The Rapture–When Will It Happen? Part 1

I just received a most interesting email from a friend who attends the Strictly Biblical Ministries pastored by my former student, Pastor Emery Moss, Jr., in Detroit, Michigan. The email included an article titled “Loose Christian Movement says End of Days in May,” an AP article out of Raleigh, N.C.

Apparently Mr. Harold Camping has calculated a new date for the Rapture. This time he thinks it will occur on May 21, 2011.

Mr. Camping published a book titled 1994? in 1992 of 552 pages predicting the end of the world back then.

Mr. Camping published yet another book in 1993 titled Are You Ready? with the subtitle “Much more evidence that 1994 could be the end of the world,” a work of 403 pages.

In 1958 Mr. Camping helped found the Family Radio ministry. I have listened to this ministry over many years on the shortwave radio dial. The ministry features excellent Christian music and generally sound Bible teaching. Mr. Camping most correctly advocates going by the Bible alone and in its entirety.

The problem is, Mr. Camping does not engage in what I call Real Bible Study.

His procedures do not pass what I call “The Robinson Crusoe Desert Island Test.”

Leave it to an English major, and long-time English and literature teacher to come up with this one. You might object, “But where in the Bible can you find this?” The answer to that good question is right here:

Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

It may well be true that Mr. Camping claims to derive all his information from the Bible. But if you have read the classic work by Daniel Defoe, The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, you must know that even with the “three good Bibles” Crusoe managed to salvage from the abandoned chests of the perished shipwrecked sailors, it would not be possible to come up with such schemes using even the three good plain text Bibles he found with all the time in the world, undisturbed, to read them.

Robinson Crusoe surely would encounter this verse, though, after some extensive reading:

Mat 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

If he read a bit further he would find this one:

Mat 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

And then he would see this:

Luk 12:40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

If Robinson Crusoe were a careful reader who kept track of his reading, he would discover from these and other texts in Scripture that:

(1) The Bible does not teach that the world will come to an end. The Bible teaches the direct opposite in many places.

Psa 104:5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

Reading a while longer, he would spot this one:

Psa 148:6 He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.

Reading further, Robinson would find this one:

Ecc 1:4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

(2) After some study, Robinson would discover that the passages speaking of the Coming of Christ at a time unexpected may not refer to the Rapture at all, but to the final stage of the Second Coming, when Christ comes in a manner such that “every eye shall see him” (Revelation 1:7), a coming not for His saints (or believers), but with His saints.

(3) After considerable time reading further into the New Testament, Robinson Crusoe would encounter the teaching of the Apostle Paul about the Rapture of living believers, and the near-simultaneous though immediately preceding event, the resurrection of the dead in Christ:

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

(4) Further reading and study would establish that Christ’s Kingdom is future, not present, and will be upon this earth, not in Paradise, or the Third Heaven, or Heaven.

(5) Careful attention to what the Bible actually says would establish that Christ as the Son of Man will reign on this earth from Jerusalem not merely for 1000 years of the Millennium, but He will reign for ever.

Robinson noticed in his Bible reading the following texts of Scripture:

Isa 24:23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.

Isaiah 24:23 surely establishes that the reign will be in Jerusalem.

Zec 14:9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

Zechariah 14:9 shows that the Messiah, the Son of Man, our Lord Jesus Christ, shall be king over all the earth.

Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6, 7 shows that the reign of the Messiah will be for ever, upon the Throne of David, here upon this earth. The Throne of David is never said to be in heaven in the Bible.

Luk 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Luk 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Luke 1:32, 33 surely confirms that our Lord Jesus Christ will reign upon the Throne of his father David for ever, and his kingdom here on earth will never end.

(6) Therefore, there will be an everlasting kingdom of God or kingdom of Heaven here upon this earth that lasts forever. This world will never be destroyed so as to become uninhabitable, for eternal generations of mankind in the flesh will continue eternally upon this earth.

This entry was posted in Bible Prophecy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to The Rapture–When Will It Happen? Part 1

  1. ken sagely says:

    amen brother! praise the lord from whom all blessings flow! jer 15/16 in christ ken

  2. A. Way says:

    (1) 2 Peter 3:13 AKJV Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness. Revelation 21:1 AKJV And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (oops)

    (2) 1 Thessalonians 3:13 AKJV (v13) To the end he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his Saints. You say this means the redeemed, the believers. And it is true this term (hagioi G40) is used for God’s people in the NT. (Matthew 27:52; Acts 9:13; 1 Corinthians 1:2). Hagioi means “holy ones”. Reading other places we find: Matthew 25:31 NRSV “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. So, the “Saints” in 1 Thessalonians 3:13 could very well be God’s angels. See also Matthew 24:30-31 AKJV And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (31) And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

    (3) Yes, the dead in Christ are raised at the second coming. Where again is the term “Rapture” in the Bible?

    (4) I look forward to the New Earth. See (1) above.

    (5) As you said, Luke 1:32, 33 surely confirms that our Lord Jesus Christ will reign upon the Throne of his father David for ever, and his kingdom here on earth will never end.

    (6) See (1) above.

  3. Jerry says:

    Dear A. Way,

    I truly appreciate the good Scripture references you bring to our discussions here.

    I will try to respond to your six counter-points in my following discussion. Time and the patience of every dear reader shall limit this response to your counter-point 1.

    (1) You cite 2 Peter 3:13. Notice the expression, “according to his promise.” Peter was making reference to well-known Scripture promises known to his largely Jewish readers, readers who knew their Bibles better than most modern readers, pastors, theologians, and writers of commentaries.

    To properly understand these predictions given in 2 Peter 3:13 we must carefully consider the promise to which Peter makes reference. The only passages of the Old Testament which refer to the creation of a new heavens and a new earth preceded by a destruction by fire are found in Isaiah 65:17-19 and Isaiah 66:16, 17, and especially verse 22 (Isaiah 66:22).

    I believe just about all current views about Bible prophecy have gone seriously astray by not carefully considering these passages in Isaiah to which Peter refers. If they would have taken the time to carefully study the cross references I have given in the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge or Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible at this text in 2 Peter 3:13 they could have avoided or corrected their errors.

    First, notice carefully that both Isaiah and Peter place the predicted conflagration or destruction by fire prior to the millennial reign of Christ, for the wicked and the scoffers continue right down to this time of destruction. The purpose of this conflagration is stated by Peter to be the destruction and perdition of ungodly men.

    Let me interject an extra thought here. It is clear in the Bible that when Christ returns with his saints (believers, not just angels are in view), He immediately begins to establish and set up His eternal Kingdom here upon earth. The earthly Kingdom does not commence after the 1000 years of a supposedly depopulated earth, but is being set up and established during the 1000 years of the reign of Christ on this earth, and continues eternally thereafter here upon this earth.

    Those who think otherwise (1) have not done their Real Bible Study homework on these issues, and (2) have utterly and totally neglected to study out specifically the provisions in detail of the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants.

    Some of these mistaken interpreters go to the extent of denying that the nation of Israel with Jerusalem as its capital will be granted the full possession of the land promised to Abraham, and deny the nation of Israel will ultimately realize all the promises God has made to them literally in real time forever upon this earth.

    These promises of God made to Abraham and his descendants, and to David, must be fulfilled to those to whom the promises were made, not someone else. Thus the Jews will at some time be brought back into God’s favor and the “Tabernacle of David” will once again be established in Israel, just like the disciples asked Jesus about in Acts 1:6.

    Second, Scripture declares this earth will last forever (see Ecclesiastes 1:4 and other references I have posted before, including Psalms 104:5 & 148:6), so it will never be totally destroyed.

    Most statements in Scripture that appear to teach otherwise involve most interesting figures of speech variously identified as Litotes, Meiosis, and possibly in some instances Antimetathesis, where what is stated in the first clause is contrary to fact or unreality to emphasize, if not super-emphasize, what is declared in the final clause of what I call a “balanced sentence.” An example of this is found in the Lord’s Prayer, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:4) and in Ephesians 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit.” Surely good students of the Bible understand that God does not tempt anyone to evil, nor can God Himself be tempted with evil (James 1:13), so the first clause from the Lord’s prayer I cited from Luke 11:4 represents unreality or contrary to fact, for God does not lead us into temptation. The figure is used to emphasize and heighten the request to God that He “deliver us from evil” or, as some read, from the evil one. As for Ephesians 5:18, surely Paul was not writing to charge the Ephesians with a problem of drunkenness, but was emphasizing the command to “be filled with the Spirit.” Some respectable scholars and professors have written a journal article which I found on the Internet criticizing my assertion about Ephesians 5:18. I would encourage those professors to engage in Real Bible Study for a change and learn the truth from someone who has studied these issues more deeply and for a longer period of time than they have. Thus I continue to affirm that Ephesians 5:18 is a balanced sentence which employs the figure Litotes exactly as I specified, where the first clause states an unreality to super-emphasize the affirmation in the final clause.

    Now let me take this information and apply it directly to a Scripture text that pertains to the issue of whether this earth will ever be totally destroyed,

    Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

    By this figure of speech, Jesus, in full conformity to well known OT Scripture, states the unreality or contrary to fact first clause, “Heaven and earth shall pass away,” thus absolutely denying that heaven and earth will pass away, to super-emphasize the final clause, “but my words shall not pass away.”

    That is absolute proof from Scripture in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ that the earth shall never be totally destroyed so as to at any time become uninhabitable by human beings who are to continue to live forever in the flesh here on this earth.

    There is much in the Old Testament pertaining to either the Abrahamic Covenant or the Davidic Covenant (starting with Psalm 89:2, for example) that affirms this very truth, such that God appeals (in Jeremiah 31:35-36) to the eternal stability of the universe itself as the guarantee of the fulfillment of His promises, such that the Psalmist in one place can say that God’s Word is more certain than the stability of the heavens by which God Himself appealed to confirm his oath to David.

    Third, Christ’s kingdom is established on this earth, the saints are to inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5), not the Third Heaven, and this kingdom and this inheritance are to last forever, and will never be destroyed (Daniel 7:14. Matthew 5:5. Ephesians 1:11. Hebrews 9:15. 1 Peter 1:4. Revelation 11:15).

    THEREFORE, to suggest that this earth will be destroyed either before the 1000 year Millennium or after the Millennium is to contradict the oath-bound Covenants and promises of God (Isaiah 55:3).

  4. A. Way says:

    Jerry – just so your readers do not get confused – it is 2 Peter 3:13, not 1 Peter 3:13.

    The promise in 2 Peter 3:13 taken in context is in 1 Peter 1:3.

    2 Peter 3:3-4 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep ( John 11:11; 1Thess. 4:13), all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

    Where is the promise? This is not a reference to one particular promise but to the combined declarations of the prophets and the apostles as to the certainty of the second coming. The scoffers’ question indicates their skepticism, they did not expect the promises to be fulfilled.

    I agree with you that ultimately, it is earth that will be the home of the righteous. It is just a matter of timing. Did you comment on Revelation 21? And when do the elements melt with fervent heat in your understanding? (2 Peter 3:10, 12)

    By the way, if Israel were to drop into the sea today, that would be a tragedy of tremendous proportions. But it would not change my view of prophesy one bit.

    Jerry, are you a futurist? (I learned a new term recently). Futurist deny the protestant reformation view of the anti-Christ.

  5. A. Way says:

    HA – I did the same thing. 1 Peter 3:13 should be 2 Peter 3:13 and 1 Peter 13 -> 2 Peter 13. To bad we can’t go back and edit a post to correct typos….

  6. A. Way says:

    Jerry said:That is absolute proof from Scripture in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ that the earth shall never be totally destroyed so as to at any time become uninhabitable by human beings who are to continue to live forever in the flesh here on this earth.

    What is the testamony of the prophets say?
    Jeremiah 4:23-28 AKJV I beheld the earth, and, see, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. (24) I beheld the mountains, and, see, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. (25) I beheld, and, see, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. (26) I beheld, and, see, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger. (27) For thus has the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. (28) For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black; because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.

    Isaiah 24:1-4 AKJV Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty, and makes it waste, and turns it upside down, and scatters abroad the inhabitants thereof. (2) And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. (3) The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD has spoken this word. (4) The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.

    Isaiah 24:19 AKJV The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.

    Revelation 20:1-3 AKJV And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (3) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

    Jerry said:

    Some of these mistaken interpreters go to the extent of denying that the nation of Israel with Jerusalem as its capital will be granted the full possession of the land promised to Abraham, and deny the nation of Israel will ultimately realize all the promises God has made to them literally in real time forever upon this earth.

    Paul emphasized that both Jew and Gentiles become children of God when he said, Galatians 3:28-29 AKJV There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (29) And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    Using an olive tree to represent Israel, Paul tells believing Gentiles not to be boastful because “…if God spared not the natural branches [i.e. Jews who did not believe], take heed lest he also spare not thee” (Romans 11:21). In God’s eyes a Gentile who has faith in Christ becomes part of Israel—while a Jew who believes in Christ returns to the “natural olive tree” (See Romans 11). Both the root and the branches are part of the same Israel.

    The real “Israel of God” is not a country in the Middle East, but those who trust and follow Christ.

  7. Jerry says:

    Dear A. Way,

    Thank you for catching my reference error to 1 Peter when it should have been 2 Peter. I’ll have to try to go back and make an editorial correction!

    And yes indeed, I am a “Futurist” because that is what the Bible unequivocally teaches.

    Where is the Promise? It is exactly where I told you it is, plainly in the Isaiah texts I referenced. Mistaken interpreters have all missed this, and, when shown, might wish to deny it, but the fact still stands that my identification is correct because the subject in the passages I linked is the same and it is presented in the same order.

    So, no running off to somewhere else when the proper identification has been made.

    The Protestant Reformers, surely used of God in their day, were very weak in their understanding of Biblical prophecy. In plainer language, they were absolutely wrong.

    The proof of that is obvious: they failed to make a careful study of the whole of Scripture, verse by verse, clause by clause. I have done that, and am still doing that, by means of intensive cross reference study. So I am learning new things almost daily from the Scriptures.

    Of late you have been most helpful to me in my studies, forcing me to go back and look closer at things I may have missed.

    Where all students of Scripture have tended to fall short relates to their study and understanding of the provisions of the Davidic Covenant (for which I have found about 50 distinct provisions specified in Scripture) and the provisions of the Abrahamic Covenant (for which I have found about 25 distinct provisions specified in Scripture).

    Another consistent failure among interpreters of the Bible that affects their understanding of Bible prophecy is the failure to consistently follow the rules of interpretation I listed at length in a prior article or post on this very site.

    The Bible must be interpreted literally, and the same rules of interpretation apply to the study of prophetic passages as apply to any other passages in Scripture.

    The Bible, interpreted literally, supports only the Futurist position.

    As for the Anti-Christ, the Reformers were often so busy trying to identify the Antichrist with Papal Rome and the Roman Pontiff, they failed to carefully study all the Scripture which applies to the subject.

    I believe I have found about 25 different names and titles for the Antichrist in Scripture.

    One of the most interesting findings in my study has been to learn that the Antichrist does not come from Europe.

    I did not comment on Revelation 21. That chapter is totally misunderstood by almost all prophetic interpreters because of their utter disregard of the relevant figures of speech and the rhetorical devices the Apostle John has clearly used in the structure and placement of that passage. In the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge I have placed notes at several places regarding the interesting subject of intentional obscurity utilized by several New Testament writers. That feature provides the necessary information to properly understand Revelation 21 and parts of 1 Corinthians 15 as well as 2 Thessalonians 2.

    And that brings me to answer your question about just when “the elements melt with fervent heat” as predicted in Peter’s letter. First of all, this prediction is not new with Peter. He is making direct reference to well known Old Testament prophecy and Old Testament prophetic imagery. The prophecy is found in Isaiah 65:17-19 and 66:16, 17, and especially verse 22. The imagery is found in such passages as Nahum 1:5, 6 and Isaiah 24:6. In the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and much more fully in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible I have given links to many if not most of this imagery in the extensive references supplied for Psalm 97:3.

    A careful study of the cross references I have furnished that are linked at Psalm 97:3 in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible will fully illustrate and clarify the meaning of the Biblical language involved, and will provide the understanding needed to comprehend Peter’s statement correctly.

    The timing of this devastating event, which applies only to the destruction of the wicked (2 Peter 3:7) is Pre-millennial, at the destruction of the Antichrist by our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:8), at his public and glorious advent visible to all (Revelation 1:7) when He comes “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). At this time “he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe … in that day” (2 Thessalonians 1:10).

    At such time Paul writes again in 2 Timothy 4:1, of “…the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick [living] and the dead at his appearing and kingdom” which by the important figure of speech Hendiadys is to be understood as saying “at his kingdom appearing.” But, looking at it once again carefully now, this reference in 2 Timothy 4:1, since it pertains also to judging the “quick and the dead,” must be a reference to the first stage of the Second Advent at the Rapture, when believers will receive their rewards and positions in the Kingdom. But it does emphasize that there can be no 1000 year period of a depopulated earth while the believers are in the Third Heaven, for that is not Christ’s intended destiny when He returns to earth. He does not return to earth to take the living saints and the resurrected dead in Christ to heaven, but they all accompany Him to this earth.

    You have asked “Where is the word ‘Rapture’ in the Bible?”

    The event we call the “Rapture” is not so named in Scripture. Older prophetic writers used a different English word which may possibly be more Biblical, but not used today, the word “Translation.”

    So, in essence, the word “Rapture” can be found in the same place in your Bible that the expression “Second Coming” is found.

    To deny the Bible teaches the event would be as absurd for the one as it would be for the other.

    Israel is the key to understanding Bible prophecy, especially in connection, as I have repeatedly emphasized, with the provisions of the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenant provisions. It is impossible to correctly understand Bible prophecy at all apart from being fully cognizant of these provisions. God has absolutely promised to fulfill and keep His promises to Abraham and David without fail (Malachi 3:6 and Isaiah 55:3).

    That being so, Israel has not been permanently forsaken by God, but has a glorious future in the land promised to Abraham, not somewhere else.

  8. Jerry says:

    Dear A Way,

    It is most providential that you should bring up the passage of Jeremiah 4:23-28.

    I was probably taught in Sunday school, and perhaps further taught from notes in either the Scofield Reference Bible and even more likely, from notes in Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible that this passage refers to human life on this earth which was totally destroyed in a time Dake calls, if memory serves me correctly, during the Pre-Adamite earth.

    This understanding is sometimes presented in discussions of the Gap Theory, an interesting interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis, where a gap of unknown length of time is posited between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.

    The Gap Theory proponents argue that Genesis 1:2 is more correctly translated “And the earth became without form and void,” instead of the KJV rendering, “And the earth was without form and void.”

    Many able writers of the past affirmed this view, including, I believe, G. H. Pember, in his work Earth’s Earliest Ages, though I read it so long ago I may be in error about this author’s support of this viewpoint.

    Saying all that to reach this point: A full study of the cross references now furnished in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible has forced me to change my mind.

    And for the very same reasons, the application of Jeremiah 4:23-28 as you have made cannot be correct in the light of the rest of Scripture that bears upon this passage!

    I suspect these things can best be learned by doing Real Bible Study by going back to the Bible itself on Robinson Crusoe’s Desert Island with a plain text Bible and either the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge or Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible for a time of Bible study using unbiased resources.

    You are also allowed to take with you to your retreat on Robinson’s Desert Island such additional unbiased resources as Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible or Young’s Analytical Concordance, Loew and Nida’s Greek Lexicon According to Semantic Domains [I specify that lexicon because they are the only lexicographers to date that get things right because of their knowledge of linguistics (my major core of study in graduate school)], and similar reference works, NOT including commentaries or study Bibles, except for Nave’s Study Bible, The Thompson Chain Reference Bible, Monser’s Cross Reference Bible, the NET Bible with 60,932 Translator’s Notes, and the Newberry Study Bible, all of which are permitted and highly recommended.

    Using these resources, like Robinson Crusoe himself, you will never come up with such notions as to suppose that somehow “Spiritual Israel” has deposed “Natural Israel” in the Oath-Bound Covenant Promises of God found in the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants, I can assure you!

  9. A. Way says:

    Jerry – you have ignored the Bible references I have made. I may being fairly new to doing personal Bible study, but I am open to look at many different views and I have had to. My current understand of the “futurist” is due to a complete misunderstanding of the 70 week prophesy in Daniel. You are completely convinced you are correct, and that is admirable. Do remember Proverbs 14:12. Yes, most protestants have now rejected the pillars of the reformation. To say they were shallow in the Bible understanding is to me a stunning claim. Wow. They came in a time of great persecution and great darkness in the real knowledge of God.

    As for the “rapture” being equivalent to the second coming, this is different than many I have read on this topic. The rapture was to be secret, then later, Christ returns. You have thrown out the secret part, and equate the rapture with the second coming. Except, in your view, they aren’t raptured! They are just joined by Christ. Why do you then call it a rapture? I’m puzzled.

  10. Jerry says:

    Dear A. Way,

    You cited a passage from Jeremiah 4 as follows:

    What is the testamony of the prophets say?
    Jeremiah 4:23-28 AKJV I beheld the earth, and, see, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. (24) I beheld the mountains, and, see, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. (25) I beheld, and, see, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. (26) I beheld, and, see, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger. (27) For thus has the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. (28) For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black; because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.

    I commented that I reject the Pre-Adamite application of this passage, though I long considered it possible, as taught by Dake in his excellent Annotated Study Bible. I say his study Bible is excellent because it has helpful explanatory notes covering much of Scripture more thoroughly than any other study Bible I am aware of (and I have nearly 60 different study Bibles in my collection here). But it turns out that on this point Dake is wrong. How do I know he is wrong? Because working carefully to assemble and verify the cross references given for this passage in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible, I found his explanation did not properly address the language of the passage in terms of equivalent or similar language used elsewhere in the Bible.

    For the same reason I must reject the application you would make of it in your comment above. I boldfaced a portion (Jeremiah 4:27) to show that the reference in context is not to the whole earth, but to the land of Israel. Our translations are ambiguous, as is the Hebrew, for the same original term can refer to the land or to the earth. Studying the context usually settles which is meant. The context in Jeremiah applies not to the whole world, though the use of hyperbolic language and overstatement for emphasis and effect might in a hurried reading make it seem that the reference is universal.

    One of the clues in the immediate context you cited is the clause “yet will I not make a full end (Jeremiah 4:27).

    By such a statement the Lord is confirming the promise given in Leviticus 26:44,

    Lev 26:44 And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.

    Any understanding of Bible prophecy which would assert that the Land of Israel and its People (the physical descendants of Abraham, the Hebrew people, the Jewish nation) have been permanently forsaken by God so as to never receive the promised blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant is a very mistaken view of Bible prophecy.

    The Reformers, as great as they were, and Providentially used mightily for good by the Lord to restore much of the Bible truth lost by that time, the Reformers did not succeed in carrying the Reformation far enough. They fell utterly short of divorcing the Salvation Vocabulary of the New Testament from the error-ridden Salvation Vocabulary of the Roman Catholic Church: they imported the Roman Catholic salvation vocabulary wholesale into their theologies, commentaries, and Bible translations, including what came along later, the King James Version of the Bible.

    The Protestant Reformers also fell very short of understanding Bible prophecy as it is revealed in the Word of God.

    It is a very mistaken notion to suppose that further research in the Bible since their time could not or has not brought much additional light to our understanding of Bible prophecy.

    Perhaps each major period in Church History has been blessed to focus upon the issues of that time and learn in depth what the Bible teaches on those issues. Bible prophecy was not the central study of the Reformers in the Church history I’ve read so far. I do not fault them for not having a fuller understanding of the subject.

    Bible scholars and careful students of the Bible have over the past three centuries or more given more study to the subject of Bible prophecy than ever was done previously. I think the high point in prophetic studies may have been reached in the studies and writing of James Brooks, Nathaniel West, and greatest of all, George N. H. Peters in the Nineteenth Century. Mr. Peters, in particular, went to great length to study most of the issues in Bible prophecy, answering mistaken viewpoints in detail, in his three massive volumes titled The Theocratic Kingdom. Scholars writing today who have not studied Peters’ work thoroughly are making many errors they could avoid by not trying to re-invent the wheel when it comes to understanding the central themes in the Bible pertaining to future prophecy.

    But anyone alone on Robinson Crusoe’s Desert Island with a notebook and three good Bibles could ferret these truths out for themselves. They would be helped in their studies, which would take far less time, if they had access to the study tools I suggested are allowed on that Island, particularly a complete source of cross references to the Bible.

  11. Jerry says:

    Dear A. Way,

    At the end of your last post you comment:

    As for the “rapture” being equivalent to the second coming, this is different than many I have read on this topic. The rapture was to be secret, then later, Christ returns. You have thrown out the secret part, and equate the rapture with the second coming. Except, in your view, they aren’t raptured! They are just joined by Christ. Why do you then call it a rapture? I’m puzzled.

    I’m just as puzzled as you are! Where did I say all this?

    Our posts have been long and numerous, so it is understandable if some things get mixed up.

    I did not say the Rapture is the same as the Second Coming, but that it is the first stage of the Second Coming.

    I did not introduce the idea of the Rapture being secret, you did.

    But I did support the doctrine of a secret Rapture at length and extensively in my reply to you. I pointed out that the Rapture must be secret in terms of what Paul taught the Thessalonians, for they correctly understood that the event would be secret or they could not have raised the question they did: “How did we miss it?”

    Paul wrote to correct the false teaching going around in his name, asserting that they could not be, and never would be, in the Day of the Lord. Paul said “our gathering unto him” in the Rapture MUST precede the Day of the Lord, and the great falling away or apostasy, and the revelation or unveiling of the Antichrist, so that they need never fear that they were or would ever be present in the Day of the Lord to see these things, for the Rapture must come first.

    Paul emphasized (in the best reading from the original Greek text) that the belief that believers of this age would ever enter the Day of the Lord was outright heresy, a heresy Paul wrote the book of 2 Thessalonians to correct.

    It is strange how so many “modern” interpreters read 2 Thessalonians and get it all exactly BACKWARDS!

    And yes, I have provided for this reading deficiency by writing, testing, and utilizing for many years what has been a very successful (successful in that it helps those who use it) reading program suited to learners of all ages who wish to raise their reading comprehension on average by two grade levels, with many achieving up to and sometimes exceeding five grade levels improvement. The program is self-instructional, and you can see a picture of the cover and learn its history and supporting statistics which document my claims about it at, a site that if administrators across this country knew how to read themselves, would enable them (even if they did not buy the book) to solve the reading comprehension problem in our schools and colleges, where recent reports show even college graduates do not know how to read effectively. As a reading specialist I did solve the problem for my own students. It is just that no one else followed my example. I knew what I was doing, they did not know what they were doing, and they have not solved the problem yet in most instances.

    Now as for my Rapture not being a Rapture, it most certainly is, for the Greek word underlying the phrase “caught up,” namely “harpadzo,” apparently rendered by the Latin as “rapio,” from which we get the English term “Rapture,” certainly is a catching up and removal from where they are to meet the Lord in the air. Now when Paul wrote “and so shall we ever be with the Lord,” he did not intend for us to understand that we remain forever suspended in the first heaven, the air above us.

    Scripture never says that we are to be transported to the Third Heaven either.

    Christ unites the “Dead in Christ” who have just been resurrected from the dead and received their new bodies with those who have just been raptured and received their new glorified bodies without experiencing physical death. As one group, all these believers continue with Christ, and accompany Him to the earth.

    Where do they go?

    Follow carefully the cross references given in both The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible as carefully given at 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and you cannot possibly miss it!

    Paul did not say.

    I did not invent those cross references.

    They are even given in the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.

    Almost no one has studied them out and learned what the cross references on this point reveal.

    Mr. George N. H. Peters discovered these truths, and wrote extensively about them, though I don’t know that his source of understanding this came from the cross references I allude to.

    In our day, I heard Pastor Joseph Chambers (I assume from somewhere near Atlanta, Georgia) teaching on his own radio program several years ago very accurately about this subject, and I was amazed that he had come to this understanding. He must be a very careful, painstakingly accurate student of Scripture.

  12. A. Way says:

    Our posts have been long and numerous, so it is understandable if some things get mixed up.

    Yeah – that happens.

    OK – so you are a Futurist, which comes from 19th century thought. The Reformation was predominately Historicists. That is that God has worked through out history to reveal himself. Futurists believe there is a gap in prophesy, particularly with the 70 week prophesy. I admit that I do not find that thought compelling. You say it is absolutely true. I am unconvinced. Most protestant churches have abandoned the Historicists view, this is true. But not all. Futurists see the anti-Christ as a person to be reviewed in the future. The Bible teaches that anti-Christ has come. 1 John 2:18 AKJV Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. It is easier for me to see the Historicist view than Futurist view. And the Preterist view for me just does not work.

    The Bible is interesting. It could have been written in such a way as to say this is the truth, 1, 2, 3, and so on. It is not written that way. It is written in such a way that one needs to think about what is written and come to your own conclusion. That is not to say there is many different truths, the is only one. Everyone needs to be convinced in their own mind. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

  13. ken sagely says:

    hello friend i have been enjoying the discussion on the rapture, when i was first saved a friend of mine suggested that i ask 3 basic questions when studying a passage of scripture 1. what does it say? 2.what does it mean? does it apply to my life? i was really blessed by different bible teachers then hal lindsey,chuck swindoll, j.v. mcgee but until i started reading it for myself and found the greatest tool ever for bible study ntsk then psm 119/130 thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path became a life verse for me!

  14. Jerry says:

    Dear A. Way,

    I made the corrections you suggested earlier today in this discussion thread. Thank you for spotting them and calling them to my attention.

    I don’t recall having said anything about prophetic gaps yet, but indeed I do believe they are there, and I believe I can prove my case “hands down.”

    There are many fine believers of the Historicist view. There have been excellent writers of this position from the past, too. I believe I have some of their writings in my collection of books on the Bible here.

    You can be sure that the Antichrist has not yet come. Even the verse you cited from 1 John states, “You have heard that antichrist shall come.” That certainly places the Antichrist in the future if anything does!

    When John writes that many antichrists are already present, he uses the plural, and to me this indicates he is indicating that many individuals of his day possessed the antichrist spirit or philosophy or theology as the case may be. We see that all around us in society today. Paul said we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood alone. There are spiritual forces at work on the side of evil. There is a marvelous work written on this subject by Samuel J. Andrews, Christianity and Anti-Christianity in Their Final Conflict, in three parts: (1) The teaching of the Scriptures respecting the Antichrist; (2) The Falling Away of the Church; (3) Tendencies in Our Day Preparing the Way of the Antichrist. This is a work of 358 pages by a significant Bible scholar, copyright 1898, author of the famed The Life of Our Lord Upon the Earth.

    The Bible scholars that put together the sources used by the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge were historicists in their prophetic position. I have not tampered with their notes or with the cross references they furnished. I left them just as they are to speak for themselves.

    It is my position, in terms of Bible scholarship, to present each view in terms of its strengths, providing the best Biblical evidence that can be marshaled for each position.

    In part this comes from my experience in debate. I had to learn thoroughly to defend or oppose each side in the debate so as to be able to win. That does not mean that all sides are equally true. But I believe in presenting the evidence and letting the reader or audience, as the case may be, decide on the merits of the case, in Biblical and theological matters.

    A most serious problem with the approach of the Historicists is that they must constantly go outside the Bible to examine events in world history to see if there are events that match or fulfill the prophecies in the Bible. That sounds reasonable on the surface, but the problem is that no two historicists agree on just which events fulfill which Bible prophecies. It is akin to “newspaper theology” and chasing after prophetic sensationalism. Yet some of the writers of the historicist school are very sober minded and do not fit this broad-brush characterization. The works of H. Grattan Guinness seem to be of high quality to me, as far as I’ve read in them, works like The Approaching End of the Age and Light for the Last Days.

    Now about those gaps.

    Jesus at Luke 4:18 stopped His reading of the text of Isaiah virtually in the middle of a sentence, or at least verse. Why? Because there is an unannounced time gap in that prophecy of which our Lord Jesus Christ was most aware.

    I have listed at that text in Isaiah 61:2 in both the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible all such gaps that I have found. The list is more complete in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible because I found more of these in my studies by the time I prepared that work.

    I hate to be so blunt, but those who would deny the existence of such time gaps in prophecy simply demonstrate they have not studied the subject carefully enough or they would surely know better. For most of the suggested gaps, probably all of them, there can be no question.

    But one of them is more controversial. I assert there is a prophetic time gap between the sixty-ninth and the seventieth week of Daniel. Authors like Philip Mauro have written works (The Seventy Weeks; Of the Things Which Must Soon Come to Pass) which do not place the Seventieth Week in the future but the past. I placed notes in the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge to counter this most mistaken view. This view is in error because they must spiritualize the fulfillment of the Seventieth Week if it is placed in the past, and this violates the Rule of Interpretation that all texts in Scripture must be interpreted literally. The usually suggested fulfillments of the Seventieth Week when it follows immediately upon the Sixty-ninth Week are ludicrous and contrary to Scripture itself. The view is untenable.

    I fully agree with you that the Preterist view does not work. To support such a position, authors, often great scholars, must postulate an early date for the book of Revelation. This is totally not in accord with its internal evidence, especially what the book of Revelation says about the Ephesian Church compared to the state of the Ephesian Church reflected in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Such a decline could hardly have taken place between the date Ephesians was written and the supposed early date for the writing of the book of Revelation.

  15. A. Way says:

    Jerry, I have made comments on things you have not said! You don’t need to, as I have you now pigeonholed. Such as the gaps and the 2-stage second coming of Christ. You are a Futurist. You fit the mold! 😉

    You can be sure that the Antichrist has not yet come. Even the verse you cited from 1 John states, “You have heard that antichrist shall come.” That certainly places the Antichrist in the future if anything does!

    Jerry, if I were reading this blog with no knowledge of the source verse, 1 John 2:18, I would agree with what you wrote. But there is not a period after come, it is a comma. The whole verse is: 1 John 2:18 NRSV Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour. Have is not future, it is present.

    I could easily read this verse to say and this is my paraphrase: “You have heard antichrist shall come. That is what you have heard. But I’m telling you now, many antichrists HAVE come.” Oh, and you do assume that antichrist is a singular or an individual. It could be an individual or individuals or it could be a system. Antichrist is all who exalt themselves against the will and work of God. I know will not like that definition, but it fits.

    Luke 4:18-20. Ah. You say the problem with Historicist is they need to go outside the Bible. Newspaper theology? LOL…

    Daniel 2, 7 and 9 describe the statue, and the various beasts. Daniel 7:17 NRSV “As for these four great beasts, four kings shall arise out of the earth. Daniel gives a partial explanation of the kingdoms. Daniel 8:20-21 NRSV As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia. (v21) The male goat is the king of Greece, and the great horn between its eyes is the first king.

    The Reformers were in agreement with who they were. The Head of Gold/Lion is Babylon. The chest of silver/Bear/Ram is Media and Persia. The waist of Bronze/Leopard/Goat (one horn then four) is Greece. Alexander the Great then replaced by 4 generals. The legs of Iron/Terrible Beast was Rome. The ten toes/Ten horns/Little Horn. As for agreement, the Reformers were all in agreement on the Little Horn.

    This interpretation of the little horn power of Daniel 7 is not an isolated teaching by one single denomination. Rather it is a protestant teaching whose adherents have included Martin Luther, Phillip Melancthon, John Calvin, John Knox, John Fox (author of Fox’s Book of Martyrs), Roger Williams (considered to be the first Baptist pastor in America), The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647), John Wesley, John Wycliffe, Ulrich Zwingli, William Tyndale, John Bunyan, Sir Isaac Newton, George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon and others.

    The 70 weeks fit history perfectly. I’m not going to put in all the detail, but the 70 weeks started with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. This happened in 457 BC and should be an easy date to confirm. See Ezra 7:13. Using a day for a year (see Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:34), 69 weeks (see Daniel 9:24-25) ends at 27 AD, the year of Jesus’ baptism. The last week, the 70th, is the week of Jesus ministry, (see Daniel 9:27). In the middle of the week, he would be cut off. This would put Jesus death about 31 AD. It all fits perfectly. No need for a gap. The gap idea started the Counter-Reformation by the Spanish Jesuit Francisco Ribera. Protestants later bought into the idea. It was a good plan to destroy the Reformation, no?

    It is interesting you mentioned a work published in 1898. A writer in 1897 wrote the following:

    In our day as in Christ’s day, there may be a misreading and misinterpreting of the Scriptures. If the Jews had studied the Scriptures with earnest, prayerful hearts, their searching would have been rewarded with a true knowledge of the time, and not only the time, but also the manner of Christ’s appearing. They would not have ascribed the glorious second appearing of Christ to His first advent. They had the testimony of Daniel; they had the testimony of Isaiah and the other prophets; they had the teachings of Moses; and here was Christ in their very midst, and still they were searching the Scriptures for evidence in regard to His coming. And they were doing unto Christ the very things that had been prophesied they would do. They were so blinded they knew not what they were doing.
    And many are doing the same thing today, in 1897, because they have not had experience in the testing messages comprehended in the first, second, and third angel’s messages. There are those who are searching the Scriptures for proof that these messages are still in the future. They gather together the truthfulness of the messages, but they fail to give them their proper place in prophetic history. Therefore such are in danger of misleading the people in regard to locating the messages. They do not see and understand the time of the end, or when to locate the messages. The day of God is coming with stealthy tread, but the supposed wise and great men are prating about “higher education.” They know not the signs of Christ’s coming, or of the end of the world.

  16. A. Way says:

    Oh – I did not finish Luke 4:18-20, which quotes Isaiah 61:1-2. Maybe some other day, it is late. Actually I wrote extensively on it then erased it. I used these verses just today in discussing Revelation 19, and in particular, Revelation 19:13. I’ll just say, Jesus stopped short of saying “the day of vengeance”. Revelation 19:13 – the white horse rider’s coat is dipped in blood. Whose blood? The rider, or his enemies? What is God’s wrath? (see Romans 1) Jerusalem in 70 AD experienced God’s wrath. But it is too late, I need sleep.

  17. Jerry says:

    Dear A. Way,

    You have brought up many wonderful passages of Scripture and points for consideration.

    In your latest posting of January 9, 2011 you state:

    Actually I wrote extensively on it then erased it.

    Now, if you had been in any English class of mine, you would have learned to follow my rule about writing. I explained to my students that it is always best to save rough drafts rather than discard them.

    Often, coming back to them later, you will see how to make them better, or else see that perhaps they were not so bad after all!

    So, if you are ever able to find the time to pick up again on that train of thought, I would be most interested to read it.

    You brought up 1 John 2:18, using another English translation, which reads:

    1 John 2:18 NRSV Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour.

    Have is not future, it is present.

    Note the expression: “…you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come.”

    Even in the NRSV translation, it is not possible to correctly read into this passage that the coming of the Antichrist is in any sense a past event.

    At the time John wrote, when he said “antichrist is coming,” he spoke of an event yet future to himself and his readers.

    The event is still future for it has not happened yet.

    As an interesting point of English grammar, this is an instance of using the present progressive tense for a future tense.

    I was the only student in one of my first graduate school courses in linguistics who knew what a present progressive tense is.

    Where did I learn it? I learned it when I took courses in New Testament Greek!

    The present progressive tense is a relatively modern development in the English language. You will not find any instances of this tense in the King James Version of the Bible, for such a grammatical construction had not come into use yet. Since Shakespeare’s English goes back to that period, I doubt that you will find it used in Shakespeare’s works either.

    But the point is, 1 John 2:18 regarding the appearance of the Antichrist cannot properly be interpreted to suggest the Antichrist has already come.

    Antichrist is an individual, and he has not come yet.

    He will be destroyed by Christ at His Premillennial Coming, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:8, 9, the context of which clearly indicates the destruction of a single individual.

  18. Pingback: Is anyone out there really interested in Bible study? | Real Bible Study

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.