “the witness of Jesus” will rule and reign with Christ for a thousand years.
Is the "pre-trib" Church mentioned in Revelation? I absolutely believe that we are, and we go from being a "pre-trib" church to a "during-the-trib" church, and then finally to a post-trib church.
son of thunder wrote, "These Tribulation saints (those saved AFTER the Rapture)…"
We see the word "tribulation" in Revelation, and we see the word "saints", but show me one place in Revelation or anywhere in Scripture where we read about "tribulation saints". It doesn't exist. Moreoever, show me why, through Scripture, the saints that we read about in Revelation are not part of the Church — the Body of Christ.
Mitchell says, “Since the Day of the Lord does not happen until immediately after the tribulation, the rapture therefore will not happen until after the tribulation.”
So the tribulation must be peaceful. I Thess 5:2-3.
Here comes the post-trib, "Islam is the center of all bible prophecy" trumpeteers from Joel Richardson's site again : (
son of thunder says, "There is absolutely nothing that says the pre-Trib church goes through the wrath to come."
You are absolutely correct bro. However, here is a VERY significant point that the pre-trib position does not teach (and cannot teach because it is detrimental to the pre-trib position).
One of the major premisses in which the pre-trib position is based upon is 1 Thess 5:9, which states “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”, as well as Romans 5:9 and 1 Thess 1:10, which you quoted. You and I both agree 100% that as believers we are not appointed to suffer the Divine wrath of God. HOWEVER, the Greek word for “wrath” in EACH of these verses is “orge” (οργηι G3709). As believers, we are not appointed to suffer the “orge” of God.
Now here is the problem. The pre-trib position seems to take almost every word translated in the English as “wrath” in Revelation and then apply this translation to mean that we will not be here to witness any of the wrath we read about during the trumpet/bowl judgments, and it is left to the reader to generally assume that these trumpet/bowl judgements are a part of the Divine Wrath of God that we are not appointed to. This is a huge omission in the pre-trib rapture position, and here is why.
The word “wrath” is found 13 times in Revelation from the Greek word “thymos” and “orge”, but the “orge” of God that we are not appointed to and are saved from 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 (Revelation 6:16-17). Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms that these cosmic signs happen immediately after the tribulation (Matt 24:29).
3. It is found after the SEVENTH trumpet (Revelation 11:18).
4. It is used to describe the final torment of unbelievers in hell (Revelation 14:10).
5. It is found after the SEVENTH bowl (Revelation 16:19).
6. It is used in connection with Christ’s Second Coming after the tribulation (Revelation 19:15).
Therefore, the trumpet/bowl judgments are not the “orge” of God that we are promised to be delivered from. The wrath of the trumpets/bowls is specifically called the "thymos", and the "thymos" is directed only upon the Antichrist and those who follow him, not upon anyone who has the seal of God (Rev 9:4, 16:2, 16:6, 16:10).
One last point I would like to touch on here regarding the "thymos" is this: note that the descriptions of the "thymos" and upon whom it is directed leaves open the possibility that there will be many in the world who may not necessarily be believers, but they will not have received the “mark” of the Beast, they will not have worshiped the Beast, and they will not have taken part in the persecution and killing of the saints, yet since we know upon whom the “thymos” is directed specifically they would therefore not suffer the “thymos” of this wrath. If that is the case, then how much more likely is it that the saints who are waiting for the return of Christ will in no way experience these judgments either? An Almighty God is able to protect His own and direct His wrath with pinpoint accuracy if He so desires, and I believe that this is what He does during the trumpet/bowl judgments.
anonymous says, "So the tribulation must be peaceful. I Thess 5:2-3."
I believe that due to the seven year "Hudna" the first half will be relatively peaceful (as many here believe), but not the last half during the Gog & Magog battle. When these armies are finally gathered at Armageddon they will believe that they are about to solve the "Zionist entity problem" once and for all and finally usher in true "peace and safety" for the Middle East and the world once the nation of Israel and the "Zionist criminals" are wiped off the map. However, the Day of the Lord will come upon them "like a thief", and they will be suddenly destroyed with the glorious return of Messiah Yeshua! That Day, however, will not come upon us as a thief, because we will have all been watching and recognized what was happening.
One Solution for World Peace: Wipe Off Israel and Zionism
Anonymous said, "Apparently the tribulation ain't that bad according to some folks. Just find yourself a nice safe spot away from the epicenter."
It will be pretty bad in my opinion. Though I believe that Antichrist's power and his kingdom are primarily regional (the Muslim world primarily), I am fully aware that there are millions upon millions of Muslims living in western nations today. In my opinion, once the "Abomination of Desolation" happens in the middle of Daniel's 70th week (along with the beginning of the Gog & Magog war) many of these Muslims will see this and actually believe that they are beginning to witness their own "Islamic end-times prophecies" (portions of true Biblical prophecies that have been Satanically twisted into Islamic teachings, the antithesis to Christianity), and a certain percentage of these Western Muslims will "radicalize".
Global Islamic terrorism will become a huge, huge problem for the West. Islam teaches that the ONLY way to be guaranteed Paradise is to die for the cause of Allah in Jihad. In the Jihadist's mindset, the Islamic "Judgment Day" will be at hand, and what better way to guarantee entry into Paradise than to target western non-Muslims (Jews and Christians specifically) and risk their own deaths in the process? I expect there to be suicide bombings, kidnappings, beheadings, hijackings and attempted hijackings, even possible chemical/biological/nuclear attacks (or plots). Murders and rapes will skyrocket.
By the way, they're already here now and waiting for the right moment.
Islamic Terrorists Forming Cells In America: Hezbollah Expected To Be A Major Threat By 2014
Terrorist Cells Are Running Training Camps In The USA
OK, so armies gathering for battle are simultaneously declaring peace and safety prior to victory? That sounds reasonable (Rev 6:4). I wonder if that’s what Paul really meant (Mat 24:37-38).
Matt 24:21. Can we have “great tribulation as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will” and still have “peace and safety” before the day of the Lord? Is this in the second half of the seven year period?
SeanOsborne says, "Well then Mitchell, it seems then that your disagreement is not only with Dr. Reagan but you are also in disagreement with the Word of God through his prophet Ezekiel."
Hi Sean, as you know I disagree, for many good reasons, and we have debated this numerous times here already. I would encourage the reader to study this question for themselves and come to their own conclusion. The link I provided in my first post is a good starting point to read another opinion.
As for my position "being in disagreement with the Word of God", I guess you also believe that everyone who does not share your opinion must disagree with the Word of God as well, such as Dave Hunt at The Berean Call.
anonymous asks, "Can we have “great tribulation as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will” and still have “peace and safety” before the day of the Lord? Is this in the second half of the seven year period?"
They are fighting wars from the mid point of the tribulation right up until the end of Daniel's 70th week, so there will not be peace and safety. When the invading armies surround Jerusalem, however, they will then believe that they are about to win a decisive victory, for it will appear that Israel has all but been defeated. This is when they will say "Peace and safety". I believe that is what they expect to have once they rid the land of the "Jewish invaders". I don't view the "peace and safety" of 2 Thess 5:3 as a declaration of what they've had in the past tense (it would make no sense considering the wars that have been going on). Rather, it is a proclamation of what they expect to have in the present tense once the nation of Israel is a nation no more. But just when it seems that all hope is lost for Israel, the Holy One of Israel makes Himself the Holy One IN Israel (Ezek 39:3-7).
Mitchell said, “This is when they will say "Peace and safety". I believe that is what they expect to have once they rid the land of the "Jewish invaders". I don't view the "peace and safety" of 2 Thess 5:3 as a declaration of what they've had in the past tense (it would make no sense considering the wars that have been going on).”
Correct, it doesn’t make sense. We have ample evidence from Scripture that there is no peace and safety prior to a post-trib day of the Lord and not all of the causes are related to war (Rev 6:8). But, essentially, you’re assuming Paul’s intent in 2 Thess 5:3 based upon your post-trib expectation. I wonder how many soldiers and generals routinely declare peace and safety prior to or during a battle. Mind you, I’ve never been in one. Matt 24:21, 37-38 seem to contradict that idea. Either there is great tribulation etc or there isn’t. If you’re experiencing great tribulation, you won’t be thinking peace and safety and casually doing all the other stuff.
Sorry, that should be 1 Thess 5:3.
On God’s wrath – the word wrath or orge is first found in Rev 6:17. The expression the great day of his wrath is come is in the indicative mood with the augment and this usually means action in the past. It is only considered futuristic if context clearly shows it to be. The context clearly is in the past not the future. The action of the earth dwellers clearly shows that the wrath is occurring at that point and has been all along. The concept of birth pangs means that the intensity will increase as the week progresses thus you will see words like “thumos”. It is still God’s wrath. http://tinyurl.com/kofg9m
Strong Thumos – passion (as if breathing hard): – fierceness, indignation, wrath.
1) passion, angry, heat, anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again
2) glow, ardour, the wine of passion, inflaming wine (which either drives the drinker mad or kills him with its strength)
Rev 13:8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain.
Rev 13:16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead,
It seems to me that either you are saved or you’re not – no in between.
"Hi Sean, as you know I disagree, for many good reasons, and we have debated this numerous times here already."
Negative Mitchell, your reasons are unsound misreadings of The Word. They are eisegesis defined. There also has been no debate between us – you preach your unsound eisegesis and ignore what The Word clearly says in plain text. exactly as you have done above with respect to the verse I quoted from Ezekiel 39:29.
Ignoring the literal, plain text Word of God is no way to go through life Terry.
SeanOsborne said, "Negative Mitchell, your reasons are unsound misreadings of The Word. They are eisegesis defined. There also has been no debate between us – you preach your unsound eisegesis and ignore what The Word clearly says in plain text. exactly as you have done above with respect to the verse I quoted from Ezekiel 39:29."
I disagree Johnny. The readers can decide that for themselves.
anonymous said, "On God’s wrath – the word wrath or orge is first found in Rev 6:17. The expression the great day of his wrath is come is in the indicative mood with the augment and this usually means action in the past. It is only considered futuristic if context clearly shows it to be. The context clearly is in the past not the future. The action of the earth dwellers clearly shows that the wrath is occurring at that point and has been all along."
Rev 6:17, "For the great day of their wrath (orge) has come; and who is able to stand?"
First, what we need to do is also look at the verb "has come" (elthen) in Rev 6:17, which means "to come" or "to go". The meaning of this word does not mean that the wrath (orge) of the Lamb had already started some time in the past and has continued up until that time. If it had been referring to something in the past the verb would have been used in the perfect tense (in Greek the indicative mood is normally used to tell us of events existing in the present due to some event of the past). Rev. Bill Lee-Warner sums it up well with a few points by first noting that the word elthen is "a transitive verb (an action verb requiring an object) in the aorist tense. The aorist tense in its unaffected form is, in essence, punctiliar. The context of the aorist, as any Greek verb, determines the tense or how it is to be understood. It can be understood to mean past or future, depending on the context. A.T. Robertson, in his book, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in Light of Historical Research, says 'The caution must be once more repeated that in these subdivisions of the aorist indicative we have only one tense and one root-idea (punctiliar actions)' (p. 835). Later he says of the aorist tense, as it relates to events that occur in the future: "It is a vivid transference of the action to the future by the 'timeless aorist'" (p. 846). In other words, the aorist tense speaks to one particular issue that is timeless, the context clearly determining the tense of the action, as against the common belief of some who would make the aroist tense always a past completed action. In this case, the action of the people mentioned in verses 15 and 16 'men…(are [now] hiding) themselves in caves and among the rocks of the mountains" indicates that their action has been prompted by some determining factor. That factor is made known to us in verses 12 and 13 – the oft-repeated sign of the coming Day of the Lord's wrath and the subsequent response of mankind indicated in verses 15-16.
A similar use of the same verb is found in Mark 14:41. Jesus announces to the disciples that the 'hour has come [elthen]; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.' The exact same structure of the aorist tense found in Revelation 6:17 is used in this verse. From the context, it is clear that Jesus doesn't mean that He has already been betrayed previously and is presently incarcerated. It means that the hour of His betrayal (by Judas) has now arrived and He's about to be taken captive. This contextual information leads us to understand that the transitive verb has come and its object, the hour of His betrayal, is used in an ingressive sense. That is, the action where Jesus is betrayed "into the hands of sinners", is about to be entered into, or ingressed. The same understanding applies to Rev. 6:17."
Second, "From the indication of the natural lights being extinguished in the heavens (Rev. 6:12-13), we are to understand that the Day of the Lord is about to come but has not yet come. In the Old Testament, the prophet Joel explicitly tells us that the Day of the Lord arrives after the natural lights in the heavens are extinguished and not before (Joel 2:31). The Day of the Lord is the time for God's wrath upon all the earth (cf. Zeph. 1:14-18; Obadiah 15). With this clear teaching, we know that the wrath of God does not begin before the 6th Seal which is the sign of the arrival of the Day of the Lord."
Third, "Another reason for knowing that the wrath of God doesn't begin before the 6th Seal (Rev. 6:12-17) has to do with the 1st Seal. If the 1st Seal – false christs (cf. Matt. 24:5) is included as part of God's wrath, then God would be responsible for sending deception into the world and even deceive His own. If the Rapture begins sometime before Rev. 6:17, and presumably prior to the 1st Seal, as the pretribulationist says, then God would be guilty of martyring His own (Rev. 6:9 – the 5th Seal martyrs) who are persevering during a time of severe persecution. Unthinkable! Nowhere in all of Scripture is the persecution of the saints associated with the wrath of God. It is associated with the activity of Satan and during the 70th Week of Daniel, it is specifically associated with the activity of Satan through his minion, Antichrist. On the other hand, everywhere in Scripture the judgment of the wicked is associated with the wrath of God.
For prophetic, contextual and linguistic reasons, Revelation 6:17 cannot, and does not, teach that the Rapture of the church occurs before the 6th Seal."
Do what?!?!? In English, please.
anonymous said, "But, essentially, you’re assuming Paul’s intent in 1 Thess 5:3 based upon your post-trib expectation."
We've established that the day of the Lord is post-trib, and in the preceding verse (1 Thess 5:2) Paul directly references the day of the Lord: "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." (2-3). Paul already contextualizes what he said in a post-trib setting when speaking about the day of the Lord, so the post-trib expectation isn't assumed.
anonymous asks, "I wonder how many soldiers and generals routinely declare peace and safety prior to or during a battle."
Excellent question. Remember during the war with Hamas in Gaza and Israel this past December-January? While the war was raging Netanyahu stated at that time that, "A government led by me will topple the Hamas government in Gaza and bring peace and security to the south (of Israel)" even though there was no peace and security when he said it. During media interviews with IAF spokespersons during the battle they would state a similar line, "We will stop these rocket attacks and bring peace and security to the south of Israel."
Ahmadinejad's Mideast Solution: Destroy Israel
Now, mind you, it doesn't have to be only soldiers, generals and leaders who are saying "peace and safety". Whether it be the leaders of the nations and armies that come up against Jerusalem, or whether it be the peoples of those nations believing the dire situation and "invincible Israel's" soon destruction, I believe they will (prematurely) be declaring victory and, thus, will say "peace and safety" as they believe that the "Zionist" source of all their problems is about to be destroyed.
This is very facinating, but none of this is on subject, though. Dr. Reagan is talking about the fate of the Muslims, which should bring us all a great amount of joy knowing that Jacob and Esau will be reunited through God's Roadmap to Peace: Yeshua.
Psalm 83 states that the "local" enemies of Israel (Hamas, Hizballah, Jordan, et. al.) [notice neither Rosh nor Persia are mentioned] want to see Israel destroyed as a nation, and I believe they will be emboldened by Israel's failures in Gaza and Lebanon and hawkinsh Netanyahu offering to sit down and talk. These are signs of weakness in Islam.
Ezekiel 38-39 are about taking spoil. After Psalm 83, Israel will be much larger and wealthier than ever before due to the abundance of newly aquired oil-fields.
The basis of each military action is different: one is revenge the other is greed.
Psalm 83 states that the "local" enemies of Israel will actively seek God's Name. There is no mention of any "seeking" at the end of the Gog-Magog war.
I think where the biggest confusion comes from is the mention of Gog in Revelation. What I think that is is Gog never repented, never looked for God's Name. So at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, Allah (Satan) is released from the pit and this remnant of Islam will follow their false god blindly all the way to the Lake of Fire.
It's funny (not ha ha funny, but weird funny) that someone could live under the rule of Jesus Himself and still want revenge. But I guess that's how powerful hatred is.
Mitchell said "blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah".
I say "Please post your post-trib fanaticism at some other web site".
You'd never know it from these posts but the article was about the fate of the Muslims.
son of thunder says, "This is very facinating, but none of this is on subject, though. Dr. Reagan is talking about the fate of the Muslims, which should bring us all a great amount of joy knowing that Jacob and Esau will be reunited through God's Roadmap to Peace: Yeshua."
Amen to that, and they will prosper during the 1000 year millennial reign. (Nice little video here).
Regarding the other points in your post, the link here offers some excellent insight that many may find very interesting.
My previous post commentaries in context:
Paragraph 1: The length of Mitchell's comments (not the content).
Paragraph 2: The agenda of Mitchell's comments (yes, the content).
Paragraph 3: The purpose of posting comments.
Billy, we may not agree with Mitchell on every point, but he does keep it interesting. If we all agreed on everything, it would get dull.
My only problem is the lengthiness of your posts, Mitchell. I, for one, would love to see shorter and easier to read posts, brother. I want to understand what you're saying, I really do. I'm intriqued by the theories (not that I agree with many of them) you put out there, but it's hard to concentrate on the subject if I have use the old Merriam-Webster Dictionary to understand what is being written.
Billy wrote: Mitchell said "blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah blahblah blah blahblahblah blah blah blahblah blah blah…."
Billy, that is the absolute longest run-on sentece I think I've ever seen. And the punctuation is awful. 😉
And my spelling reeks. That's "sentence".
Thunder…I'm glad you found some humor in my post…that was my motivation (humor – though humor with a slight sting).
Guess I was feeling more like a Lion than a Lamb today.
Bottom line…consecutively long posts from people perpetually promoting their points proves problematic periodically.
Alright…I'm done for the day. Sorry everyone! 🙂
Billy said, "consecutively long posts from people perpetually promoting their points proves problematic periodically."
Pithy points & portioned posts preferred perhaps? 🙂
Uhh, well, I guess the vacations over, huh?
Mitchell – I’m not an NT Greek scholar, however, according to Dana and Mantey (A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament pgs 193-194), that kind of aorist tense verb refers to an occurrence of an event in the past, not in the future, unless the context clearly indicates other wise. On the same verse, Robert L Thomas in Revelation 1-7 p 460 indicates that for that kind of aorist tense verb to refer to “something future or something about to happen….Some contextual feature must be present to indicate clearly these exceptional usages. No such feature exists in the context of the sixth seal, so these special uses are not an option here.” Archibald Thomas Robertson states, “It is true that in the expression of past time in the indicative and with all the other moods, the aorist is the tense used as a matter of course.” (A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in light of Historical Research p 831)
In light of what is transpiring and what has occurred in the previous seals, the context is present and past – not future. Note that John is quoting frightened unbelievers. 1 Thess 5:4 informs us that unbelievers are in darkness. Because that is the case and the day of the Lord’s wrath is yet to occur, how can they then know that God’s wrath is impending unless it is already present? You have to provide a reason as to why they are frightened without employing the wrath of God and also ignore the contents of the previous seals. The very events that terrify them are expressions of God’s wrath.
Franz Delitzsch (Biblical Commentary on the Prophecies of Isaiah) felt that Isaiah 2:10-22 was referring to the sixth seal. Isaiah was writing about the day of the Lord (v 12). Also compare Rev 6:8, Eze 5:13, 17; 14:21. Sword, famine, wild beasts and plagues are found in Rev 6 and are also instruments of God’s wrath in the OT. There are plenty of OT examples where God has used nations as instruments of His wrath (2 Chron 36:16-16; Isa 10:5-6; Ezr 5:12 etc).
Mitchell said, “…then God would be guilty of martyring His own (Rev. 6:9 – the 5th Seal martyrs) who are persevering during a time of severe persecution. Unthinkable!”
I’m surprised this argument comes up so often. I find it ironic that even 5 point Calvinists who are pre-wrath and post-trib seem to suddenly have a problem with God’s sovereignty over this issue. We only have to look at Job. God allowed Satan to torment and attack Job even to the point where he lost his sons and daughters. The fact is that while God isn’t the primary cause of the martyrs of the 5th seal, ultimately He is in control. When the 5th seal was opened, John saw that the martyrs had already been slain. The verb form “were slain” is in the Greek perfect tense – see Dana and Mantey p 200. One other popular writer also felt it was “unthinkable” that God’s wrath was involved in the first seal – presumably despite the awful consequences of opening the seal in the first place. His complaint was that God would be opposing Himself! The fact is that releasing the AC fulfils God’s sovereign purpose. Similarly, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart and raised armies against Israel to fulfil His purpose. Now think about the Restrainer (whoever that may be). When that restraint ceases, martyrdom occurs as an indirect consequence. How is that different to the seals? It is analogous to me restraining a wild animal and then deciding to let it run into a crowd of people. I would be responsible in a court of law. No matter how you cut it, the Lord is responsible for all the seals and, therefore, God’s wrath.
Interesting that you’ve established that the day of the Lord is post-trib based 1 Thess 5:2. I haven’t come to that conclusion. You seem to base a major portion of your argument upon an expectation that unbelievers will be saying “peace and safety” (for various reasons) despite Scripture informing us there is none at that time. BTW, I can see how your thumos theory would be attractive to a posttribulationist.
Son of Thunder, I do take your point – this is off topic and I apologize to Nathan for the lengthy posts etc. I tried to be brief and I’d like to say a lot more, but I’m giving the floor back to you guys now. I've said enough.
Wow….Wow. Lots of comments…I thought I would never make it through, but great debate (even though it was off topic). My comment will be also(sorry).
I would just like to know, since it was never mentioned here, what is everyones view of the book of Jude? You know, the last book, just before Revelation…..written by Jesus brother. In what I believe is reference to a pre-trib rapture, Jude verse 5 states:
"Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord (delivered) his people (out) of Egypt, but (later) destroyed those who did not believe"
Also verse 14 & 15:
"Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is (coming) (with) thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone , and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him"
I do not believe that it is a coincidence that the book of Jude (good news for believers in Jesus Christ) was placed just prior to the book of Revelation (horrific news for unbelievers). Can't wait for the replies to this.
Hey, Junbuggg, wondered where you were.
Verse 5 is speaking allegorically, I think, for todays society. All people have been given the opportunity to take the Promised Land (heaven). Just like the Hebrews of old all we have to do is follow our Messiah just like all they had to do was follow Moses, their "messiah".
Most people today (as they did then) feel they have to "work" for heaven. A gift is too easy. The Hebrews didn't take the offered gift; they didn't believe that Yahweh would just give them the Promised Land.
And of course it would be impossible for Jesus to return with His holy ones if they weren't with Him to begin with (whic I think pokes a big hole in the post-trib rapture theory) in Paradise.
I don't know if Jude could be called "good news" specifically. He gives a pretty concise over-view of the Old Covenant: who was jugded and for what. The angels who followed Lucifer, Sodom and Gomorrah, the followers of Cain (people who follow their own way to God) who chase after Balaam, Korah, etc.
I think Jude's letter is one last warning to humanity before the judgement of Revelation.
Hello Thunder, went on vacation…..fishing trip. And now, trying to catch up on things from being gone. And, still in P.T. twice a week from the arm I broke back in March. Thanks for your input there, on Jude.
Yo whatup everyone? sorry mitchell, i have to agree your post are lengthy. while i disagree with your position i particularly enjoy it when you and nathan go back and forth. i can access this blog with my phone now so i can keep up with discussions without going to and fro from the library. (no internet at my house) now i can correct everyone
LOL…nice reply, thanks!!! 🙂
I'm glad someone else likes it when Mitchell puts his ten cents in, hartdawg. Even though we don't always agree with Mitchell, he keeps us on our toes :). Nothin' but love, Mitchell. We'll get you straightened out.
I'd hate to thnik this is a totalitarian regime. I've been reading Foxe's Book of Martyrs (highly recommended) and have seen what mindless legalism and doctrine can lead to. A lot of people died and suffered for standing up to the Holy Roman Church and questioning their doctrines. I like to consider this an open forum where all ideas can be poured over and hopefully no ones feelings get trampled too much.
I envy you, Junbuggg: haven't had much opportunity to go fishing this year, and now it's too hot.
thunder, go to alaska and fish the kenia river. its rarely to hot and the kings and reds are jumping this year. (unfortunately i cant get up there this year) the fishing there beats anything here in the lower 48
hart, I'd love to, but cash-flow is a little low. I've always wanted to go to Alaska and do some fishing or big-game hunting.
In fact, I'm trying to find a part-time job right now, as my full-time job is mostly part-time right now.
Anonymous wrote, "I’m not an NT Greek scholar, however, according to Dana and Mantey (A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament pgs 193-194), that kind of aorist tense verb refers to an occurrence of an event in the past, not in the future, unless the context clearly indicates other wise."
Sure, and per above Rev. Bill Lee-Warner answers this perfectly by noting that the Greek verb elthen (has come) in Rev 6:17 is a transitive verb (an action verb requiring an object) in the aorist tense which is punctiliar (relating to a point in time). Thus, the context of the aorist determines the tense of the verb (past or future, depending on the context). The context is addressed for us — "In this case, the action of the people mentioned in verses 15 and 16 'men…(are [now] hiding) themselves in caves and among the rocks of the mountains' indicates that their action has been prompted by some determining factor. That factor is made known to us in verses 12 and 13 – the oft-repeated sign of the coming Day of the Lord's wrath and the subsequent response of mankind indicated in verses 15-16.
A similar use of the same verb is found in Mark 14:41. Jesus announces to the disciples that the 'hour has come [elthen]; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.' The exact same structure of the aorist tense found in Revelation 6:17 is used in this verse. From the context, it is clear that Jesus doesn't mean that He has already been betrayed previously and is presently incarcerated. It means that the hour of His betrayal (by Judas) has now arrived and He's about to be taken captive. This contextual information leads us to understand that the transitive verb has come and its object, the hour of His betrayal, is used in an ingressive sense. That is, the action where Jesus is betrayed 'into the hands of sinners', is about to be entered into, or ingressed. The same understanding applies to Rev. 6:17."
Anonymous says, "I find it ironic that even 5 point Calvinists who are pre-wrath and post-trib seem to suddenly have a problem with God’s sovereignty over this issue."
I'm not a 5 point Calvinist. 🙂 Although I only included the argument since it was one of Rev. Warner's points, I would not have necessarily used it myself. We can see however that there is a big difference in my opinion with the example of Job who lost sons, daughters & material possessions, and the thousands upon thousands of saints being martyred during the great tribulation. I wouldn't call that a fair comparison, but I digress.
Anonymous says, "Interesting that you’ve established that the day of the Lord is post-trib based 1 Thess 5:2. I haven’t come to that conclusion."
It is not based on 1 Thess 5:2 at all. We know that the Day of the Lord is post-trib because of many indications throughout Scripture:
* Malachi 4:5 prophecies that Elijah will come before the Day of the Lord. (This was not John the Baptist as some think. After John the Baptist died Jesus said in Matthew 17:11 that Elijah is still to come. John the Baptist even denied that he was Elijah who was to come in John 1:19-21).
* Most believe Elijah to be one of the two witnesses (Rev. 11:1-13), and since they prophecy during the last half of the tribulation (some still believe incorrectly that they come during the first half) the Day of the Lord cannot begin before the middle of Daniel's 70th week.
* The Apostle Paul says in 2 Thess 2:1-4 that two things must happen before the Day of the Lord: First – the "apostasy", and Second – the revealing of the man of lawlessness (Antichrist). We all know that the revealing of the Antichrist is at the Abomination of Desolation in the middle of Daniel's 70th week, so again the Day of the Lord cannot begin before the middle of the week.
* Joel 3:9-17 describes the gathering of the armies of the nations around Jerusalem for the battle of Armageddon, the cosmic signs, and the coming of the Lord. After the armies are gathered Joel wrote that the Day of the Lord is "near". Therefore, the Day of the Lord can only happen after the armies of the nations are gathered for Armageddon, which we all know is at the end of the tribulation.
* Joel 2:30-31 gives us specific celestial signs that happen before the Day of the Lord. These signs happen immediately after the tribulation according to Jesus in Matt 24:29.
There are many, many more reasons but I need to keep it short for my friends. 🙂
But you can read more reasons here.
son of thunder says, "I'm glad someone else likes it when Mitchell puts his ten cents in, hartdawg. Even though we don't always agree with Mitchell, he keeps us on our toes :). Nothin' but love, Mitchell. We'll get you straightened out."
Good discussions are great brother, even differences of opinion are healthy for us all as it gets us into the Holy Word of God, and that's a good thing. As for being straightened out, well remember I use to be pre-trib too my friend. There are very few (if any) folks that ever change their position from a post-trib view to a pre-trib view (at least none that I have come across) but there are many many who switch from a pre-trib view to a post-trib view. In the past 5 to 10 years it seems that one of the largest trends and questions in the Church in terms of eschatological positions has been from a pre-trib view to a post-trib view (or even pre-wrath) for a significant number of believers (that's just my opinion based on what I've seen), and I think it's because the with the advent of the internet people are beginning to read about post-trib more and more, and for many it makes so much more sense once it is studied and understood. It's not in tremendously huge numbers yet mind you, but it isn't insignificant either. (Being raised pre-trib indoctrinated me into thinking that any other views were heresy, so the switch for me wasn't overnight, and I'm sure it isn't overnight for others as well.) Now many folks are still so set on the pre-trib position that they will never change their minds no matter what, and will defend the status quo position, and that's ok. Once the Abomination of Desolation happens though everyone else will flip-flop overnight and be, uh, straightened out. 😛
Bottom line, I just think it's good for everyone to understand that, at the very least, there is another view besides pre-trib that the church held since the death and resurrection of Christ and still holds today in large numbers that we all ought to keep in minds.
Mitchell: "In the past 5 to 10 years it seems that one of the largest trends and questions in the Church in terms of eschatological positions has been from a pre-trib view to a post-trib view (or even pre-wrath) for a significant number of believers…"
And yet we're also seeing the Church today immersed in the greatest apostasy of all time, so supporters of the Post-Trib position probably shouldn't make that parallel. 😉
I'd be curious where you draw your conclusion that there's a rise in Post-Trib supporters?
I've found in conversations with many who hold a Post-Trib or Pre-Wrath view is that they just find it cool to swim upstream. Mitchell's one of the rare ones who has done his research and can back up his claim (though I disagree with his interpretations).
Nathan says, "And yet we're also seeing the Church today immersed in the greatest apostasy of all time, so supporters of the Post-Trib position probably shouldn't make that parallel. ;)"
I do not believe it involves non-essential doctrines per se such as the rapture timing question (even though the pre-trib doctrine has been proven many times to be a relatively recent idea, despite claims to the contrary). I think we can identify what this apostasy entails. Personally, what I believe the falling away refers to is precisely that — those who have fallen away from the faith of Christ into agnosticism or atheism/secular humanism, or who have fallen for false religions that distort true Biblical theology such as Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, ISLAM, etc. and even those who have polluted the Faith of Christ with ecumenicalism.
Nathan asks, "I'd be curious where you draw your conclusion that there's a rise in Post-Trib supporters?"
Just from my own observations, I don't have any "statistics" that would point to that. There was a time when I had never heard of the post-trib position or come across anyone that I knew of who held to that position, but now it seems to be much more common, or at the very least is discussed much more openly. Soon enough we'll all be post-trib believers. 😉
For what its worth:
Oswald J. Smith: “I am absolutely convinced that there will be no rapture before the Tribulation, but that the Church will undoubtedly be called upon to face the Antichrist” (Tribulation or Rapture – Which?, p. 2).
S. I. McMillen: “Christians will suffer in the Great Tribulation” (Discern These Times, p. 55).
Norman F. Douty: “…all of the evidence of history runs one way – in favor of Post-tribulationism” (Has Christ’s Return Two Stages?, p. 113).
Loraine Boettner: “…nowhere in Scripture does it teach a secret or pre-tribulation Rapture” (The Millennium, p. 168).
J. Sidlow Baxter: “…believers of the last days (there is only one small part of the total Church on earth at any given moment) will be on earth during the so-called ‘Great Tribulation’ ” (Explore the Book, Vol. 6, p. 345).
James R. Graham: “…there is not a line of the NT that declares a pre-tribulation rapture, so its advocates are compelled to read it into certain indeterminate texts…” (Watchman, What of the Night?, p. 79).
Ralph Earle: “The teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture seems first to have been emphasized widely about 100 years ago by John Darby of the Plymouth Brethren” (Behold, I Come, p. 74).
Harold J. Ockenga: “No exegetical justification exists for the arbitrary separation of the ‘coming of Christ’ and the ‘day of the Lord.’ It is one ‘day of the Lord Jesus Christ’” (Christian Life, February, 1955).
Duane Edward Spencer: “Paul makes it very clear that the Church will pass through the Great Tribulation” (”Rapture-Tribulation” cassette).
George E. Ladd: “[Pretribulationism] may be guilty of the positive danger of leaving the Church unprepared for tribulation when Antichrist appears…” (The Blessed Hope, p. 164).
Peter Beyerhaus: “The Christian Church on earth [will face] the final, almost superhuman test of being confronted with the apocalyptical temptation by Antichrist” (Christianity Today, April 13, 1973).
Dale Moody: “There is not a passage in the New Testament to support Scofield. The call to John to ‘come up hither’ has reference to mystical ecstasy, not to a pretribulation rapture” (Spirit of the Living God, p. 203).
John R. W. Stott: “He would not spare them from the suffering [Revelation 3:10]; but He would uphold them in it” (What Christ Thinks of the Church, p. 104).
J. Barton Payne: “…the twentieth century has indeed witnessed a progressively rising revolt against pre-tribulationism” (The Imminent Appearing of Christ, p. 38).
C. S. Lovett: “Frankly I favor a post-trib rapture…I no longer teach Christians that they will NOT have to go through the tribulation” (PC, January, 1974).
Walter R. Martin: “Walter Martin finally said…’Yes, I’m a post-trib’ ” (Lovett’s PC, December, 1976).
Jay Adams: “Today’s trend is…from pre- to posttribulationism” (The Time Is at Hand, p. 2).
Jim McKeever: “Nowhere do the Scriptures say that the Rapture will precede the Tribulation” (Christians Will Go Through the Tribulation, p. 55).
Arthur Katz: “I think it fair to tell you that I do not subscribe to the happy and convenient theology which says that God’s people are going to be raptured and lifted up when a time of tribulation and trial comes” (Reality, p. 8).
W. J. Grier: “The Scofield Bible makes a rather desperate effort…it tries to get in the ‘rapture’ of the saints before the appearing of Antichrist” (The Momentous Event, p. 58).
Pat Robertson: “Jesus Christ is going to come back to earth again to deliver Israel and at the same time to rapture His Church; it’s going to be one moment, but it’s going to be a glorious time” (”700 Club” telecast, May 14, 1975).
Ben Kinchlow: “Any wrath [during the Tribulation] that comes upon us – any difficulty – will not be induced by God, but it’ll be like the people are saying, ‘The cause of our problems are those Christians in our midst; we need to get rid of them’ ” (”700 Club” telecast, August 28, 1979).
son of thunder says, "And of course it would be impossible for Jesus to return with His holy ones if they weren't with Him to begin with (whic I think pokes a big hole in the post-trib rapture theory)"
As we all agree, we meet Jesus in the air during the gathering (1 Thess 4:17). Thousands and thousands of us who are "alive and remain" will meet Him. But we do not just stay in the air. Notice the following very closely, and you will see why it is in fact the pre-trib rapture idea that gets a hole poked in it, and why it is the pre-trib teaching that completely changes the usage of "meet" in the text instead of using it the way that it was intended.
The word used for "meet" in 1 Thess 4:17 is the Greek word apantesis. It only occurs four times in Scripture. In addition to 1 Thess 4:17 it is also found in Matthew 25:1,6 which 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 Forum, to meet Paul and his company, and escort them back to Rome. These are the only occurrences of the word, besides 1 Thess 4:17. The elect are gathered in the air to meet Jesus and accompany Him back to earth. The pre-trib changes the usage of the word by denying that we escort Christ to earth. The post-trib position, however, is consistent with its usage.
Why would Jesus come all that way out of Heaven and stop in the clouds, and then turn around and go back to heaven? The pre-trib position on 1 Thess 4:17 makes little sense in my opinion and directly contradicts Acts 3:21 which tells us in no uncertain terms that Jesus must "remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets." God does not restore everything before the tribulation. This only happens after the tribulation.
In a nutshell — He is coming to earth and we are gathered to meet our Savior in the air to escort Him back to earth (thousands and thousands of us, Jude 14-15) to judge and restore all things. Paul tells us when this happens — the Day of the Lord — which is immediately after the tribulation.
We must always allow Scripture to interpret Scripture, and not allow an interpretation of Scripture to interpret Scripture.
That doesn't poke a hole in the Pre-Trib view at all, Mitchell. Pre-Trib says we do indeed accompany Jesus back to the Earth – after 7 years at the end of the Tribulation. Also, Jesus does remain in the heavens, as believers are "caught up/harpazo" to meet Him in the air. Jesus doesn't touch foot on Earth again, not even when fighting Armageddon, until the Mount of Olives at the end of the Tribulation.
You and Ray Gano sure like to say "you must interpret Scripture literally" and "let the Scriptures speak for themselves" implying your views are doing that and the other views aren't. But, as even the Gospels prove when 4 men look at the same events in Jesus life from different angles and get different perspectives, so too with Bible prophecy.
I don't smack down the Post-Trib view because you're looking at the building from the other side of the lot, but it's not what I see from my side.
Nathan says, "That doesn't poke a hole in the Pre-Trib view at all, Mitchell. Pre-Trib says we do indeed accompany Jesus back to the Earth – after 7 years at the end of the Tribulation."
Hi Nathan, can you show me where you read that Jesus turns around and goes back into Heaven for seven years, without first assuming that this is what happens?
Nathan says, "Also, Jesus does remain in the heavens, as believers are "caught up/harpazo" to meet Him in the air. Jesus doesn't touch foot on Earth again, not even when fighting Armageddon, until the Mount of Olives at the end of the Tribulation."
Acts 3:21 says that Jesus must remain in Heaven until the time comes for all things to be restored. I am sure you would agree that He is there right now with the Father. But the pre-trib position says that it means "in the heavens"? Can you show me which translation says "heavens"? Unless we want to change the meaning to something like the "sky" in Acts 3:21 there is no reason why we should arbitrarily change it to "heavens" (especially when we all know that Jesus ascended into Heaven and right now sits at the Right Hand of the Father – Acts 1:11, 2:33). In my view, the only way for one to conclude that Jesus does not come down to earth for 1 Thess 4:16-17 is if the text is first approached eisegetically with a pre-trib presupposition, because where in Scripture do we find that He comes out of Heaven, stops in the clouds and then returns back to Heaven when Acts 3:21 tells us that He must remain in Heaven until He is to restore all things? I can't find it anywhere.
In fact, keeping 1 Thess 4:17 in its proper context we read in the preceding verse (4:16) that "the dead in Christ shall rise first", and Rev 20:5 tells us when the first resurrection takes place for the dead in Christ – after the tribulation. How can the dead in Christ rise first, and then we who are "alive and remain" are caught up to meet Jesus in the air if the first resurrection only happens in "phases" as the pre-trib teaching asserts, when the first resurrection for the dead in Christ per Rev 20:5 is not "fully completed" until after the tribulation? Where do we read of only a partial resurrection before the rapture? I can't find it anywhere my brother. That doesn't make a lot of sense in my opinion, nor would "alive and remain" make a lot of sense for a pre-trib rapture.
Nathan says, "I don't smack down the Post-Trib view because you're looking at the building from the other side of the lot, but it's not what I see from my side."
I understand. Not meant to be a "smack down", but rather to shed light on what the post-trib position sees as inconsistencies with the pre-trib position.
son of thunder writes, "In fact, Jeremiah 30:7 refers to the Tribulation as "Jacob's trouble". Who is Jacob? The church? No. It's Israel. It's not "God's childrens trouble" or the "The believers trouble", but "Jacob's (Israel's) trouble"."
I now view this as a common misconception due to systematized dispensational teaching (popularized by Darby, surprise!). Scripture is clear time and time again that through Jesus Christ there is now no difference between Jew and Gentile. In short, Gentiles that have been grafted into the Tree are now a part of Jacob, and as a part of Jacob we are here for the time of Jacob's Trouble. There has always been, and will always be, only One Body of believers on Earth. It began in the Old Testament, and through Christ — the Rock (1 Cor 10:4) and Chief Cornerstone (Eph 2:19-20) — this Body was built up in the New Testament with the inclusion of Gentiles into the citizenship of Israel. There is now one new Man out of the two (Eph 2:15).
Consider the following, son of thunder: Jesus referenced the church in the book of Matthew both directly and indirectly. Notice what Christ said here about resolving conflicts in the church.
Matthew 18:15-18, "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Remember, Jesus was addressing this teaching to a Jewish audience and is calling them the church. Since the Church (as it is taught by traditional dispensationalism) was not yet formed, then what was Christ referring to? We find another clue in the book of Acts:
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."
I think this is something that pre-tribulationism has difficulty coming to terms with because it is so dependent upon two distinct bodies (Israel and the Church).
Bob Pickle of Pickle Publishing makes a few noteworthy points by writing that, "Ekklesia, the Greek word translated 'church' in the New Testament, is often used to refer to Israel in the ancient Greek version of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint (LXX). In the LXX ekklesia is even used as a synonym for the Greek word sunagoge, a word that we transliterate as 'synagogue.' Further, sunagoge in the LXX sometimes refers to Gentiles. These facts indicate that in Scripture there is not as sharp a distinction between the church and Israel as modern dispensationalism would have us believe.
Many dispensationalists have said, 'Israel is not the Church and the Church is not Israel.' A lot of doctrines and eschatology are built upon this premise. Yet when one examines Scripture itself, one is surprised to discover that Israel in the Old Testament is repeatedly called the 'church.'"
There is only one plan of salvation for man, and that has always been and will always be through Messiah Yeshua, and Him alone, for there is no other Name given under Heaven where we can be saved. One Tree, One Body, One Church, One Bride, One Savior, One God. That's how I see it.
Progressive Dispensationalism – Introduction
We touched upon this previosly in one of Dr. Reagan's blogs: When Will OT Saints Be Resurrected?
"I think this is something that pre-tribulationism has difficulty coming to terms with because it is so dependent upon two distinct bodies (Israel and the Church)."
Actually that is incorrect. In fact Ryrie discusses this in his book, "Dispensationalism".
Neither classic nor progressive dispensationalists claim more than “one plan of salvation for man”. The pre-trib rapture belief does not depend upon dispensationalism. Dispensationalists have been pre-trib, mid-trib and post-trib, and not all pretribbers are dispensationalists. Charles Ryrie even argues that the 7 year tribulation probably isn’t a different dispensation to the current one, though I tend to think it might be. Both PDs and CDs hold to a distinction between the Church and Israel. Trying to find a similarity between them via the words “ekklesia and sunagoge” does not change the fact that the Church is a separate entity to Israel; that it did not exist until Pentecost and that it was a mystery prior to this – or later if you’re a hyper-disp.
On Acts 7:38 NET Bible note: 104tn This term, ἐκκλησία (ekklhsia), is a secular use of the term that came to mean “church” in the epistles. Here a reference to an assembly is all that is intended.
RG states, "..that it [the church] did not exist until Pentecost and that it was a mystery prior to this"
RG, PD recognizes that there is much more in common with Israel and the church than what CD would even admit to, and the "church" is easily found in the Old Testament. Just because it was a "mystery" at that time does not mean that it did not exist prior to Pentecost. In fact, as I have pointed out above, Jesus told His "Jewish audience" to bring their problem to the "church" in Matthew 18:15-18 when the church, as it is taught by Classical Dispensationalism, was not even yet formed. Thus, we should begin to recognize that the church, from a Biblical perspective, is in fact the assembly of all believers in YHWH the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whether it be saints in the Old Testament who looked forward to the promise of the Deliverer who was to come, or saints in the New Testament (now including Gentiles) who look back to the promised Deliverer who came.
ChristianAnswers.net makes a few points by noting that, "God has ever had only one church on earth. We sometimes speak of the Old Testament Church and of the New Testament church, but they are one and the same. The Old Testament church was not to be changed but enlarged (Isa. 49:13-23; 60:1-14). When the Jews are at length restored, they will not enter a new church, but will be grafted again into "their own olive tree" (Rom. 11:18-24; compare Eph. 2:11-22). The apostles did not set up a new organization. Under their ministry disciples were 'added' to the 'church' already existing (Acts 2:47)."
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said that He would build His church "upon this rock". But who is the rock? Peter or Christ? Scripture gives us the answer.
1 Cor. 3:11, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
1 Cor 10:1-4, "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."
Christ said that He would build His Church. Not create it from anew, but build it (the Greek word is oikodomeō) — the Church already existed for the foundation had already been laid, and now because of Christ Jesus, Gentiles would be added to His Church by being grafted in and would no longer be foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. (Eph. 2:11-22).
Mitchell, it’s simple – the Church isn’t Israel. It began at Pentecost. The original word for assembly or congregation was later used for the Church. Building something is not the same thing as renovating or developing. A foundation is not the edifice itself. The idea was there but the entity was not – until Pentecost. Matt 16:18 is a future tense of the verb. Eph 1:19-23 – the Father gave Christ to be the Head of the Church, but He did this only after the resurrection and ascension. The Church cannot exist apart from its Head. The Head of the Church is the risen and ascended Christ. As such, the Church could not begin until after the ascension. Compare also John 7:39. The 70 weeks of Daniel were related to Israel, not the Church. That, in itself, does not mean the Church won’t be present but IMO one should understand the original purpose for the weeks (and the trib) and not try to blur the differences between an unregenerate Israel and the Church to promote an eschatological view.