The Day of the Lord?

When does the “Day of the Lord” take place? What say ye?

dayofthelord

Revelation 6:9-17

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Amillennialism

Re-post from 2013!

Such a great video on the subject of Amillennialism. He mentions a few problems that I struggled with and helps to explains the details.

The Amillennialist affirms that the people of Israel have not been cast off or replaced, but rather, that the Gentiles have now been included among the Jews in God’s Covenantal promises. In other words, not replacement but expansion. God’s redemptive plan, as first promised to Abraham, was that “all nations” would be blessed through him. Israel is, and always has been, saved the same as any other nation: by the promises to the seed, Christ. Amillennialists, do not believe in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth after His second coming. Rather, they affirm that when Christ returns, the resurrection of both the righteous and wicked will take place simultaneously (see John 5), followed by judgment and and the eternal state where heaven and earth merge and Christ reigns forever.

Strong points of Amillennialism

* It is highly Christocentric: it makes Christ the center of all the biblical covenants (even the “Land” covenant or Siniatic)

* It notes the universal scope of the Abrahamic Covenant (as key) to interpreting the rest of the biblical covenants * It sees salvation history oriented to a person (Christ), instead of a people (the nation of Israel)

* It emphasizes continuity between the “people of God” (Israel and the Church are one in Christ Eph. 2:11ff)

* It provides an ethic that is rooted in creation, and “re-creation” (continuity between God’s redemptive work now, carried over into the eternal state then)

* It emphasizes a trinitarian view of God as it elevates the “person”, Christ Jesus, the second person of the trinity as the point and mediator of all history

* It flows from a hermeneutic that takes seriously the literary character of the Scriptures (esp. the book of Revelation) – Bobby Grow

Yours in the Lord,

j

WRATH by Roquemore

prewrath

Years ago, when the LEFT BEHIND series first came into print I loved it and devoured them. It was my first experience with eschatology and the default position of most of the Christians I found myself surrounded by. Shortly after reading the first few novels I read C.I. Scofield’s Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth and considered myself in the Pre-Trib Rapture camp. I even bought a beautiful blue leather Bible edged with silver to use as my main study Bible.

It didn’t take long, maybe a couple of years and more reading, before I became uncomfortable with the idea, I mean, Jesus talks a lot about picking up your cross and following him, future suffering, etc. all for believing in Christ. I became more and more aware of other schools of eschatology but decided to just read Pre-Trib critiques of their views instead of getting it straight from the horses mouth so to speak. But, I have a curious mind and eventually decided to read some of the other views for themselves.

The first book that had a huge impact and caused a shift in my eschatology was The Rapture Question Answered by Van Kampen. This was book tackled the issue of the timing of the Rapture of the Saints and moved the timing further down the road by recognizing the difference between the wrath of God and the wrath of Satan. According to Van Kampen the rapture happens after Revelation 6.12. I will not rehash all of the arguments but will recommend  The Sign by Van Kampen (if you can still find it) or Prewrath Rapture of the Church by Rosenthal.

Enough of that, I’m not trying to convince you to believe in the Prewrath Rapture, I was just giving some background. To say I listen to a lot of audio books and podcasts is an understatement. Now that I’ wrathm (essentially) an empty nester and my wife works evenings I’ve had even more time to listen as I work away at home or exercise. The other day I found a book on Hoopla (free with your library card number) a book titled, WRATH by Roquemore and it’s the first book in a series of End Times fiction based on the Prewrath Rapture of the Church. I haven’t even finished it but I’m thoroughly enjoying what I have heard so far. It’s written in the same pop Christian style of fiction writing found in the LEFT BEHIND series, a little corny at times, but so far so good.

For anyone interested in End Times fiction give this title a try. It’s a fun read!

Yours in the Lord,

jm

The Rapture Question Answered

prewrathLong ago in a galaxy far, far away…I was hoodwinked and bamboozled into believing the PreTrib Rapture and Dispensationalism. I’ve blogged about this in the past. It was my own fault. I didn’t examine the tradition I was being spoon fed in light of scripture.

For most of us in North American who attend conservative, Bible believing churches the PreTrib Rapture is the default tradition often assumed in the preaching and written into our church statement of beliefs.

Early in my Christian life, once I started reading Revelation and Daniel for myself, I doubted the idea. Over the course of a few years I moved from PreTrib to a PreWrath Rapture view before abandoning PreMillennialism altogether. But every now and then I pick up The Sign by VanKampen and find it impressive. The PreWrath Rapture view places the timing of the Rapture or the removing of the church from earth before the out pouring of God’s wrath found in chapter 6 of Revelation.

One of the most useful books in helping me rid myself of the PreTrib Rapture tradition is titled, “The Rapture Question Answered” by Robert Van Kampen. For many reasons, mostly for the sake of tradition I guess, I still have a fondness for this eschatological view.

Comparing Revelation 6 with Matthew 24 or the teaching concerning the end times in Pauline epistles with the teaching of Christ, the PreTrib Rapture view melts away… Van Kampen is especially good at picking apart the timing of the Rapture. For this reason I recommend the work. It’s short, easy to understand and as the subtitle reads, “Plain & Simple.”

For nostalgia and to satisfy some nagging questions I’m going to re-examine this end time view with another read through The Sign, maybe listen to a couple of sermons or lectures on the subject.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Dispensational Sleight of Hand

Dispensational

Dispensationalists claim to view scripture literally. This is often contrary to the manner in which the Apostles viewed the Old Testament. I’m not suggesting we have the authority of the Apostles to take scripture and spiritualize it as they often did, rather, I hope to view scripture in the way it was intended to be understood. Dispensationalists and Amillennialist both agree on the historical-grammatical method of understanding scripture but we differ on how to gleam the “literal meaning” of scripture. A good example of a forced and therefore false literalism can be found in the differing interpretations of the eschatological Temple mentioned in Ezekiel and Revelation. To gain some idea of how the Dispensationalist forces a meaning on scripture considering Amos 9 and Acts 15.

We read, “For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:” (Amos 9.9-11)

At first glance it might might conclude with the Dispensationalist that a some point in the future a Temple will be rebuilt. If we use a historical-grammatical method of interpretation, without considering the New Testament, we miss the meaning of these verses. Most eschatological positions do not force the interpretation of this passage, pick up commentaries by 17th century Premillennialists or Postmillennialists and you’ll see they look to the New Testament as the final interpreter of the Old. For a New Testament understanding we read the words of Peter who reinterprets the verse in light of the work of Christ on the cross.

“And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:” (Acts 15.16)

In this passage we see Peter applying the Old Testament prophecy of a future Temple to the Church. The Tabernacle of David is the church according to the Apostle Peter which is contrary to the Dispensationalist position. If we use a historical-grammatical method we must conclude that Peter meant what was recorded in scripture. Peter spiritualized the old prophecy and applied it to the church. We find Peter, literally calling the church “the tabernacle of David!” Peter does this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and we must accept Peter’s reinterpretation of the prophecy. We find this spiritualizing tendency in the epistles as well.

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph. 2.20-22)

The Church is called the “holy temple of the Lord.”

Peter states again, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 2.5)

To look for the physical shadow or type when it has been fulfilled denies the centrality of Christ and is called in the New Testament “carnal.” Paul weights in.

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” (2 Cor. 4 & 5)

Under the old Mosaic Covenant of Works the tabernacle or Temple was the dwelling place of God. Israel had to attend to the lawful worship of God at the Temple. Believers in the New Covenant of Grace have the indwelling of the Spirit, and a new heart, which is why Peter refers to the body as the tabernacle.

“Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.”

Ezekiel has a few BIG passages used by Dispensationalists to force the old covenant type or shadow upon the New Covenant meaning given by Spirit to the Apostles. Let me point out how quickly the Dispensationalist abandons the so-called “literal” meaning when it comes to Eze. 43.19.

We read, “And thou shalt give to the priests the Levites that be of the seed of Zadok, which approach unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord God, a young bullock for a sin offering.”

This verse is found in the often cited portion of Ezekiel that Dispensationalists believe foretells a future rebuilt Temple but this future Temple will return to offering sacrifices for sin. To the credit of most Dispensationalists they abandoned their pretension to “literalism” and claim the sin offer is not really a sin offering but rather a memorial or commemoration of the sacrifice of Christ. This is a “shoe horn method” of reading scripture where we find nothing in the passage that would indicate the need to insert ideas of memorials or commemoration but yet the Dispensationalist applies a “shoe horn” to slip in ideas, verses or meanings not found in the text. And they do so to avoid adding to the finished work of Christ. Amen. Is it a tenable position? Or course not. The sacrificial system was said to “decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away” (Heb. 8.13) and it did with the destruction of the Temple in ad 70. The Dispensationalist would have Israel, at some future date, return to this Old Covenant ignoring what the Apostles had to say on the matter.

Christ’s death put away any need for Old Covenant types and shadows. (see Hebrews 9 & 10) Paul goes further to state that the old system was “a shadow of things to come” (Col. 2.17) and old system was a “shadow of heavenly things…” (Heb. 8.5) If we read these cited passages using a historical-grammitical method, trying to gain a literal meaning from the authors, we find the Dispensationalist is engaging in a sleight of hand.

Read the passages for yourself.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

You mean Jesuit?

JESUIT

WIKI:

There has historically been general agreement with non-preterists that the first systematic preterist exposition of prophecy was written by the Jesuit Luis de Alcasar during the Counter Reformation. Moses Stuart noted that Alcasar’s preterist interpretation was of considerable benefit to the Roman Catholic Church during its arguments with Protestants, and preterism has been described in modern eschatological commentary as a Catholic defense against the Protestant Historicist view which identified the Roman Catholic Church as a persecuting apostasy.

Due to resistance by Protestant Historicists, the preterist view was slow to gain acceptance outside the Roman Catholic Church.

Roman Church?

babylon-myth

Francis Turretin on why the Church of Rome is not a true Church of Christ:

7. Because Antichrist sits in her.

XXI. Seventh, Antichrist sits in her, the author of the great apostasy described by the apostle in 2 Thess. 2 who, under the pretext of a vicar, professing himself be in the place of Christ (anti christou), by impiously usurping the authority of the Lord betrays himself to be really Antichrist (antichriston), the rival of him and an opposing and self-exalting enemy (antikeimenon, kai, hyperairomenon) who, sitting in the temple of God as if he were God, exalts himself above all that is called God (to wit, emperors, kings and princes of the earth, and departed saints in heaven) and shows himself that he is God. That all these criteria of Antichrist can be found in the Roman pope can easily be gathered from a comparison of both, as has been proved at length in our Disputation 7, “De Necessaria Secessione,” Opera (1848), 4:147-77.

8. Because she is Babylon.

XXII. Eighth, she is the mystical Babylon, from which the pious are commanded to come out (Rev. 18:4) as a most corrupt society diametrically opposed to the mystical Zion, the true church of Christ, and incompatible (asystatos) with it. Both the description of John proves and our opponents themselves do not deny that by Babylon is meant no other than Rome. John’s description (Rev. 17) belongs exactly to her alone, especially as to the two marks by which he distinguishes her: that she is a seven-hilled (eptalophos) city, who “sitteth on seven mountains” (v. 9); and that she obtains power over the kings of the earth (v. 10). It is evident that she is seven-hilled and in the time of John no other except herself was the mistress of the world, the head of the earth and the queen of nations, who on this account was called by the Greeks “the ruling city” (basileuousa polis).

–– Francis Turretin, “Institutes of Elenctic Theology” Vol. 3, p, 133

Papal Simony

papacy

‘Simony’ (corruption and sale of ecclesiastical offices) and ‘nepotism’ (favouritism shown by the popes to their ‘nephews’) had long been in vogue but had increased greatly in the course of the preceding century. It was scarcely ever claimed any longer that any pope had been elected without simony; legation reports gave precise details of payments and promises of high honours made during the elections. The sales of ecclesiastical offices, of both high and medium rank, had become recognized practice; the cardinals themselves pressed the pope to resort to this well-tried means when money was short. A further well-known custom, and one that was bitterly contested, especially abroad, was ‘pluralism’ – the bestowal of three, four and up to as many as ten or fifteen high offices on a single favoured individual; it was forbidden under canon law but practised widely without compunction. In Luther’s day there was hardly a cardinal who did not enjoy the rich rewards of four of five highly lucrative offices, in many cases aboard; usage permitted these to be transferred to members of family, thus creating a further nepotism within the great nepotism of the popes. But the establishment of their nephews and cousins in high office by the popes, which had been going on for centuries, now developed on a really big scale; the papal families became great Italian landowners. Duchies and even kingdoms were demanded for the clan. These had to be wrested from someone and this necessitated wars and campaigns, which were waged with all the means of ‘ecclesiastical power’, including excommunication and interdict. Italy became a battlefield, above all when the foreign powers – France, Spain, Germany – were drawn in. Source: Luther by Richard Friedenthal

A Brief Outline: Postmil

postmilFrancis Nigel Lee writes:

The order of these prophesied events, is clear. That, in turn, helps us better to understand their character. After first understanding when, we can better understand what.

First, Jerusalem would fall to the (Roman) Gentiles in 70 A.D. At that time, the Judaists would largely be annihilated.

Second, that would be followed by the “time of the Gentiles.” During this time — as we are informed elsewhere in Scripture (Rom 11:25) — the “fullness of the Gentiles” comes into Membership of the Christian Church, while part of the Judaists alias ethnic Israel remains spiritually blinded.

Third, this treading down of Jerusalem by Gentiles would terminate when “the times of the Gentiles” would be fulfilled. This fulfilment will take place, when the Deliverer Jesus Christ will be preached with great success by the largely-Gentile Christians alias the true Zion. Thus the Church preaches Christ also to ethnic Israel alias the unconverted Jews — and increasingly so. In this way, Christ “shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” alias ethnic Israel (Rom 11:25f) — and christianize also the Jewish Nation.

Fourth, this conversion of the Jews as a People will then be followed by a time of universal blessing – in Christ for both Gentiles and Jews. During that time, “all Israel shall be saved” — that is, both Jews and Gentiles. “For God has concluded them all in unbelief, so that He might [in the future] have mercy upon all [Jews and Gentiles].” (Rom 11:30-32)

Fifth, this will then ultimately be followed by the end of World History. For “then shall they see the Son of man coming on a cloud — with power and great glory.” (Luke 21:27) O Christian, the Kingdom of God shall yet be extended to both Gentiles and Jews! Even hardened ethnic Israel shall yet be saved! For God shall “have mercy upon all!” Luke 21:24f cf. Romans 11:23-32.

After 70 A.D., the Gospel would unfold ever more widely and powerfully — and ultimately be promulgated to all the Nations in the World. Also before but especially after the destruction of the wicked Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the Son of man sends forth His Angel-Messengers like the sound of a great trumpet to gather His elect from the four corners of the Earth. Matthew 24:30-35 & 26:64 cf. Psalm 22:27 & Isaiah 45:22f & Revelation 14:6f.

For the Gospel gradually subdues the raging seas of the Heathen Nations, and will finally cause their Leaders to fall down from their pagan heights before Jesus — like shooting stars. Gradually, the Gospel thus makes wars to cease, and international peace to increase. (Mark 13:24f, per contra 14:4-14)

The Two Witnesses

candles7THE TWO WITNESSES (taken from The Tragic Aftermath of Futurism)

see also The Witness of the Church

In Revelation 11:3-12 is described the two witnesses with their work, their death and their resurrection. From the fundamentalist, Futuristic standpoint of Biblical interpretation of prophecy, it is commonly taught that the two witnesses are two men of the Old Testament era that have been resurrected or either the two men of the Old Testament that did not die and therefore are brought back into their physical bodies and placed back on this earth as the two witnesses. Ordinarily, it is believed that the two witnesses are either Moses and Elijah, Elijah and Enoch or Moses and Enoch. There is quite a dispute over the difference of opinion as to which of the two men of these three it will be. These three men have been chosen because their lives, while they were on earth in their physical bodies, are somewhat a type of the work and description of the two witnesses described in Revelation 11. Staying true with the text, we are given the best clue as to their identity in verse four.

First, let us ascertain from the Old Testament who God refers to as His two witnesses. In Isaiah 43:10 it is stated unto Jacob which is inclusive of both houses of Israel, “Ye are my witnesses saith God and my servant whom I have chosen. . .” The prophet is referring to Jacob, yet he says, ye are my witnesses, which denotes more than one or a plurality of witnesses. In Isaiah 44:8 it is stated, “Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses.”

Here again, God is speaking through the prophet unto Jacob His servant, that the house or family of Jacob are His witnesses. In Revelation 11:3 the possessive personal pronoun “my” is used again as it was in both Scriptures in Isaiah. He says, “I will give power unto my two witnesses.” “My” must have an antecedent which is referring back to the angel in verse one. This angel is Jesus Christ. He is telling us through the prophet Isaiah, who His witnesses are. Does Christ have different witnesses than what is stated in the Old Testament? No, His witnesses would be the same.

In Psalm 114:2 the Psalmist speaks of Judah as being the Lord’s sanctuary while Israel as being His dominion. This denotes a two-fold office of religious and civil authority within the family of Jacob.

In Revelation 11:4 we are given a strong clue as to the identity of these two witnesses by the reference to the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the whole earth. In Haggai 1:1 and 14 is mentioned two men and their respective offices which were instrumental in the restoration of the city of Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. Joshua the High Priest and Zerubbabel the Governor are the two men which are types of the two witnesses of Revelation 11. It is very significant to remember that the two God-given institutions that were reestablished during this post-exilic era were civil authority under the leadership of Zerubbabel the Governor and religious authority under Joshua the High Priest. The parallel remains the same. Those two institutions are civil authority and religious authority under the dual office of the Messiah originally intended to be exercised through His Church in His Kingdom. Someday Jesus Christ will execute full authority in both of these offices as is reflected in His title, King of kings and Lord of lords.

The three and a half prophetic days or three and a half literal years covers the period of time of May 5th 1545, the date of the fifth Lateran Council to October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five thesis to the Wittenberg Castle Church door in Germany. During this time there were no protestant voices crying out against the corruption of Papal Rome. The bodies of the two witnesses were “dead” (11:18) and the Papal Church of Rome rejoiced (11:10).

Through proper Biblical interpretation, while allowing the Scriptures to speak for themselves, we are given a clean understanding who the two witnesses are. While following the Futuristic scheme ‘Protestants’ remain in darkness and once again bow to the bidding of the Jesuits.