Saturday, July 26, 2014

More refuteing of Pre-Tribulational Imminence

I dealt with the main reasons I'm not Pre-Trib. I want to address some other Pre-Trib arguments here. Mostly I felt like making this in response to some arguments from Dave Hunt in a radio debate I saw him have with a "Pre-Wrath" supporter (who sounded more like he was Post-Trib). When I wrote the first draft of this I didn't know Dave Hunt had passed away. So I apologize if this sounds harsh at all, he is a man I respect.

Like a lot of Pre-Tirbbers he obsesses over the Parables in Matthew 24 and 25. Insisting they demonstrate it's not just the World but the Church caught off guard. Problem is you have to be careful building doctrine on parables. And I can't help but think the simple fact of both Pre-Trib and Pre-Wrath being proven wrong not very long into the 70th week may cause a lot of believers who've always taken the Mid-Trib view the least seriously to just accept the Post-Trib arguments, which sadly could lend themselves to becoming enemies of Israel, since Post-Trib is virtually inseparable from Replacement Theology.

But I actually don't think the point of those parables is technically an issue of the Rapture's timing at all. They're about attitudes. Attitudes that even Pre-Tribbers can take, I know most don't but they can, if they engage in date setting, or just see that the Temple Reconstruction hasn't even started yet as assuring them they have time. What I'd say to any Mid-Trib, Post-Trib or Pre-Wrath believers temped to use their beliefs about the timing of The Rapture as an excuse to take such an attitude. Is that you could Die at any moment, and will be with Jesus then.

Like a Thief in The Night

Pre-Tribbers obsess over this phrase. Those who aren't Pre-Trib insist it's the World taken by surprise. Pre-Tribbers respond with "Jesus wasn't talking to the world" then reference back to those Parables again.

The point isn't who he was talking to but what he was talking about.

I Thessalonians 5 is one of the places that uses this phrase of the Second Coming, and a favorite one. They kind of ignore it's usage in Revelation 16:15 where it's said as the Bowls of God's wrath are being poured out. Which Post-Tirbbers think helps them, but the KJV uses Present tense in Revelation 16:15, he is already Coming.

But back to I Thessalonians 5.

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.  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.
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
Verse 4 clearly says WE are not to be taken as a Thief. But Hunt just writes this off when it's pointed out to him and references other passages I already addressed rather then letting Paul elaborate on what he said.

Let's talk about the origin of this Phrase. because while the New Testament uses it in various places, it is in fact secular in origin. It was coined in reference to how Cyrus sneakily captured Sardis. Jesus reminds us of it's origin by using it in his message to the Sardis Church in Revelation 3:3.

However not everyone in Sardis was taken by Surprise, the spies and collaborators he no doubt had in the city that helped him uncover this vulnerability were not surprised. Which is why I think Jesus may want us to be thinking of Joshua and the Siege of Jericho, and the two spies who got Rachab saved. We as part of The Church are citizens of God's Kingdom but are dwelling in Satan's. We're his spies, as are The Two Witnesses. And Rachab could be viewed as a type of he Church.

What about the idiom of as a Woman who travails? Does she have no warning signs? No, she has a pretty good estimate of when to expect her child to be born. If she's taken by surprise at all it's because of there being so many false alarms.

"For when they shall say, Peace and safety" is a specific phrase Dave Hunt loves to dwell on.

First thing is, I don't see how that could accurately describe Christ's return if he returns today? The world isn't remotely saying that now. But his fixation is an assumption that this phrase can't work if any of the Seal or Trumpet Judgments are already going on. (He'd also include the Bowls, but I don't disagree that those are post Rapture).

I believe this refers to after the Abomination of Desolation. When the Antichrist is trying to convince the world he's ushered in a new Golden Age of peace and tranquility, a Pax Romana. if he's using a false Judeo-Christian religious premise then he'll probably be saying the Millennium/Messianic era has begun and convince people somehow that the first half of the 70th week was really the last. Post Post-Tribbers and Pre-Wrathers garble the chronology of Revelation in ways that would lend help to that.

But perhaps he won't be claiming anything Biblical, perhaps he'll be saying it's the "Age of Aquarius" or some other BS.

Point is either way every eschabological tradition agrees that things get worse before they get better. As Harvey Dent said "The Night is darkest just before the Dawn". And Lucifer is the Dawn bringer according to Albert Pike.

Now, allow me to explain my view. I'm Mid-Trib, though probably not your standard form of it, I prefer the label Mid-Seventieth Week. I've never even read or listened to a Mid-Trib teacher. I've come to this conclusion listening to Pre-Trib, Post-Trib and Pre-Wrath people and taking note of both what I find right and what I find wrong in their teachings while studying The Word for myself with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I believe all 7 Seals and the first 6 Trumpets all happen before the Abomination of Desolation. So I agree that the people being martyred for not taking he mark are not part of The Church. I also believe Joel 2:1-14 is the Sixth Trumpet and Joel 2:15 the Seventh Trumpet.

I believe the Ministry of the Two Witnesses is the first half of the 70th Week, because Malachi said Elijah would return BEFORE the Great and terrible Day of The LORD. During which time they will smite the Earth with plagues and withhold rainfall, and turn water to blood, and call fire down form heaven.

I believe The Beast kills the Two Witnesses the same day he does the Abomination of Desolation and causes the Sacrifice and Oblation to cease. Probably soon after.

They then lie in the streets of Jerusalem for Three and a Half days. During which time the people of the Earth celebrate their death.

Revelation 11:10 "And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. "
I've considered the possibility that this might be during Chanukah, the 3rd day of which is the traditional day for gift giving. And the 25th of Kislev is the anniversary of both the Maccabees victory over Antiochus Epiphanes but also of his Desolation in the first place. Allowing this date too fit two conflicting views of what the heresy for the coming Abomination might look like. But I now preferring seeing the 7th Trumept as the First of Tishri.  Either way I wouldn't be dogmatic on it.

The point is that this roughly 84 hour period is the time period I believe Paul was describing. Everyone thinks the bad times are over and they are now in eternal peace and safety. Then the Two Witnesses Resurrect and Ascend, and the Seventh Trumpet sounds, and the Sign of the Son of Man, the Ark of his Covenant (The Cross I believe) is seen in the Heavens. This is when the Rapture occurs for the Time of the Dead is at hand, to give rewards to the Saints. And then God's Wrath is poured out. Revelation 14 also describes the Son of Man coming on the Clouds, an the 144,000 who sound like their in their Resurrected state.

The 70 weeks of Daniel

Dave Hunt and other Pre-Tirbbers feel the Church Age must exactly match the gap between the 69th and 70th week.

Problem is, the 69th week points to the Triumphal Entry and Crucifixion, which both occurred in Nisan. Not Pentecost which was 49 days after the Resurrection.

Study Daniel 9 closely and you'll see that the 70 weeks revolves around the Temple. So I believe the moment the 69th week ended was when the Veil was torn at the moment Jesus died. The Talmud says that for 40 years before the Temple's destruction the crimson thread never turned white. I've written elsewhere on why I date the Crucifixion to 30 A.D.

The Second Temple was effectively dead for 40 years before it actually ceased to stand. It lost it's divine anointing when Jesus became the True Sin Offering. So I believe the 70th week is initiated by the consecration of the Third Temple. Revelation 11 confirms for me it's standing during the Ministry of the Two Witnesses, refuting the view that it's only under construction during the first half. The outer court being given to the Gentiles I believe refers to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, because I support the Al-Kas fountain view of The Temple's location.

It's always confused me how Daniel 9's last verse doesn't tell us really anything about what happens when the 70th week ends, just what marks the midst of it. We know Daniel was told his vision was sealed up. Perhaps Gabriel's vision for Daniel here was meant to end about when the Rapture will happen.

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