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Thread: Questions for Post-Tribs and the No Rapture folks...

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    Questions for Post-Tribs and the No Rapture folks...

    I have some questions about how scriptures are interpreted by the brothers/sisters here who hold the Post-Trib rapture position, or the "No rapture" position. Anyone can comment of course. Upfront, I would ask people to give their own interpretation rather than seeking out another's commentary. Your own personal understanding, please! (Passages may be clipped for brevity. I will leave out colors, bold, and underlines to make the replies easier to navigate.)

    1. Matthew 21:31 Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.

    How do some people enter the kingdom of God before others enter it?

    2. Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”: 2 While the sun and the light, The moon and the stars, Are not darkened....5... When the almond tree blossoms...For man goes to his eternal home, And the mourners go about the streets. 6 Remember you Creator before the silver cord is loosed...7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.

    When does man (not a man) go to his eternal home?
    Where is this eternal home?
    Why are we told twice the "remember" our Creator before the difficult days come, before the sun, moon, and stars are darkened, before the silver cord is loosed?

    3. Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perishes, And no man takes it to heart; Merciful men are taken away, While no one considers That the righteous is taken away from evil. 2 He shall enter into peace; They shall rest in their beds, Each one walking in his uprightness..................... 3 “But come here, You sons of the sorceress, You offspring of the adulterer and the harlot!....

    When do the righteous perish and no man takes it to heart?
    When are the merciful men taken away from evil?
    What is verse 2 about?
    Why is their an extreme change in tone in verse 3?

    4. Psalm 14:2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. 3 They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one....5 There they are in great fear, For God is with the generation of the righteous.

    In the Isaiah passage above, the righteous perish and are taken away. Jesus mentioned that Abel was righteous. Yet, here, God looks down at the earth and there are none the do good, no, not one. How do you reconcile this?

    Even tougher, how do we reconcile the fact the God is with the generation of the righteous in the very same text where there is no righteous. How does this not conflict, in your opinion? How can this be explained?

    5. 2 Thess 1:6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    How are the troubled saints given rest with "us" (Paul and company?) when Jesus is revealed from heaven?
    Where are the troubled saints given rest while Jesus and His mighty angels are taking vengeance on the wicked?

    6. Revelation 6:
    15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

    Does every person actually see the face of Him who sits on the throne, or is this a worldwide simultaneous hallucination?
    How will they know this is the day of the wrath of the Lamb?

    7. Ezekiel 7:
    2 “And you, son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel:
    ‘An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land/[earth]. 3
    Now the end has come upon you, And I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways, And I will repay you for all your abominations ........ 14 ‘They have blown the trumpet and made everyone ready, But no one goes to battle; For My wrath is on all their multitude ....... 22 I will turn My face from them, And they will defile My secret place; For robbers shall enter it and defile it ........ 25 Destruction comes; They will seek peace, but there shall be none. 26 Disaster will come upon disaster, And rumor will be upon rumor.

    The Hebrew word "land" in the first verse here is the same word often translated "earth." It is the same word used in the Genesis creation account. Since the land of Israel is already mentioned, I think earth should be used here. This whole chapter is crucial context.

    What is 'An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land/earth?
    Do you agree that 'the end' comes upon the four corners of the land/earth prior to 'the end' coming upon the land of Israel?
    Why is the trumpet blown, yet no one goes to battle?
    What is the secret place which will be entered and defiled?
    What do you think the rumor upon rumor will be about?

    Notice 'the end' comes on the four corners of the land/earth before 'the end' comes upon Israel. Further note that the secret place will be entered and defiled during Israel's end, which comes after the broader end. How does this fit with your overall eschatology?

    Thank you all in advance!!!

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    Re: Questions for Post-Tribs and the No Rapture folks...

    Lot of questions, but here are some brief answers:
    1) This is not speaking of time wise, but in order of likelihood. IOW it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than the rich to enter heaven. The one thing will happen before the other, yet the truth is neither happens without a change.

    2) To answer this you need to decide what your eternal home is. You can argue it is being with Jesus, so then you can have the spiritual answer. For me the eternal home is the NHNE, and so you enter it when resurrected from the dead, which is part of the rapture sequence (start of the Millennium).
    You are to remember because when those things happen it will be hard, so you need something to hold onto to help you through.

    3) All the time the righteous die. It is not a specific time, but throughout history, it is a generalisation. Verse 1 and 2 is about the righteous, so the change is because vese 3 is about the wicked.

    4) You missed verse 1 which shows it is speaking about the fool. IOW those who reject God are unrighteous and don't seek righteousness.

    5) When Jesus is revealed at that specific time is when the rapture occurs. This correlates to the 7th vial.

    6) Not an hallucination or anything of the kind. It isn't given as factual but as a picture. It is also what Jesus said concerning when Jerusalem would be taken. IOW it is a statement of disaster and how people will think this event as so bad that it requires God for it to happen. However when this event has finished, and God is not seen, then those who proclaimed it will be God's return will no longer be believed, and people will think how foolish they have been.

    7) Ezekiel 7 is about the sack of Jerusalem in 586 BC in particular, but the fall of the nation in general.

  3. #3

    Re: Questions for Post-Tribs and the No Rapture folks...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
    I have some questions about how scriptures are interpreted by the brothers/sisters here who hold the Post-Trib rapture position, or the "No rapture" position. Anyone can comment of course. Upfront, I would ask people to give their own interpretation rather than seeking out another's commentary. Your own personal understanding, please! (Passages may be clipped for brevity. I will leave out colors, bold, and underlines to make the replies easier to navigate.)
    I just have to say, having read your post already, that none of it appears to involve Postrib Doctrine directly. For that reason, it seriously loses weight in the argument (whatever that argument may be).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    1. Matthew 21:31 Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.
    How do some people enter the kingdom of God before others enter it?
    You're reading it wrong. It's talking about God's *preferring* repentant tax collectors and harlots over unrepentant Jews. This is not a timing issue at all, but a *preference* issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    2. Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”: 2 While the sun and the light, The moon and the stars, Are not darkened....5... When the almond tree blossoms...For man goes to his eternal home, And the mourners go about the streets. 6 Remember you Creator before the silver cord is loosed...7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
    When does man (not a man) go to his eternal home?
    Where is this eternal home?
    Why are we told twice the "remember" our Creator before the difficult days come, before the sun, moon, and stars are darkened, before the silver cord is loosed?
    This is a well-known poetic expression of death, which is common to all. "Eternal home" refers to our destiny, whatever that is (Hell of Heaven). The "difficult days" is a common reference to the "aches and pains" of aging. For example, the darkening of the stars refers to dim-sightedness or even blindness, which is typical of aging problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    3. Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perishes, And no man takes it to heart; Merciful men are taken away, While no one considers That the righteous is taken away from evil. 2 He shall enter into peace; They shall rest in their beds, Each one walking in his uprightness..................... 3 “But come here, You sons of the sorceress, You offspring of the adulterer and the harlot!....
    When do the righteous perish and no man takes it to heart?
    When are the merciful men taken away from evil?
    What is verse 2 about?
    Why is their an extreme change in tone in verse 3?
    I took consolation with this passage when some of my best friends died in a car wreck. They were killed on the highway by a drunk driver who crossed over into their lane and hit them head on. My friend had just obtained his papers for ministry with the AoG. He had been preparing to be a youth pastor. His wife's father had recently built a local church building. Many people thought (like me), How terrible. What an awful tragedy! And yet, one of the last things he told me was that he had never felt more fulfilled and complete in his life! He was a righteous man. And nobody considered that God may have been sparing him some potential heartaches in his future, had he gone on living. There were some issues in the family history.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    4. Psalm 14:2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. 3 They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one....5 There they are in great fear, For God is with the generation of the righteous.
    In the Isaiah passage above, the righteous perish and are taken away. Jesus mentioned that Abel was righteous. Yet, here, God looks down at the earth and there are none the do good, no, not one. How do you reconcile this?
    Even tougher, how do we reconcile the fact the God is with the generation of the righteous in the very same text where there is no righteous. How does this not conflict, in your opinion? How can this be explained?
    This is a generalization, a description of the affairs of men at that particular time in history in a general sense. It didn't mean there weren't righteous men--there were! He said so! And yet, the situation was grim precisely because the righteous were so outnumbered by the wicked! But such is the history of the world. God gives nations and individuals a chance. They may rise and they may fall, because God lets them follow through and make their choices. It is the reality of life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    5. 2 Thess 1:6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    How are the troubled saints given rest with "us" (Paul and company?) when Jesus is revealed from heaven?
    Where are the troubled saints given rest while Jesus and His mighty angels are taking vengeance on the wicked?
    This is indeed an eschatological context. The fact Paul was going to die before Christ returns indicated to him that he would be *with the Lord* and *with the rest of the Christians* when Christ returns. The context for Christ's return is one of judgment. It's Armageddon, a battle between good and evil, between Satan and God, between Antichrist and Christianity.

    In that context God will cause all Hell to break loose at Armageddon--a major nuclear war, I believe. In that context Jesus will come back and determine which ones were truly responsible for the carnage--both for the abuse inflicted upon Christians and for stirring up warfare for an evil cause. The major judgment, therefore, will not be the war--certainly not the war alone. Rather, it will be Christ coming back and determining among the dead who is worthy of Hell. In that way Christ's return will be deliverance, or rest, for the Church, and judgment for the wicked. (Thanks for a truly eschatological question here!.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    Revelation 6:15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
    Does every person actually see the face of Him who sits on the throne, or is this a worldwide simultaneous hallucination?
    How will they know this is the day of the wrath of the Lamb?
    Well, we have yet another eschatological question--thank you! I do believe that since God is omnipresent and omnipotent all of mankind will be able to in some sense see God's face. This is not of course His face in the full spiritual sense, but only in a partial sense, in the sense of "meeting your Maker." Yes, the consciences of men will finally catch up with their empirical view of God!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    7. Ezekiel 7:2 “And you, son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: ‘An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land/[earth]. 3 Now the end has come upon you, And I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways, And I will repay you for all your abominations ........ 14 ‘They have blown the trumpet and made everyone ready, But no one goes to battle; For My wrath is on all their multitude ....... 22 I will turn My face from them, And they will defile My secret place; For robbers shall enter it and defile it ........ 25 Destruction comes; They will seek peace, but there shall be none. 26 Disaster will come upon disaster, And rumor will be upon rumor.

    The Hebrew word "land" in the first verse here is the same word often translated "earth." It is the same word used in the Genesis creation account. Since the land of Israel is already mentioned, I think earth should be used here. This whole chapter is crucial context.
    What is 'An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land/earth?
    Do you agree that 'the end' comes upon the four corners of the land/earth prior to 'the end' coming upon the land of Israel?
    Why is the trumpet blown, yet no one goes to battle?
    What is the secret place which will be entered and defiled?
    What do you think the rumor upon rumor will be about?
    Notice 'the end' comes on the four corners of the land/earth before 'the end' comes upon Israel. Further note that the secret place will be entered and defiled during Israel's end, which comes after the broader end. How does this fit with your overall eschatology?
    Thank you all in advance!!!
    This last passage from Ezekiel has nothing whatsoever to do with eschatology. It has to do with the "end" of Israel during the coming Babylonian invasion.

    The word "earth" has never meant to infer the *planet earth.* The earth was thought of by Moses as the land beneath his feet--all the land as far as one had travelled up to that point. It was land underneath the heavens.

    Whether or not Moses knew the earth was a planet or not is besides the point. They didn't have telescopes, and they certainly didn't have astronomy classes. Their study of the stars would be more akin to astrology than to astronomy.

    So the earth encompassed all the land as a human habitation--not the planet. Therefore, the word "earth" easily conveys the idea of "land" as well. They are essentially synonyms.

    I think it's pretty obvious that when the Prophets spoke in the name of the Lord to call forth judgment upon nations the language used was pretty grandiose--largely because the impact was in fact grandiose. The language was universal, not because it encompassed the whole planet, but because the judgments impacted an entire nation or range of nations. It was definitive, inescapable judgment, and as such was rendered universal in impact. Sometimes, in these kinds of definitive judgments, apocalyptic-type imagery is used as well, such as the "stars falling from heaven." This is imagery and metaphor to indicate things of spiritual consequence.

    Thanks for asking the questions. Some of these kinds of things are often thought to have eschatological significance, but do not. I'm glad for the opportunity to set the record straight the way I see it.

  4. #4

    Re: Questions for Post-Tribs and the No Rapture folks...

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory View Post
    Lot of questions, but here are some brief answers:
    1) This is not speaking of time wise, but in order of likelihood. IOW it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than the rich to enter heaven. The one thing will happen before the other, yet the truth is neither happens without a change.

    2) To answer this you need to decide what your eternal home is. You can argue it is being with Jesus, so then you can have the spiritual answer. For me the eternal home is the NHNE, and so you enter it when resurrected from the dead, which is part of the rapture sequence (start of the Millennium).
    You are to remember because when those things happen it will be hard, so you need something to hold onto to help you through.

    3) All the time the righteous die. It is not a specific time, but throughout history, it is a generalisation. Verse 1 and 2 is about the righteous, so the change is because vese 3 is about the wicked.

    4) You missed verse 1 which shows it is speaking about the fool. IOW those who reject God are unrighteous and don't seek righteousness.

    5) When Jesus is revealed at that specific time is when the rapture occurs. This correlates to the 7th vial.

    6) Not an hallucination or anything of the kind. It isn't given as factual but as a picture. It is also what Jesus said concerning when Jerusalem would be taken. IOW it is a statement of disaster and how people will think this event as so bad that it requires God for it to happen. However when this event has finished, and God is not seen, then those who proclaimed it will be God's return will no longer be believed, and people will think how foolish they have been.

    7) Ezekiel 7 is about the sack of Jerusalem in 586 BC in particular, but the fall of the nation in general.
    Happy to say we're largely agreed for once! I wrote down my answers to Tony's questions before I read your answers. Reading your responses I find my own answers were pretty much the same.

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    Re: Questions for Post-Tribs and the No Rapture folks...

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory View Post
    Lot of questions, but here are some brief answers:
    1) This is not speaking of time wise, but in order of likelihood. IOW it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than the rich to enter heaven. The one thing will happen before the other, yet the truth is neither happens without a change.
    Do you think there is a translation error here? (Matt 21:31) I looked at about 15 translations and every one indicates the harlots will enter before, or go ahead of, others.

    2) To answer this you need to decide what your eternal home is. You can argue it is being with Jesus, so then you can have the spiritual answer. For me the eternal home is the NHNE, and so you enter it when resurrected from the dead, which is part of the rapture sequence (start of the Millennium).
    You are to remember because when those things happen it will be hard, so you need something to hold onto to help you through.
    What does the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars mean in this passage?

    3) All the time the righteous die. It is not a specific time, but throughout history, it is a generalisation. Verse 1 and 2 is about the righteous, so the change is because vese 3 is about the wicked.
    In this passage, "men" is plural. Can it still refer to an individual's death?
    Does no one consider that a righteous man is taken away from evil?
    4) You missed verse 1 which shows it is speaking about the fool. IOW those who reject God are unrighteous and don't seek righteousness.
    How does verse 3 apply here to verse 1, when verse 5 couldn't apply to verse 1?

    5) When Jesus is revealed at that specific time is when the rapture occurs. This correlates to the 7th vial.

    6) Not an hallucination or anything of the kind. It isn't given as factual but as a picture. It is also what Jesus said concerning when Jerusalem would be taken. IOW it is a statement of disaster and how people will think this event as so bad that it requires God for it to happen. However when this event has finished, and God is not seen, then those who proclaimed it will be God's return will no longer be believed, and people will think how foolish they have been.
    Ok.

    7) Ezekiel 7 is about the sack of Jerusalem in 586 BC in particular, but the fall of the nation in general.
    Since the day of the Lord is mentioned here, do you think there is more than one day of the Lord?

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    Re: Questions for Post-Tribs and the No Rapture folks...

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I just have to say, having read your post already, that none of it appears to involve Postrib Doctrine directly. For that reason, it seriously loses weight in the argument (whatever that argument may be).
    This isn't some sort of trap. If one person sees a passage as eschatological and another doesn't, that in itself helps explain a difference.

    You're reading it wrong. It's talking about God's *preferring* repentant tax collectors and harlots over unrepentant Jews. This is not a timing issue at all, but a *preference* issue.
    "Before" doesn't mean "before?" How do you know Jesus meant a preference rather than one event coming before another?

    This is a well-known poetic expression of death, which is common to all. "Eternal home" refers to our destiny, whatever that is (Hell of Heaven). The "difficult days" is a common reference to the "aches and pains" of aging. For example, the darkening of the stars refers to dim-sightedness or even blindness, which is typical of aging problems.
    Does this indicate that it is too late to be saved once a person is old since we are told to remember the Lord before the difficult days come?
    What do you think the darkening of the sun and moon are about?
    Also, do you have any idea what the silver cord is about? I don't.

    I took consolation with this passage when some of my best friends died in a car wreck. They were killed on the highway by a drunk driver who crossed over into their lane and hit them head on. My friend had just obtained his papers for ministry with the AoG. He had been preparing to be a youth pastor. His wife's father had recently built a local church building. Many people thought (like me), How terrible. What an awful tragedy! And yet, one of the last things he told me was that he had never felt more fulfilled and complete in his life! He was a righteous man. And nobody considered that God may have been sparing him some potential heartaches in his future, had he gone on living. There were some issues in the family history.
    Men here is in the plural. That seems to preclude it being about any individual. Does that matter?
    This is a generalization, a description of the affairs of men at that particular time in history in a general sense. It didn't mean there weren't righteous men--there were! He said so! And yet, the situation was grim precisely because the righteous were so outnumbered by the wicked! But such is the history of the world. God gives nations and individuals a chance. They may rise and they may fall, because God lets them follow through and make their choices. It is the reality of life.
    2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
    To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
    3 They have all turned aside,
    They have together become corrupt;
    There is none who does good,
    No, not one.

    I could see it your way if it weren't for the "No, not one" phrase. If the righteous are outnumber this badly, who is going to be saved? Very, very, few I guess.

    This is indeed an eschatological context. The fact Paul was going to die before Christ returns indicated to him that he would be *with the Lord* and *with the rest of the Christians* when Christ returns. The context for Christ's return is one of judgment. It's Armageddon, a battle between good and evil, between Satan and God, between Antichrist and Christianity.

    In that context God will cause all Hell to break loose at Armageddon--a major nuclear war, I believe. In that context Jesus will come back and determine which ones were truly responsible for the carnage--both for the abuse inflicted upon Christians and for stirring up warfare for an evil cause. The major judgment, therefore, will not be the war--certainly not the war alone. Rather, it will be Christ coming back and determining among the dead who is worthy of Hell. In that way Christ's return will be deliverance, or rest, for the Church, and judgment for the wicked. (Thanks for a truly eschatological question here!.)
    when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    If I understand your view correctly, is the underlined part talking about being cast into hell?

    Well, we have yet another eschatological question--thank you! I do believe that since God is omnipresent and omnipotent all of mankind will be able to in some sense see God's face. This is not of course His face in the full spiritual sense, but only in a partial sense, in the sense of "meeting your Maker." Yes, the consciences of men will finally catch up with their empirical view of God!
    I don't think I understand. Are you saying that these men aren't really seeing the face of God? Or, that they have to die to meet their maker?

    This last passage from Ezekiel has nothing whatsoever to do with eschatology. It has to do with the "end" of Israel during the coming Babylonian invasion.

    The word "earth" has never meant to infer the *planet earth.* The earth was thought of by Moses as the land beneath his feet--all the land as far as one had travelled up to that point. It was land underneath the heavens.

    Whether or not Moses knew the earth was a planet or not is besides the point. They didn't have telescopes, and they certainly didn't have astronomy classes. Their study of the stars would be more akin to astrology than to astronomy.

    So the earth encompassed all the land as a human habitation--not the planet. Therefore, the word "earth" easily conveys the idea of "land" as well. They are essentially synonyms.

    I think it's pretty obvious that when the Prophets spoke in the name of the Lord to call forth judgment upon nations the language used was pretty grandiose--largely because the impact was in fact grandiose. The language was universal, not because it encompassed the whole planet, but because the judgments impacted an entire nation or range of nations. It was definitive, inescapable judgment, and as such was rendered universal in impact. Sometimes, in these kinds of definitive judgments, apocalyptic-type imagery is used as well, such as the "stars falling from heaven." This is imagery and metaphor to indicate things of spiritual consequence.

    Thanks for asking the questions. Some of these kinds of things are often thought to have eschatological significance, but do not. I'm glad for the opportunity to set the record straight the way I see it.
    In this chapter, God says more than once, "Then you shall know that I am the Lord!" Do you think that was historically fulfilled?

  7. #7

    Re: Questions for Post-Tribs and the No Rapture folks...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
    This isn't some sort of trap. If one person sees a passage as eschatological and another doesn't, that in itself helps explain a difference.
    I never thought it was a "trap." ??? I'm just pointing out my view that some passages that may appear to be eschatological actually are not (in my view). For example, some people see Isa 13 as an example of an eschatological Day of the Lord.

    Isa 13.6 Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.

    But upon closer examination one will find that it is a prophecy directed against ancient Babylon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    "Before" doesn't mean "before?" How do you know Jesus meant a preference rather than one event coming before another?
    Context, context, context. Words are funny that way. They have special meanings depending on their position in a sentence.
    If I say "the main meal comes before the dessert," yes, that is an order of time.
    But when Jesus said, "harlots come before religious Jews," he is saying that religious Jews aren't going to get in at all!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    Does this indicate that it is too late to be saved once a person is old since we are told to remember the Lord before the difficult days come?
    What do you think the darkening of the sun and moon are about?
    Also, do you have any idea what the silver cord is about? I don't.
    Yes, I took a class back in perhaps 1973 in which we studied the book of Ecclesiastes. The lady, who was advanced in age, explained that this is an excellent poetic description of old age. It's a warning not to procrastinate in life, an exhortation to serve the Lord in the time of your strength--otherwise, you will not be able to focus on many important things, and have to face instead troubles with aging.

    It has nothing to do with actual "forgetfulness." It is a an idiom that means "don't neglect." Don't neglect God, particularly when you're most effective in serving Him. But no, it's never too late to "get saved." It's simply best for all concerned to spend a life serving God, rather than put it off until you are feeble. The darkening of the sun and the moon refers to declining vision, when things get blurry or hard to see. The "silver cord" is the central nervous system, the spine, or perhaps the spark of life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    Men here is in the plural. That seems to preclude it being about any individual. Does that matter?
    No, doesn't matter. Whether many die in an unjust war, or as innocent casualties, if they are righteous it appears to be a tragedy. But there is a destiny for nations, and sometimes God spares righteous men from the time to come, which He deems will not be pleasant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
    To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
    3 They have all turned aside,
    They have together become corrupt;
    There is none who does good,
    No, not one.

    I could see it your way if it weren't for the "No, not one" phrase. If the righteous are outnumber this badly, who is going to be saved? Very, very, few I guess.
    Yes, often the Scriptures generalize and emphasize for impact. The thought is that like ancient Sodom there is not enough people to save the town. Righteousness is more rare than gemstones. So saying "there's not one" sounds comprehensive, excluding any righteous. But again, that's just language. The overall context makes it clear that there are exceptions. It is expected the reader understand the actual meaning is something like this: "there is nobody righteous within the general population." Or, "there are no righteous men within the fabric of society--the righteous are so marginalized that they are outcasts."

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    If I understand your view correctly, is the underlined part talking about being cast into hell?
    I see the "vengeance" part as a combination of the effects of the final war together with God's determination to commit them to Hell, yes. But it does involve how God treats them at Armageddon--that is part of the vengeance. The war is influenced, or caused, by evil men, who persecute Christians and who put forward antichristian beliefs. However, the war apparently backfires on them, with the result being the "vengeance" from God we're talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    I don't think I understand. Are you saying that these men aren't really seeing the face of God? Or, that they have to die to meet their maker?
    One of the arguments for God is the Argument from Design, or the Teleological Argument. Nobody, in my opinion, can refute that successfully because all of history shows the design and predetermined purpose of God, and all of creation shows the handiwork of God. The same will go for unbelievers in the end--they will see God in that sense. They will fully recognize what God is judging them for and recognize the fact that it is God who is judging them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P
    In this chapter, God says more than once, "Then you shall know that I am the Lord!" Do you think that was historically fulfilled?
    That is a common phrase used by the biblical Prophets to indicate the fact that those who have failed to see God at work will know it for sure when the prophecy comes to pass. And yes, the prophecy in Ezekiel you refer to was clearly fulfilled in history, when the Babylonians brought an end to Judah. That was a major role Ezekiel played, anticipating the completion of the judgments that had been happening all along to Israel. Many Hebrews stubbornly continued to hold out hope of independence, ignoring their grotesque sins and rebellion against the Lord. But Ezekiel's main purpose was to foretell of the complete end of all Israel, especially Judah, where the temple of the Lord was located.

    There may be prophecies that are eschatological that use similar language. One day Israel will "know that He is God." That's for sure!
    Last edited by randyk; Jan 13th 2017 at 06:43 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Questions for Post-Tribs and the No Rapture folks...

    1. Matthew 21:31 Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.

    How do some people enter the kingdom of God before others enter it?
    Imo, this is the eschatological kingdom of God. Going back to Matt 12:28-32
    28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.

    30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

    The tax collectors and harlots are those that blaspheme Jesus' name but don't blaspheme the Holy Spirit. The harlot = whore of Babylon, Jezebel the unfaithful wife, the unfaithful church. These must go through the great tribulation (since we know this from Rev 2:22). Also, in Rev 17
    16 And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, 17 for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.”

    The implication to me here (and I could be wrong) is that the Pharisees are blaspheming the holy spirit. Pharisees would be the ones who offer the mark of the beast.

    I have a very specific modern understanding of this, but I will refrain from saying it.
    Why are we told twice the "remember" our Creator before the difficult days come, before the sun, moon, and stars are darkened, before the silver cord is loosed?
    because Isaiah 57 the righteous is taken away from evil. 2 He shall enter into peace;

    Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perishes, And no man takes it to heart; Merciful men are taken away, While no one considers That the righteous is taken away from evil. 2 He shall enter into peace; They shall rest in their beds, Each one walking in his uprightness..................... 3 “But come here, You sons of the sorceress, You offspring of the adulterer and the harlot!....

    When do the righteous perish and no man takes it to heart?
    When are the merciful men taken away from evil?
    What is verse 2 about?
    Why is their an extreme change in tone in verse 3?
    the timeframe is explained later in the chapter
    And it shall be said,
    “Build up, build up, prepare the way,
    remove every obstruction from my people's way.”
    15
    For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
    who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
    “I dwell in the high and holy place,
    and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
    to revive the spirit of the lowly,
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.
    16
    For I will not contend forever,
    nor will I always be angry;
    for the spirit would grow faint before me,
    and the breath of life that I made.
    17
    Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry,
    I struck him; I hid my face and was angry,
    but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.
    18
    I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
    I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners,
    19
    creating the fruit of the lips.
    Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the Lord,
    “and I will heal him.
    20
    But the wicked are like the tossing sea;
    for it cannot be quiet,
    and its waters toss up mire and dirt.
    21
    There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

    the wicked are the beast from the sea. The 'sorceress' of verse 3 relates directly to Rev 18
    and the light of a lamp
    will shine in you no more,
    and the voice of bridegroom and bride
    will be heard in you no more,
    for your merchants were the great ones of the earth,
    and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
    24
    And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,
    and of all who have been slain on earth.”

    sorcery here is the greek pharmakia/ drugs for sorcery (which I am fairly certain refers to the surreptitious delivery of hallucinogens to citizens with the notable effect of seeing 'shadow people'/ 'interdimensional grey aliens' which is why we see so many alien movies, to prepare the way for this. they want people to think that God is an alien/ ancient alien astronaut/ chariot of the gods type stuff. Also, certain drugs can give the effect of an 'out of body' experience: read, 'whisked away rapture' only to be 'rejected' by God when they come 'back'.)

    6. Revelation 6:15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

    Does every person actually see the face of Him who sits on the throne, or is this a worldwide simultaneous hallucination?
    How will they know this is the day of the wrath of the Lamb?
    Funny you should say 'hallucination'...
    Note that it doesn't say that they see Jesus' face, they just think it's the end of the world.

  9. #9
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    Re: Questions for Post-Tribs and the No Rapture folks...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
    I have some questions about how scriptures are interpreted by the brothers/sisters here who hold the Post-Trib rapture position, or the "No rapture" position. Anyone can comment of course. Upfront, I would ask people to give their own interpretation rather than seeking out another's commentary. Your own personal understanding, please! (Passages may be clipped for brevity. I will leave out colors, bold, and underlines to make the replies easier to navigate.)

    1. Matthew 21:31 Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.

    How do some people enter the kingdom of God before others enter it?

    2. Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”: 2 While the sun and the light, The moon and the stars, Are not darkened....5... When the almond tree blossoms...For man goes to his eternal home, And the mourners go about the streets. 6 Remember you Creator before the silver cord is loosed...7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.

    When does man (not a man) go to his eternal home?
    Where is this eternal home?
    Why are we told twice the "remember" our Creator before the difficult days come, before the sun, moon, and stars are darkened, before the silver cord is loosed?

    3. Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perishes, And no man takes it to heart; Merciful men are taken away, While no one considers That the righteous is taken away from evil. 2 He shall enter into peace; They shall rest in their beds, Each one walking in his uprightness..................... 3 “But come here, You sons of the sorceress, You offspring of the adulterer and the harlot!....

    When do the righteous perish and no man takes it to heart?
    When are the merciful men taken away from evil?
    What is verse 2 about?
    Why is their an extreme change in tone in verse 3?
    1. Tax Collectors denote those generally viewed by the self-righteous Pharisees as sinners. Jesus showed the contrast in these passages:

    Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
    Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
    Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
    Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

    From verse 14 we draw the conclusion that it not necessarily about who or which group enters into heaven first. It is rather the probability that the tax collector is more likely to accept he is a sinner and asks for forgiveness than the self-righteous presuming himself righteous by his works.

    2. According to Eccl 12:1 as quoted, the spirit returns to God after death.
    God, the giver of life provides the eternal home which could be heaven/paradise for the godly and the lake of fire for the ungodly.
    The warning to remember your creator in your youth is significant. In youth, there is the propensity to feel invincible and forget God. You see the wanton lifestyle of many today, both rich and poor who see their life, position and status right now on earth as the ultimate. They have little or no thought for God and what is to come. So the caution to "remember" is apt to enable us to think of life after this realm.

    3. The righteous quite often are simple, just and sometimes uninfluential from the perspective of the wicked, therefore, their death is unimportant and unnoticed. No man takes it to heart - not many mourn their demise.
    When are the merciful taken away from evil? Consider this:

    Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
    V-2 is as explained in Rev 14:13, it's about being at peace in the Lord after death; resting from your labours (suffering, persecution, etc for Christ).
    While verses 1-2 refers to the godly, v-3 deals with the impending punishment of the wicked, this is evident in the change of tone.

    4. Psalm 14:2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. 3 They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one....5 There they are in great fear, For God is with the generation of the righteous.

    In the Isaiah passage above, the righteous perish and are taken away. Jesus mentioned that Abel was righteous. Yet, here, God looks down at the earth and there are none the do good, no, not one. How do you reconcile this?

    Even tougher, how do we reconcile the fact the God is with the generation of the righteous in the very same text where there is no righteous. How does this not conflict, in your opinion? How can this be explained?

    5. 2 Thess 1:6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    How are the troubled saints given rest with "us" (Paul and company?) when Jesus is revealed from heaven?
    Where are the troubled saints given rest while Jesus and His mighty angels are taking vengeance on the wicked?


    4. I don't see any contradiction. Paul said:

    Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
    Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

    The passage is making a general reference that no one can make himself righteous before God.
    However, we see that from the OT to the NT age, many have believed in God and strived to live in holiness. These are righteous that God favours. This righteousness has even been made abundant in the NT age because of the grace of Christ. So in both OT and NT age, God has always been with the righteous.

    5. For the rest given to those (believers) who are troubled/persecuted for Christ, see my explanation in #3 quoting the guaranteed rest after death in Rev 14:13.
    The rest given to the righteous is immortality which is automatically conferred on the godly on the Day of Christ through resurrection or rapture. The godly have their rest in the bosom of the Lord while he goes to destroy our enemies who troubled us.

    6. Revelation 6:
    15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

    Does every person actually see the face of Him who sits on the throne, or is this a worldwide simultaneous hallucination?
    How will they know this is the day of the wrath of the Lamb?

    7. Ezekiel 7:
    2 “And you, son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel:
    ‘An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land/[earth]. 3
    Now the end has come upon you, And I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways, And I will repay you for all your abominations ........ 14 ‘They have blown the trumpet and made everyone ready, But no one goes to battle; For My wrath is on all their multitude ....... 22 I will turn My face from them, And they will defile My secret place; For robbers shall enter it and defile it ........ 25 Destruction comes; They will seek peace, but there shall be none. 26 Disaster will come upon disaster, And rumor will be upon rumor.

    The Hebrew word "land" in the first verse here is the same word often translated "earth." It is the same word used in the Genesis creation account. Since the land of Israel is already mentioned, I think earth should be used here. This whole chapter is crucial context.

    What is 'An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land/earth?
    Do you agree that 'the end' comes upon the four corners of the land/earth prior to 'the end' coming upon the land of Israel?
    Why is the trumpet blown, yet no one goes to battle?
    What is the secret place which will be entered and defiled?
    What do you think the rumor upon rumor will be about?

    Notice 'the end' comes on the four corners of the land/earth before 'the end' comes upon Israel. Further note that the secret place will be entered and defiled during Israel's end, which comes after the broader end. How does this fit with your overall eschatology?

    Thank you all in advance!!!
    6. Nobody will literally see the face of Jesus at that time. But they will in doubt understand that what they are witnessing is the righteous judgment of God upon the wicked. God will certainly impress upon the hearts of ALL men on earth in those days. God is not likely to leave a doubt in any soul that he (Jesus) is the cause of their pain and punishment. Again, the Spirit of God will impress it upon the every heart that this is the vengeance (Day of Wrath) of the Lord hence their quest for something; anything to hide them from the fierce anger of the Lord.

    7. I believe the "end" speaks of one thing; when God judges the earth for wickedness. The fact that it is associated with the four corners of the earth makes it all encompassing and therefore beyond the punishment of Israel.
    I disagree that the end comes to the earth prior to Israel, I see it as one continuous event for every nation and tribe on earth.

    Trumpets alway herald an important occasion or activity. But this trumpet obviously will not be for celebration or for the year of jubilee, but for the onset of devastating war. But the people will be powerless because of their guilt, depravity and reprobate attitude will not be able to answer the call to defend the city because fear will fall on them.

    The secret place that will be defiled naturally is God's sanctuary, the temple.

    Ezek 7:20 As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in majesty: but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things therein: therefore have I set it far from them.
    Ezek 7:21 And I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall pollute it.
    Ezek 7:22 My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret place: for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it.

    V-20 says they used their ornaments/jewels to make images for idolatry, therefore, God said he has rejected them.
    V-21 because he (God) has rejected them, he will allow strangers (their enemies) to spoil, loot and ravage them.
    V-22 God will turn his face away and not help them; their attackers in spoiling them will also enter the temple to take away the vessels of worship and by their presence in the temple, defile it.

    There is a threefold division of the people religiously in v-26 and these provide the three sources from which the people usually receive religious guidance and counsel. But instead, God has closed every avenue of spiritual vision and help. With every avenue of divine guidance closed, what is left is rumours, speculations and innuendos. See Isaiah's version:

    Isaiah 29:9 Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.
    Isaiah 29:10 For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.
    Isaiah 29:11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:

    Isaiah 29:12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.

    Your overall view seeks confirmation for a separate judgement for Israel, but I don't think is really the case.

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    Re: Questions for Post-Tribs and the No Rapture folks...

    I appreciate the responses here. Of course, I do have some follow up questions. I'll be back next week from a road trip to follow up. Thanks.

  11. #11
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    Re: Questions for Post-Tribs and the No Rapture folks...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
    Do you think there is a translation error here? (Matt 21:31) I looked at about 15 translations and every one indicates the harlots will enter before, or go ahead of, others.
    Nope, an interpretation error. Can a camel go through the eye of a needle? Well it will go through before a rich man. Can a harlot? Nope, but they will go through before some others. IOW the one thing won;t happen because the other thing won't happen. It is idiomatic speech and is used to show the unlikeliness of something happening.

    In this passage, "men" is plural. Can it still refer to an individual's death?
    Does no one consider that a righteous man is taken away from evil?
    It is commonly suggested that righteous men are taken away from evil. I don't think that for a moment. However would God take a righteous person away who otherwise might turn to evil is another question which is harder to answer.

    How does verse 3 apply here to verse 1, when verse 5 couldn't apply to verse 1?
    Why should verse 5 apply to verse 1?

    Since the day of the Lord is mentioned here, do you think there is more than one day of the Lord?
    Definitely, there are many days of the lord. Some have happened in the past, some are yet to happen.

  12. #12

    Re: Questions for Post-Tribs and the No Rapture folks...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
    1. Matthew 21:31 Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.

    How do some people enter the kingdom of God before others enter it?
    I think we first have to define what is specifically meant by "enter the kingdom" in this passage. See Luke 17:20-22 ("For behold, the kingdom of God is [b]in your midst.”).

    Then, we need to consider the verse that follows 21:31:

    32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.
    This is a reference back to the tax collectors and harlots who repented in their deeds after hearing the call to repent from John the Baptist. The Pharisees did not repent then, nor up to the point Jesus was talking. The lack of repentance meant they were not going to enter the kingdom at all, ... unless they LATER repented.

    --> cf. Matthew 5:20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Moreover, there is substantial intertextuality with the language of the kingdom of heaven/of God in the Gospels. We find, for example, that only those who do the will of the Father enter the kingdom. Mt 7:21. This comports with the first part of vs 31: " 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They *said, “The first.” " Doing the will is a big deal, and it is associated with repentance, which is associated with belief ("seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him").

    IOW, the passage does not speak of an order of entering, but whether one enters or not.
    “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever,
    that we may observe all the words of this law."
    Deuteronomy 29:29

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