Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Gates of Hell shall not Prevail against The Church

Matthew 16:18
"I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
 Daniel 7:21 says
"I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them"
 This is another argument against Post-Trib, in particular their augment that the mere presence of believers during even the last part of the End Times scenario disproves the idea of a Coming separate from Revelation 19.  And in favor of the Dispensational argument that not all believers are part of The Church.

It's not just Post-Tribbers who have a problem here however.  Pre-Wrathers also insist all or most of those killed by The Beast are Pre-Rapture.

Critics of this way of looking at it may wonder.  "How can the Antichrist's persecution be prevailing against the saints but not the many persecutions The Church has suffered?"

First off it doesn't matter if it makes logical sense to us or not.  This is how The Bible defines things.

But I'd point at that the persecutions against The Church have always only made it grow.  And I believe that will include our persecution during the first half of the 70th Week which Jesus describes happening before The Abomination of Desolation in Matthew 24.  Martyr means Witness, seeing people die for their Faith has only inspired others to accept that Faith.  That is why we have always Prevailed even when they've killed us.

But during the Day of The LORD in Revelation 15-18 most of the world will have accepted The Mark.  And The Beast will control everything, so I really don't even expect the executions during this period to be Public.  So the murders of believers during this period may well not inspire Salvation in anyone else.

Yes Revelation 15:2 tells us these victims did have Victory over the Beast and his Image and his Mark.  But the word for Victory here isn't the same as Prevail in Matthew 16:18, in English or Greek.

There is however in my Mid-SeventiethWeek model a gap of at least three and a half days between the Abomination of Desolation and the Rapture.  The time the Two Witnesses are lying dead in the streets of Jerusalem.  So we do have a brief time for people who are part of The Church to be Martyred by The Beast.  But those Resurrected at the start of The Millennium who were beheaded can't be part of The Church, as I explained in my main anti-PostTrib study.

I also realize some my argue the "gates of hell" doesn't refer to Earthly persecution at all, but only to our victory in Spiritual Warfare.  I do consider Spiritual Warfare important as a Continuationist, and this part of Matthew is also relevant to that.

However it is an inherently UnBiblicla view of Cosmology to view the Demons we're currently battling as coming at us from Hades (the word used in this verse).  Current Hades only holds dead humans.  The hell that was "made for The Devil and his Angels" is Gehenna, the Lake of Fire, and no one has gone there yet.

But if it's accurate to view The Abyss(Bottomless Pit)/Tatraros as a part of Hades.  Then that is where Demons go when we Bind them.  But nothing sent there shall be able to get out until it's unlocked in Revelation 9.  It's in his resurrection that the White Horseman becomes "the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit ".  So yes, during the second half of the 70th Week he is indeed of the "gates of hell".

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