Looking Deeper At The Rapture And Second Coming Doctrines; Introducing The Night-trib Position!
For the record, the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord both begin with birth pangs, as found in 1st Thessalonians 5:2-3 and Matthew 24:8. In support of this fact, "the beginning of sorrows" are literally birth pangs in the Greek (Matt. 24:8). Moreover, scripturally, the Bride and Bridegroom only come forth within the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:16)!
In perspective, it is more
than questionable that Paul's depiction of the Great Apostasy can be
understood in the strict terms of Israel and their covenant relationship
with God. John wrote, "Little children, it is the last time: and as you have
heard that antichrist shall come, even now there are many antichrists;
whereby we know that it is the last time" (1 John 2:18). The Greek meaning
of the word "antichrist" doesn't mean just against Christ; it also
constitutes a substitution of Christ. Thus, the Church is looking for a
specific religious person, the Son of Perdition, who will "confirm" a
covenant with many (Dan. 9:26- 27; 1 Thess. 5:3), and, by so doing, effect a
Note: The term “falling away” in both Vine’s and Strong’s, denotes an apostasy, not a departure (“Falling away”; the same Greek meaning is also used in Acts 21:21.). If this term were to mean a departure in the sense of the Church departing in an at-once Rapture, context wise it would destroy all logic to the passage. Moreover, prepared Christians who “hastened” (Greek: earnestly expected) That Day are still here once the Day begins, yet not in darkness.
The Coming Seven Year Tribulation Exists! (an excerpt from Get Ready)
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks (69 weeks): the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (the seventieth 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 (Dan. 9:25-27).
The future Tribulation is one week, or seven years.3 It is Daniel's seventieth week of prophecy wherein the Antichrist desecrates the Temple in the midst of the Tribulation (Matt. 24:15; Dan. 9:27; 2 Thess. 2:4-7). Daniel wrote, "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."
There are seven salient points that attest it will be the Antichrist who will "confirm" Daniel's covenant for one future week, not Jesus Christ. First and foremost, is the fact that Christ never made any covenant, New, Mosaic, or otherwise, strong for seven years. But He works as does His Father, even to this day, declaring the New Covenant to all who will hear it (John 5:17).
Second, Israel hasn't been cut-off from obtaining salvation: "seventy weeks are determined (Hebrew: cut-off) upon thy people . . . to . . . make an end of sins . . . and to bring in everlasting righteousness" (Dan. 9:24). As we should see, at the Cross Israel did not "make an end of sins" and "bring in everlasting righteousness." Thus, it is when the Gospel returns to Israel upon the completion of the Gentiles times, that Israel’s blindness will lift (Jer. 31:7-10; Matt. 24:33; Rom. 11:25).
Concerning Israel in the end of time, the Lord will make a Short Work (Rom. 9:27-28). Now this isn’t just a good point, but an indisputable biblical fact: the Gospel will return to Israel, and the Lord will finish His Short Work with great power! In other words, the coming trying times of the seventieth week (the seven-year Tribulation), when Israel is to "make an end of sins" and "bring in everlasting righteousness," is yet in the future. In full support of this view, the words of Zechariah read:
Third, Daniel's seventieth week of the seventy, depicting the "overspreading of abominations" of the Antichrist (the Abomination of Desolation), is to last ". . . even until the consummation . . ." (Dan. 9:27; 11:31-35!; 12:11). Meaning, the seventieth week time-frame is to last until the end ("until the consummation"), or last until the traditional Second Coming of Christ, when the same reconciles His people who were not His people, the Jews (Hos. 1:10).
Fourth, Scripture tells us that the Messiah died at the end of the sixty-second week (Dan. 9:26). Or, by adding the first seven weeks of this prophecy (Dan. 9:25), one could understand that Christ died at the end of the sixty-ninth week (Dan. 9:25), but by no means in the midst of the seventieth week (Dan. 9:27). Here also lies an indisputable biblical fact: Christ wasn’t cut-off (die) in the midst of any week, but at the end of the week (Dan. 9:26). Thus, again, it isn’t Christ who will "confirm" the covenant with many for one week in Daniel 9:27!
Fifth, the Hebrew word "confirm" (gabar) in Daniel 9:27, denotes a forced covenant by implying in the original language: insolent prevailing through strength (Strong’s # 1396). In regard of this fact, Christ never forced or insolently prevailed in presenting the New Covenant to anyone.
Morever, in the presentation of the Gospel, the God-man of the Bible was and is a God of free moral choice, not one of insolent force. Here, then, also lies evidence that Christ is not the prince who will "confirm" the covenant with many for one week. Accordingly, Christ is NOT the Prince of the Covenant (Dan. 11:22) who will be broken without hand (Dan. 8:25).
Sixth, is the fact that "the people of the prince" don’t represent the people of Jesus Christ, but the Army of Rome who destroyed the Holy City in AD 70, being the Army of the Roman prince Titus (Dan. 9:26). Following suit, Titus was a type of the coming Antichrist (as was Antichos Epiphanes, the Prince of the Covenant in Daniel 11:22), who will head-up the revived Greco-Roman empire (Dan. 7:20, 8:9-12, 9:26-27). Thus, in deductive thinking, it can only be the Antichrist who will be broken without hand (Dan. 8:25). Fittingly, then, it is Titus, contextually, exegetically, who was a type of the one who will cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease in Daniel 9:27, not Jesus Christ.
Seventh,4 the "overspreading of abominations" found in Daniel 9:27, by Scriptural interpretation, is the "transgression of desolation" (Dan. 8:13; Matt. 24:15) in the end of time (Dan. 11:31-35, 12:9-13!), which is not the much earlier time of Christ’s ministry here on Earth, nor the year 70 AD!5
As a result, the "overspreading of abominations" in Daniel 9:27, by which the "sacrifice and the oblation" are to cease in the midst of the seventieth week, are yet to happen. That is to say, the ceasing of the "sacrifice and oblation" does not speak to Christ's death, nor of the time of our Lord’s Ministry here on Earth, but to the daily sacrifices and prayers (evening and morning) of the future rebuilt Temple in the Tribulation period (Exod. 29:39; Dan. 8:12, 26, 12:11).
In fact, it is these very prayers and sacrifices which will cease by the hand of the Antichrist in the midst of the seventieth week, when He shows Himself to be God (2 Thess. 2:4), and sets up that which is abominable (Dan. 8:13, 9:27, 11:31, 12:11; Matt. 24:15). In sum, these seven salient points confirm that there will be a seven year Tribulation, in which the rebuilt Jewish Temple is desecrated in Jerusalem, just as the Greek Septuagint so precisely acknowledges.6
So important is this particular point, that Christ said, "But when you shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not (let him that readeth understand), then let them that be in Judea flee to the mountains" (Mark 13:14)!
Now some would object to the notion of a rebuilt Temple being desecrated in the midst of the seven-year Tribulation. Yet the Bible, by the Law of Deduction, shows the existence of a future, rebuilt, Jewish Temple in "tribulational Israel." The point being: never has just the Outer Court been given to any Gentile people at anytime in history, therefore it remains to be a future event. John wrote,
After the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, John wrote the above description of the future Temple between AD 85 and AD 90 on the Isle of Patmos. In John's account, the Outer Court will be given to the Gentiles.7 If anything, this fact eliminates the possibility of the Heavenly Sanctuary as being the Temple in question (Rev. 11:1-2). Because in Heaven the Gentiles are inside the Temple of God (Rev. 7:9, 15), not the Outer Court. Also, this fact eliminates the Temple in question as the earthly Temple of AD 70, because then, the Gentiles (the Roman Army) had the whole Temple, not just the Outer Court. Note: Some claim the year 1967 as the year of the Gentile Fulfillment, however, in 1967 Israel never had a Temple, much less an Outer Court for the Gentiles to trample.
Without question, then, ". . . the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months," can only pertain to Jerusalem in future tribulational Israel, especially since it is earthly Jerusalem which will be trodden under foot for forty-two months in the Tribulation, not Heavenly Jerusalem. Factually, then, the Temple in question can be none other than a future, rebuilt, Israeli, "tribulational Temple," which will be trodden underfoot until the completion of the Gentile times (Dan. 8:13-17; Luke 21:24; Rom. 11:25), not the Heavenly Temple (nor the Temple of AD 70).
Applicably, the future treading underfoot of Jerusalem in Luke 21:24, and the Holy City in Revelation 11:2, are one in the same (see also Dan. 8:13!). In fact, both narratives speak to the Gospel fulfillment of the Gentiles, which fulfillment couldn’t have happened in AD 70 or in 1967.
With this fact in mind, the Preterist view that Christ came in AD 70 is in grave error. Because the treading underfoot of Jerusalem, which really reflects the fulfilling of the Gospel to the Gentiles, remains to be a future event. For then, and only then, will Israel no longer be blind to the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 11:25) in Christ’s Short Work (Rom. 9:27-28).
This Gospel fulfillment is also seen in the Parable of the Fig Tree, where Jesus says that "this generation," or the generation of 1948, will not pass before all things are fulfilled (Matt. 24:34). More than likely, Jesus meant that the majority of this generation would not all die (pass) before all things are fulfilled, not that there would still be a few people alive from 1948.
Now the overwhelming evidence affirms that the Antichrist will never desecrate the Heavenly Sanctuary in His demonstration of being God, but the earthly. Certainly, then, the Antichrist will consummate the Great Apostasy by His despicable deed of entering God's Temple in Israel, showing Himself to be God (2 Thess. 2:4).8 By the way, Paul very well knew the difference between the two words "temple" and "church." And this is why he wrote the phrase "Temple of God" (2 Thess. 2:4), and not the phrase, "Church of God."
Upon the Second Advent the Antichrist shall be vanquished from the Temple of God by the brilliance of Christ’s glorious coming (2 Thess. 2:8). Surely the Desire of the Nations shall come and fill that very House with His glory (Hag. 2:7-9). Then, the Throne of David shall be established, wherefrom our Lord shall judge all nations at the end of this age (Matt. 25:31; Psa. 132:11-13; Jer. 3:17; Zech. 6:12-13; Luke 1:32-33; Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21).
Here also lies a mighty wrench thrown into the error of Preterism. Point in fact: Christ never ruled and judged the nations from Jerusalem in AD 70, nor did he have a throne in Jerusalem at that time. Conversely, in That Day, Jerusalem shall be called "the throne of the Lord," and all the Gentile nations shall be gathered before Him. More than just sustaining this view, Luke wrote: After this I WILL RETURN, and will BUILD AGAIN the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men9 might seek after the Lord, and ALL the GENTILES, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things (Acts 15:16-17).
Far from the idea of Preterism, future Jerusalem, as the Word says, shall become a burdensome stone for all nations, not just some nations: "And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it" (Zech. 12:3).
Of course, there are those who hesitate to accept the fact of a coming dreadful Great Tribulation. But the Lord Himself said, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matt. 24:21). Therefore, Jesus’ words leave little to the imagination: terror awaits the world in the dark prior night of That Day.
Emphatically, Isaiah also foretold of the coming doom: "Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left" (Isa. 24:6).
Besides that of Isaiah’s prophecy, John also prophesied of rampant, widespread, death: "By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone . . ." (Rev. 9:18). Collectively or individually, none of these Scriptures are too promising for the Church;10that is, if the entire Church were to remain through the Great Tribulation until the traditional Second Coming.
After the Summer Harvest for the Church, Israel will recognize the missed time of Her salvation, while braving the time of Jacob's Trouble until the morning of That Day (Jer. 30:7). During that time the unredeemed Jews will lament: "The harvest is past, the SUMMER IS ENDED, and we are not saved" (Jer. 8:20)! Indeed, the green unripened fruit of Israel are left behind (Luke 14:24). The Jews, according to the prophetic Word, will brave "all these things."
3). A day for a year in biblical prophecy (Num. 14:34; Ezk. 4:6)
4). The Hebrew word "confirm" doesn't denote that the Antichrist will sign or instigate a peace covenant, but that He will insolently prevail "with many"; or forseeably make a covenant strong by enforcing the support of it.
5). to clarify point three
6). Antichos Epiphanes, who desecrated the Jewish Temple for a literal 2300 days, was a forerunner of the Antichrist who will do the same in the coming Tribulation. We know this because Daniel’s 2300 Day Vision, again, is for theend of time, the last indignation (Dan. 8:13, 17, 19, 25).
7). And upon the temple there shall be the abomination of desolation" (The Greek Septuagint version of Dan. 9:27 was written between 246-285 B.C.).
8). A reference to the Dome of the Rock on Mount Moriah, the holy site.
9). Substituting the earthly as the Heavenly, our Seventh Day Adventist brethren have the wrong Sanctuary in their Investigative Judgment Doctrine, for it is the earthly that shall be desecrated--not the Heavenly.
10). This Septuagint quote, the "residue of men," can only mean saved mankind in the end, or the saved Gentiles who will possess the remnant of Edom!
11). or, not too promising to the idea of Preterism
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