Most of us are convinced that at least part of the antichrist deception will involve “aliens”, which are actually demons/fallen angels. It will likely be the major explanation of the disappearance of Christians (the rapture). If you happen to read this after countless numbers of Christians disappear, do not be deceived. We were not taken by aliens. We were called home by Jesus Christ, to save us from the wrath of God that is about to hit the world. The Bible is true. People like me are not nutty conspiracy theorists or Bible thumpers.
“If you want to find out if someone understands Scripture correctly, ask them if they think Israel has a right to the land.”
In the 1980’s, when Hal Lindsey’s book, “The Late Great Planet Earth” was still popular, I was busy with high school and college. Frankly I wasn’t giving much thought to Bible prophecy. It was always in the back of my mind however – in a file marked “for future reference.”
And I believed I had all the time in the world. Most Bible prophecy was yet to be fulfilled: The coming of the Antichrist (who I believed would be a real person), the mark of the beast, the Gog and Magog war, and the armies that would surround Jerusalem – the burdensome stone.
As editor of the college newspaper, I covered Gorbachev’s reforms in the Soviet Union – Perestroika and Glasnost. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was paving the way for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty; “mutually assured destruction” would march into the history books.
I watched as the Berlin wall came down. I remember thinking, “Certainly Bible prophecy is a long way from being fulfilled. The Soviets are our friends; Communism is collapsing!” The world was destined for peace.
I had read the Bible as Holy book. I believed that my interpretation of its teaching and prophecy was revealed to me with divine guidance. Now there is a doctrine gaining steam in the churches, however, which wants to convince me that the divine guidance I’d experienced was all a lie.
Not too many years ago, I hadn’t ever heard of the terms “dispensationalist” or “futurist.” If anyone had mentioned “eschatology,” I would have thought it was a French word for the study of snails. And I most definitely had never heard of “Replacement Theology” or “Preterism” – the idea that all Bible prophecies that I expected to be fulfilled in the future had already been fulfilled with the Siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of its temple in 70 A.D.
Not until I was faced with a Preterist that held these beliefs did I even know they existed. Worse yet, this Preterist was starting a Christian organization in my area and revealed to me that his secret goal was to convince Christians that their Futurist, Dispensationalist, end-times ideas were a manufactured lie. (He is currently working to spread his organization to 300 U.S. cities).
watch the video and prayerfully decide for yourself. Thoughts and opinions welcomed.
An eclectic lesson on random, yet pertinent, issues. Notice he mentions the date being off some 240 years…just like I posted on Sunday in my article entitled What Year Is It Anyway? I had not seen this video at the time of my writing, or even at the time it was posted. Interesting. Also interesting that he says the verse “No one knows the day or hour” is not referencing the rapture.
Berean duty calls, as always:
There is an ongoing debate about when the rapture of the church will take place. As most of us know, there are three lines of thought concerning the “when”. There is the pre-tribulation rapture, occurring before the tribulation. Others think it will happen at the mid-point of the tribulation. Still others think the church will be present for much of the tribulation, perhaps even making it to “the end” when Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom.
I have found those who believe in the mid-trib and post-trib lines of thought get very….passionate….when discussing it. Okay, plainly put, they get down-right heated and sometimes even vicious.
One of the most used “arguments” by the Pre-tribbers is that Jesus is not going to “beat up His bride” before coming to get her. I use this argument myself, for it is a logical one. The tribulation is what is referred to as “the great and terrible day of the Lord”. It is when God will unleash His wrath upon a vile and proud world. It is serves as a warning to those on the earth that they had better stop rejecting Him. It is also a final attempt to get the attention of the Jews and point them to Jesus, their Messiah. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, we are told in Romans Eight. It simply does not make sense that the bride of Christ will have to be subjected to the wrath of God. There are those who argue we pre-tribbers are mistaken. They argue that we all must expect to suffer for Christ. We must expect persecution. I say, Christians are being persecuted every day…right now…during these last hours before the tribulation. I also suspect there will be those “left behind”, who will realize their folly and come to Christ during the tribulation. For this, they will surely die at the hands of the antichrist for they will refuse to take his mark.
There is another argument which suggests the rapture will happen before the tribulation. Well, actually, I consider it plainly SAID, not just suggested. That is, the restrainer will be removed before the man of lawlessness is revealed. That man of lawlessness is the antichrist. The tribulation does not begin until this man steps into the light and deceives Israel by making a 7 year contract of peace with them. So the question to consider is: Who or What is the Restrainer?
And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 NKJV
So who is He who now restrains?
Scholars agree the restrainer is the Holy Spirit. Dr. William Varner gives a wonderful explanation of this, as well as a rebuttal to claims the restrainer is “something/one else” in his article posted here. spiritandtruth.org also gives a similar, and thorough analysis of this question here.
So, let’s agree the restrainer that must be removed prior to the tribulation is the Holy Spirit. While He played a part previous to Acts 2, the day of Pentecost when He indwelt believers is the day He began restraining the spirit of lawlessness. You see, it was then that the clock for the end of time began ticking, so to speak. I agree with the above links that He will take up that “smaller” role (that which He played prior to the day of Pentecost) after He gives up His role as restrainer. Point is, He will no longer be present as the restrainer.
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you……But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 14: 16-17, 26 NKJV
Look at verse 16 again…“that He may abide with you forever”.
Let’s continue by looking at Acts 2:37-38
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NKJV)
Every born again believer receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. He indwells each of us.
Since He said in John 14 that He would be with us forever, is it not logical to conclude that when His presence leaves this earth prior to the tribulation, we will go too? Why would He indwell us prior to the tribulation, only to abandon us when times REALLY get hard and we need Him the most? Furthermore, we know that we fight off the evil one by using the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. If we are still here, we would still be using the Word of God, thus the evil one will STILL be fighting against us and thus, be somewhat restrained. satan cannot introduce his man to the world until said man can have “free reign”, if you will, to do his evil bidding.
Something to consider.