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Thread: the problem with "endtime" forums

  1. #1
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    the problem with "endtime" forums

    1) Christians interested in Bible Prophecy tend to want to map out the future. That is, they are "crystal ball readers." They want to get there ahead of the game, so that they can tell others, "I told you so!"

    Scriptures tell us not to do that, and seem to reflect an interest in more immediate concerns. For example, the Prophets spoke of the future in terms of the ultimate goal of Bible Prophecy. They were interested in portraying the ultimate aim of all of God's Promises.

    But the main interest of the Prophets seemed to be in eliciting moral change now, in preparation for the final goal. The ultimate end of all Prophecy was designed to only be a backdrop to more immediate concerns.

    Acts 1.7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,and to the ends of the earth.”

    Luke 17.
    20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come,Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed,21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

    I suggest that these two Scripture passages sort of summarize Jesus' interest in how the word of prophecy is to apply to us in our own day. It isn't an excessive interest in future prediction. Rather, these future expectations are a confirmation that God will fulfil His promises, and that this expectation can sort of guide what our current mission is.

    If we think the Kingdom is future, and it is, we should recognize that the Kingdom is presently functioning as well in some mysterious, spiritual sense. It is the *present Kingdom* that we should be focusing upon, rather than try to spend an excessive amount of time trying to guess what the future will hold.

    2) I think too much is made of trying to formulate Bible Doctrines out of symbols used to express general truths. Parables, visions, dreams, and symbols then become a rather arbitrary set of data used by Prophecy Enthusiasts to conveniently design their own theories and prophetic schemes. This can, as the Book of Revelation suggests, distort the words of that book and so incur God's anger.

    Prophecy Calendars can be a good organizational tool, but I don't think the Book of Revelation was designed as such. It appears to be a look at the end of history, with spiritual warfare between the Antichrist and Christianity, with an encouragement to Christians throughout the age to "hold the fort." To begin to synchronize the Seals, the Trumpets, and the Vials in a chronological, organized way seems to wander far from the purpose of these visions itself.

    Rather, I think our main focus, as Christian Teachers, should be to explain the symbols of Revelation in terms of our present mission. We should therefore focus on the spiritual truths involved, in terms of our faithful living, in terms of our endurance to the end. Understanding spiritual warfare is indeed an important subject, since this seems to be the primary interest of the Book of Revelation.

    Finally, I am not suggesting that this Endtimes Forum go away, and that Prophecy Enthusiasts not be able to speculate on the nitty gritty, on the details, of all of these difficult prophecies. I think it is "for kings to dig for gold." Those who search the deep truths of the word of God are to be commended for their dedication and diligence.

    These words of warning that I'm giving you, however, come from Scriptures, and can keep our "wanderlust" in check! If we keep our message balanced and disciplined, I think we will ensure better productivity in service to the Lord.

    Let me know what you think?

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    Re: the problem with "endtime" forums

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    1) Christians interested in Bible Prophecy tend to want to map out the future. That is, they are "crystal ball readers." They want to get there ahead of the game, so that they can tell others, "I told you so!"

    Scriptures tell us not to do that, and seem to reflect an interest in more immediate concerns. For example, the Prophets spoke of the future in terms of the ultimate goal of Bible Prophecy. They were interested in portraying the ultimate aim of all of God's Promises.

    But the main interest of the Prophets seemed to be in eliciting moral change now, in preparation for the final goal. The ultimate end of all Prophecy was designed to only be a backdrop to more immediate concerns.

    Acts 1.[FONT="]7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.[/FONT][FONT="] [/FONT][FONT="]8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,and to the ends of the earth.”

    Luke 17.[/FONT]
    [FONT="]20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come,Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed,[/FONT][FONT="] [/FONT]21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

    I suggest that these two Scripture passages sort of summarize Jesus' interest in how the word of prophecy is to apply to us in our own day. It isn't an excessive interest in future prediction. Rather, these future expectations are a confirmation that God will fulfil His promises, and that this expectation can sort of guide what our current mission is.

    If we think the Kingdom is future, and it is, we should recognize that the Kingdom is presently functioning as well in some mysterious, spiritual sense. It is the *present Kingdom* that we should be focusing upon, rather than try to spend an excessive amount of time trying to guess what the future will hold.

    2) I think too much is made of trying to formulate Bible Doctrines out of symbols used to express general truths. Parables, visions, dreams, and symbols then become a rather arbitrary set of data used by Prophecy Enthusiasts to conveniently design their own theories and prophetic schemes. This can, as the Book of Revelation suggests, distort the words of that book and so incur God's anger.

    Prophecy Calendars can be a good organizational tool, but I don't think the Book of Revelation was designed as such. It appears to be a look at the end of history, with spiritual warfare between the Antichrist and Christianity, with an encouragement to Christians throughout the age to "hold the fort." To begin to synchronize the Seals, the Trumpets, and the Vials in a chronological, organized way seems to wander far from the purpose of these visions itself.

    Rather, I think our main focus, as Christian Teachers, should be to explain the symbols of Revelation in terms of our present mission. We should therefore focus on the spiritual truths involved, in terms of our faithful living, in terms of our endurance to the end. Understanding spiritual warfare is indeed an important subject, since this seems to be the primary interest of the Book of Revelation.

    Finally, I am not suggesting that this Endtimes Forum go away, and that Prophecy Enthusiasts not be able to speculate on the nitty gritty, on the details, of all of these difficult prophecies. I think it is "for kings to dig for gold." Those who search the deep truths of the word of God are to be commended for their dedication and diligence.

    These words of warning that I'm giving you, however, come from Scriptures, and can keep our "wanderlust" in check! If we keep our message balanced and disciplined, I think we will ensure better productivity in service to the Lord.

    Let me know what you think?
    Fantastic post Randy and how true

    Most books in the bible are the same message which is morality being the down fall of humanity and rebellion against God. The prophets were always warning about morality and that is the message that God gave them to give to the people at their time. The judgement and the warning of morality and rebellion against God started with the fall back in Noah's time and is a constant revolving cycle and still happening today. Although all of the books of the bible where written for us they weren't all written too us we need to read each book standing in the shoes of the people and generation that they were written too. For example

    Revelation 1:4-6
    4 John,
    To the seven churches in the province of Asia:
    Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits[a] before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
    To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

    This is also why I believe that a lot of prophecy is symbolic and has already happened not all of it but most of it.

    On a side note sometimes debating the end times on this forum is not always a good way of studying the bible sure we can learn but at times we let pride get in our way and that seams more important than the truth coming out and most of us are guilty of doing and i'm sure me being included.

    We also have to remember that the people of God 2000 years ago got the prophecies wrong as the coming of their Messiah wasn't what they expected and we could be wrong too.

  3. #3
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    Re: the problem with "endtime" forums

    Rather, I think our main focus, as Christian Teachers, should be to explain the symbols of Revelation in terms of our present mission.
    Yes, this.

    While I agree with most of what you wrote, and have in recently stepped back from the end times forum for the most part due to it being sort of "same old" (happened to need a lift today...) I counter the motion to remove and hope it stays. I do think that there should be more doctrinal purity expressed in the sticky stuff, etc... a little more direction. But if the staff are not on the same page with an eschatological view... this could not work.

    This forum provides a needed place for people to scrum for those nuggets of gold. I have benefited from these nuggets of gold and found many here. I am truly at peace with the conclusions I have come to about the end times, and no longer concern myself (very much) with timelines. My view point has greatly shifted away from literal interps and time lines as of a few years ago. I credit this forum for shaping what I know today (and some deep dives into translations) I am ever interested in world events and how they demonstrate the truth of scripture, and the end goals of God. CHANGE NOW - this is a great mantra! The hallmark of the prophets.

    We are, in my opinion, now LIVING in the dark and hateful end times that come at the back end of the Great Tribulation. This Great Tribulation is not a brief period, not 7, not 70.... but ALL the years that the world is in its agony and rebellion from its creator.

    There is a great cloud of smoke obscuring the light my friend, the smoke is a cloud of lies, produced by the doctrines of demons. (Revelation 9:2-3)

    Man's rebellion from God will reach it's climax, but those who know the truth will not be deceived (Revelation 9:4)

    Continue to spread the message of hope, with what time we have left. The online battlefield is murky, but necessary.
    As the "thief" in the night, Christ is going to suddenly appear on the throne of Israel - not the antichrist.

  4. #4

    Re: the problem with "endtime" forums

    in terms of our present mission.
    I, too, see that as Paul's point in 2Th2; correcting them not to believe [or be tempted to believe] that the time period of judgment "IS PRESENT" (but that instead, in order for it to be "PRESENT," ONE THING must happen "FIRST" ["The Departure [noun]"/"our gathering-together [noun] UNTO HIM" v.1])

    ... as opposed to the idea that Paul was cautioning them about some FUTURE possibility of false teachers claiming that Christ has returned (somewhere over there, and you have missed out). Paul is not giving a warning of future "beware of false teachers who we know will be coming like Jesus said [i.e. man of sin, false Christs, et al]" but the Thessalonians' PRESENT mindset, and adjusting it rightly "in the here and now" (by rightly understanding the relation, time-wise, of the one event [rapture in the air] to the other [earthly time period of judgments]).



    Oh, that, and how I mentioned that Col2:16-17 is saying "which ARE [plural] A SHADOW [singular] of the things coming [plural]" (not things with which we ['the Church which is His body'] presently have to do [because they belong in "the DOTL [time period]" coming on the earth [following our departure]). So yes, I do see those things listed there as an "outline" of sorts, in what is shown in [the 'future things' of] The Revelation [Rev8:1-5,6, for example, being things which only take place at a certain time, per OT scripture]. Again, I do not believe "the Church which is His body" [aka 'temple'] is present on the earth during that time period (of 7 yrs duration)... and I do realize you disagree.

    But, IOW, the "outline" is intended for those who will be on the earth at that [future] time, to benefit them (as it will be a time of great deception... and this will aid their "understanding"... and it will, IF they will but heed His Word [which is what it's there for* ], but we see that many won't, instead).


    [ * Rev1:1 "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, WHICH GOD GAVE UNTO HIM [the resurrected/ascended Lord Jesus Christ], TO SHEW UNTO His servants things which must come to pass IN QUICKNESS [noun]..." (not over some 2000 years); this includes the "timing" issues He didn't "know" BEFORE His ascension, and involves the "future to us" time period (when Jesus "STANDS to JUDGE" [i.e. DOTL time period])]

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    Re: the problem with "endtime" forums

    *** MOD NOTE ***

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    … Finally, I am not suggesting that this Endtimes Forum go away, and that Prophecy Enthusiasts not be able to speculate on the nitty gritty, on the details, of all of these difficult prophecies. …
    Quote Originally Posted by Aijalon View Post
    I counter the motion to remove and hope it stays.
    Before y’all go any further with this I think I should step in and say that there is no discussion nor interest among the mods here to put an end to the End Times forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aijalon View Post
    I do think that there should be more doctrinal purity expressed in the sticky stuff, etc... a little more direction. But if the staff are not on the same page with an eschatological view... this could not work.
    Not sure what you are getting at here.

    Our primary goal is to make sure y’all play nice in this sandbox regardless of your end time view.
    "He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."
    C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."

    "Oh, but sometimes the sun stays hidden for years"
    "Sometimes the sky rains night after night, When will it clear?"

    "But our Hope endures the worst of conditions"
    "It's more than our optimism, Let the earth quake"
    "Our Hope is unchanged"
    "Our Hope Endures" Natalie Grant

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    Re: the problem with "endtime" forums

    Quote Originally Posted by marty fox View Post
    We also have to remember that the people of God 2000 years ago got the prophecies wrong as the coming of their Messiah wasn't what they expected and we could be wrong too.
    Very true.

    Matt 24
    42*“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. 43 But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 44 For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
    And those castles made of sand....fall into the sea......eventually

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    Re: the problem with "endtime" forums

    It was never the intention of God, to give us thru His prophets, a clear instantly understandable message. To have done that would have revealed His plans to all and sundry.
    We can never fully ascertain God’s ultimate design for His creation, although it is clear that he does want those who believe in Him and trust in His salvation, to be aware of coming events. We are told to trust Him and hold fast to our faith, but to do that in the midst of sudden and shocking events, without some idea of the outcome of such events, and then it is so much more difficult for us.
    Therefore, because God HAS given us the information we need to know about the future, then it is a serious error to ignore it. Failing to gain some understanding is to be in the dark, but we are children of the Light and should know what God really does plan for our future. 1 Thess 5:4-6

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    Re: the problem with "endtime" forums

    Quote Originally Posted by Keraz View Post
    It was never the intention of God, to give us thru His prophets, a clear instantly understandable message. To have done that would have revealed His plans to all and sundry.
    We can never fully ascertain God’s ultimate design for His creation, although it is clear that he does want those who believe in Him and trust in His salvation, to be aware of coming events. We are told to trust Him and hold fast to our faith, but to do that in the midst of sudden and shocking events, without some idea of the outcome of such events, and then it is so much more difficult for us.
    Therefore, because God HAS given us the information we need to know about the future, then it is a serious error to ignore it. Failing to gain some understanding is to be in the dark, but we are children of the Light and should know what God really does plan for our future. 1 Thess 5:4-6
    We don't often agree, but here we are ONE. When the disciples asked the Lord about the future in Matthew 24:3, the Lord neither rebuked them nor refused an answer. So also with the prophets of Old. God gives over 330 prophecies concerning Christ alone that have been accurately and literally fulfilled, and double that concerning His Second Coming. Who is the brave (or foolish) man who would downplay prophecy.

    The purpose of this Forum is to hear all views, and then see which fit scripture. Acts 17:11, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." What were they searching? Why, PROPHECY, since the New Testament had not yet been written. Which of us would like to called, by none other than the Holy Spirit, "more noble"?

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    Re: the problem with "endtime" forums

    Keraz: The prophets always gave Israel a clear and instantly understandable message to repent and renew their covenant relationship with God. That is the primary purpose of the prophet. Hence, in that light, Paul asked that the Corinthians prophesy more than anything. He is not asking them to predict the future or express words of divine knowledge, no. He is asking them to search the heart of the congregation for sin and separation from God and call for restoration of the relationship to God. To bring back hope of healing to those who have lost it.

    All of us now prophesy according to the knowledge of the ultimate truth, which is that a resurrection is coming, and to be received into glory we must repent, deny our flesh, reject the world, remain in the faith......
    As the "thief" in the night, Christ is going to suddenly appear on the throne of Israel - not the antichrist.

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    Re: the problem with "endtime" forums

    Thank you for all of your comments. It demonstrates to me that wisdom is here, a desire to know the truth, and a right attitude towards eschatology. Yes, good has come out of this forum, despite the sometimes harsh disagreements. But virtually all I have come into contact with I have benefited from in some way. For that I thank you. And I pray you all have a great new year!

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    Re: the problem with "endtime" forums

    Quote Originally Posted by Aijalon View Post
    Keraz: The prophets always gave Israel a clear and instantly understandable message to repent and renew their covenant relationship with God. That is the primary purpose of the prophet. Hence, in that light, Paul asked that the Corinthians prophesy more than anything. He is not asking them to predict the future or express words of divine knowledge, no. He is asking them to search the heart of the congregation for sin and separation from God and call for restoration of the relationship to God. To bring back hope of healing to those who have lost it.

    All of us now prophesy according to the knowledge of the ultimate truth, which is that a resurrection is coming, and to be received into glory we must repent, deny our flesh, reject the world, remain in the faith......
    Well said.................

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    Re: the problem with "endtime" forums

    2 Peter 1:19-21 ...you will do well to attend to the messages of the prophets, their words shine like a lamp in a dark place. But first note this; no prophesy is a matter for private interpretation. The prophets spoke by the Holy Spirit, as messengers of God.
    We cannot make up our own interpretation. We must let the Bible interpret itself. Others should be able to compare Scriptures for proof and verification.
    With the world situation as it is now, we can see how some prophecy may be fulfilled.

    The Apostle Paul says that due to a believer’s knowledge of prophecy, they are not in darkness regarding things to come. This accounts for the inability of the multitudes to understand what is written, for they do not belong to the group which Paul calls the children of Light. Without faith, an unbeliever is unable to comprehend its meaning.
    1 Corinthians 14:22b….prophecy is given for not for unbelievers, but for believers.

    Because the Church and its leaders generally ignore the prophetic word, they are blind to the meaning of the signs of the times. This is one reason so many have turned away from the acceptance of the Word of God and multitudes are today without belief. Even true and faithful believers in God, generally have no real idea of future events. They simply trust God to save them, which is all very well, but shows a careless attitude and treats a large portion of God’s word as superfluous.

    God’s purpose in allowing uncertainty as to the full meaning and understanding of prophecy, before its fulfilment, is because all people- despite skepticism and unbelief, would be compelled to accept the evidence of a Creator God. An interesting verse is John 14:29 Now I have told you before it comes to pass, so that when it does happen, you might believe.
    The doubters are looking for a sign- no sign will be given them, but those who walk by faith will finally see and recognize prophecy coming to pass as predicted.

    Earnest and sincere discussion of the prophetic word should bring spiritual stimulation and strengthen our faith. We need to know what the prophets have said, so that we can be in a position to use that information intelligently and not be surprised at what will happen.
    Prophecy has not been given to men to make them prophets, but for the purpose of confirming God’s word and thus enable everyone who walks by faith, to know the truth.

    Daniel 12:9-10 ....these words are to be kept secret and sealed until the time of the end.
    ....but the wicked will continue in wickedness and none of them will understand; only a few wise will understand
    .
    Commentaries say: The wicked are the rebellious. The wise are the teachers or leaders. And those who do teach and lead, must be really sure they are right, because they face a more severe judgement. James 3:1

    logostelos.info

  13. #13

    Re: the problem with "endtime" forums

    Here's my opinion of the End Times discussions in general.

    Acts 1:6-8 NASB
    6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

    From my understanding, limited as it may be, God's more concerned about us being His witness to the lost, rather than figuring out His return date.
    But as I said this is my opinion.
    9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. - Galatians 6:9-10 NASB

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    Re: the problem with "endtime" forums

    Quote Originally Posted by jesusinmylife View Post
    Here's my opinion of the End Times discussions in general.

    Acts 1:6-8 NASB
    6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

    From my understanding, limited as it may be, God's more concerned about us being His witness to the lost, rather than figuring out His return date.
    But as I said this is my opinion.
    How very true good sir

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    Re: the problem with "endtime" forums

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    1) Christians interested in Bible Prophecy tend to want to map out the future. That is, they are "crystal ball readers." They want to get there ahead of the game, so that they can tell others, "I told you so!"
    If this is our attitude then I completely agree.
    However I also fully believe that Amos 3:7 is true - Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets.
    Now I don't take that to mean the micro (minutiae) of His plan, nor only the macro, but rather He reveals what we need to know for the present and the future.

    2) I think too much is made of trying to formulate Bible Doctrines out of symbols used to express general truths. Parables, visions, dreams, and symbols then become a rather arbitrary set of data used by Prophecy Enthusiasts to conveniently design their own theories and prophetic schemes. This can, as the Book of Revelation suggests, distort the words of that book and so incur God's anger.
    Totally agree that foundational doctrine should not be formulated from Parables, visions etc. Where I disagree, is that they are part of all scripture and therefore are useful for teaching etc (2 Tim 3:16). Somethings stated can only be known because God gave them through such a means. This doesn't make them less valuable or truthful.

    Prophecy Calendars can be a good organizational tool, but I don't think the Book of Revelation was designed as such. It appears to be a look at the end of history, with spiritual warfare between the Antichrist and Christianity, with an encouragement to Christians throughout the age to "hold the fort." To begin to synchronize the Seals, the Trumpets, and the Vials in a chronological, organized way seems to wander far from the purpose of these visions itself.
    I believe the purpose of Revelation, is as stated. It is to reveal. It reveals who God is, and what His plan is and also to help those who go through tribulation, and especially for those who will go through that time.

    Why is Daniel 9 about a 490 year period. If I held the view that it is ONLY for the immediate, and has no long term, nor any calendar view, then I would not see any point in God speaking of 490 years, but ONLY if it were a literal 70 weeks, and then base ALL my interpretation with that as my foundational assumption.
    However I don't believe you do that, and nor do most on this forum.
    I tried to work it out as such and couldn't do so - which may just mean I am not wedded to such an approach...
    However when we accept that God states things with long term implications, which will only affect certain people at a certain time THEN it becomes actually part of God's directive for us to dig into these things and seel understanding, because He chose to reveal it to us.

    Rather, I think our main focus, as Christian Teachers, should be to explain the symbols of Revelation in terms of our present mission. We should therefore focus on the spiritual truths involved, in terms of our faithful living, in terms of our endurance to the end. Understanding spiritual warfare is indeed an important subject, since this seems to be the primary interest of the Book of Revelation.
    Everything needs to be understood with regards to now, and what we are facing now, but this doesn't mean any future implication is not relevant or preparation is not required.
    I partially reject pretrib for the same reason I reject preterism and to a degree Amil, in that they seem ultimately to make Revelation irrelevant as a revealing of God's will and rather either something for someone else or as allegorical generic teaching with no specific truth which we may need to understand.
    I think we need to know WHY we either take it as relevant for us know or why it is yet future which may be ours.

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