Security Concerns Surround Syrian Chemical Arsenal
The security of Syria's arsenal of chemical weapons could be at risk as President Bashar Assad continues a violent crackdown on protests against his government, the Washington Post reported last week (see GSN, Aug. 25).
Syria is believed to hold tons of various chemical warfare materials, notably the nerve agent sarin, that could be carried by Scud missiles and other delivery systems. The lethal stockpile, dating to the 1970s, apparently is intended to counter nuclear-armed Israel.
The United States and Israel are monitoring Syria's stocks of unconventional weapons materials and delivery systems, the Wall Street Journal reported on August 27. The concern is that extremists might exploit the unrest to acquire the materials (Jay Solomon, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 27).
Also today, we have more on the story of the growing alliance between anti-Israeli governments, Turkey and Egypt:
Turkey set to sign military pact with Egypt
Erdogan decided on Tuesday to reap the political profit from his stand against Israel, and announced to reporters that Turkey is suspending military and commercial relations with it. Additional sanctions, he suggested, could be implemented, and Turkish warships will be seen "more frequently" in Mediterranean waters.
Below, we see the most recent update by Joel Rosenberg regarding the Middle East:
Likelihood of an "all out war" growing
More than ever, Israel needs leaders like the “sons of Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” (I Chronicles 12:32, NIV) Israel also needs faithful friends who will show unconditional love and unwavering support for the Jewish people, while also showing love and compassion towards the Palestinians. These are increasingly difficult times for Israel, and Christians around the world need to be even more faithful in prayer for peace and more determined to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus
Evidence of a gathering storm continues to mount in the epicenter. Consider the latest:
This article then provides a list of different situations in the Middle East today that point to war - highlights below:
- “Recent revolutions in the Arab world and the deteriorating ties with Turkey are raising the likelihood of a regional war in the Middle East
- ‘This leads us to the conclusion that through a long-term process, the likelihood of an all-out war is increasingly growing,’ the IDF general said. ‘Iran has not abandoned its nuclear program. The opposite it true; it continues full steam ahead,’ he said. ‘In Egypt, the army is collapsing under the burden of regular security operations, and this is reflected in the loss of control in the Sinai and the turning of the border with Israel into a terror border, with the possibility that Sinai will fall under the control of an Islamic entity.’”
- “Referring to what he characterized as the possibility of a ‘radical Islamic winter,’ Major-General Eisenberg said: ‘This raises the likelihood of an all-out, total war, with the possibility of weapons of mass destruction being used.’”
- Meanwhile, evidence continues to mount that Iran is working on nuclear weapons.
Turkey set to sign military pact with Egypt
A military and economic alliance with Egypt is set to be signed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The deal should be clinched when Erdogan visits Cairo next Monday - the first such visit paid by a Turkish prime minister in 15 years.
Turning to Europe:
UBS: Euro Collapse Could Lead To Martial Law
In a similar vein to how Hank Paulson threatened martial law on the streets of America if the bailout failed to pass, top banks like UBS are now warning of “authoritarian or military government” and “civil war” in a bid to frighten away member states from leaving the euro.
It’s a transparent ploy designed to create the pretext for empowering the EU to enforce a common economic policy across all member states, something that British Prime Minister David Cameron is now openly backing.
In a UBS Investment Research release, the Swiss bank warns that should member states begin to desert the euro, precipitating a collapse of the single currency, “some form of authoritarian or military government, or civil war,” would likely ensue.
Billionaire investor George Soros has now joined the chorus, warning that the “crisis has the potential to be a lot worse than Lehman Brothers,” unless the European Union is handed more power to create a central economic authority.
There would be no mass panic, no civil unrest and no need for martial law, but the banking establishment has to make it appear that way in order to preserve the euro and keep the continent on track for a future amalgamation into a 4th Reich-style federal superstate, which was the agenda from the very beginning.
Why Eurozone should become United States of Europe, by David Cameron
David Cameron was branded an EU ‘enthusiast’ by Tory Eurosceptics last night as he said Britain must let eurozone countries move towards a United States of Europe with a common economic policy.
The Prime Minister admitted he was not sure whether Germany and other countries had the political will to prevent a break-up of the single currency, but insisted they must be allowed to try – even if that meant closer integration.
Mr Cameron, appearing before the liaison committee of senior MPs, suggested that opportunity might come further in the future if a new treaty is deemed necessary.
Fears of eurozone contagion spread
The eurozone’s attempts to defend itself against the spread of contagion are showing signs of failure on almost every front, putting a global financial crisis originating in Europe back on the table.
“Our new baseline outlook includes widespread bank and financial institution failures in Euroland,” Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics, said in a note.
“We fear a global economic depression — less severe in North America — originating in Euroland’s sovereign debt crisis and banking sector fragility,” he said.
This “is not just a financial crisis,” Federico Ghizzoni, the head UniCredit, Italy’s largest bank, said in Frankfurt Tuesday. “For the first time, the European system is really at stake.”
In the world:
Remember that famine is one of the "signs" of this age?
Brace Yourself For 'Food Scarcity'
This is a fascinating article which reveals modern-day farming and how precarious it has become:
But of the nearly 7 billion people on Earth, an estimated 850 million are undernourished or chronically hungry. With global food production hurting and prices rising, this number is swiftly climbing.
In Matthew 24, Jesus Christ told His disciples what would precede His Second Coming and the end of this present world. Among the signs Jesus told us to watch for, He warned: “and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (verse 7).
“We’re descending into a food crisis that’ll ravage the world as we know it,” Cooper says. “Food prices will not come down. We should prepare ourselves now to see food shortages.” It’s one thing to have to pay more for food, assuming you have the money. But what if the food isn’t even there?
The combination of global population and food demand is rising about 2 percent a year. Meanwhile, food production is rising at only about half that rate.
You can add to this fundamental reality a myriad of other pressures on the food supply: more adverse weather events—droughts, floods, and other disasters—that reduce crop yields or wipe out harvests; vanishing marine life, including ocean fish catches—the top source of protein for Asians—because of over-fishing, pollution and other causes; government enactments like farm subsidies, food price controls, taxes, regulations, restrictions and so on.
Dear Brother and Sisters in Christ:
Do you think that the Tribulation starts immediately after the rapture or could it start days, weeks, months, etc. after. I know that the Anti-Christ will sign a covenant with Israel, but, however, when? Gary
As we aren't given that information, its all conjecture - but reading carefully I THINK it could be very soon after the Rapture.
Ac is revealed in Dan9:27 when he confirms the covenant. That is when Jesus breaks the first seal in Rev.6:1 and the white horse rides out thus the 70th Week is under way.
I just wanted to make sure you saw my reply to your comment.
Saturday 3rd September 2011 The Gog-Magog Alliance.
God bless you
Can we say with certainty that the covenant is confirmed at the first seal? We know from Daniel that the breaking of it is the halfway point, but Rev. itself doesn't say exactly when it's confirmed.
Some such as Don Koenig of The Prophetic Years believes that after the Rapture there will be a 3.5 year gap wherein the seals are opened. This would make the actual halfway point seem like the end since it will have been 7 years since the Rapture, and people will be deceived into thinking the AC is the Christ setting up his kingdom to begin the Millennium. Very interesting theory.
The timings of the seals are strongly linked to specific time indicators God has given like 1260 days given to the two witnesses.
e.g. the A/c kills them at the midpoint of the seven at the AoD which is just after he is resurrected when he comes out of the Abyss at the 5th/6th Trumpet. The Seals and Trumpet happen in sequence so there is no way Koenig can be right. The 7th Trumpet holds the 7 bowl judgments to start the final 3 1/2 years this time called 42 months. This is how long A/c is given to rule. We know he is killed by Christ at the 7th Bowl at the endof the 70th Week; so counting back to the start of the 42 months brings us back to the mid point and the AoD.
The Opening of the first seal is the A/c 'coming forth to begin the 70th Week of Daniel, this is his revealing AFTER the removal of the Restrainer. He has a bow, no arrows which suggests stealth and intrigue which will accompany the strengthening of the Covenant in Daniel. A/c 2nd reveal is at the midpoint with the AoD when ISRAEL will fully understand who he is; they are already escaping from Jerusalem...
Paula I am pooped. Please consider the all important TIME markers and compare with what happens when.
God bless :)
We need to clarify the timing of the two witnesses. The 7th trumpet marks the midpoint because that's when the AC declares himself God. But the witnesses are revealed and killed at the 6th trumpet yet clearly had a 3.5 year ministry. All theories have this same problem to resolve: if the witnesses began at the first seal, why are they not mentioned till the 6th trumpet, which uses the future tense for their time of testimony? There is no mention of them in the seals at all. So I don't see this as a show-stopper for Koenig's theory, since it's equally problematic for other theories.
Likewise, we have nothing in the text to say that the AC signs the covenant at the first seal; in fact, we are never told about the timing of his revealing beyond Paul's words that it is after the Rapture. That is, we don't know how long after. So there is no reason to force the AC's covenant signing to the first seal; it could as easily be the first trumpet.
Another consideration is the fact of the three sets of judgments: seals, trumpets, and bowls. If the 7th trumpet is the midpoint because that's when the AC declares himself God, then the bowls must comprise the 2nd half of the Tribulation. One wonders why 2/3 of the judgments are on one side of the trib. but only 1/3 is on the other. It makes as much sense to place the seals between the Rapture and the Trib., leaving the trumpets as the first half and the bowls the second.
If the witnesses are killed at the 7th trumpet / midpoint, then the witnesses began 3/5 years earlier; that's as precise as we can get. Then the question is whether the trumpets take up the entire first half or share it with the seals.
Just some observations of mine, FWIW. I think it's good to challenge assumptions and demand the highest precision and best scriptural backing for our claims. Some things just can't be resolved to our satisfaction, and in those cases I think we need to allow other views instead of writing them off. :-)
The 2/3s 'heavy stuff' starts in vs 21, after the AoD in vs 15:
21 For then shall be "great tribulation", such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Therefore, most scholars refer to the whole 7yrs as 'the Trib Period', and specifically refer to the last 3.5yrs as the 'Great Trib', and I think it's greater because by then there is no doubt Who's running the show, the 'world' fully knows it and is in open, blatant rebellion against Him.
I agree that the whole "tribulation" is Daniel's 70th week and the whole of Revelation beyond the letters to the churches, and that the "Great Trib" is the second half of the "trib". But my points are:
1) Why would 2/3 of judgments be in 1/2 the trib.? Since we all agree that the trib. only starts when the AC confirms the covenant, and hardly anybody thinks this happens immediately at the Rapture, then we all agree there is some kind of gap between the Rapture and the trib. The question then is, how long of a gap, and what happens in that time? Is there any reason this gap cannot be 3.5 years and contain the Seals?
2) How do we know when the 2 witnesses began since they aren't mentioned till the 6th trumpet?
Yes I did and thank you for your hugs too! I know you and Mrs. C have had quite the month with your hands full and making time to still post and keep us well informed with scripture and it's appropriate use. I didn't want it to go un-noticed.
Have a great day!
Just reading your posts and I must say I am very lucky to have you knowing your scripture as well. It is wonderful to read your posts too!
I don't think there is any way to know the interval betwen the Rapture and the Trib - especially given that, theoretically, the Rapture could have occurred at any point during the church age.
I believe A Fruchtenbaum answers your questions in "Footsteps..." - let me dig around and see what he says
As far as the interval between the Rapture and the Trib - Fruchtenbaum echoes what I am saying - which is the Rapture occures BEFORE the tribulation, but it is not listed as the CAUSE of the Trib. And given that the Rapture could have happened at any point during the church age, there will be a gap between the two - it could even be a matter of years....
On the other question about the two witnesses:
We know that the timing of their ministry is 3.5 years.
According to AF - this can only happen after the AC is "resurrected" because Rev 11:7-13 includes the statement that "the beast that comes out of the abyss" shall make war with them and overcome and kill them. ---> the killing of the two witnesses leads to even greater worship of the AC and then has "authority to continue for 42 months (the remainder of the Tribulation)
So this places their ministry at the first 1/2 of the Tribulation, and part of the 'process' of the AC declaring himself as god etc. at the midpoint of the trib
The above is confusing (my bad)
I meant to say that "this can only happen after the AC is 'resurrected'"....Here "this" means the killing of the two witnesses, not the ministry of the two witnesses.
I believe that the book of Revelation is completely chronological in its order.
With that, we see the Church has ended at the end of Chapter 3 - and that idea is confirmed by the first verse of Ch4
"After this...." (see the same words again at the end of this verse) - which indicates - in this case, after the Church age".....
We know that the first seal is a representation of the AC - and we know from Daniel that the AC confirms the covenant, starting the last 7 years of Daniels 490 years.
The seal judgments don't start till after these things have happened - thus, the seal judgments can only begin after the Tribulation has started. I believe this is what Sue was saying as well.
For this reason, IMO, the seal judgments cannot begin during the interval between Rapture and Trib...
I believe whatever interval exists between the Rapture and Trib will exist to complete further "stage setting" for the AC's arrival.
@GG, Thank you! :-)
@Scott, I agree with you and Fruchtenbaum that the Rapture preceeds the trib. but is not the cause; we're on the same page there. Also agree that the ministry of the 2 witnesses is 3.5 years.
But I don't see how "the beast that comes out of the abyss" has to have been "resurrected", since "comes out of the abyss" can simply be an identification and says nothing about him having gone to the Abyss when dead. We also note that the text says this death was a matter of appearance, not necessarily that it actually and literally happened.
So I still don't see that this helps pinpoint the beginning of their ministry, being based upon assumptions that could be wrong. However, what exactly is the beginning of the first half? We still don't know whether it's the seals or the trumpets, and there is still no mention of them in the seals at all, giving further weight to their being confined to the time of the trumpets. And if they are so confined, then the trumpets must comprise the entire first half of the trib.
Re. the chronological nature of Revelation, I agree that overall there is a clear progression after the church age of seals--> trumpets--> bowls, as opposed to the view of some that they are three versions of the same things (rather like the issue of the Trinity vs. Modalism). But even all of us who accept this agree that the woman of ch. 12 is at least partially a "flashback", so we aren't locked into a woodenly literal progression without exception. And without some kind of interruption, we cannot make sense of the witnesses being introduced and killed in the same trumpet judgment.
We agree that Daniel tells us the AC confirms the covenant to start the 70th week, but there is nothing there to say that the seal judgments must be part of that week. Can you cite something in either Daniel or Rev. that requires the seals to be part of the trib.? A gap wherein those seals happen seems to fit nicely with the "stage setting", IMHO. What do you think?
Hi Paula - I need to be succinct because I'm in a hurry to get out the door!
The First seal is a representation of the antichrist - ie the first horseman of the Apocalypse. Coupling that with Daniel 9:27, we know that that begins the Tribulation. Therefore the seal judgments begin at the beginning of the Trib...Having said that, we don't know what the interval will be between the seal judgments.
Since the 2 witnesses really aren't part of the "judgments" I wouldn't expect to see them mentioned as part of the seal judgments.
If you read Chapter 11 of "Footsteps..." (its way too long to quote" --- But it basically says this:
- The 2 witnesses are untouchable by everyone on earth, including the AC for 3.5 years of their ministry.
After the AC's "death" and "resurrection" (don't forget, Satan is trying to mimic how God worked through Jesus --- Now Satan is working thru the AC in a similar way)-
It is only at THAT point that the Bible tells us that the AC can have "authority over every tribe, people and tongue and nation", and "Will be given authority" and more importantly, at that point, the AC is able to "Overcome" the saints....
Fruchtenbaum makes this connection - ie, to satan's ability to kill the 2 witnesses thus can only come following these "powers" that he has been granted at the half-way point.
Additionally, the Bible indicates that it is the very killing of the 2 witnesses that leads to the world;s worship of the AC..
So all of these events are intertwined.
Also we see that the "they worshipped the dragon (satan) because he gave his authority unto the beast (AC)" - this triggers the following
"Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war against him?" ----> a period referenced as the last 3.5 years, and this only begins AFTER the two witnesses are killed.
So, if this period only lasts 3.5 years AND happens after the 2 witnesses are killed, then the two witnesses must have their ministry for the first half of the Trib
Does that make sense?
I know you are being tested quite far in these dealings. I wanted to pull together some scriptures for you that may help you get through your hour of trial :)
"The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." (KJV)
(KJV)"Don't be afraid of those who want to kill you. They can only kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (NLT)
Such a man will not be overthrown by evil circumstances. God's constant care of him will make a deep impression on all who see it. He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him. That is why he is not afraid, but can calmly face his foes.
Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him to act. Don't be envious of evil men who prosper.
Habakkuk 2:1, 3
I will climb my watchtower now, and wait to see what answer God will give to my complaint.
But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!
And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into His plans.
Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don't try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything; strong in character, full and complete.
Stop your anger! Turn off your wrath. Don't fret and worry - it only leads to harm. For the wicked shall be destroyed, but those who trust the Lord shall be given every blessing. Only a little while and the wicked shall disappear. You will look for them in vain. But all who humble themselves before the Lord shall be given every blessing, and shall have wonderful peace.
2 Chronicles 20:17
But you will not need to fight! Take your places; stand quietly and see the incredible rescue operation God will perform for you, Oh people of Judah and Jerusalem! Don't be afraid or discouraged! Go out there tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!
No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm - I will come to you.
What can we ever say to such wonderful things as these? If God is on our side, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son for us but gave Him up for us all, won't He also surely give us everything else?
I am holding you by your right hand - I, the Lord your God - and I say to you, don't be afraid; I am here to help you. Despised though you are, fear not, Oh Israel; for I will help you. I am the Lord, your Redeemer; I am the Holy One of Israel.
Dear Sis GG,
We are both in the office now, her working and me just keeping her company and having a chance to browse. I printed off your gift, and His Word, which you so diligently researched.
We are both touched....and her to the quick.
Thanks you so very much.
Mr & Mrs. C~
You both are very welcome :) May this be over soon enough. I pray she will have some time to recharge her soul before we start picking her brain in these last days. I am excited to see such wisdom in these last days from all.
No problem Scott, no hurry.
Re. the four horses, three of them are not said to be individuals but entities: i.e., war, famine, pestilence, economic woes, death, and Hades. So why is the first horse(man) a specific individual? This seems inconsistent, or the fallacy of "special pleading". It's actually the later Beast that more closely matches the attributes of a person.
It's interesting to note that not until the fifth trumpet is any demonic/satanic force mentioned, and of course that's when the Abyss is opened. So the witnesses have begun testifying before any mention is made of the Beast. And it is this Beast that just came out of the Abyss, who kills the witnesses. Yet we know that the trib. started with the trumpets at the very least, so who signed the covenant? The deadly wound isn't mentioned until ch. 13, after the 7th trumpet, and it's then that the Beast is worshiped. This gives weight to the 7th trumpet as the midpoint.
A) We cannot say for sure that the 1st horse(man) is the AC
B) The 2 witnesses are active before the Beast comes out of the Abyss
C) So they are active before the midpoint/7th trumpet
D) It is only after the Beast kills the witnesses that he gets the deadly wound
E) It is only after the Beast has the deadly wound that the world worships him
Therefore, not only must the 2W have appeared before the midpoint of the trib., but also before the release of the Beast from the Abyss. So the AC has to sign the covenant before the Beast is released or wounded or worshiped. And we know that the 2W begin their ministry at that time.
Yet we know that the Beast is equated with the AC once it appears, but what person/form is the AC before that? Presumably, the arrival of the Beast is when the AC is possessed by Satan, meaning before the midpoint of the trib., the AC is merely human and has done nothing superhuman or miraculous and thus not worshiped. Apparently, then, all he has done is sign the covenant-- which is not recorded in Revelation at all.
So the AC appears 3.5 years before becoming the Beast, killing the 2W, and recovering from a deadly wound, and being worshiped. But we still don't know whether that first 3.5 years includes the seals or just the trumpets, since we cannot say with certainty that the 1st horse(man) is the AC, a person who signs a covenant.
Again, surely the church is raptured before the seals and before the AC signs the covenant; but we can't say with any certainty that the covenant is signed before the 7th seal.
I'm reading about umpteen different viewpoints on Rev. right now, so I'm still working this out. But I do see logical problems with assuming the AC is revealed at the 1st seal. Specifically, if it is the signing that reveals the AC and begins the seals, then how can the 1st horse(man) be the AC? How can the AC kick off the seals and be within them at the same time?
That is, if the AC is contained within the 1st seal (the white horse[man]), and the 1st seal signals the start of the trib., then the trib. has started before the AC signs the covenant, which is impossible.
There's an interesting viewpoint here that seems to bring together both Scott's and my view, check it out.
Just putting my 2 cents in. Isn't the tribulation the period of God's judgement of the world? So then the first judgement would be the start of the tribulation, would it not?
Dylan, yes, that's the purpose of the tribulation. But as Rev. is more than Daniel's 70th week (re. the church letters before and the millennium after), we can't say that the seals are necessarily part of that week. Also consider the gap in time between the ascension of Christ and the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, as well as some of the difficulties I mentioned above with making the seals part of the trib. :)
PS: I should point out that the article I linked to was only meant to refer to the part about the seals, not everything. The writer is not pre-trib and so I disagree with many things, but basically the idea there is that the seals may be a kind of preview. I don't know that I would adopt it as such, but that it does solve the problem of the AC somehow starting the trib while also only appearing after it starts.
You makes perfect sense to me, but I freely admit I am useless at sums.
As their ministry is limited to 1260 days (3 1/2 years), and they are killed by the Beast/Ac/Apolyon/Abadon(5th Trumpet in Rev.9 and resurrected at the second Woe (6th Trumpet) Rev.13…(this is the ‘wild, strange beast’ of Dan7:7 and not the ‘dragon’ which is satan controlling/possessing the wild beast while the 2nd Beast is ‘like a Lamb’ – the False Prophet.
Rev 11:3 The two witnesses are given 1260 days ministry.
Rev11:6 They cause a drought that last the length of their ministry for 3 ½ years.
Rev.9:1- At the 5th Trumpet the abyss is opened.
Rev.9:7-12; Rev.13:1-8 They are killed by the beast/Apolyon/Abbadon/the A/c Daniel 7:7 the fourth beast that is Iron Rome who rises out of the Abyss with a 200 Thousand, thousand demonic army and is seen coming out of the sea (Gentile nations).
Vs.9:13-21 This is at the 6th Trumpet, the 2nd Woe BUT the 7th Trumpet, the 3rd Woe, is YET to come.
(The ministry of the 2 Witnesses is over BEFORE the 7th Trumpet is sounded, which starts the second 3 ½ years or 42 months of A/c world rule.Rev.13:5; Daniel 7:7
A/c kills the 2 Witnesses during the MIDST of the week (3 ½ years) Daniel 9:27
Revelation11:3"And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."
Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the MIDST of the WEEK he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
By the time a/c enters the Temple in the MIDST of the Week (end of first 3 ½ years) the two witnesses have been killed and resurrected when their ministry of 1260 days (3 ½ years) are completed. So if they are killed in the middle of the ‘week’; and their ministry is also 3 ½ years, then surely they are witnessing in the Temple from the start of the ‘seven’.
The Seven Seals must be over and done by the end of the first ¼ of the Seven, because:
The Seventh Seal holds the Seven Trumpet Judgments, which finish at the MIDST of the Seven.
The Seventh Trumpet (the third Woe) holds the Seven Bowl judgments that start the final 3 ½ years (42 months)
The Seven Bowls are poured out until the end of the Seven when Jesus returns and slays A/c at the 7th Bowl.
I am now brained out and boggled. I agree with YOU, but do you me?
Paula said... "...Also consider the gap in time between the ascension of Christ and the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost..."
Paula, that's a common misconception of when the Church actually began, which was right after the Resurrection, in John 20:22:
22 "And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit."
That's the indwelling that starts the Church age. They were told to tarry in Jerusalem until they received the promise of the Father for full empowerment by the HS.
Caver and Mrs C
This information may be too late for you now; but if you have a sticking point with all things financial then Alan Franklin is a Brit with flair for enjoying the reading and dissecting of Balance Sheets (It takes all sorts)
I know he would be very happy to help you via email. Yes he is a Brit; but he is half Canadian and his clever wife Pat is a U.S. Citizen; they spend quite a lot of time Ministering in the States. He is well known to Dr David Reagan of Lamb and Lion; Nathan Jones his web Minister also knows him, so he is Kosher and not oddly. :)
That is exactly what I was taught as well! You are about the first person I have heard that from in decades. So I just stick with the usual Acts 2.
Another bit involves Jesus having ascended to the Father AFTER he saw Mary and said 'touch me not, I have not yet ascended...' Then when He appeared in the upper room Jesus said 'touch me'.
Do you know that one? :)
These are very interesting discussions and many thanks for what folks bring to the table - Sue thanks a lot for that.
Fortunately, I won't be here during the Tribulation, so being the true narcissist personality that I am, details during the Tribulation never have interested me very much. In fact, other than the letters to the Churches and Rev 19-22, -- Chapters 6-18 don't interest me very much.
This is one of those discussions that draw me in to some degree but only limited.
I's rather talk about our next home, our eternal home, New Jerusalem...
Isn't that more interesting?
I mean, we won't even be here...When the Two Witnesses are doing their thing - I'll be hanging out with friends and family in my eternal home...:(
I feel like I am 186 yrs old reading all this. You all are geniuses!
I am trying to figure out about Elijah and his ministry and where it fits especially if he is early in the Trib and there is yet no temple. Also, and this may be a
small point. But it seems to me that the angel when explaining the meaning of 666 says that this meaning would be apparent to one with Wisdom..
This make me wonder if when the ac first comes on the stage he is hard to recognize. My guess would be someone no one would want to ascribe such to such a name.
I always pictured the covenant signing as looking really good and then later becoming apparent as the biggest mistake in the world.
I'm mentioning this humbly in light of the problem with seals and the AC both starting the 70th week and yet being part of the seals.
Perhaps it is both. This is a cloak and dagger deal till the abomination of desolation. That is the real unveiling..
How is school going Dylan?
Waterer - I completely believe that the covenant will be welcomed by most when the AC gets that done - and then, as you say, recognition....However, I also believe that some will cling to the bitter end - there are some who will shake their fist at God despite knowledge that He is who He is. (that has always perplexed me a great deal)....
The John 20:22 verse really spoke to me this summer. The disciples were scared and staying together in a room. Jesus, resurrected, comes reassures them and breathes on them. I assumed He gave them His Holy Spirit then, so that they were able to go to the temple to worship God and to teach again about Jesus. -- I like the picture of Jesus coming to breath His Holy Spirit in me when I do not have the strength or ability to stand or to move forward. It is through His strength and power. Thank you Jesus for the gift of Your Holy Spirit to dwell in us!
Sue, thanks so much from the both of us.
This is really more detective work than figuring out the correct way to record it. You would not believe the way this guy concealed, twisted, double dipped and so on.....and all the invoices gone.Gurrrrrrr
But thank you so kindly for your offer Sis.
My issue with the "church started when Jesus breathed on them" is that they apparently got the Spirit twice then. Until Pentecost they were not to leave the city; why, if they already had the Spirit as we do now? And what about Thomas and anyone else who wasn't in the room when Jesus breathed on them?
Too many ifs fer me.
Waterer, I agree...I'm in over my head with the scholars in this group. It is a blessing to sit at their feet.
I'm with Scott on my interest level on the tribulation. Not going to be here but hopefully some of this good teaching will be available to those left behind.
We are studying "Heaven" in Sunday School currently and the teacher is using several books in addition to the Bible but I am particularly fond of Randy Alcorn's book called Heaven. If you want to be encouraged put that one on your need to buy list!
Paula said... "...And what about Thomas and anyone else who wasn't in the room when Jesus breathed on them?..."
Paula, that is beyond silly!!
The God of the Universe, who continually "breaths" the breath of Life into all mankind to even exist day to day, sustaining us, cannot instantly breath the HS into all the other [above 500] 'believers' beyond a single room??
Normally I would laff, if it just wasn't so wrong!
"...they apparently got the Spirit twice then..."
"apparently..twice" is a human [denominational] conjecture!
TWoG clearly says they were given the HS and then 120 days later they received the "fullness" of power!!
120 days later? are you sure?
Hey, I missed all that "new math" stuff so I'm old too...
Give me a couple more minutes fer sumore excuses...
It wuz more like 50 days wuzn't it???
Ahh, that's wut it wuz; 120 of them packed ina room... numb3rs...floating around in my head...
Now DrNo, you don't need to call my statements "silly". The fact is that nobody did anything or left the city till Pentecost; I could call dissecting the Spirit from the "power" silly. If people can't disagree without disparaging someone, that's where I bow out.
PS: In Acts 1:5 Jesus told them they'd be baptized in the Spirit a few days from then. Is anyone "saved" who has not been baptized in the Spirit? Just a rhetorical question.
I know you said it was a rhetorical question, but I would like to comment. Being baptized in the Spirit is a separate instance from receiving the Spirit upon salvation. When Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit, we received the power to accomplish the things He has commissioned us to do.
Kathleen and Paula,
I always trust that there is one faith and one baptism and anyone not baptized into Christ isn't saved.
But Later there are the admonitions,
Keep in step with the Spirit, Be filled with the Spirit,Walk in the Spirit.
I believe there are many fillings but only one baptism.
It is the most important thing I learned in my young years that the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit are the Holy SPirit's. They define His character and then mine if I am filled with His Presence and power. Until I heard this I was failing miserably at trying to be a good Christian. I need His filling constantly and especially if I am teaching/preparing to teach. My ears are opened and my confidence in His ability and the celebration of my own smallness is deepened. It is a wonderful time of fellowship.
So well said. Thank you!
I to like Randy Alcorn and the book he wrote titled Heaven. I taught that class last year on Wednesday nights at my church.
I believe it's one of the best books ever written about Heaven. So many people are afraid to talk about Heaven and I include myself in that group, because they believe the bible doesn't tell us much about it. How wrong we are about that! We focus on so many subjects when studying the bible and with tunnel vision on that subject matter we don't go the next step and apply the lesson learned and what that means about Heaven.
For instance, when we study the resurrection and we see Christ appear again and again, we tend to just focus on the awesome fact that he overcame death and was who He said He was. All the while not realizing that His ability to appear at will, that His body was physical to touch that our bodies will be like that in Heaven. Does that make sense?
Randy does a great job dialing us back in to what God's word says not only about that subject matter we are studying but equally important what that subject matter implies for Heaven and those who will dwell there. Simply put it's an awesome book.
God bless you!
James in Nashville
James, I wholeheartedly agree with that. There isn't NEARLY enough teaching and focus on our eternal home. Most churches rarely if ever even touch on the subject. Its so sad.
“…am trying to figure out about Elijah and his ministry and where it fits…”
I meant to reply to your comment on Elijah, but got side-tracked.
Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
According to Malachi; Elijah comes back BEFORE the ‘Day of the Lord’ which is the 70th Week. Maybe after Gog-Magog? His purpose is to prepare Israel prior to the Tribulation, so this is probably AFTER the Rapture of the Church. Arnold Fruchtenbaum in ‘Footsteps of the Messiah’, which is expensive, but SO worth it, times this as a Pre-Tribulation event. Some say Elijah is one of the two Witnesses, it’s tempting, but I strongly doubt it, and for good reason…
Thanks so much for the Comment on ELijah. I have the Fruchtenbaum book ( excellent!) and had been reading about his viewpoiont. I taught on ELijah 3 years ago and thought from extra reading that he was one of the witnesses but after Footsteps I can see the pre trib viewpoint.
I'm not sure it isn't an opinion that he comes just for the Jew though.
I'll ahve to relook to see if he cited that.
This SUmmer I taught on Jonah. DIdi you knoe that he is the only Hebrew prophet in the Koran? His memorial is outside Mosul even today. He did prophesy to the non Jew so perhaps since Elijah only prophesied to Jews
he is thought to be only a voice to them. The whole world needs the message though Dobson has been a voice for this in America. Also the Promise Keepers movement.
Thanks for your reply.
One other tidbit. Thirty years ago today I was in my OB's office very pregnant with our 4th child ( 3rd of 4 sons). The Dr. said delivery is imminent. Iwent home thrilled and sure enough Michael came into the world the next morning. I never would have said , gee since his birth is imminent he could have been born anytime in history.
WHy do people say this? To me it undermines God's specific plan. Just because nothing is predicted to preceed the rapture doesn't mean it's timing isn't exact. If we had been raptured long ago , where would God's plan for disciplemaking have gone? Surely we are here on purpose. Am I being picky?
Well THAT was a surprise when you mentioned being pregnant! For some reason I thought you were a bloke!? :)
How DID you manage to get such a huge question into such a tiny space; you must teach me how to do that.
Waterer said “I'm not sure it isn't an opinion that he comes just for the Jew though”
I haven’t heard that questioned before, so I am not sure where you are coming from with that thought. The Jews to this day set a seat at the table for the unexpected arrival of Elijah, so they are expecting him even in their state of un-belief. Malachi is explicit that he is coming to ‘change their hearts’. To my mind, the Gospel should do this, so this must be after the removal of the Jew/Gentile Church, so that they will believe Jesus is their Messiah after all. imo.
I did force myself to read the Koran; it left me feeling embarrassed for the Muslims that they should believe in such a mish-mash of teaching from both the O.T and the N.T. plus the old pagan gods they formerly worshiped at Mecca. I have to admit, that I see not one iota of credence in the Koran for either man or beast. It is horribly muddled e.g. calling Mary, Miriam, and confusing her with the sister of Moses etc. etc.
Sorry I don’t know Dobson, at least I don’t think I do. As for the ‘Promise Keepers’ – let’s just say I don’t want to fall out with you over this, and leave it at that with a huge neon sign blinking ‘Oh No’ over ‘Promise Keepers’.
As for ‘imminency’, it is a fact of Biblical history that the Disciples all expected Jesus to return ‘at any moment’ in their life-time. For example, Paul included himself when telling the Church to watch for the expected return of Jesus. No-one watches for a visitor to arrive in the morning, when the visitor isn’t due until the evening. We keep a ‘look out’ only when we don’t know the timing.
Scott could explain this better than I can; but surely the doctor was explaining to you that your baby was about to be born, he wasn’t referring to the whole pregnancy, just that Michael could have been born to you at any moment without any warning. That’s what ‘imminent’ means. An impending event. Overhanging, like a ripe apple ready to fall from the tree. Jesus gave NO signs for the Rapture of the Church, just for the 2nd Coming and the approach of the 70th Week.
From a position of ‘hindsight’, being able to look back over 2000 years, we know Jesus did not come for the early Church, but they didn’t know that, and that’s what the Bible is telling us in every generation; no-one knows the time of the Rapture, he could have come at any given moment – but NOT the 2nd Coming. This is what the ‘birth-pangs’ refer to, the end of this present age and the birth of the Messianic age of 1000 years with Jesus ruling with physical Israel. In Acts 1 ?, Jesus explained that these things were in the Fathers jurisdiction; it was His choice for ‘when’.
I think I must stop there; I do hope I haven’t confused you. Footsteps is an excellent tutorial and I think you should take more notice of that than - well, frankly, what you have been taking notice of to date. Stick with prayerfully studying The Bible with a little guidance from Arnold imo. Scott and his bloggers will also do what they can to help you. Please forgive my outspokenness; but there seems to be some things that you need to let go of, and learn again. That isn’t a ‘put-down’ or a criticism against you, it’s just meant as a ‘direction finder’.
God bless you as you walk in His Word.
Scott, can you or someone else help clarify please.
Renald Showers spends considerable amount of time on this discussion - I highly recommend that for good, pertinent reading. I'm on the run right now,
Its Chapter 7 in "Maranatha our Lord Comes"
If you have it, Id suggest reading it - if you don't have it, I'd suggest getting it :)
He does the best job.
I think Waterer and I disagree on this particular topic. I believe it HAS been imminent since the beginning of the Church age, at least theoretically. I believe the scriptures support that POV....
When I get back I'll try to find some good quotes from Showers (he's a LOT smarter than me :)
I really do understand imminence and have always thought from Jesus's many warnings to watch and that HE would come when we don't expect Him. I believe the rapture is a sudden un announced thing. My question wasn't about the no signs or warning part, it was that it means a different thing to me to say:
"The church throughout history has rightly expected the rapture at any time. Expect HIm!" OR The Rapture is an event that needs no prelude. Rather than: "The rapture could have happened anytime in history."
It is confusing to me because while the Rapture needs no prelude the trib does.I know the early bros expected Jesus and I think with the Holy Spirits revelations of end times that Jesus said He would bring, He deepened their understanding.
But Daniel was not opened to them yet as it is in these last days.
They might well have thought that Rome was the one world gov't that the Ac would come from. Some no doubt thought it was very near the end when the destruction of Titus destroyed utterly the HOLY city. Revelation was not written yet. Paul was expecting the Lord and the mystery had been revealed to Him and he was teaching it. But surely Peter could not have expected it any minute. He had the prophesy straight from Jesus that he would die an old man , tied and taken where he did not want to go.These men knew that Jesus would come in a cloud as the angels told them at the ascension but I do not think ( opinion) that they understood the dispersion, the church AGE, the regathering and the redispersion that is still coming, the time of Jacobs trouble and the final ingathering at the Second coming.I have read , for instance, that the Christians in Jerusalem did flee to the mountains when they saw Jerusalem surrounded by armies as jesus had warned them . They survived but thousands of Jews were crucified. It was horrific. If we had Matthew 24 or Luke 16 in that day as they did and had experienced that horror, yes we would have been expecting Him any second. ..BUT
what about the signs of His coming? They saw some, but they didn't see the world wars ( though their world was at war) see pestilence and famine. No doubt some saw these things but not like we do today with increase of knowledge and travel. WHat I'm trying to say is that in experience, each age thinks their age is probably the one if they are only looking at their circumstances and those circumstances are terrible. But the prophets spoke of a timeline that HAd to be met for Messiah to come. The regathering of Israel is a miracle. Only three years after the holocaust. Incredible. Jerusalem after attacks from all sides and yet little Israel was given the Old city again..
Fulfillments that are coming everyday of the nations against her now, the world. My Question was ill stated I think. I'm sorry. it's just hard to ask it . Perhaps if I reverse it.. If the rapture had occured in 1880 would time have stayed the same? Would the world have muddled along withOUT the Church till 1948, 1967 or these days now?
Is there not a relationship between the rapture of the church and the time of Jacobs trouble? Are they really something that could happen a thousand years apart?I mean we are excited as we see these signs believing that seeing them even at the beginning meant "lift our heads our redemption draws nigh.
How can we say the rapture could have happened anytime? Do you understand what I mean by this ?
On Elijah, I asked in error. I took the verse from Malachi as a verse without it's context. tHE WHOLE OF Malachi is to the Jews. But even there All Scripture is God breathed and useful fo training in Godliness. I have heard many a teaching from Malachi on tithing and we never say that was just for the Jews.But the judgments are specific in Malachi for Israel and Judah so Elijah as Fruchie says is for them. I still wonder how he fits in. I am seeing the witnesses as the first half of the trib. so is he preaching at the same time? I t makes me lean back towards thinking he is one of the witnesses.. Hmm.
On Jonah.. I have not ever read the Koran. I was mentioning my amazement that Jonah was in it because I think it is a wonderful thing that the testimony of repentance is couched in the lies . It amazed me that Jonah is still respected. Jonah was the only OT prophet that I know of who preached outside of Israel.And the Lord is still using it .
On Dobson and Promise keepers, I was thinking in an abstract way about Elijahs message Turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and visa versa.. Dobson has supported faithful marriage and good parenting in a far reaching way in our generation in America. Promise Keepers was originally an extraordinary movement calling Fathers back to their families and faithfulness. That was why I cited these.I wonder if the world too will be warned about their relationships
Doubtless I need far more study. The anytime in history thing honestly throws me not the no prelude for the rapture. Thank you so much for listening.I have the Showers book and will read chapter 7. Thank you Sue and Scott.
These men knew that Jesus would come in a cloud as the angels told them at the ascension but I do not think ( opinion) that they understood the dispersion, the church AGE, the regathering and the redispersion that is still coming, the time of Jacobs trouble and the final ingathering at the Second coming.What I mean is fully understand.Thye wouldn't have imagined two thousand years till he returned. They were living times of apostacy and martyrdom in ways we have not. I know more are suffering today but there are so many more of us. Then they knew others personally , numbers of others personally who suffered these things. I think that time may come for us too.
waterer said... "...The anytime in history thing honestly throws me not the no prelude for the rapture..."
waterer, I'm gonna break with the pack, an' prolly take some heat, but my personal opinion is along yer lines. That "it can can happen at any time, without warning" is the doctrine of imminence, period, end of story!
That is the way it was intended to be understood and taught so that in every generation believers would be looking and expecting the Lord to appear at any time.
However!!! That is definitely NOT the same thing as saying "that it could have happened at anytime in history"! I don't buy that at all!
From the perspective of believers in every generation there are many things wherein "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power", and so we, like all past generations, look for Him expectantly.
And again, a big However!!! From our 20/20 hindsight perspective, now that the 'Key' has been given, we now know that nothing was in place for the coming 70th week prior to this past century! And the doctrine of imminence is more imminent than ever [if such a thing is possible] now that the key things are in place!
DrNo - You are arguing with yourself :) You two get along!
Waterer - I see what you are saying and I also see what DrNo is saying./
But you are basing all of this on history as we know it - and with that in mind I agree with what you are saying to some degree.
BUT (and this is a very big "but") - that is based on history as we know it. Let that sink in for a second.
God could have had a completely different "history" play out where none of those arguments would apply. I am a big believer that God can make things happen in ways that we never imagined.
For instance - (Waterer - I think you meant to say when Jesus told John that he could live a long life, not Peter) - Perhaps there was something special set out for John and maybe he had a role to play in the Tribulation and Mill Reign that only God knew....
I mean, I think to some degree that is selling God short - He could have created an 'economy' that accomplished a rapture - at any point in History - only in "God's New History".
To imminency is a pure thing. It either is or it isn't. I don;t see a lot of middle ground there.
Regardless, I'm just trying to look at some different sides of this issue - once again, as the self-centered person that I am, it doesn't apply to me as it IS imminent to me, and the rest is academic. Its not something that I'm passionate about.
I have just been out to see the beautiful moon and feel more peaceful knowing before I head off for bed that I haven't hopefully made a mountain of a mole hill. I really do think they are two different angles. Thanks for speaking into this too.
The wonderful thing about Scott's blog is the respect among the readers and writers. I appreciate your viewpoint too and feel a little less like a loner in this opinion. I will be reading the book Scott suggested too.
Scott said... "...You are arguing with yourself...You two get along!..."
That has to be a NC/SC redneck expression ... and you know I will file that away for future ref [when you least expect it, imminently...]!
“…I have heard many a teaching from Malachi on tithing and we never say that was just for the Jews…”
What a huge area of ground your comments are o’er spreading.
As I have overstretched myself a little, I will answer in bits and pieces if that alright?
One thing stands out in particular about Malachi and tithing.
Tithing was the God given taxation system for His people Israel. Monies were stored and collected at the Temple in brass ‘trumpets’ that ‘kchinged’ when coins were submitted (the rich man made a loud noise when he poured in money from his great wealth – that sound was the only reward he got – unlike the widow)
This money was used to do the same things for the nation of Israel as U.S. and U.K. taxes do today. When Israel demanded a king – they paid for him via their taxes/tithing whereas God did not charge! There were various percentages for different purposes; it wasn’t just 10%.
Tithing, as in Malachi, was directed at the nation of Israel and not any other nation or for the Church. The Church gives out of love and is not bound to the Israeli law for a specific %. Israel also had the chance of a ‘free-will’ offering; this is what the Church follows. Tithing as taught by certain evangelists is a money making scam.
Thanks for listening anyway. My purpose is not to undermine your viewpoint of teaching on this. It was to see if I can understand this better. I honestly thought until my last diatribe that I was asking it wrong and that it was a difference in wording.
I did mean Peter though John works too. Jesus also told Peter that "when you are old ,men will tie you up and take you where you do not want to go,
signifying the kind of death he was going to die.. No rapture for him.
After Peter had rebuked Jesus saying No Master this shall never happen to you .when Jesus prophysied about HIs death, I would imagine that he was over thinking that what Jesus said was changeable unless it was a repentance matter. With John that remark HE made telling Peter to mind his own business was taken as saying John would not die. It was an error in understanding..
Hmm I am not above that either, having errors in understanding.
Imminent, YOu have been gracious to take so much time with my questions.
Now off to coffee and Saturday morning
Blessings on all 3 of you!
Hey, I really don't have the answers, just offering another viewpoint.
One common mistake that people make (that is, people trying to discredit a literal view of prophecy OR people who say that we shouldn't 'waste our time' with prophecy) -is this
They'll say "People have always been wrong about prophecy.....They have been wrong throughout the ages because they thought that they were in the last days based on the signs that they were seeing"
The problem with that POV is this:
The people that they are referring to (including the early church) - were looking for the Rapture - they weren't misinterpreting the signs, so that becomes a false argument.
See what you think about Showers' review of this - it is very good and enlightening (not that he is the only source - he's just a good one on this topic)
You know I agree with the above.
Another book in my arsenal is quite old now, so I hope it is still available; as I would't part with it for the world.
"Kept From the Hour" - Biblical Evidence for a apretribulation Return of Christ.
By Dr Gerald B. Stanton
Introduction by John F. Walvoord.
He deals with Peters death that Waterer mentioned. When I have done some jobs, I will try and type out a portion - but I hope we will be gone by then. :)
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