WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
From the book by Marvin Pate:
Pate has told us that the Jewish view was basically a two-part age.
The first from Adam with Satan sin and wickedness; the second age
from the time of the Messiah coming in glory to rule the nations of
the earth, with peace, judgment, and righteousness - the kingdom
of men giving way to the kingdom of God, which will be the age to come.
But as Pate says, Jesus the Messiah "tweaked" the Jewish view of the
two ages. His first coming started the Kingdom of God in the hearts and
minds of individuals, so a present Kingdom in a spiritual base. Satan
is already being put down, his power is already being shown to be weak
by those who accept Jesus as Savior, Lord, and King. This will continue
until Jesus does come in glory and might to indeed rule all nations,
and bring a literal Kingdom of God on earth, under the Messiah's reign
for 1,000 years.
Fundamental Christianity does focus on the NOT YET age to come, and those
people are called PRE-millennium. Certainly those who have read my website
for any length of time, will see very clearly that I would be calssified
among the PRE-millennium teachers.
BUT, and it is a big "but" among the pre-millennium school of teachers, for
there are 3 or 4 thoughts, or really "teachings" about the end days and the
return of Christ.
Before we get to the 3 or 4 teachings of HOW the end times will play out,
which will include how and when Jesus returns, we need to note the OVERALL
1. Jesus will return suddenly.
2. The resurrection of deceased believers and the instant change of the
believers alive on earth - both made into immortal glory.
3. The judgent of God on the nations of the earth.
4. The dawn of the Messianic Kingdom.
5. A new age in which even physical nature of animals like the lion, will
be changed so the lion will eat straw like the ox.
6. The ned of the 1,000 year reign of Christ to hand over the Kingdomn to the
7. A general resurrection of people back to physical life at the end of the
8. The final defeat of sinners and Satan and the demons. The defeat of death
Those are the basic teachings that all pre-millennium teachers hold.
As Pate says Revelation 20 gives the outline of the coming of Christ and the
1,000 year reign.
There are as Pate shows agruments by people other than literal pre-millennium
teachers, they spiritualize away all kinds of verses that need to be taken
as literal. Then again "spiritualization" could be done with all the Bible, and
so nothing is then literal. We have seen that Origin was the master of spiritual-
ization, hence the Bible says what you want it to say according to your particular
thoughts on theology. Pate answers some of the spiritualization" arguments in his
book. I will not do so here as it is really pointless in this particular study.
Revelation 19 and 20 mean what they say and say what they mean. The Bible should
be taken literally except where symbols, parables, personification, and the like
are used. Any other way to read the Bible would indeed make for hundreds of
different views, and that is one reason as to why we have so many "denominations"
in the "Christian" world today.
When it comes to understanding the overall prophets of the Bible, I have given
you on this website many many studies as to what the Bible prophets teach for
the years ahead, for the very last 42 months of this age, and the coming again
of Christ Jesus.
I shall here point out as Pate does in his book, the teachings of the very last
years of this age in regards to the coming of Christ.
This idea was made very popular by the "Scofield Reference Bible."
They teach (I will say correctly) that the distinction between the prophecies
made about Israel in the Old Testament and the Church of God in the New Testament
must be maintained. The church has NOT replaced Israel in the plan of God.
Romans 11 is given (correctly I say) that God will convert all Israel to Christ
in the time appointed by God.
Pre-millennialists teach Christ will come again and establish the Kingdom of God
on earth for 1,000 years. ruling from Jerusalem (this is again I will say - correct).
Dispensationalists (as they are often called) beleive in a pre-tribulation RAPTURE!
That is, Christ will return in TWO STAGES - one invisible and the other very visible.
They teach Christ will return invisible FOR His church, and spare them from the Great
Tribulation to come on the earth in the last years of this age. Christ will take the
saints to heaven. Then some years later Christ will return WITH the saints to establish
the Kongdom of God on earth.
The coming of Christ in GLORY, POWER, and VISIBLE - THEY HAVE CORRECT! The Bible over
and over does indeed teach the visible COMING IN POWER AND GLORY the Messiah to earth
to bring the literal kingdom of God on earth, just as the Jewish Pharisees and their
modern descendants believe.
BUT the idea of Christ coming in SECRET - INVISIBLE - to catch away the saints to
heaven BEFORE the Great Tribulation on earth in the last days, THEY HAVE TOTALLY
INCORRECT!! The idea of Christ coming in TWO PHASES OR TWO STAGES, IS TOTALLY UN-
SCRIPTURAL AND IS NOWHERE TAUGHT IN EITHER THE OLD OR NEW TESTAMENT.
I had been reading the Bible from age 6 years - attending a Church of England school,
from grade one to twelve. Attending a local Sunday-school (which would not be thought
of today as "fundamental") but also reading my Bible for myself during all those
years from grade one to twelve. When I came to Canada at age 18 and ran into the
fundamentalists and their teaching of the "secret rapture" and the two phases of the
return of Christ, I litewrally LAUGHED OUT LOUD, at such a silly and what I thought
of as a CRAZY teaching that was no where taught in the Bible.
So these PRE-tribulation teachers have it this way:
The church age: the secret cominmg of Christ to take His church to heaven:
the Great Tribulation (which most say is for 7 years, with certain things taking place
during those 7 years): Christ returns with the saints: Jesus brings in the Kingdom age
of 1,000 years: the resurrection of unbelievers: the eternal state.
I have covered in other studies on this website the FALSEHOOD OF THE SECRET RAPRURE
TEACHING, AND THE TEACHING THAT CHEIST COMES AGAIN IN TWO PHASES. THIS IDEA IS AS FAR
AWAY FROM THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER AS YOU CAN GET, except maybe the teaching that Jesus
is NOT to LITERALLY return to earth again.
2. MID-tribulation view
Another view is that we have the church age: then the Great Tribulation - three and one
half years: Christ comes and takes His church to heaven for three and one half years
(a Daniel 70th week teaching): Christ returns with His church: the 1,000 year age
begins: the eternal state after the thousand year age.
THIS IS ALSO A FALSE TEACHING BASED UPON THE INCORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF DANIEL 9 AND
THE 70TH WEEK.
I HAVE ALSO COVERED IN DETAIL WITH STUDIES ON THIS WEBSITE, THE FALSEHOOD OF THIS
POPULAR TEACHING. YOU WILL NOTICE THIS MID-TRIBULATION TEACHING ALSO HAS JESUS COMING
IN TWO PHASES, AN INVISIBLE COMING AND A VISIBLE COMING. THIS TEACHING IS JUST A
VARIATION OF THE PRE-TRIBULATION TEACHING. BOTH HAVE THE FALSE TEACHING THAT CHRIST'S
SECOND COMING IS IN TWO PHASES - ONE INVISIBLE THE OTHER VISIBLE.
3. PRE-WRATH rapture
This is not anywhere near as popular belief or teaching. It is:
Church age; Great Tribulation: Day of God's Wrath and secret rapture to take Christ's
church to heaven or on the sea of glass up somewhere, but un-noticed by the world:
After the wrath of God is poured out Jesus returns, at the end of the day of wrath:
the millennium: the Eternal state.
So this idea still has some kind of secret rapture within it, but for a much shorter
duration of time, than the two we have already looked at.
IT ALSO IS AN INCORRECT TEACHING.
4. Posttribulation or Historic Premillennialism
I have left this one to the last, as it is the MORE correct understanding of the NT
Scriptures, but it still has its errors. I will give you the wole section about
this teaching from Pate's book, with my comments as we go.
The historic premillennial interpretation agrees with its sibling
viewpoint - dispensationalism - that Christ will return to
establish a thousand-year reign on earth at his "parousia." But
sibling rivalry ensues between the two approaches on the issue of
the relationship of the church and the end-time tribulation
(Revelation 6-18). According to historic premillennialism, the
church will undergo the messianic woes - the end-time
tribulation. This is so because the church has replaced Old
Testament Israel as the people of God (see Rom. 2:26-28;11;
Gal.6:16; Eph.2:11-22;1 Peter 2:9-10; Rev.1:5-6; 7:1-8).
(The idea that the church has replaced OT Israel is very wrong.
And the verses given prove no such thing. It is very clear from
the OT that God STILL has a plan and purpose for the physical
people of Israel. There is a purpose for the "church" and there
is a purpose for physical Istaelites. Both fit as like hand to a
perfect glove in God's plan for all nations and all peoples of
the earth. The purpose for both is fully expounded upon on this
website - Keith Hunt)
Like amillennialism, the historic premillennial view is based on
the already/not-yet eschatological hermeneutic: the kingdom of
God dawned with the first coming of Christ, but it will not be
completed until the second coming of Christ. And in the between
period the church encounters the messianic woes, which will
intensify and culminate in the return of Christ.
So historic premillennialism does not distinguish between the
rapture of the church in secret and the second coming of Christ
in visible glory to earth. Rather, the two are perceived to be
the same event, and this will occur after the seven-year end-time
(The first part is very CORRECT! There is only ONE coming of
Christ. And that coming is the visible in power and glory coming.
The OT and the NT know nothing about some "secret rapture" or any
"two-phase" coming of Christ with years inbetween the two phases.
The part of 7 years of Tribulation is an ERROR! The book of
Revelation ONLY speaks of 42 months, or 1260 days, or a time and
times and the half of a time, which all work out to be 42 months
or 1260 days. The 7 years idea is from a MIS-understanding of
Daniel chapter 9, which I have expounded on this website and on
Youtube under keithmhunt - Keith Hunt)
The pretribulational view appeals to two major arguments in its
claim that the church will be raptured from the earth before the
advent of the messianic woes/end-time tribulation:
1. First Thessalonians 4:13-18 distinguishes the rapture of the
church from the parousia, the second coming of Christ in glory.
(This is fully and completely FALSE. 1 Thes. 4:13-18 is NOT
talking about a rapture apart from the "parousia" - I have
devoted a number of studies on this website to trash such a
teaching as what Pate has just said - Keith Hunt)
2. The church is not destined to undergo the wrath of God, which
would happen if it has to go through the tribulation. God's wrath
is reserved for unbelievers and will be poured out on the earth
precisely in the form of the end-time tribulation (compare 1
Thess. 1:10; 5:9 with Rev. 6:16-17).
(There is protection for SOME of the people of God at the end
time, but not in heaven as many teach with a secret rapture. The
protection is in the WILDERNESS on this earth - Revelation 12.
That is what it was during the middle ages when God's people had
to FLEE into the mountains, hills, forests, caves and etc. to
find safety from the Babylon Holy Roman Empire under the middle
age Popes and the persecution it enacted upon those who differed
with its theology. All this is again fully expounded to you in
various studies on this website - Keith Hunt)
But the posttribulationist begs to differ with these two claims.
Regarding the first, it is clear that 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
(the rapture) matches descriptions of the second coming found in
1 Thessalonians 5; 2 Thessalonians 2; and the Olivet Discourse
Thus a comparison would look like the following:
Olivet Discourse in Matthew - 24:5
Event - warning about deception .
Paul 2 Thess. 2:2
Olivet Discourse in Matthew - 24:11,14
Event - lawlessness, delusion of the nonelect, signs, and
Paul - 2 Thes.2:6-11
Olivet Discourse in Matthew - 24:12
Event - apostasy
Paul - 2 Thes.2:3
Olivet Discourse in Matthew - 24:15
Event- Antichrist in temple
(INCORRECT HERE - the abomination of desolation is NOT the
antichrist in some physical temple in Jerusalem - the Bible
interprets itself - the interpretation is given in Luke 21
as Jerusalem curcled with armies and the desolation of the Holy
City by armies that will be an abomination to God - the last
Babylon Holy Roman Empire of Europe. Explained in detail in
studies on this website - Keith Hunt)
Olivet Discourse in Matthew - 24:21-22
Event - tribulation preceding the end
Paul - 2 Thes.1:6-10
Olivet Discourse in Matthew - 24:30-31
Event - parousia of Christ, on clouds, at the time of a trumpet
blast, with angelic accompaniment
Paul - 1 Thes.4:14-16
Olivet Discourse in Matthew - 24:30-31
Event - Christ coming in power
Paul - 2 Thes.2:8
Olivet Discourse in Matthew - 24:31
Event - gathering of believers
Paul - 1 Thes.4:16; 2 Thes.2:1
Olivet Discourse in Matthew - 24:36,42,44,50; 25:13
Event - unexpected coming
Paul - 1 Thes.5:1-4
Olivet Discourse in Matthew - 24:42-25:13
Event - exhortation to watch!
Paul - 1 Thes.5:6-8
So the unavoidable conclusion here is that, if 1 Thessalonians 5;
2 Thessalonians 2; and the Olivet Discourse describe the parousia
(which all interpreters believe they do), and if 1 Thessalonians
4:13-18 (the rapture) matches the previous texts on the second
coming, then the "two" events are the same.
(AH CORRECT!! SIMPLE AS ADDING TWO PLUS TWO TO EQUAL 4!!
ALL THE VERSES FIT TOGETHER; ALL THE TRUMPET SOUNDS FIT - THEY
ARE THE SAME TRUMPET - THE LAST TRUMPET OF PAUL IN 1 COR.15
THE 7TH TRUMPET OF THE BOOK OF REVEALTION. ALL ARE THE ONE SINGLE
EVENT!! THE COMING UNEXPECTEDLY BY THE WORLD OF CHRIST JESUS AT
THE LAST OR 7TH TRUMPET - THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD SAINTS,
THE CHANGING OF MORTAL SAINTS ALIVE ON EARTH, TO IMMORTALITY.
THE ANGELS TAKING THEM ALL TO MEET CHRIST IN THE AIR, THE CLOUDS,
ON THE SEA OF GLASS, AND IN THAT SAME DAY COMING FROM THE CLOUDS
OF THIS EARTH TO STAND WITH CHRIST ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES -
ZECH.14 - Keith Hunt)
How then do we explain the relationship between the rapture and
the second coming? Posttribulationists reply: the background to
all of this is the Roman general's triumphant procession. This
was a parade that Roman citizens held in honor of a Roman
general's defeat of a significant enemy of the Roman Empire. When
the general appeared (parousia means coming) on the horizon
outside Rome, an entourage went out from the city to meet him and
his army to escort them back into the city for the parade (see 1
Thess. 4:13-18). With the Roman general's triumphant procession
as the backdrop to Christ's victorious descent to earth after
defeating the Antichrist, the following scenario will play out
according to the historic premillennial interpretation: the
trumpet will sound for the second coming of Christ at the end of
the tribulation period. The church, Christ's entourage on earth
during those messianic woes, will be caught up momentarily to
meet Christ in the air for the purpose of escorting him to the
earth in pomp and circumstance (1 Thess. 4:13-18-the rapture).
Then he will descend to earth to celebrate his victory and
establish his one-thousand-year reign (1 Thessalonians 5; 2
Thessalonians 2; Olivet Discourse; Revelation 19 - the second
(AND YES THAT IS WHAT HAS BEEN HISTORICALLY CORRECT, AND IS STILL
CORRECT - Keith Hunt)
Regarding the second claim, the posttribulationist agrees that
the church will not undergo the wrath of God - but not because it
is raptured to heaven before the tribulation falls on earth.
Rather, God will protect the church from his wrath that falls on
unbelievers during the messianic woes, just as he protected
ancient Israel from the plagues he poured out on Egypt (see
Revelation 8-9; 14-18; cf. Rev. 3:10).
(AND THAT IS WHAT WAS HISTORICALLY CORRECT, AND IS STILL CORRECT.
THE CHURCH, OR PART OF IT, WILL BE PROTECTED IN THE WILDERNESS -
REV.12, BUT SOME AS IN AGES PAST, WILL HAVE TO DIE FOR THE FAITH
ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS. IT'S ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY. IT IS
HISTORICALLY CORRECT, AND IS STILL CORRECT - Keith Hunt)
The following chart, then, illustrates the posttribulational or
historic premillennial perspective:
Church age: Great Tribulation: Last Trumpt blows: Christ comes in
visible glory: Dead Christians resurrected/living ones changed/
both groups made immortal and join Christ in the clouds: All come
from the clouds to the mount of Olives: The 1,000 year reign
begins: The resurrection of unbelievers for their jugment period:
The eternal state.
HOW SIMPLE AND HOW INDEED HISTORICAL. SO MARVIN PATE SAYS THIS IS
HISTORICAL POSTTRIBULATION AND PREMILLENNIUM TEACHING. CALL IT
WHAT YOU LIKE, IT HAS STOOD THE TEST OF TIME, AND SO IT WILL FOR
IT IS THE CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF THE COMING OF CHRIST JESUS
BACK TO THIS EARTH - Keith Hunt.
Pate finishes this chapter with these words:
"The premillennium view, especially the pretribulation variety,
is MOST POPULAR among the American masses, thanks to the
"Scofield Bible," Hal Lindsey's "Late Great Planet Earth," and
the "Left Behind" series....."
So indeed the above three and much popular teaching of it all in
the "fundamental" Christian churches of America, have made this
idea of a "secret invisible" return and later a powerful glorious
return of Christ - a two phrase coming - a very popular belief.
BUT SUCH A TEACHING IS COMPLETELY A FICTION OF THE HUMAN MIND,
AND HAS NO FACT IN TRUE BIBLE UNDERSTANDING.
To be continued