Reviewing the Reviewers Part 2

It is time “to take the gloves off” and tackle the nonsense expressed by some reviewers on Amazon of my first book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. Consider the following negative review:

Unnecessary bulk added, April 30, 2001


Gary F. Zeolla “Director of Darkness to Light ministry and of Fitness for One and of All”

This review is from: The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (Hardcover)

The original “Treasury” was a very helpful volume. But I would not recommended this “New Treasury.” It is a very bulky volume that adds much unnecessary and unreliable information, such as theological notes from an Arminian perspective. The original Treasury just gives the cross-references without bias comments.
If you want help with Bible study, get the original “Treasury.” I used it extensively in developing my book “Scripture Workbook: For Personal Bible Study and Teaching the Bible.” The cross-references in the original “Treasury” were a great aid in finding the thousands of verses I reference in my book.

Well, my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, is clearly a more bulky volume than the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.

This is so because:

(1) The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge uses much larger type uniformly throughout the book. The original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, typeset by hand in the early nineteenth century, uses variable type size, all of it small, and some of it, such as in the Psalms, where references are crammed into three columns on a page, very small and hard to read.

I think readers today would prefer the larger size type which of course requires more pages, which accounts for most of the “unnecessary bulk added” that Mr. Gary F. Zeolla complains of.

(2) Now The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge which I produced has far more cross references than the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge does.

I think people who actually study the Bible using cross reference Bible study very much appreciate having more cross references available everywhere throughout the volume. That, too, accounts for more of the “unnecessary bulk added” that Mr. Gary F. Zeolla complains about.

(3) The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge has seven indexes; the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge has no indexes.

I think people who study the Bible for themselves very much appreciate those indexes to the subjects, the topics, prayer, proverbs, names, figures of speech, Strong numbers to Hebrew words, and Strong numbers to Greek words.

If Mr. Gary F. Zeolla had taken the proper time to investigate those indexes he would have possibly learned that I placed more index entries which support his Calvinistic views than he likely can find in any other published reference source. I was very careful to provide a very balanced approach to subjects upon which good Bible-believing Christians may differ. I quite often gave more support to the “underdog,” or less popular viewpoint in my notes, since most Christian book publishers refuse to publish the contrary or minority view, and often Christian bookstores refuse to carry books that defend the minority view. Truth is not determined by a majority vote, so quite often it turns out that the minority view is more correct than the majority view. It was my intention to provide in my standard Bible reference work a resource that permits anyone to learn the Biblical evidence behind each of several views about many Bible doctrines. My subject index provides the balance by indexing both or several sides of many doctrinal issues.

The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge “adds much unnecessary and unreliable information, such as theological notes from an Arminian perspective,” Mr. Gary F. Zeolla complains.

That strikes me as very odd indeed. At the time I was typing up The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, my application for church membership in a local church I had attended nearly five years was rejected. I was told by the pastor to go find a church that believed what I did. His church was staunchly Arminian. He accused me of being a Calvinist, based, as I recall, upon the fact that I graduated from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, which he said was a Calvinistic school. The pastor may have seen my bookshelves filled with sets of works by Calvinists, sets published by Jay Greene’s Sovereign Grace Publishers, with a distinctive dark green cloth binding. The pastor was no doubt aware that I had recently been an active elder in the Presbyterian Church.

I think Mr. Gary F. Zeolla has much to learn, as do we all. I challenge anyone anywhere to refute the substance, that is, content, of any theological note I have written for The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. My notes are thoroughly grounded in Scripture. No one has yet refuted a position I have taken.

I hardly think I have entered any “unreliable information” in the notes I have provided in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.

As for “Arminianism,” that is often shorthand used by Calvinists for any view that does not support their false doctrine of unconditional eternal security for the elect–more popularly but incorrectly known as “Once Saved, Always Saved.” Most Calvinists have no idea of what “Arminianism” is. They need to read and re-read Roger E. Olson’s scholarly yet highly readable volume, Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities before they make themselves look more foolish than they are before saying any more about it.

You cannot properly interpret the Scripture if you ignore or contradict the grammar of Scripture. I am a retired English teacher. I took my college work in both undergraduate and graduate school with an emphasis in English grammar and linguistics. I pay attention to grammar. I studied Greek for only two years at Bob Jones University, but I have continued to study Greek ever since then on my own. That means I have been studying Greek to a greater or lesser extent since 1958 until now.

Greek grammar totally refutes the assertions of Calvinists at every turn. No Calvinist has properly exegeted John 3:16. They cannot do so. They dare not do so. John 3:16 refutes their position. Calvinists ignore the subjunctive mood, a mood used in Greek to express the presence of a contingency. A contingency means that a promise is valid only for those who continue to meet the requirements set forth in context. At John 3:16 we read “For God so loved the world.” “World” is stated by respected grammarians to be a “monadic construction,” which in plain English means, the “world” is a whole, and it is the only one of its kind. Therefore, Calvinists are seriously in error when they jump from John 3:16 to other texts in John or elsewhere to try to prove God did not love the whole world, but only the world of the elect.

John 3:16 further states that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth.” The English word “believeth” is a present tense verb. The Greek underlying this translation is also present tense. Present tense in Greek is not just reference to time, but also to the kind of action specified, and this fact grammarians call “aspect.” In John 3:16 the kind of belief specified is belief that continues. It is NOT a one-time “act of faith,” but a continuing belief.

John 3:16 further states, “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish.” The “should” in English translation would better be translated “may not perish,” the “may” identifying the subjunctive mood that specifies there is a contingency involved named in the context. The “may” does not express doubt. It points to the fact that the kind of belief that results in “eternal life” is continuing belief.

The Bible teaches the eternal security of the believer, not the unbeliever!

Moral of the story: We as Christians must use greater care in how we judge the work of others, especially when we write reviews that stay on public display like on Amazon. Now, as the author, I could have asked that Amazon remove Mr. Zeolla’s negative comment. I did not do so, and do not intend to do so. I did have Amazon remove one review that was totally biased and so factually incorrect that it reflected poorly on the reviewer and the credibility of the reviewing process.

We need to be careful to not judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment (John 7:24). Nicodemus counseled, “Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” (John 7:51).

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Reviewing the Reviewers Part 1

I had occasion today to check into the current availability of my book, Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible, thanks to a question posted by a commenter here.

In the process (I learned from CBD that Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible will be available again in November of 2014) I encountered many interesting reviews of my two books.

Most interesting to me is the negative review by R. Robinson on Amazon about my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. She writes:

Reader please use caution with this book. It is noted in the “How to use thus Book” section that E. W. Bullinger a known Hyperdisoensationalist is referenced in this book. His ” Companion Bible” is used which has some very unusual notes. Example: In Genesis Bullinger says Adam could fly because he had “dominion” over all the animals including birds. I personally am throwing out this book and going with an older version. I’m surprised that John MacArthur endorsed this on the back cover

Now R. Robinson is very correct that Mr. E. W. Bullinger is “a known Hyperdispensationalist.” What that means is that Mr. Bullinger makes distinctions regarding the several dispensations that are likely more refined than a careful study of the Bible would warrant. As a result of these distinctions, Mr. Bullinger does not believe, for example, that water baptism is to be practiced by the Church today in this present dispensation (I have answered that blatant error in my note at Matthew 28:19). His distinctions no doubt involve a number of other positions he takes that are not supported by a careful study of Scripture.

As for dispensations themselves, to suggest there are seven dispensations is very arbitrary, and is not directly supported by the text of Scripture. See my notes on this issue in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge at 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:2. Dividing Scripture into seven dispensations may be seen by some as a helpful teaching device, but such an arbitrary division must not be made a point of Bible doctrine! That there are dispensational distinctions which must be made is most clear in the Bible; those who disagree are often very mistaken about the place of the nation of Israel in the plan of God and in the great Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants.

R. Robinson asserts that Bullinger in the Companion Bible in Genesis “says Adam could fly because he had “dominion” over all the animals including birds.”

I have not been able to verify that claim against Mr. Bullinger. I have used the Companion Bible extensively since about 1962 or even earlier. I have combed its many notes very extensively, but have not come across that in my reading of either the Companion Bible or anywhere else in his published works that I have read.

One lesson to be learned from this review by R. Robinson is, verify all claims by going to the source.

A second lesson to be learned is, when making a claim, provide the precise documentation for the claim so others can verify its correctness.

A third lesson is, don’t throw out a resource because you might disagree with a position an author holds. If I did that, there would be few books left in my rather extensive personal library indeed. You can always learn something from an author with whom you disagree. An author like Mr. E. W. Bullinger has carefully done his homework. He presents much helpful assistance in understanding the Bible more accurately. His work on the figures of speech in the Bible is outstanding. No publication I am aware of, before or since, is nearly as helpful. Mr. Bullinger is also about the best author I know of who has discerned the literary structure within the Bible. He presents that structure in the margin of the Companion Bible, and explains the structures in an appendix to the Companion Bible. Mr. Bullinger explains the significance of those literary structures in his very helpful volume, How to Enjoy the Bible in an even more readable and understandable form.

If you check the subject index to my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, you will find among the several entries under his name, reference to corrective information about Mr. E. W. Bullinger under “Bullinger, E. W. Materialist bias of, noted and corrected, Psalm 16:10 note.”

With regard to R. Robinson’s comment, “I’m surprised that John MacArthur endorsed this on the back cover,” I am thankful he did. Do I agree with all Mr. John MacArthur teaches? Absolutely not. Much of what he teaches is superb, but like I have said before on this site, when he departs from the Bible itself to promote the five points of Calvinism and the so-called “doctrines of grace,” he is sadly very mistaken. I wrote about that in an article titled “Doctrines of Grace or Doctrines of Demons?”–one of the most accessed pages on this site: it is page 227, as I recall. I find it interesting in my use of the MacArthur Study Bible that he may have read my notes in the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge in the Book of Acts, where I cite scholarly sources which prove beyond any possible doubt that for whatever reason, the apostles practiced infant baptism. See my note at Acts 16:15 for a summary of the Biblical evidence. The MacArthur Study Bible appears to contradict my findings, but in my judgment does not present any evidence to the contrary beyond mere assertion. But Dr. John MacArthur was not intending to endorse my notes, but the valuable cross references I have provided for cross reference Bible study. I can tell by his teaching on the radio that Dr. MacArthur has made use of the additional cross references I have furnished in my book, references not present in the original work, The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.

I checked into the other reviews written by R. Robinson on Amazon. I found this review immensely interesting:

This review is from: The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures: 3 Bible Texts (Hardcover)

I was a Jehovahs Witness for 25yrs. They are the translators of the English in this bibke. They are a cult abd used an anonymous group of JW leaders to translate which was later discovered who they were. One was Franz the former president of the WTBTS. Nine of these men had firmament training to translate the Bible. Franz was shed in court to translate one simple verse at Genesis 1 and he could not do it. They even asked a German man Gerhardt that had made his own NT translation and was quoted to be able to speak with spirits through his medium wife, to bless the new NWT Bible! They alter the deity verses about Jesus including John 1:1 by saying “and the word was a god”…. Denying Jesus is God, ,denying the Holy Spirit as one of the God head. Their false teachings are all over this bible.

I am most thankful that, however it may have taken place, R. Bobinson has left that realm of darkness and encountered the true light of the Bible. I wish she could find this website and interact with me directly here. Amazon asserts that “R. Robinson” is her real name. She would be helped, I am sure, by what I could share with her about my experiences with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Though wrong, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been a blessing to my life as they have stirred me to a deeper study of God’s Word as I investigated the truth or falsity of their teachings. The results of those years of study when they came to my apartment every Monday night for four years can be seen in the Subject Index entry in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, page 1562, “Jehovah’s Witnesses: Answers to Doctrinal Errors,” where under 21 enumerated subheadings I indicate where the answers to their mistaken positions on as many issues are to be found in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and, of course, the Bible itself. I have been contemplating the possibility of doing a full series of articles on those 21 topics here. What do you think–should I do that?

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“Time Is Getting A Wee Bit Short”

I read a very interesting post at today titled “Time Is Getting A Wee Bit Short” by Karl Denninger. I believe his site is well worth reading daily. In short, sometimes pungent articles, his brief daily commentary is most informative. I believe he takes a common-sense approach to economic, social, and political matters in the news, or that ought to be in the news. Like most writers, he falls short a bit when he makes observations that pertain to religious matters, and that is what I would like to comment on here today.

Mr. Denninger wrote:

Our government swindles you every single day with deficit spending, destroying your purchasing power. You cheer for your food stamps and how “compassionate” we are, and in fact you hear it in virtually every “mainstream” church. It’s all a lie; there’s no compassion involved in robbing people of their dignity and their ability to provide for themselves a nickel at a time.

Speaking of churches, have you ever wondered about their proclamations of an afterlife? Nobody has ever come back to tell us that it’s real, of course, whether it’s the puffery of Heaven or the fires of Hell. In my cynical hours spent with various spirits of the liquid sort I have occasionally mused on whether that is an intentional lie conjured by men as a means of trying to convince the common parishioner not to take revenge in the here and now when his boy is [molested] in the rectory or some other grievous insult has been perpetrated against him or his family. After all logic says that a dying man finds no deterrence even when confronted with a death sentence by the civil authorities, and when the church has conspired with said civil authorities to rob the common man in their mentally deranged version of Robin Hood……

I would like to focus especially upon his statement: “Nobody has ever come back to tell us that it’s real, of course, whether it’s the puffery of Heaven or the fires of Hell.”

Simply put, Some One did come back and told us all about these things. That Person is our Lord Jesus Christ. It is on the basis of the FACT of His bodily resurrection and return from the dead that we know for sure that Jesus is Who He said He is, and that the Bible is true, and we too have an assured hope of heaven and eternal life if we believe in Him.

Check out for yourself what the Bible tells us in Luke chapter 24. My favorite verse there is Luke 24:39, a verse which pretty well tells all you need to know. But you can also check out the eye witness testimony of a person who deeply doubted the story of the resurrection, and was convinced when, in the midst of a group of gathered people, Jesus confronted Thomas with the direct evidence Thomas had requested, an incident you will find recorded at John 20:26, 27, 28.

As a matter of law, legal principle, and logic, once eye-witness testimony has been written down, its evidential value continues ever after and does not need to be repeated. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the best attested FACT of history that we have in recorded history because the evidence is confirmed by eight different writers who were either there at the time it happened or were very closely connected with those who were, whose written records have come down to us. No other historical event of ancient history comes with this much testimony. The testimony presented in the New Testament unquestionably meets the tests of historicity. The witness or testimony of the New Testament documents is therefore unimpeachable.

Now if you are resting your faith upon the claims of a particular religious denomination, as Karl Denninger might be resting his upon Roman Catholicism, your faith may indeed be on shaky ground, on shifting sand, instead of upon the rock-solid testimony preserved in the 27 primary source documents we call the New Testament. I encourage you to anchor your faith in the Bible itself. You will not be disappointed if you make the effort to get better acquainted with that most important Book in the world. I’ve spent much time on this site explaining how to get acquainted with the Bible by doing Real Bible Study. Take full advantage of this advertising-free opportunity to learn more from and about the Bible from the material I have posted here. I think all my articles are of permanent value, so just because I wrote some of them in 2010 does not mean they are out of date! Your time is better invested learning from someone who has spent the time and has done the homework necessary to be equipped to teach others. I think I have surely done that since 1953.

I just had my final cataract surgery yesterday, so forgive any typos you may catch in this article. That also explains why I have not posted as often as I have sometimes done in the past. But I could not miss this opportunity to call your attention to the valuable Market Ticker website written by Mr. Karl Denninger. I trust he won’t mind my comments here on a paragraph or two I found there that he wrote today.

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Even famous folks sometimes get it wrong

Even famous folks sometimes get it wrong when it comes to understanding the plain words of Scripture. I encountered an interesting example yesterday.

Walid and Theodore Shoebat wrote an article titled “ISIS declares they will invade Jerusalem, the Vatican, and Spain, and destroy the Cross.”

Walid Shoebat is a former Muslim who has converted to Christianity. Mr. Shoebat has made a careful and thorough study of the Bible and Bible prophecy. I believe he is correct, to a degree, in his understanding that the Antichrist arises not from Europe or Rome, but from the Middle East. Mr. Shoebat, as I understand him, believes that the Antichrist will be a Muslim. I cannot confirm that, but I can affirm that the Bible gives, as one of the names of Antichrist, “the Assyrian” (Micah 5:5).

Some things in the co-authored article are suspect, I believe. Consider how they handle Romans 1:7,

To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7)

When reading these words, we must keep in mind that St. Paul is writing to the Church of Rome, that is, the Roman Catholic Church. For those who affirm that I am wrong, I ask you kindly, if Romans is not being written to the Roman Catholic Church, then which church is it being written to? And where today can I find this church?

You cannot find it, and you never will, no matter how hard you try. But if you would like to take up the challenge, then I would gladly see your findings. In antiquity, the primacy of the Roman Church was established as the head of the churches. This was not an invention of Constantine. Tertullian, one of the oldest and most ancient authorities of Christianity, declared the primacy of the Roman Church. I will let his words speak for themselves:

Notice the first sentence I quoted above: “When reading these words, we must keep in mind that St. Paul is writing to the Church of Rome, that is, the Roman Catholic Church.”

Mr. Shoebat has committed a common error. He (or they) equate the “church at Rome” with the Roman Catholic Church. This is surely a mistaken connection. The Roman Catholic Church had no existence until almost 600 years after Paul wrote the Book of Romans. Of course, the Roman Catholic Church and its apologists delight in propagating this error, but that does not verify the claim.

Mr. Shoebat then asks the pointed question, “For those who affirm that I am wrong, I ask you kindly, if Romans is not being written to the Roman Catholic Church, then which church is it being written to?”

May I kindly answer that Romans was written to a group of Gentile believers and Jews who had become Christians who lived at Rome. The germ or start of that congregation (or more likely congregations–the Jewish converts had problems associating with the Gentile converts, as reflected in what Paul writes in Romans 14:1-5) was a group of converts who believed the Gospel and became Christians as a result of Peter’s first sermon on the Day of Pentecost (read carefully Acts 2:10).

The original church at Rome that Paul wrote to was a missionary outpost of the original Jerusalem church, and historically held that status for several centuries. During that time the church at Rome could hardly be called the “Roman Catholic Church” in the modern sense of that contradictory term. Contradictory, because as soon as you prefix to “Catholic” the term “Roman,” it is no longer Catholic, or universal! Historically, the Greek Catholic Church is older than the “Roman Catholic Church” by many centuries.

So yes, I affirm that in this matter Mr. Shoebat is most definitely wrong, dreadfully so.

Mr. Shoebat continues,

And where today can I find this church?

You cannot find it, and you never will, no matter how hard you try. But if you would like to take up the challenge, then I would gladly see your findings. In antiquity, the primacy of the Roman Church was established as the head of the churches. This was not an invention of Constantine. Tertullian, one of the oldest and most ancient authorities of Christianity, declared the primacy of the Roman Church. I will let his words speak for themselves:

Mr. Shoebat asks a good question: If Paul was not writing to the Roman Catholic Church, what church was he writing to, and where today can that church be found?

The Bible, as always, gives the pertinent clue:

Romans 1:6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

Romans 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice that Paul was not writing to the Pope at Rome, for there was no Pope at Rome then. Notice Paul was not writing to Peter as the head of the Church at Rome, for Peter was not then at Rome. Notice further that the church at Rome was not founded by Peter or any of the other apostles. The church at Rome was made up of all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, those Paul addresses by the expression “called to be saints.” Paul here uses the term “saints” in its New Testament Biblical meaning, ordinary Christian believers. All believers are “saints,” or more literally from the Greek, “holy ones.” Bible saints have nothing to do with so-called “saints” canonized by the Roman Catholic Church without Biblical authority.

Therefore, Paul was not addressing his letter to a church of the sort represented today by the name “the Roman Catholic Church,” but to a group of believers that met in “house churches” on the first day of every week for fellowship and instruction in their new-found faith.

Where can you find such a church today? Not in the Roman Catholic Church you may be sure! You can find it wherever Bible-believing, Bible-practicing Christian believers meet for fellowship around God’s Word in the Bible, and who work both individually and together to reach others with the true message of the Gospel found exclusively in the Bible.

Read your Bible with your eyes wide open! If your church by its practices and by its teachings teaches things you don’t clearly find in the New Testament, you most likely are in the wrong church!

That should sufficiently answer Mr. Shoebat’s challenge, “You cannot find it, and you never will, no matter how hard you try. But if you would like to take up the challenge, then I would gladly see your findings.”

If Mr. Walid Shoebat truly believes in our Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, and is truly saved by faith in what God has done through Christ for us rather than depending upon what we may do for God, and if Mr. Walid Shoebat truly believes the Bible, then the simple answer I have just shared will be sufficient to answer his question, an answer I furnished directly from the Bible itself.

The next claim made by the article by Mr. Walid Shoebat and his son is as follows:

Also, one cannot ignore the fact that no where in the epistles of St. Paul do we find the faith of a particular church praised as being “spoken of throughout the whole world”. It is only to the Roman Church that St. Paul gives this very significant description.

I do not wish to be rude, but to this claim I would answer, Nonsense!

I have already dispensed with the claim that the church of or at Rome addressed by Paul is the Roman Catholic Church. This is an error that involves reading later history, 600 years later at that, into New Testament history. That is a fatal error in logic. Maybe the word for that is anachronism. It occurs in literature when an author in our time writes an historical novel that mistakenly has the characters doing or knowing something that was not yet in existence at the chronological time frame of the story’s setting.

Mr. Walid Shoebat would do well, as would everyone, to carefully study a Bible text, such as Romans 1:8, by first consulting the cross references available in The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, or The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, or Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible for this passage before making the claim that only the church of or at Rome’s faith is praised as being “spoken of throughout the whole world.” Mr. Shoebat says “It is only to the Roman Church that St. Paul gives this very significant description.”

Let us test this claim as to its truth by consulting the cross references given at Romans 1:8,

Romans 1:8. I thank. See on Ro 6:17. Ac 27:35. 1 Cor 1:4. 14:18. 15:57. Ep 1:15, 16. *Ep 5:20. Phil 1:3-5. *Phil 4:6. Col 1:3, 4. +*Col 3:17. 1 Th 1:2, 3. **1 Th 2:13. 3:9. 2 Th 1:3. *2 Th 2:13. 1 Tim 2:1. 2 Tim 1:3-5. Phm 1:4, 5. *He 13:15. 2 J 1:4. 3 J 1:3, 4. my God. Ac 7:32. +Phil 1:3. 4:19. through. Ro 2:16. 5:1. **Jn 14:6. 2 Cor 1:5. Ep 3:21. *Ep 5:20. *Phil 1:11. *He 13:15. 1 P 2:5. 4:11. that your faith. Ro 16:19. +Mt 24:14. *2 Cor 2:14. **Col 1:6, 23. **1 Th 1:8-10. is spoken of. 2 Cor 3:2. Col 1:9. 3 J 1:3. the whole. *Mt 24:14. Mk 13:10. *Lk 2:1. *Ac 11:28. Re 3:10. 16:14. world. Gr. kosmos, +Mt 4:8. Ro 10:18.

Notice the key words that your faith. Notice I have provided emphasis marks throughout the references given in my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. The double asterisk, or in the printed edition, the check mark, means a very important, critical reference that should not be overlooked. I have assigned this level of emphasis to Colossians 1:6, 23 and 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10.

Col 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Col 1:6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Consider also 2 Corinthians 3:2,

2Co 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

The clearest parallel is 1 Thessalonians 1:8,

1Th 1:8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
1Th 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
1Th 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

The church at Rome, therefore, is not the only church Paul commended for having a faith and practice that was known “in every place.” The argument Mr. Shoebat has built upon his misconception falls flat and is invalid for the purpose he uses it.

I had suspected from another video presentation I watched that Mr. Walid Shoebat is Roman Catholic. This article by himself and his son surely confirms my initial impression. Now this does not invalidate all he says about the Bible and the Middle East and Bible prophecy, but it should alert all of us of our need to carefully confirm from the Bible itself the validity of any claims others build upon their interpretation of it.

One of the best methods for guarding against falsehood and mistaken doctrine is to do Real Bible Study by means of studying all the cross references you can get your hands on. The most complete cross references available are given right here at for any verse I have discussed. The next most complete source will be found in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge which unfortunately and unwisely is out of print but still available in software format. The currently in-print resource, Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible, is the remaining best source of complete cross references for Bible study.

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Heiser’s Laws for Bible Study

Dr. Mike Heiser has a very interesting Bible study website. The one I visited a few times is titled “The Naked Bible,” if I recall correctly. Dr. Heiser is a scholar who is far above my level of expertise, yet in the past I have dared to differ with him on, for example, the significance and interpretation and application of Revelation 1:19 as a key to understanding the intended structure of the content of the Book of Revelation. In response to my comments about that verse Dr. Heiser kindly directed me to a newer commentary by Beale on the Book of Revelation. After reading the relevant portion of Beale’s commentary, I concluded that Beale was appealing to an alleged feature of the text that would not have been noticed at the time by the original recipients, so I consider Beale’s argument invalid.

In a discussion on a new Christian discussion site,, Dr. Heiser shared his “personal laws for Bible study.” Here is the substance of the six laws he presented with my additional and concurring commentary:

Bible reading is not Bible study. I have learned, kicking and screaming mind you, that this is where most people are at. Everyone can do serious Bible study and they should.

I agree fully with his introductory remark. If I understand him correctly, he rightly says most people are fine with Bible reading, but need to advance to the level of Bible study.

1. There is no substitute for close attention to the biblical text

You should be observing the biblical text in the original languages. If you cannot, never trust one translation in a passage. Use several and then learn skills for understanding why they disagree. These skills would be things like learning grammatical terms and concepts, along with translation philosophy and the basics of textual criticism.

If you read very far on my website here, you will see that I do make some reference to the original language of the Bible, I cite more than one translation when that helps clarify the meaning, and I have surely discussed grammatical terms and concepts.

I have not dealt extensively with translation philosophy. This involves the issue of whether you should seek to follow a very literal translation such as Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible, which strives to translate word-for-word from Hebrew or Greek into English, striving to translate the same original language word consistently by the same English word everywhere it occurs, or should you make use of a “dynamic” translation, which strives to convey the ideas behind the words and larger units like phrases, clauses, and sentences into equivalent ideas in modern English, as to some extent the NIV or the New Living Translation attempt to do. Both kinds of translation are helpful. A literal translation permits more careful study of the figures of speech in the Bible. A dynamic translation makes it easier to follow the ideas (as understood by the translator or translators) in the text. It is best to make use of a number of different translations at the same time when digging deeper into a specific text of Scripture. With modern software, it is easy to do this.

I have not dealt much with textual criticism, but I have been studying the subject since the mid 1950s, probably for longer than Dr. Heiser has studied the subject, though by no means do I claim to know more than he does. A scholar friend of mine from Chicago, Mr. G. E. Hoyer, procured many scholarly volumes on this subject for me.

2. Patterns in the text are more important than word studies

You need to learn to trace threads and ideas through the Bible and observe how the New Testament re-purposes and interprets the Old Testament. If you aren’t paying attention to these things, you’re missing more than you think you’re seeing.

I certainly agree fully with Dr. Heiser on this rule! For the ordinary Bible reader, the most direct way to follow Dr. Heiser’s advice in this “rule” is to use cross reference Bible study. I wrote an article here on this site asking the question, “Is it really possible to study the Bible without using cross references?” The answer is yes, you can, but you will miss much if not most of what there is to gain from careful Bible study.

With more specific regard to patterns in the text, the Companion Bible is a very helpful resource understandable by ordinary readers of the English Bible.

Word studies are important, but doing word studies can lead the Bible student to not take careful account of the word in context. Context shapes meaning. Supposing that the “meaning” of a word as given in a lexicon always holds for every context where the word occurs is a very mistaken idea engaged in by many rather well-known Christian Bible scholars. I have noted this issue here and there in my first book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (see my note at John 5:39 and my note at Revelation 3:10, for example). There is also the very significant issue of falling into the trap of succumbing to the logical error sometimes called the “word study fallacy.” I make reference to that fallacy at the end of my note on 1 Timothy 4:1.

3. The Bible must be interpreted in context, and that context isn’t your own, or that of your theological tradition

The context of the Bible is the context that produced it—ancient Near East/Mediterranean.

In other words, if you’re letting your theological tradition filter the Bible to you, you aren’t doing Bible study or exegesis, and you aren’t interpreting the Bible in context.

Dr. Heiser is most correct. This third “rule” is the principle behind my emphasis on this site that you start out your reading and study of the Bible by using a plain text Bible. You want to learn as much as you can directly from the Bible itself, not the ideas of any commentator on the Scripture. Study Bibles are of great help, but the notes they contain are not divinely inspired. Only the text of the Bible itself is divinely inspired. Beware indeed of falling into the trap of reading the Bible in terms of your theological tradition. Some of the most popular and highly respected Bible teachers of our day at times fall into this trap. If what you believe can have the suffix “ism” added to it, beware! Calvinism, for example, is most certainly mistaken in some of its assertions, compared to what the text of Scripture itself declares.

4. The Bible is a divine human book; treat it as such

Put another way, God chose people to write the biblical text, and people write using grammar, in styles understood by their peers, and with deliberate intent—and so the Bible did not just drop from heaven. Study it as though some person actually wrote it, not like it is the result of a paranormal event.

The Bible must be understood grammatically before it can be interpreted doctrinally. Those who ignore the grammar most certainly will be in error on many points of their interpretations and understandings of what the Bible teaches. It is impossible to over-emphasize the importance of this matter.

Certainly the Bible is divinely inspired. It is verbally inspired. It is inspired of God down to the last “jot and tittle.” Men who wrote the Bible were directed by the Holy Spirit as to exactly what to write (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16). Yet the Holy Spirit fully employed the ability and style of each individual writer. The writing of John is very different from the style of Paul in the original language text.

5. If it’s weird, it’s important (i.e. it’s there for a reason; it is not random)

Put another way: Systematic theology isn’t helpful (and can be misleading) if its conclusions are not derived from exegesis of the original text. Biblical theology is done from the ground up, not the top down.

Systematic theology can be very instructive, but the study of Biblical theology is far better. I have called the “top down” method of expounding Bible truth the deductive system of interpretation, a method that should be avoided. To get at the truth of the Bible it must be studied inductively. This is done by gathering all the material that is given in the Bible on the subject, theme, or issue you wish to study or are concerned about, and considering the whole, and all its parts carefully in the contexts where the parts are found, before coming to a sound conclusion about what the Bible teaches.

The Bible does not present all its teaching on a given subject in one place, like one chapter, or several chapters, or even a whole book. The material must be carefully searched for, and discovered by finding all the places that relate to the subject being studied.

You cannot merely use a Bible concordance to find all the material that pertains to the issue of concern. That is because the same subject elsewhere in the Bible may be mentioned using entirely different terms.

This is why you must make use of cross reference Bible study, using as complete a resource providing cross references as you can find. It is helpful to use more than one resource which contains good cross references. In reference Bibles, one of the best and most complete source of cross references is the American Standard Bible published years ago by Nelson, identified on its cover as Teachers’ Edition. The NIV Study Bible has a good collection of center column references also. The original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and my expansions and corrections of it, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible are probably the most complete resources available for cross reference Bible study. Both The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge are available in Bible software. The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge is also available on line on the Internet. A site I like is the edition featured at a site with a name something like the blue-letter Bible. My new much expanded edition of my first book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, is available right here on this Real Bible Study site in many samples I have posted for the daily Bible Nuggets and other Bible topics I have addressed.

6. If, after you’ve done the grunt work of context-driven exegesis, what the biblical text says disturbs you, let it

Dr. Heiser is surely correct about this. I have expressed the idea as learning something new in your careful study of the Bible. Sometimes when you learn something new, that new knowledge requires that you make some changes in what you understood or believed before. If this is not happening as a result of your Bible study, you probably are not really studying the Bible, or you’ve got your mind made up already and think you will never change. In either case, you are wrong, and need to develop a taste for what I call Real Bible Study.

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Daily Bible Nugget #319, Joel 3:2

The Nugget:

Joel 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

My Comment:

In this text God declares what he will do, to whom, and why.

God will gather all nations. God will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, a famous battle ground in Scripture.

God will plead with the nations there on behalf of his people and his heritage Israel.

Why will He do all this?

Because (1) the nations have scattered the Jews among the nations; and most significant for this present time, (2) God charges the nations for “parting my land.”

If you are familiar with the content of Bible prophecy, you will immediately understand what a precarious position any country takes who would dare to take part in “parting” God’s land, Israel.

If you are not familiar with Bible prophecy, it is imperative that you change course in your life and get to know the Bible. If enough people become knowledgeable about the Bible, they will wisely have positioned themselves to take the proper stance toward the nation of Israel. God promises to bless those who bless Abraham (Genesis 12:3), and curse those who curse Abraham. In Bible language this means those who work against Israel of today are guilty of cursing Abraham. The proper attitude for all Christians to take to the Jews and Israel the nation is clearly stated in Psalm 122:6, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.”

Any so-called “Two-State Solution” is clearly directly contrary to the will of God plainly declared in the Bible. It is about time that more Christians spend less time on the frivolities of this life such as sports and entertainment and self-indulgence and use the time gained to reach out to win others to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. That alone would be a giant step forward in remedying many of the moral and spiritual ills of this society. We should use the time gained to develop a deeper knowledge of what the Bible itself actually teaches. That is what Real Bible Study is all about! The cross references I share below will lead any thoughtful reader to much material in the Bible that pertains to Bible prophecy as it may pertain to events unfolding in our day.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 950 for Joel 3:2.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 979 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Joel 3:2.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

Joel 3:2. also gather. ver. Joel 3:11, 14. 2 K 10:21. Is 66:18. Ezk 38:15. Mi 4:11. *Zp 3:8, 19. +*Zc 12:2. **Zc 14:2-4. Re 16:14, 16. 19:19-21. 20:8. all nations. FS171o3, Ge 41:57. All put by the Figure Synecdoche (of the Whole) for representatives or people from all nations. **Ps 83:1-8, 14-18. Je 25:31. 28:8. Zc 2:8. 14:3. **Mt 25:32. the valley of Jehoshaphat. i.e. Jehovah hath judged. Between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. Mentioned only here and ver. Joel 3:12; the event recorded in 2 Ch 20:21-26 being typical of this scene of future judgment of the nations (CB). ver. Joel 3:12. =2 Ch 20:21-26. *Ezk 39:11. *Zc 14:4. will plead with them. or, will judge them. The judgment of Mt 25 turns on how the nations had treated “My brethren,” and not upon the grounds of justification by faith (CB). Is 51:22. *Is 66:16. Je 25:31. *Ezk 38:22. Am 1:11. Ob 1:10-16. Mic 4:3. Zc 12:3, 4. Mt 22:7. **Mt 25:31-46. Re 11:18. 16:6. 18:20, 21. my people. +*Dt 32:43. Ho 2:23. Mt 25:31-46. my heritage. Dt 32:9. Je 12:7. Israel. Note this; not merely Judah, but the twelve-tribed nation. **Ezk 37:22. whom they have scattered. Je 50:17. and parted my land. +*Ge 12:2, 3, 7. +*Ge 13:15. +*Ge 17:7, 8. **Le 25:23. +**Dt 32:43. Je 12:14. 49:1. Ezk 25:8. 35:10. **Ezk 48:14. Da 11:39. Zp 2:8-10.

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Daily Bible Nugget #318, Ezekiel 48:14

The Nugget:

Ezekiel 48:14 And they shall not sell of it, neither exchange, nor alienate the firstfruits of the land: for it is holy unto the LORD.

My Comment:

This is another rather clear passage in the Bible which shows that God does not intend for Israel, or the Israelites, to either sell or exchange their land. It is the broad principle that I would have you notice here. The Israelites, our modern Jews of the State of Israel, are not encouraged by the Bible to give away or sell or otherwise exchange their land, as “for peace.”

A further study of the extent of the land promised to Abraham in the Abrahamic Covenant would show that Israel does not now occupy the full extent of the land granted by that promise. This means we have most interesting times ahead. Bible prophecy is never wrong, though students of Bible prophecy often are.

Now taking the text, Ezekiel 48:14, in its immediate context, the historical application of Leviticus 25:23 and the prophetical application of Ezekiel 48:14 relate more directly to the specific property constituting the inheritance of a family, or the land reserved for the Levites.

This does not invalidate the broader application to the land of Israel being bound by the same restriction of not relinquishing any land God has granted them.

How do I know this?

By consulting the cross references to Leviticus 25:23 that I shared in the previous Daily Bible Nugget #317, and the references given below for Ezekiel 48:14, I and anyone else who will check out the references will see that there is a passage which applies to Israel and its current struggle that affirms and so confirms this principle for the nation.

It is my plan to share that passage in the next Daily Bible Nugget which will be #319.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 913 for Ezekiel 48:14.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 942 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Ezekiel 48:14.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

Ezekiel 48:14. not sell. Ex 22:29. **Le 25:23, 32-34. 27:10, 28, 33. Nu 18:12-14. neither exchange. **Le 25:23. **Joel 3:2. firstfruits. +Le 23:10. Dt 26:2. for. ver. Ezk 48:12. Le 23:20. 27:9, 32. Ml 3:8-10.

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Daily Bible Nugget #317, Leviticus 25:23

The Nugget:

Leviticus 25:23 The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.

My Comment:

It may be that many Bible readers who start out a new year all fired up in their excitement and commitment to read through the Bible in a year find, by the time they reach Leviticus, that they are, proverbially speaking, “limping through Leviticus.” For beginners in Bible study and reading, much of the book of Leviticus will at first seem very obscure. Yet this book is most essential to a full understanding of God’s Word. For example, Leviticus chapter 25 spells out in some detail an economic plan that, if it had been followed faithfully, would have brought the nation of Israel economic justice beyond what is found in any secular nation today. There would have been no permanently poor people in Israel. Leviticus 26 is a major primer on Bible prophecy, where the whole predicted future of the nation of Israel is very plainly laid out in detail. Only Divine Inspiration could produce such information long before it began to happen. Throughout Leviticus and the books of Moses as a whole there is wonderful medical wisdom embodied in the commands and practices God taught the Israelites so that they would indeed experience “none of these diseases” (Exodus 15:26), practices which involved dietary restrictions and even proper sanitation. This is again evidence that the Bible was produced by Divine Inspiration, for Israel was far ahead of all other nations in its wisdom about medical matters, from the start of a newborn male child’s life in the practice of circumcision specifically on the eighth day, to matters of avoiding promiscuity and Sodomy, both dangerous practices which would have spread devastating disease, even as it does still today, with large portions of modern nations afflicted by sexually transmitted diseases. So, Leviticus is a very modern book, filled with the wise dictates of the Creator that will benefit all who will follow them.

The book of Leviticus includes what might be considered wise political advice as well. Leviticus 25:23 specifies that “the land shall not be sold forever.”

This advice directly addresses the present political turmoil in the Middle East and the land of Israel.

There can be no “two-state” solution according to God’s Word.

When the United States advocates for a “two-state” solution for Israel it defies what God declares in His Word. When the current Secretary of State John Kerry, and our sitting (more likely golfing) President Barack Hussein Obama work against the modern State of Israel, they personally are in opposition to the Bible and what God has declared in His written Word.

That stance spells impending disaster for us, not necessarily Israel. Bible prophecy plainly shows that to be on the wrong side with respect to Israel and the Bible is to be in dreadful danger personally and nationally.

Our current leadership, and our current populace, have forgotten or disregarded what the Bible plainly says. That will lead to our downfall if we fail to change course. The Bible is most clear about that, starting with Genesis 12:3.

Avoid like the plague belief or participation in any “anti-Semitic” nonsense purveyed in the media and in comments left on many Internet websites. Anti-Semitism betrays woeful ignorance of the Bible. Surely no genuinely saved person can engage in being anti-Jewish or anti-Israel.

The corrective? Get out the message of the Bible, properly interpreted, to the majority of our people so they can start exercising greater wisdom in their choice of political leaders and policy. The message of the Bible is declared right here at Real Bible Study. Personal salvation is the first priority: I have written about that in the immediately prior Bible Nugget #316 about Romans 10:13. Personal and national obedience to God’s Word are critical (Psalm 9:17). Reach out to others you know with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Spread the word. Contribute to the discussion here. Wake up to the truth before it is too late!

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 138 for Leviticus 25:23.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 154 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Leviticus 25:23.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

Leviticus 25:23. The land. See on ver. Leviticus 25:10. Nu 36:4. 1 K 21:3. Is 62:4. Je 32:7. Ezk 45:1. *Ezk 48:14. Joel 2:18. shall not be sold. ver. Le 25:34. 1 K 21:3. **Ezk 48:14. **Joel 3:2. for ever. or, to be quite cut off. Heb. for cutting off. ver. Le 25:30. Le 16:34. Ex 21:6. Dt 15:17. 1 S 1:22. 27:12n. 28:2. 1 K 12:7. *1 Ch 28:4. Jb 41:4. +*Ps 24:9n. for the land is mine. The land was held as belonging to Jehovah, and if sold, or redeemed, the price must be reckoned according to the number of years to the next Jubilee, when all possessions returned to their former owners (Concise Bible Dictionary, London, Geo. Morrish, n.d., p. 455). Le 27:24. +**Dt 32:43. 2 Ch 7:20. Ps 24:1. 85:1. Is 8:8. 62:4. +*Ezk 38:16. Ho 9:3. *Joel 2:18. **Joel 3:2. for ye are strangers. Ge 23:4. 49:7. *1 Ch 29:15. *Ps 39:12. 119:19. *He 11:9-13. *1 P 2:11.

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After the Tribulation: Matthew 24:29

Last week I received another email letter from Mr. John Little, Part 6 of his series, “The Pre-Tribulation Lie.”

In the letter John Little gave a link to Pastor Steven Anderson’s movie, “After the Tribulation: The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Fraud Exposed” Official Movie

with the comment:

I’ve never seen anyone debunk this movie. It really does an excellent job of destroying the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Lie. People always say that they’ll get back to me with a reason why this movie is wrong, but they never do.

No one has ever come forward with EVIDENCE that this movie is wrong.

No one.

The movie is 1 hour and 58 minutes long. I watched it in full last night.

I am very familiar with Pastor Steven Anderson. I first learned of him when he posted video footage on the Internet about his maltreatment by border patrol agents manhandling him for refusing to entirely comply with their requests for identification as he traveled in Arizona from California on a public highway many miles from the border of Mexico. He had not been to Mexico. He was returning on a business trip from California. The Border Patrol in this case was most certainly wrong, and I trust utterly embarrassed by the alternative media coverage they received.

At that time I went to Pastor Anderson’s website, as well as his wife’s website, and exchanged email messages with her assuring her of my prayer support for her husband. Pastor Anderson and his family are fine Christians who believe the Bible. I cannot support in full his every doctrinal position, but I hold him in high regard.

Pastor Anderson believes in the Post-Tribulation Rapture position. He states in the movie at the end that at the age of twelve he read Matthew 24:29 and from that time did not believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture position. More accurately, it appears that Pastor Anderson believes in the Pre-Wrath Rapture position.

Pastor Anderson, though both committed and sincere in his position, is mistaken.

Is his movie wrong?


At the start of the movie reference is made to Ezekiel 33:6,

Eze 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

Pastor Anderson asserts the mark of the beast will be required for everyone.

Careful study of Scripture will demonstrate to anyone that the Antichrist does not exert his influence or power or control over the whole earth. The Bible tells most explicitly that some nations will not be affected:

Dan 11:41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.

Notice that Edom, Moab, and Ammon shall “escape out of his hand.” Therefore, the rule of Antichrist is not universal, even in the Middle East.

Reading further, just in Daniel 11:44, 45, nations north and east of the 10 kingdoms under Antichrist will make war on him. Clearly, they cannot be under his control.

In the film Pastor Anderson later appeals to Revelation 13:7, 8, 16, 17 to prove that all will have to take the mark of the beast.

In answer to this sweeping assertion, I would answer that in Scripture “all” does not necessarily mean “all” in an unlimited or universal sense. This makes for a most interesting Bible study. I have done this Bible study thoroughly and exhaustively, and have placed the results of my study in notes in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge at Genesis 7:19; 24:10; 41:56, 57. See also +2 K 24:13 and 1 Chronicles 14:17. See the material I retained on this subject in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible at Genesis 41:56, a very important note.

The clearest example I know of in the Bible demonstrating that “all” and other universal expressions do not always mean “all” in a universal sense is 1 Kings 18:10,

1Ki 18:10 As the LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not.

I guess Ahab’s search for Elijah was so thorough it extended to the Indian nations of North America, Central America, and South America, not to mention Europe. Of course to suppose this were so is nonsense. The Bible uses figures of speech, including hyperbole, when more is said than is literally meant, where what is asserted is limited to the purview or immediate concern to the author in his historical context.

This may be seen in statements in the Bible which pertain to Bible prophecy. See this universal statement applied to Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2:38,

Dan 2:38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

Consider this statement regarding Greece in Daniel 2:39,

Dan 2:39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

Consider this statement regarding the extent of the rule of Rome made in Daniel 7:23, 24,

Dan 7:23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

Dan 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

Not one of these kingdoms or nations ever ruled the whole earth.

So what do these examples have to do with claims made based upon Revelation 13:7 and other verses cited above regarding the Antichrist and the extent of his rule? If you understand anything about Bible prophecy at all the very next verse in Daniel will make this quite clear:

Dan 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Very clearly, the person spoken of by Daniel in this immediate context, particularly, “and shall wear out the saints of the most High,” is the person spoken of in Revelation chapter 13. Daniel tells “the rest of the story” which is much brighter in outlook in the immediately following verses in Daniel chapter 7.

So what is my point?

Pastor Anderson and John Little and Alex Jones and many others are most mistaken in their understanding of Bible prophecy. They have failed to take all the Bible evidence into account at every turn. Therefore their conclusions are not correct.

What seems to motivate the mistaken position of Bible prophecy they have adopted?

Pastor Anderson stated that the mark of the beast will be required for everyone. This beginning assertion made early in the movie I have proven wrong by submitting my irrefutable EVIDENCE immediately above.

In the movie Pastor Anderson gives the contemporary evidence we see now regarding the New World Order, the subverting of our Constitution, and the evidence of Satan working behind the scenes to bring one world doctrine.

Then Pastor Anderson brings forward his major claim and concern that most Christians are completely unprepared because of the Pre-Tribulation fraud not found in Scripture. Where did this evil doctrine come from? Pre-Tribulation Rapture belief is based on ignorance of the Bible. The Bible states plainly it takes place after the Tribulation.

Hence, the title of the film, “After the Tribulation: The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Fraud Exposed.”

The title is taken from the words of Matthew 24:29,

Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

The movie was most helpful in making clear their mistaken position. Pastor Anderson and others who espouse the “Pre-Wrath Rapture” view believe the Rapture will take place after the Great Tribulation but before the Time of Wrath which God will pour out upon the whole world after that event.

Pastor Anderson and John Little criticize the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view because, say they, it is new, having never been heard of before 1830, when it was subsequently developed by John Nelson Darby and adopted and popularized by the notes in the original Scofield Reference Bible.

I hardly suppose that their view, the Pre-Wrath Rapture view, can be shown to be any older!

When a view was first propounded and by whom has no bearing upon its truthfulness. The question that must be answered is, Can the view proposed be proven from Scripture? Those who would criticize the view proposed must address the Bible basis claimed for the view. Otherwise, such criticisms of its age and source have nothing to do with its truthfulness. Those are just ad hominem attacks and are logical fallacies. Does anyone mean to claim that it is not possible to learn anything new from the Bible today that was not discovered and propounded before? Anyone who would make such a claim surely does not believe in Real Bible Study as advocated here, and should not be listened to.

As for my own understanding of this subject, it was not derived from John Nelson Darby, though I own a set of his complete works and have enjoyed his excellent translation of the Bible for many years. I did not derive my view from the Scofield Reference Bible, though I’ve owned a copy or two of that study Bible since 1953. I derived my view from careful, personal, Bible study, and I have presented the results of my Bible study on this subject extensively on this website.

When I have discussed Bible doctrine with Roman Catholics on the Internet, they have charged me with getting my view from Martin Luther, the great heretic in their view. I responded that I have one book by Luther in my very large personal library, a commentary on Galatians, and have never read it. I have another book he wrote about the bondage of the will which I have never read. I have a biography written about him, and have never read that either. I surely have not used Martin Luther as the basis of what I understand about Bible doctrine! The argument used by the Roman Catholics on the Internet against me is an ad hominem argument, and is a logical fallacy, and I called them on it. I derive my understanding of Bible doctrine by studying the Bible by making extensive use of cross references (which as you must know by now is my specialty!). And yes, I most surely have studied other resources extensively, but I check them out carefully by verifying the accuracy of their interpretation of Scripture.

As always, I am most willing and ready to change my view if I am proven wrong in my understanding of the Bible. So far, no one commenting here has given even half a try to better inform me. I have taken the time to read other viewpoints. Apparently most others have not, and are unwilling to voice their objections here.

I believe John Little can no longer with any truthfulness or credibility make the claim, “No one has ever come forward with EVIDENCE that this movie is wrong. No one” any more, for even in this post, I just did.

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2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 Explained

The Text:

2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

2 Thessalonians 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

My Exposition:

2 Thessalonians 2:1,

(1) “Now we beseech you”

Paul is urging his readers, the Thessalonians, to receive the Apostolic correction to an error in their understanding.

(2) “brethren”

Paul considers those to whom he writes as truly believing in our Lord Jesus Christ.

(3) “by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”

Paul is appealing to them on the basis of what he had already taught them about the coming or presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This raises the crucial issue: to which coming, or what aspect of the coming of Christ, does Paul refer? Paul answers this question definitively by his next words:

(4) “and by our gathering together unto him”

This statement is a reference to what Paul had taught them before in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, when Paul taught that at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture the dead in Christ would be raised first (1 Thessalonians 4:16), then those alive at His coming would be caught up together with the dead in Christ in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, when we would all be together with the Lord ever after.

Paul, therefore, in this letter of correction to a mistaken view about the Lord’s return being taught by false or mistaken teachers, appeals to what he had already taught the Thessalonians when he was present with them, as well as what he taught them in his first letter to them, our 1 Thessalonians.

Paul corrects the mistaken teaching by direct appeal to what he had already taught them about the Rapture. This teaching is found in our Bible at 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 and chapter 5.

“Our gathering together unto him” is a direct mention and reference to the doctrine of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.

2 Thessalonians 2:2

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

(1) “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled”

Paul says they ought not be so disturbed and upset by what the false teachers were telling them.

(2) “neither by spirit”

The false teachers were claiming to teach by the authority of their spiritual gift, or claiming new revelation from the Holy Spirit.

(3) “nor by word”

The false teachers claimed to have a newer word that was more up-to-date than what they had been taught by Paul when he was with them and when he had last written to them.

(4) “nor by letter as from us”

The false teachers had gone so far as to produce a counterfeit letter which they claimed was from the Apostle Paul to convincingly document the supposed truth of their teaching. Their teaching was false because it represented a revised or updated message that changed what Paul had first taught them, not to mention that the source was an imposture.

(5) “as that the day of Christ is at hand”

Paul now specifies what the false teaching was. The Received Text which the King James Version faithfully follows is not correct at this point. Neither is the Majority Text. The correct Greek text here would be translated “as that the day of the Lord is now present.”

The Thessalonians rightly understood that if the Day of the Lord (in their day) was now present, then they were actually in the Day of the Lord.

If that were the case, then they had missed the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. No wonder they were shaken in their minds!

The evidence that surrounded them on every hand would seem to support the idea that they were in the Day of the Lord because they were suffering great or much tribulation. Of course informed believers then and now were surely taught that we must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). But tribulation, though the promised lot of all Christians in the form of persecution (2 Timothy 3:12), is not the same as being in the Day of the Lord at the time of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21; Revelation 6:17; 7:14).

Notice carefully that since some of the Thessalonians were almost convinced that they had missed the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and so had been left behind, this means the event took place in a manner that it was unobserved by them or anyone else. This shows that they had been taught that the Rapture would take place unobserved by the world at large.

This necessary inference is the basis for what is sometimes called “the secret Rapture.” It is a well-founded inference. There are some who would argue that the Rapture is a noisy event involving the “trump of God,” “the voice of the archangel,” and the “shout” of the Lord himself (1 Thessalonians 4:16). This would be to forget what Jesus taught at John 5:28 which surely in part refers to this very event. “All that are in the graves shall hear his voice.” But here is an instance when “all” does not mean “all.” At least not “all” at the same time. The just and the unjust are NOT raised at the same time. The doctrine of the general resurrection of all the dead at one time is a false doctrine. We learn in Revelation 20:5 that the unjust are raised 1000 years after the resurrection of the just. That means, therefore, that the call to resurrection was selective and not heard indiscriminately by everyone in the graves. The unjust did not hear or respond to the call to the just. In a similar manner, the call at the resurrection of the righteous dead in Christ is heard by those to whom the call is directed, not everyone indiscriminately. So much, then, for the mistaken notion of a “noisy Rapture.”

2 Thessalonians 2:3

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

(1) “Let no man deceive you by any means”

Paul takes this as a most serious issue. To him, this was not a mere “in house” disagreement about the timing of the Rapture. He warns, “let no man deceive you by any means.” Therefore, if you are mistaken here, you are deceived.

The critical Greek texts, based upon better manuscript evidence, use the stronger term for “deceived” here. It is as if Paul is stating by using the stronger term, that to be mistaken on this point is to be very or even greatly deceived. The regular term for “deceive” occurs in a passage of Scripture with this stronger word for “deceive” at 1 Timothy 2:14, where Paul speaks of Adam being “deceived,” using the weaker term, but uses the stronger term in the expression, “but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” Thus Eve was greatly deceived, whereas Adam, though deceived, was less deceived than she was.

I believe that Paul, by using the stronger term for “deceived” at 1 Thessalonians 2:3, indicates this deception is not a mere mistake or misunderstanding: it is heresy. Otherwise, why choose the stronger term to label it? The words of the original language of Scripture are not strewn about carelessly; when a particular word is chosen over another more common word, or a stronger term is used instead of a weaker term, we must take notice and observe the distinction intended.

(2) “for that day shall not come”

To what Day does Paul refer? It is clear from the immediate context that Paul is talking about the Day of the Lord. In this phrase Paul is NOT talking about the Day of the Rapture!

But this being the case, it is absolutely clear that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture MUST take place BEFORE the Day of the Lord, before the Great Tribulation, before the appearance of the Anti-Christ. This is the foundation or premise of Paul’s argument in correcting their misunderstanding.

(3) “except there come a falling away first”

The “falling away” is the Apostasy. The Apostasy takes place before the Day of the Lord. Some who believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture have tried to redefine the term “apostasy” here to mean the Rapture itself. That is an unfortunate and misinformed error on their part. The Rapture has already been mentioned in this passage at 2 Thessalonians 2:1 by the expression “our gathering unto him.” It is a major word study fallacy to make “apostasy” refer to the Rapture here. Those who hold to a Post-Tribulation Rapture view often call attention to this error, and rightly so. But this error of some earlier Pre-Tribulation Rapture advocates hardly invalidates the Pre-Tribulation Rapture position, as my exposition of this passage above abundantly proves. There are many who deny the possibility of apostasy, instead declaring “Once Saved, Always Saved.” When such interpreters use one doctrine to get rid of another doctrine, you can be sure they are mistaken. Jesus taught it is possible to stop believing (Luke 8:13) when He taught that some would “believe for a while,” who in time of temptation or testing or tribulation will “fall away,” or apostatize, the very same Greek word used here.

(4) “and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition”

The “man of sin” and “the son of perdition” are both names for the Antichrist. The Antichrist appears in person before the onset of the Day of the Lord, and clearly, therefore, before the Great Tribulation, and necessarily AFTER the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Since these things had not yet happened when Paul wrote the Book of 2 Thessalonians, the Day of the Lord had not yet begun at that time. At this date of my writing, it has not happened yet. The Rapture could not have happened either, for it takes place before these events of the Apostasy and the revelation of the Antichrist, which both precede the Day of the Lord, the point and basis of Paul’s whole argument in answer to the false teachers, whose teaching then uncannily parallels the teaching of those who teach the mistaken doctrine of the Post-Tribulation Rapture today.

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