Points so far:
- The tribulation has a number of functions: the pouring out of God’s wrath, the returning of God’s focus from the Gentile churches back to the Jews, the return of Christ as King, and the final defeat and punishment of Satan and the fallen angels
- God has never punished believers along with the wicked, but always taken the believers out of the picture before pouring out His wrath.
- the only exception was the Jews in Egypt during the ten plagues, and as a whole, the Jewish people were not saved until the last judgment, death of the firstborn, when the blood was applied to the doorposts.
- All the prophecies to Israel must still be fulfilled.
- Preterism is unBiblical
- “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” Mark 13:32 (KJV) If the Rapture occurs at any time except for before the Tribulation, then we pretty much would know the day and hour.
- Dispensationalism shows that God dealt with the Jewish people for 2,000 years and right now is dealing with the Gentiles in the Christian age of Grce.
- Matthew 24 is speaking to a Jewish audience, which is proved by the use of the words “The temple”, “The elect”, and “Sabbath day”
- Gentiles do not keep the Sabbath. Jews do.
- “The gathering from the four corners of heaven” is the return of Christ.
- The last few verses of Matthew 24 ARE referring to the rapture. So, then if there is pictured a “Gathering from the four corners of heaven” in Matthew 24, it stands to reason the Bible is teaching they all were previously brought to heaven.
- The book of Revelation should be read literally until the Bible specifically tells you not to.
- Belief in the Pre-trib rapture is often a litmus test for how doctrinally correct you are. wavering in that doctrinal stand is a hint there may be other areas of doctrinal error creeping in.
- Departure from a correct understanding of a single Biblical doctrine usually is quickly followed by others, until one is an apostate.
I’m sure an objection from the Preterists popped up. “The book of Revelation is apocalyptic, and thus is written in a figurative language used by writers of the Bible for apocalyptic literature.”
Wow. Circular logic at its finest.
Premise A: The Book of Revelation is apocalyptic
Premise B: Apocalyptic books are written in figurative language.
Premise C: We know this because the language used in Revelation is figurative.
Buddy, it’s like this. Start watching your feet as you walk. When you pass by that white rock that looks familiar, it’s because it is. You’re walking in circles.
If your assumption were correct, there would be something in Daniel, the first apocalyptic book, that would tell us, “Seek the meaning of these words, for they are a puzzle, and not to be taken as literal.” There’s no such saying in Daniel, OR Revelation. The only meaning that is sought in these books is rather, “What is the meaning of that mystic vision?” And guess what? The book explains what the meaning is!!! You don’t have to unlock or decode ANYTHING!!!
Okay, let’s drop the silliness, and instead interpret prophetic events literally. After all, Micah 5:2 reads
2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2 (KJV)
Hm! What, I wonder is the mystical meaning of this verse??? It’s prophetic, isn’t it?
Let’s see, it means of course that although Christianity started with only eleven men in an upper room, it quickly blossomed out to include the entire world! As long as they’re sprinkled as babies of course. It’s prophetic language, so that’s what it must mean!
Or does it rather mean that the Lord Jesus Christ, who existed eternally from before the creation of the universe, would literally be born in a fleshly form on the earth in the town of Bethlehem?
If we interpreted the prophecies of Jesus Christ literally, we need to interpret the prophecies of end time events literally.
“I’m Amillenialist. I don’t believe in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ.”
Then you’d better re-evaluate your doctrine, because the Bible literally says there will be. And if you can read something that’s stated plainly in the Bible and deny that’s what it means, I have to question if you’re even saved!
“I’m a preterist. I believe that all of Revelation was fulfilled in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem.”
Then you need a serious doctrinal adjustment.
The Bible says that a third of all plants will burn up. When did this happen in history?
The Bible says there will be 200 million demonic horsemen that will kill 33% of all mankind. When did this happen in history?
The Bible says there will be demonic locusts that will sting men, their stings lasting 5 months. And the stings will be so intense, that men will attempt to kill themselves, and be unable to. When did this happen in history?
If the millennium started in the year 70 AD, it would have ended in 1070. So… why is there still sin? Death? Murder? Theft? Almost 1,000 years LATER. Satan should have attempted his final rebellion in 1070, and cast into the lake of fire forever in that year.
2 Peter says the world will explode in a deafening BOOM! with flames during the battle with Satan. When in history did that happen?
If this is paradise, and the eternal state, I’m woefully disappointed, to quote Marc Monte. THe Bible makes it seem so much better than this.
So I’m in my glorified body now? Pardon me while I clean my glasses and go blow my nose.
Preterism and Amillennialism is completely unBiblical. Let’s hear no more about it.
Here’s a key to help you understand the book of Revelation, indeed, the entire Bible – we interpret prophecy literally unless told not to within the text, and allow the text itself to tell us the meaning of the symbolism!
Here’s an example.
12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. Revelation 1:12-16 (KJV)
Whatever does that mean???
20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. Revelation 1:20 (KJV)
Now, there are some symbols not explained in Revelation – the woman with child, the harlot on the beast, the seven thunders, the number of the beast. The text does not explain those. However, there’s certain things that make it obvious. The woman with child is Israel producing Christianity. That’s pretty obvious. The twelve stars of course being the twelve tribes of Israel.
The harlot on the beast. The Antichrist is going to use a religious system that dresses in purple and scarlet and worships a woman, and coincidentally is located in a city with seven hills. Hmmm. Sounds a LOT like Roman Catholicism.
The Number of the Beast. It’s probably going to be some kind of biometric. What are the three sixes? That’s some kind of gematria, the exchanging of letters for numbers. Until we have the name of the antichrist, the 666 can only confirm who he is, by writing his name in Hebrew. Please understand there’s almost a limitless number of combinations of letters that add to 666. It works like this:
- Bet = 2
- yod =10
- mem =40
- peh = 80
- tsadee = 90
- qof = 100
- resh – 200
- shin = 300
- tav = 400
However, let’s not be silly. Don’t start asking, “Is so and so the antichrist?” You’ll know who the antichrist is when you see him. And by the time he reveals himself to be the Antichrist, we’ll have been raptured.
And there’s a number of people who oppose Gematria, for good theological grounds, like Ron Rhodes. I think that Revelation 13 gives us some basis for Gematria, but you’ll notice this is the ONLY time I’ll mention it. Since the only time the Bible mentions Gematria, this doctrinally should be the only use we attribute to it, to identify the Antichrist. I think it’s far too close to numerology for us to mess with, and numerology is forbidden in the Bible.
Sadly, for the Left Behind fans – there’s no way Nicolai Carpathia could be rendered 666 in Gematria. Amusingly, if you didn’t get it, his “Aunt” Viv Ivins was the roman numerals for 666. VI VI VI (ns).
Okay, now we’re getting silly. Tomorrow, let’s get back to the Rapture, and sound biblical doctrine.