Arhive pe categorii: Eschatology

HOW FAR, AMERICA? by Curtis Pugh

HOW FAR, AMERICA?

Curtis Pugh

Poteau, Oklahoma

 

 

In meditating on this article, at first we thought to call it, “Which Way, America?” But the direction in which these United States is heading is obviously the wrong one. Most every thinking person untainted with liberalism is in agreement: that this country is headed in the wrong direction. But let us not be too quick to blame Washington. We, the people, elect tyrants to live high and lord it over us while passing out the bucks. The few who do seem to oppose our liberties being taken from us are like the little Dutch boy trying to stop the leak in the dyke by poking his fingers in the ever growing holes. The liberal-leftist-entitlement-minded citizenry on each of the coasts can be counted on to sway national elections in their favor: that means more fiscal irresponsibility. So let us not ask “Which Way, America?” but rather, “How Far, America?” How far will God allow our “American culture” to go before He says, “Enough?” God does have a plan, you know, and history and the Scripture both demonstrate that there are times when God puts a stop to sinful men in their mad career of sinful pleasure. And that is basically what the liberal-leftist-entitlement-minded agenda is all about: pleasure. Their philosophy is “if it feels good, do it” and they are ever ready to supply willingly unemployed citizens and illegals with tax dollars taken from hard working folk. God certainly put a stop to the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plain because of their sinful pleasure-seeking lifestyle. We tend to agree with one preacher who said that if God does not judge the U.S. for her approval of sodomy, He will need to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah for judging them for those same sins.

The Lord Jesus spoke of the conditions that will exist when He returns to this earth – not at the rapture, but at His second advent. In Luke 17:26-30 the Lord’s words are recorded thus: “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” This passage is often referred to as “the Noah and Lot sign.” It pictures humankind living without regard to God or His Word: given over to satisfying the flesh. These United States are following in the path of both Sodom and ancient Rome: sinful pleasures of all kinds and government provided bread and circuses to satisfy the masses of unemployed who as a result vote and protest to keep the leftist tyrants in power.

The Bible is clear: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,” (Proverbs 14:12). While we know of no human government better than a democracy, the gangrene which eats at democracy is this: “…it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps,” (Jeremiah 10:23). A democracy, to function even tolerably well needs at least three things: (1) an educated citizenry, (2) an industrious work ethic, and most important of all (3) a moral compass: i.e., the Bible taught and followed. By this last, the Bible, man is not left to himself to determine right and wrong. Without the Bible America is like ancient Israel: “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” (Judges 21:25). Accordingly, most Americans, right along with most professing “Christians” live according to their wicked hearts. The total heredity depravity of mankind is seen in man’s continual departure from righteousness. God made Adam upright, but our mutual father sinned and plunged the whole of his posterity into bondage – a bondage which the flesh (sin nature) of man loves. Because men love sin and utilize their wills to choose sin, they are deceived into thinking their wills are free, but they are in truth as Peter wrote they have, “…eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin…” (2 Peter 2:14). Their wills are bent toward sinning and so they are happy in their sins and unable to cease from them. They do not want to cease sinning: not really. The present condition of the people of these States is the result of at least two things: (1) the absence of moral teachings from the Bible in homes and schools and (2) the preoccupation of the people with seeking after pleasure. Do you, as a Bible believer, wonder that teenagers and children go on killing sprees and that parents do horrendous things to their infants and children? We have educated people without the Bible. Humans are just animals. Evolution says so. Killing a human being is no worse than killing an ant or a spider. Life is no longer sacred: the prevalence of abortion in this country proves that beyond any argument to the contrary.

The right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. But a people solely given over to pursuing happiness – solely given over to fulfilling the lusts of the flesh – a people demanding instant gratification – will not stand for principles of godliness nor long submit to a legal system based upon biblical morals. They demand more and more and their addiction to the pleasure-drug continues to grow. Sin is popular and has become acceptable in American culture. And the rest of the world is not far behind us. Pastors, even many Baptists and their “lambs” here in the U.S. prove they are not concerned with biblical principles of godliness. They strip off their clothing for shorts and bathing suits as well as immodest clothing worn even in the gatherings of God’s supposed people. There is little difference between the way the average Baptist dresses and the fashion of the harlots whom they adore on TV. Baptists do not want to be different: this translates that Baptists do not want to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. But if you want a big church… “you gotta get with the times.” “Give’em God and glamor!” “Sexy and salvation” are both possible: fleshly lusts and eternal life can go together. This is the modern “evangelical” philosophy. Baptists, right along with Catholics and Protestants, have succeeded in turning liberty into license. Easy-believeism has no connection with practical holiness because it has no connection with the gospel. It is a false gospel!

At the time of this writing, the United Methodist Church is wrangling over whether or not to uphold the defrocking of one of their clergy: a man who performed the “marriage” of his son to another man. The Presbyterian Church U.S.A. has by vote of her governing body voted to divest herself of financial investments that benefit Israel. And a new poll of the people living in these United States indicates that some fifty-two-percent of us now favor same-sex “marriages.” (This writer insists on putting the word “marriage” and “marriages” in quotes when used of religious or civil ceremonies which supposedly join two persons of the same sex in some kind of ungodly perverted “union.”) And the Baptists? Where are they? Probably about five years behind the rest of the world. Already some Southern Baptist Convention Churches have women “ministers” and the popular jargon is for preachers among them (and their wives) to say, “we pastored in such-and-such a place for x number of years, etc.” The Bible has news: God does not call women to preach or to pastor! Neither does He call men and women to somehow “pastor” together. While we are on the subject of God’s calling, the Bible never indicates that God ever called any man (or woman) to a “music ministry,” or as a “worship leader,” or any number of modern Baptist innovations! Strange, is it not, that the truths in your Bible are always throwing monkey wrenches in the best laid schemes of the religious crowd! It is now the popular thing for “churches” to be “welcoming congregations” – i.e., welcoming sodomites!

Is there a connection between what the “same-sex-marriage” advocates are saying and doing and what the religious crowd in America is saying and doing? We think both are instances of just what the Bible said would come to pass. We are not so much concerned with recent Protestant escapades. The Methodists and the Presbyterians are among the daughters of the Harlot and are only behaving like what they are. The Protestants may have cried “sola Scriptura,” but they never meant it and do not follow only the Bible now. While there doubtless exist some congregations within the Southern Baptist Convention who reject the claim, the SBC continues to boast that they are the “largest Protestant denomination.” Let them be Protestants if they wish. It is nothing of which to boast! But their untaught or falsely-taught unregenerate membership has their flesh tickled: if they are big they must be right! Hear this! Absolutely nothing good, came out of the Protestant Reformation! The filthy Roman Harlot gave birth to her little-less-filthy and slightly more attractive daughters who teach the same damnable doctrines of baptismal regeneration and works for salvation. And most “Baptists” are running a parallel course with their equally damnable doctrine of decisional regeneration which is just another form of works for salvation. We think this departure from the truth by the majority of Baptists cannot be anything other than the prophesied apostasy of 2 Timothy 2:1-4: “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 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. 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; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” Notice these things: (1) this prophecy speaks of the return of Christ to the earth, not the rapture of His saints and her bridesmaids: (2) the Greek for “falling away” is “apostasia” from whence our word apostasy: a willful departure from the truth: (3) Paul clearly states that “the day of Christ” is not “at hand,” i.e., there is a significant intervening time before Christ will return to establish His earthly kingdom. If we understand the Scriptures aright, we are in this time of apostasy even now. Later in this same epistle Paul states, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived,” (2 Timothy 3:13). This present apostasy is not being successfully opposed! It is thriving and growing and shall continue to do so. And the pressure is constantly applied to remain in fellowship with deviants from the faith.

“How Far, America?” Not how far will wicked men go, but how far will God allow wicked men to go in moral filth and doctrinal evils? Probably farther than you or I would allow! But certainly they will go no farther than God has planned for them to go! We can be absolutely confident that God is not concerned with time: rather He is concerned with His elect for we read that the restoration of national Israel will follow that time when, “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in,” (Romans 11:25). In other words, God shall turn again to little Israel when His elect from among the Gentiles are regenerated and sanctified to the point He has predetermined. Then God will be acting in a different manner toward these United States. Two things here: (1) sometimes folk will say that this last phrase quoted means that “when the last elect Gentile is saved… etc.,” Our reply is this: God did not take you to heaven immediately after your were converted so what makes you so sure that God may not leave His last saved elect Gentile here on earth for a while after they are born again? May He not leave them here awhile to witness to the world and to experience that sanctification needed by each of His sheep? (2) In turning to Israel God shall bring to pass the “time of Jacob’s trouble,” (Jeremiah 30:5) which has absolutely nothing to do with Christ’s congregations. From the Book of Revelation we see that all the evidence points to the fact that when God’s end-time judgment upon this world begins, His congregations (made up of principally Gentile peoples) will be with Him and not on the earth at all. Always keep in mind the God-given outline of the Book of Revelation found in chapter one, verse nineteen.

Matthew chapter twenty-four is a record of our Lord’s prophecy regarding the end of this age and the tribulation to follow. His counsel to the disciples was as follows: “…Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows,” (Matthew 24:4-8). The Lord’s words in this passage indicate that the danger to the saints of God at this time is twofold: (1) being deceived: the Lord said, “Take heed that no man deceive you,” and (2) “be not troubled.” These two dangers – being led astray and being alarmed or frightened – are the dangers of our time. Radio and TV preachers as well as some “big time pastors” and some not so big ones are busy at this very moment leading people astray. Some of them gain followers and make huge amounts of money off the alarm felt by most people – i.e., the notion that America is heading in the wrong direction and that things cannot continue long in this direction without catastrophic national or even worldwide consequences. Recently at least one governor, Jindal of Louisiana, has warned of the possibility of a “rebellion” and of a “hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren,” (quote from Gov. Bobby Jindal’s keynote address at a recent Faith and Freedom Coalition event). But, lulled to sleepiness if not outright sleep by our toys, treasures and pleasures, we Americans for the most part are only vaguely uneasy about our Social Security, Medicare, and 401Ks.

Will some of us live to see such events as Governor Jindal speaks? Possibly. Some would even say probably. In light of these things, the Words of the Holy Ghost to Timothy are appropriate: “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them,” (2 Timothy 3:14). These words follow those quoted above regarding the proliferation of evil men and deceivers in these days of apostasy. What shall we who believe in the absolute sovereignty of God in all things do? What shall we do who hold to “mother-church daughter-church succession?” “Continue thou!” Stay with the Word of God! Believe God’s Book and practice accordingly! What better advice can be given? Do not jump overboard when it seems the old ship of Zion is about to be overwhelmed and the seas of apostasy and opposition are tossing her about. Do not panic! Let us remain faithful to Christ and to the system of doctrine taught in the Bible! In that we shall not err. God has not changed, does not change, and will not change: why should we?

Anunțuri

The Imminent Pre-Trib Coming Of Christ

The Imminent Pre-Trib

Coming Of Christ


By Dr. Ken Johnson

(Editor’s Note: The following sermon was preached at the 34th Annual Missions Conference of Tabernacle Baptist Church, Lubbock, Texas, March 13-15, 1995. The theme of the Conference was „The Premillennial Second Coming Of Jesus Christ.”–E. L. Bynum)

TEXT: TITUS 2:13
INTRO:

Thirty-four years ago I was privileged to stand in this pulpit and preach in the opening services of the First Annual Missions Conference of Tabernacle Baptist Church pastored by E. L. Bynum. I have also counted it a privilege to be present and speak in many of the services in subsequent Conferences that have followed.

The annual verse to be emphasized this year has been the text I have chosen for the subject matter of my message:

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;… (Titus 2:13)

The pastor has assigned the subject of „The Imminent Pre-Trib Coming of Christ” for the message I am to bring; I rejoice to confess 34 years and more past, this church taught this doctrine and I continue to rejoice that the halls of this Truth are still found solidly proclaimed after over half a century of unwavering love for this BLESSED HOPE.

I am fully aware that I cannot deal with every problem relative to the Imminent Pre-Trib Coming of Christ. I do intend with purpose and design to confront some of the problems men confront us with that denies the very essence of this hope. Their arguments are legion but I am convinced they are totally mistaken and without credulity.

–The A-Mill scholar B.B. Warfield, a Presbyterian, wrote: „The Plan and Structure of the book [of Revelation–KJ], the whole of which seems to have been seen by John in one day (1:10), are exceeding artistic, and are based on progressive repetitions of seven-fold visions….It is of the first importance to its correct understanding, that we should grasp the fact that its prime design is not chronological, but ethical.” [B.B. Warfield, Selected Shorter Writings, Vol. II, pp. 86,87.]

–William Hendriksen, another A-Mill, follows Warfield and states the Book of Revelation: „…was intended not only for those who first read it, but for all believers throughout this entire dispensation… [p.10]” and that „The book of Revelation consists of seven sections. They are parallel and each spans the entire new dispensation, from the first to the second Coming of Christ. [p.22].” [W. Hendriksen, More Than Conquerors, pp. 10 & 22.]

These two thus deny the 1,000 year reign and equate the seven years tribulation to nothing more than historical persecution leading to the Second Coming and general resurrection and judgment.

Kimball, another of this same thinking, in fact says, „No where in the Scriptures does the word ‘Tribulation’ refer to a final, seven year period of unparalleled distress at the close of this present age.” [W. R. Kimball, What The Bible Says About The Great Tribulation, p.112.]

I point this out to display the position of those who deny any dispensational aspect of the doctrine of the Second Coming and deny the Seven Years Tribulation. Bro. Larry Jones will deal with this subject in detail. I will only say these men follow a „Soteriocentric Eschatology which is wrong when they are forced to the position Brinsmead holds when he concludes: „NO ONE who genuinely and consistently holds to the apostolic and Reformation principle of Justification by faith can be a dispensationalist. It is as simple as that. [R. D. Brinsmead, „Justification by Faith…” in Present Truth, Dec. 1975, p.21.]

Those who are universal church and dispensational holding either Post-Trib or Mid-Trib or Pre- Wrath rapture embrace a Soteriocentric Ecclesiology which embraces a concept of the church as „all the redeemed” and insist it endures the Tribulation in whole or in part.

Ladd in his two works –The Gospel of The Kingdom and Crucial Questions About The Kingdom of God reveals he is Pre-Mill. Yet, in his book The Blessed Hopehe reveals his position is that of a Post-Trib Rapture with the usual thinking of time governed by his treatment of the Olivet Discourse and Pre-Tribulation eschatology being a 19th century invention coming to America through Darbyism. MORE ON THIS LATER. Jim McKeever believes Christians will go through the Tribulation – but possibly only half way. His book, Christians Will Go Through The Tribulation, p.41 says, „The Book of Revelation is Sequential and these events occurred once in the middle of the seven years of Tribulation and again at the end of the Tribulation. (The logical conclusion of this view would be that the Rapture occurs in the middle of the Tribulation).

It really doesn’t matter to me which one you believe;…The position for which there is no basis is that the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation. It cannot occur until the last trumpet.”

McKeever holds Rev. 12:1 to 20:6 are an amplification of Rev. 11:15-19 and the 7th Trumpet. He writes some 350 pages but only about 39 deal with his Post-Trib concept. 197 pages explain how to survive physically all the ills of the Tribulation. He of course offers for sale the necessary items suggested.

Marvin Rosenthal and his Pre-Wrath theories also depends heavily on a rapture at the 7th Trumpet. But his position is a „2/3rds” Tribulation rapture. He writes, [On page 61.]– „It will also be demonstrated that the 70th week of Daniel has three major, distinct, and identifiable periods of time: the ‘beginning of sorrows,’ the Great Tribulation, and the Day of the Lord – all found in the Olivet Discourse.”

On page 109 he also states: „This, then, is clear. The entire week is not shortened. The last three and one half years of that seventieth week are not shortened. What the Lord Himself teaches is shortened is the Great Tribulation. It is less than three and one-half years in duration. It begins in the middle of the seventieth week, but it does not run until the end of the seventieth week.

Thus Rosenthal presents a „2/3rds” Tribulation Rapture which has been veiled in the Book of „The Unveiling” for nearly 2,000 years.

Tonight, may we look at two points in my subject to be covered: (1) The Pre-Tribulation Rapture and (2) The Imminent Coming. If these are denied, we have in common in all the above theories a basis to forget looking for our Lord and the evident cause to look for seven years of tribulation and the Anti-Christ as opposed to the True Christ and the Rapture of the Saints at any time.

I. FIRST, MAY WE CONSIDER THE IMMINENT COMING OF CHRIST.

John 14:1-3 says: 1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

A. Note in V.3 Jesus says, „I WILL COME AGAIN…”

–This is a present tense used as a future in Greek. In Greek syntax this is an expression of IMMANENCY.

–Webster’s Greek Grammar says on p.82, „The present is used for the future to express the certainty of a coming event.”

–Webster quotes Vaughn’s remarks of the contrast of a future indicative active and the present indicative active used as a future and says it expresses „MORE STRONGLY”…”The certainty, imminence…”

–Danna and Mantey in A manual Grammar of The Greek New Testament, p.185 says: „This use [the Futuristic Present] of the present tense denotes an event which has not yet occurred, but which is regarded as so certain that in thought it may be contemplated as already coming to pass.”

–McDonald in his Greek Enchridion, p.20 says the same concerning this meaning immediacy.

–In fact Burton in his Moods and Tenses of The N.T. Greek, p. 10 says that the present used as a future is used „…for the sake of vividness, with reference to a fact still in the future, is recognized by all grammarians.”

B. The denial of some declares Jesus could not come immediately because.

(1) John 14:26 declares the Holy Spirit would teach His people and remind them of Christ’s words–this would take time to tell all people.

BUT, Jesus was speaking to the Apostles and he breathed on them the Spirit BEFORE He ascended in Jn. 20:22.

(2) Peter is said to have been told he would GROW OLD in John 21:18 thus he could not expect an imminent coming of Christ. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry [thee] whither thou wouldest not. (John 21:18)

BUT, V.19 explains this is signifying by what DEATH he would glorify God. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. (John 21:19)

PETER PREACHED THE IMMINENT COMING: Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:13)

(3) Paul is denied believing in an imminent return because it would take years for him to have revelation and preach to Jews and Gentiles.

BUT, God’s Word says Paul „Immediately conferred not with flesh and blood.”–Gal. 1:16. Acts 9:20 says „STRAIGHTWAY Paul preached Christ.”

If Paul had died a martyr the next day, his testimony would still hold this as fulfilled. –ABEL’S BLOOD YET SPEAKS… By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. (Hebrews 11:4)

(4) James preached an imminent Coming: Ja. 5:7,8, 7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (James 5)

(5) The Churches Paul started were evidently taught the IMMINENT COMING: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: (1 Corin thians 1:7)

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51,52)

Phil. 3:20 says: For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Col. 3:4 speaks of this church’s being reminded of Christ who shall appear and they appear with Him. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

I Thess. 1:10 speaks of their waiting for Christ from heaven. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

(6) Paul evidently taught his young preachers of the Imminent Coming:

I Tim. 6:14, That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: (1 Timothy 6:14)

THANK GOD no person or church was exhorted to wait for the Anti-Christ and seven years of tribulation.

II. MY SECOND, AND CLOSING POINT IS THE SAINTS RAPTURE IS PRE-TRIBULATION.

A. First permit me to deal with a point of history.

–In 1973 Dave MacPherson published his book: The Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin. – On p.104 he writes: „In light of the evidence I have prayerfully and carefully given in this book relative to the Pre-Trib origin (which has been hidden for a long time), I hereby ask all Bible teachers to declare a moratorium on such teaching – at least until they can check this out for themselves.” –NOTE 1973. [His appendix gives Margaret Macdonald’s vision on pp. 105- 108.]

–In 1974 MacPherson wrote The Late Great Pre-Trib Rapture. On p.13 he wrote: „Those who journeyed to Scotland to visit her included John Darby of the Brethren who borrowed some of her prophetic ideas without giving her credit, then modified them and passed them off as his own. Darby’s visit to the Macdonald home in mid-1830 is related in his little known book The Irrationalism of Infidelity (1853), pp. 283-285.

As I well document in my earlier book on the Pre-Trib origin, Darby was clearly a Post-Trib until the time of Margaret’s revelation!

Although Pre-Tribs cannot name any body of Christians before 1830 that ever taught a Rapture before Tribulation, they like to say that Darby ‘rediscovered old Truths.'”

–On p.19 he also states, „The Post-Trib view was the only view of the second coming before 1830 and since that date has always been the majority view among Bible-believing Christians.”

–George Elden Ladd wrote some 17 years before this writer concerning the new Revelation of a Pre-Trib rapture and says: „It was at Powerscourt that the teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture of the Church took shape. Tregelles, a member of the Brethren in these early days, tells us that the idea of a secret rapture at a secret coming of Christ had its origin in an ‘utterance’ in Edward Irving’s Church…Tregelles says, ‘It was from that supposed revelation that the modern doctrine and the modern phraseology respecting it arose.'”

B. History Will Show Baptists Are A Group These Writers Did Not Consult:

–Benjamin Keach plainly shows he preached and believed in a Pre-Trib Rapture though he believed in a historical application of Revelation and the second coming at the 7th trumpet:

(1) ” His second personal coming I judge will be at the beginning of the thousand years reign, when ‘God will tabernacle with men,…” Rev. 21:3.

(2) „There is a precursory coming of our Lord, (as one notes) or a most glorious spiritual coming, to set up a more visible and universal kingdom in this world, which will precede his personal appearance; which I take to be the beginning of the latterday glory, and which will be at the sounding of the ‘Seventh trumpet,’ for then Jesus Christ will begin His spiritual and more visible and glorious kingdom; or ‘when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ,’ Rev. 11:15,18. One design of this coming of our Lord, is to destroy the son of perdition, and utterly to overthrow Mystery Babylon….Now it is partly this coming of Christ (I conclude) our Lord in the first place intends, though I will not exclude his personal appearance; for I see no reason to doubt, but that the precursory coming of the Lord Jesus is to prepare things for his personal appearance; when, (as a bridegroom) he will appear to celebrate the marriage with his beloved spouse. Yet his coming upon mystery Babylon, or by his bright appearance to destroy the son of perdition, may be distinguished from the coming last mentioned, thought both may be comprehended, or included by the Bridegroom’s coming.” [Benjamin Keach, Exposition Of The Parables, p.643].

THIS IS NEARLY 150 YEARS BEFORE THE 1830 DATE OF MARGARET MACDONALD.

–Ivimey quotes Hansord Knollys, the date is 1689-1692, who states to the General Assembles at Curriers-Hall Cripplegate which is pastored by Knollys: „As Mr. Knollys has been stigmatized as of Fifth-Monarchy principles, and as the sentiments of many godly ministers upon that subject are but little known, the following extract from one of his works will explain them: ‘That the next glorious appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ, will be his virtual and spiritual coming [NOTE: Knollys is referring to the rapture as NEXT–KJ] in his saints and sanction (as the Bride groom of his church) to marry her sons (Isa. 62:4,5) and by them to reign over the nations with power and great glory a thousand years here on earth, Dan. 7:27. There are but three special kinds and times of Christ’s coming. 1. His coming in the form of a servant in the days of his flesh, Phil. 2:9. 2. His coming as judge at the last day, when he shall judge the quick and the dead, (II Tim. 4:1) called his appearance the second time, Heb. 9:29. Both these are his personal appearances, or his coming in his own person. [NOTE: Knollys separates these–KJ.] But between these two appearances, or comings of Christ in his own person, there is witnessed by the holy prophets and apostles, and recorded in the holy Scriptures of truth, another kind of Christ’s coming at another time. And that is His coming as the Bridegroom, and as the only Potentate, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, (I Tim. 6:14,15. Rev. 19:16) which is his virtual, spiritual, powerful, and glorious coming in his saints and sanction, and by them to marry his Jerusalem, Isa. 62:4,5. So shall thy sons marry thee, and with them to reign over the nations and kingdoms of the world a thousand years on earth, Rev. 10:15-17.”

–In Vol. II, p.358, Ivimey refers to Knollys and his pre-millennialism saying, „…It appears that his opinion on this subject was not different from that of Dr. Gill, and OTHERS [emp. mine–KJ].

–John Gill’s (1697-1771) position is stated in his commentary in Vol. VI, p. 560 re. I Thes. 4:15: „The apostle having something new and extraordinary to deliver, concerning the coming of Christ, the first resurrection, or the resurrection of the saints, the change of the living saints, and the rapture both of the raised and living in the clouds to meet Christ in the air, expresses himself in this manner…”

[This commentary was written over 50 years before the supposed revelation of Margaret Macdonald.]

C. Now let us go to the Word of God to also establish the rapture is Pre- Trib.

Rev. 3:10, Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

ek tes oras tou periasmou: A.T. Robertson’s small grammar, p.121 says of „ek”: „It is always true to its root idea of OUT OF.”

Dana & Mantey, p.102 says of „ek”: „In composition: out of, away – emphasis.”

–Not „dia tes oras” = dia with the genitive meaning „THROUGH THE TRIAL in PRESERVATION.

P.47 of Gundry’s book The Church and The Tribulation, –„The similarity of the first four trumpets to the Egyptian plagues at least allows that the saints will receive protection…”

I disagree THIS is meant!

D. Post-Trib, Mid-Trib, and Pre-Wrath theories neglect the outline of Rev. 1:19.

Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; (Revelation 1:19)

(1) The vision of Christ = „Things which thou hast seen.”–The glory seen of vv. 12-18.
(2) The vision of the Churches = „The things which ARE.”–These churches existed in John’s day.
(3) The vision of „The things which shall be hereafter;” (After these things.)

E. This phrase, „meta tauta” =”After these things” is the sequential key to the book of Revelation.

(1) It denies their being seven repeated visions.
(2) It establishes the continuity of the book.
(3) It is used 10 times in the book of Revelation: 1:19; 4:1 (2t); 7:1,9; 9:12; 15:5; 18:1; 19:1; and 20:3.

This is the key to lead us through the book of Revelation in the Divine sequence God has established for the outline he gave in 1:19 and leads us unto the imminent pre-trib coming of Christ.

„William Farrel, the Waldensian Baptist, cried against the worldly lives of his day which denied the reality of the coming Lord. He said, „…What has come of men meddling and playing, as they have done, with the things of God? Even the outward observances of which God has commanded have disappeared. Where is the Lord’s Supper? Who shall restore us that blessed feast, in which we are called to remember Him –to shew forth His death TILL HE COME? Alas!Men are living as though they were dedicated to heathen gods. WHO IS THERE WHO CARES THAT CHRIST IS COMING AGAIN?” [Beven, pp. 131,132.]

META TAUTA

In The Book of Revelation:

1:19–God’s outline is given.
4:1–After the message to the 7 churches. (2t)- -It is stated God would show John what would be AFTER THE SEVEN CHURCHES.
7:1–After the 6th seal John SAW the paranthesis of the 144,000 sealed Jews.
7:9–After seeing the Jews, John saw „A GREAT MULTITUDE.” 9:12–Two more WOES are to come after the first and then the 6th trumpet is mentioned.
15:5–AFTER seeing the sea of glass, John sees the seven LAST PLAGUES OR BOWLS OF WRATH.
18:1–After the fall of RELIGIOUS BABYLON, John sees ch. 18 and commercial Babylon. [They are not the same.]
19:1–After the fall of commercial Babylon, John hears a voice of a voice of a multitude praising God for the marriage of the Lamb is come.
20:3–John says AFTER THE MILLENNIAL, Satan shall be loosed a little season.

There must be a continued sequence for the 7 seals of 6:1 goes to 8:1 which has the 7 trumpets IN THE 7TH SEAL. The 7th TRUMPET is heard in 11:15 and contains the parenthesis of explanation up to 15:5,6 where the 7 vials of wrath are seen. Included in the vision of the 7th vial are the events leading up to 19:1 which reveals the things heard by John AFTER THESE THINGS which is the preceding chapters of Revelation.

 

Lesson Eight What About The Future? Bill Brown

Lesson Eight

What About The Future?

Bill Brown

Carmichael Baptist Church

Lesson Text: John 14:1-4

Lesson Objective: To help give you a glimpse of the Biblical doctrine of the second coming of Christ; the future of the saved, the unsaved, and what the Bible speaks of as the „new Heaven and new Earth.”

Introduction: In I Corinthians 15:19, we find the statement that „If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” We do indeed have hope in this life in Christ but this life is not all there is. We do have an eternal future. For the saved that future is with God in heaven. For the lost the future is an awful one without God in hell. Within the Bible we can learn of our personal future. Within the Bible we can also learn of the future of mankind as a whole. This is where the Christian can derive great hope which will act as an „anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19). That anchor is Christ and His coming again for His elect. As we progress through this lesson be aware of the fact that this is a brief overview of Biblical Eschatology. Eschatology is defined as the study of the end times, or the doctrine of the last or final things. It is a lengthy study of the prophecies of the Bible that have been fulfilled, are being fulfilled, and are yet to be fulfilled. We will focus on only a portion of the future prophecies what will happen to the human race and this earth upon which we now live.

The Promise Of A Second Coming!

In preparing His disciples for His crucifixion and death, Christ anticipated their despondency. He had previously spoken to them about His death, how Peter would deny Him, that one of them was a traitor, and that Satan was at work against them all. From our text we can see His compassion for them when He said „let not you heart be troubled:” The word troubled, from the Greek language, means to be agitated. Much like a washing machine agitates the water. Christ knew these events He spoke and His death would shake up their faith and their hearts. His encouragement came from the facts of the future. He was going to prepare a place for them and then come back for them. This is a promise of hope for all the saved.

After the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ He appeared to over 500 brethren at one time, He ministered to them for 40 days. He spoke to them, commissioned His church, and left them with great hope. His disciples wanted to know if He would „at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6). This has reference to the Millennium, or 1,000 year reign which we will speak about later. He answered their question, and while the disciples were watching; „He was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” Acts 1:9. Just after this we find Acts 1:11, which says that angels stood by and then spoke to them and said „Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

Look further at some additional verses concerning Christ’s Second Coming. Hebrews 9:28, „So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” In Matthew chapter twenty-four the disciples wanted to know of the signs of His coming and of the end of the world (Matthew 24:3). Christ then went on to tell them many things as in verse 30, „and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Today men still have an interest in knowing when Christ will return. We can know something of the signs of His coming but as Christ taught in Matthew 24:36, „But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” We know He is returning so we are to heed His words andWatch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Matthew 24:42. This is our encouragement to be faithful servants, hopeful servants, and watchful servants of our Lord.

In one of the greatest chapters dealing with the gospel, our resurrection, and Christ second coming, Paul, in I Corinthians 15:51-52 wrote „Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. Doesn’t this give you an exciting hope? Doesn’t this cause your heart to beat just a little faster knowing that Christ can come at any moment and we would be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye? The scriptures leave no room for doubt that Christ will return again. As we find in I Thessalonians 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.” This is a day of change and gives us a hope with which we can gain comfort and give comfort.

Understanding The Terms

In this brief overview we want to help you understand some of the terms you will encounter in Christian teaching and preaching before we proceed. Time and space will not allow us to go into the details necessary to understand each in it’s entirety. You may often hear, or have heard, of the „Rapture.” The word rapture means „an act of transporting or fact of becoming transported.” While this word is not found in the Bible it is a term used concerning the transporting of the saints, by Christ, to be with Him in the air. It is the „catching up” (I Thessalonians 4;17), or seizing of His saints still left upon the earth at the appointed time. This rapture of the saints precedes an event known as the tribulation that in turn precedes the Millennial reign of Christ.

The Bible separates the times of the end into three distinct periods. The church age, in which we are now living; the seven-year tribulation, or Daniel’s seventieth week; and the millennial kingdom, or 1,000 year reign of Christ. The tribulation period is known as Daniel’s seventieth week because of the prophecies in the book of Daniel, but is sometimes called the time of „Jacob’s trouble” taken from Jeremiah 30:7. This is not a normal time of tribulation. The Bible calls it the „Great Tribulation” (Matthew 24:21). The tribulation period is seven years in length. This time period completes the times of the Gentiles or the Church age. Within this time period we find the reign of the beast, the false prophet, and the man of sin. During this time God will pour out His wrath upon those who have taken the sign of the beast upon them. The man of sin is also known as the anti-Christ who will make a covenant with the nation of Israel. After a period of three and one-half years of mock peace, the man of sin will reveal himself and demand worldwide worship. He will do so by breaking the covenant with Israel and setting up an image of himself within the temple. Those who oppose him will be persecuted and killed, or forced to flee for their lives. The tribulation period will be terminated by the obvious appearing of Christ to the Earth for all to see. This coming will precede a gathering of nations against Jerusalem, and when the conflict is at its height Christ will suddenly appear, defeat the beast and the false prophet with their armies, and deliver Israel.

Immediately after the age, or period, known as the tribulation, we find the millennial age. This is a 1,000 year period in which Christ will bind Satan and remove his influence upon the earth. Revelations 20:2-3 states that „he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon 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.” Christ will return to earth and rule with a rod of iron from Jerusalem. Christ will have complete and absolute authority to govern. Peace will be absolute, joy will be a distinctive mark, all needs will be meet, perfect justice will be administered, knowledge will be unparalleled, sickness and death will be removed, there will be no oppression, economic prosperity will be abundant, and God’s presence will be manifest and recognized. At the end of this 1,000 year reign Satan will be „loosed for a season.” He will gather together a large portion of the earth’s inhabitants, by deception, in order to lead a final revolt against the theocracy of God. One last great battle takes place, God is victorious, and Satan vanquished and sent into everlasting punishment.

Back To The Rapture

There is a twofold order to Christ return to the Earth. In the first order Christ’s coming will be secret and imminent; Revelation 16:15, „Behold, I come as a thief.” This is His coming for His saints. In the second order Christ’s coming will be public and visible to all; Revelation 1:7, „Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” This is His coming with His saints. These two events are separated by a seven year period known as the „Tribulation.” How does a thief come? He comes silently, suddenly, softly, he comes while no one is watching. He comes to take the treasure. The Lord will indeed come and take away His bride, the jewel of all jewels. He will come as a thief, but He will come to take only what is rightfully His. His coming will be as a thief, but He will not be a thief.

In Matthew chapter twenty-five we can see this two-fold coming. In the first part the Lord comes as a Bridegroom, in the second He comes as a King. In the first part He comes to meet virgins, in the second He comes to meet nations. In the first part He comes to a marriage chamber, in the second He come to a judgment throne. In the first part He comes to be married, in the second He comes to execute judgment. In the first part He comes at night, while in the second He comes in the morning hour. This chapter will help enlighten us as to the timing and events of this two-fold coming of Christ.

While there is minimal argument concerning the fact of His coming and the fact of a 1,000 year reign, there is argument among many Christians concerning the timing of His second coming. A careful study of related scripture will demonstrate that an interval of time between the translation, or rapture, of the saints and the coming of Christ to establish the Millennial kingdom is absolutely necessary. According to II Corinthians 5:10 „For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” All Christians will appear before a judgment seat of Christ. This is commonly called the „bema” seat of Christ that is taken from the Greek word used in this passage. This is not a judgment to determine our eternal abode, or punishment of sin. That type of judgment will take place at the „Great White Throne” (Revelation 20:11) and is reserved as a judgment seat for the lost, or those who were not found to have their names written in the book of life. The Great White Throne judgment belongs to the end of the 1,000 year reign of Christ. In conjunction with I Corinthians 3:13-15, We find that the „Bema” seat is a place where Christians will receive rewards of gold, silver, or precious stone. This is what Christ spoke of in Revelation 22:12 when He stated „And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”

Additional evidence that there must be an interval of time between this two-fold coming is found in Revelation 19:6-8 where the „wife” of the Lamb is declared to be arrayed „in fine linen, bright and pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” This involves the marriage of the bride to the Lamb. The bride is the church, while the bridegroom is Jesus Christ. This marriage of the Lamb takes place in heaven apart from the events on Earth during the seven-year period known as the „tribulation.” The world will be no more aware of His coming for His bride than when He ascended in the clouds of heaven. In Luke 12:36 we read: „And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.” Notice the words „return from the wedding?” The wedding takes place immediately after the rapture of God’s elect. You can’t return from something that hasn’t yet happened if the rapture takes place after the time of tribulation.

A Brief Summary

Don’t worry if some of this seems a bit confusing. What you need to know and understand is that Christ is coming again. He is coming for you if you are born again. We also have assurance that those who have died in Christ will come with Him. We will be reunited with the loved ones we have lost. We have confidence from the Bible of a time of reward or loss of reward to every child of God. We must seek to work according to the commands of God so that our work will be gold, silver, and precious stone; not wood, hay, and stubble. The fires of God’s judgment will test them all. We also can be sure of Christ’s absolute rule upon this earth for 1,000 years after a terrible time of tribulation. Once all of this is completed we have an additional promise which should bring hope and comfort to all that believe in Christ. After the final judgment this old heaven and earth will be destroyed that it might be made new again. In Revelation 21:1, John records that he 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.” Upon this new earth will come the city of God and in this eternal abode there will be no more death, no more sorrows, no more crying, no more night, and no more sin, for God will be with us. In the end God wins!

Study Questions

  1. What was the encouragement Christ gave to His disciples prior to His death and his going away?
  2. When Jesus Departed who spoke to those who watched Him leave?
  3. What did they say about „this same Jesus?”
  4. Can we know the day and hour of Christ’s return?
  5. Who does know the day and hour?
  6. From Matthew 24:42 what are we to do concerning His coming again?
  7. What does the word rapture mean?
  8. What is the teaching of the rapture?
  9. When will the rapture take place?
  10. What time period follows the rapture?
  11. Name at least one event that takes place during the tribulation?
  12. What happens at the very beginning of the 1,000 year reign of Christ?
  13. At the conclusion of the 1,000 reign Satan will be loosed. Why do you suppose men would still join with him in a revolt against God?
  14. What event takes place in heaven while the tribulation is taking place upon earth?
  15. What is the „Bema” seat of Christ?
  16. Who is the bride of the Lamb?
  17. Look at I Peter 3:10-11 and tell what happens to this heaven and earth?

 

 

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