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Saturday, 8 May 2021

ANDY WOODS PREWRATH RAPTURE ONSLAUGHT (PART 6)

Rapture Sermon Series 47. Explaining & Refuting Pre-Wrath, Pt. 6. Daniel 9:27. Dr. Andy Woods - YouTube

When you see.. (Matthew 25:15).

So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.(Matthew 25:15-20).

According to Andy Woods, Jesus' warnings refer to Jewish individuals living on the earth at the time the temple is desecrated. These warnings are addressed to the disciples, and by extension to the church.

Three Parts? 

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator. (Daniel 9:27).

Andy Woods confirms that the 70th week of Daniel is divided into two halves i.e. two periods of 3.5 years. (Revelation 11:2-3, 12:6, 13:5; Daniel 7:25, 12:7, 12:11). However, he fails to take into account explicit scriptures that elaborate on this two part framework and he superimposes the tribulation onto the entire seven years. *The Olivet Discourse is unequivocal ~ the great tribulation begins and ends at specific points during the 70th week: 

For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again. Matthew 24:21)

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31 cf. Revelation 6:12-17 ).

The above verses indicate that the sixth seal cosmic disturbances occur immediately after the tribulation of those days. The tribulation is "cut short" for the sake of the elect, before the 3.5 years are completed. (Matthew 24:22). The gathering of the elect (the rapture) becomes imminent, and the Day of the Lord is specifically indicated as portending following the sixth seal cosmic disturbances. (Revelation 6:12-14). The wrath of God occurs towards the end of the 70th week after the seventh seal is broken. (Revelation 8:1- 9:20, 15:1,8, 16:1-17).   

Then the kings of the earth, the nobles, the commanders, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and free man hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they said to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of Their wrath has come, and who is able to withstand it?” (Revelation 6:15-17). 

And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. (Joel 2:30-31).

With such clarity available to us in the scriptures, it is difficult, if not impossible, to understand Andy Woods' objection that the prewrath view imposes an artificial construct on Daniel's 70th week by separating the great tribulation from the Day of the Lord.  



Larry B Pettigrew's flawed arguments:

In his paper Interpretive Flaws in the Olivet Discourse, Larry Pettigrew grossly misrepresents the prewrath position below:



Israel will be protected in the wilderness for the period of the tribulation and also during the period of time that the wrath continues, in all, 1260 days. However unlike Israel, the church will be raptured before the Day of the Lord commences.

..and the woman (Israel) fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:6).

Pettigrew: "The bible never divides the 1260 days into two 630 days."  Prewrath teachers do not claim that the 1260 years will be split in half! In fact, Pettigrew's points are not only inaccurate, but they appear to be a deliberate distortion of the prewrath position. We need to ask the question: Why do pre-trib teachers find it necessary to resort to disreputable tactics in order to misrepresent the prewrath rapture? The tendency of pre-trib leaders to 'win the argument' by fair means or foul reflects very badly on their supposed integrity! (Ephesians 4:25).

Pettigrew: "Another flaw in the pre-wrath interpretation of Matthew 24:22 is its logical failure to explain properly the reason that the great tribulation is shortened. The reason given is that if it were not, no flesh would be saved. The point of the Scripture is that when the great tribulation is over, something easier and better comes on the scene. In the pre-wrath scheme, however, something more horrible occurs—the Day of the Lord. If no flesh would have survived a continuation of the great tribulation through the full forty-two months, surely no flesh would survive if the great tribulation were to be cut short and followed by the awesome Day of the Lord.
Moreover, Matthew 24:21 says that the great tribulation will be the worst time ever. So, how can it be replaced by the Day of the Lord which is more horrible in that it consists in God’s wrath on the world? In fact, the great tribulation (Matt 24:21) and the Day of the Lord (Dan 12:1; Jer 30:7) are both said to be the worst time ever, so they must be the same time period or at least overlap one another. How much better is the pretribulational interpretation of Matthew 24:22 which says that when the great tribulation concludes at the end of 1,260 days, Christ returns, judgment on the earth ceases, and the millennial Kingdom begins!" {1} 

Pettigrew directly contradicts the specific distinction between tribulation and wrath in Matthew 24:29-31 and Revelation 6:12-17. Scripturally, the two periods are not the same time period and they do not overlap. As already stated, the Olivet Discourse is unequivocal, the great tribulation begins and ends at specific points during the 70th week.* 

Andy Woods also quotes an article written by George Zeller entitled Pre-Wrath Confusion: "The PRE-WRATH view teaches that the Day of the Lord begins after the Great Tribulation and that the Day of the Lord is the time of God’s wrath. Matthew 24:21, Daniel 12:1 and Jeremiah 30:7 all teach that the Great Tribulation is the greatest time of trouble that the world has ever known. Therefore, if the Day of the Lord is distinct from the Great Tribulation, then the Day of the Lord must be LESS SEVERE than the Great Tribulation. But how can the great day of God’s wrath be less severe and less troublesome than the Great Tribulation?How can God’s wrath be less severe than man’s wrath? How can the trumpets and bowls be less severe than the fifth seal? How can God’s wrath be less severe than Satan’s wrath? How can unregenerate men and Satan cause more trouble for this world than the wrathful JUDGE Himself? The PRE-WRATH view, when compared with Matthew 24:21 and these other verses, makes the Day of the Lord an ANTICLIMAX! " {2} 

Andy Woods applies the phrase no flesh would be saved to all humanity: "God is not going to allow the second half to exceed its allotted time frame because if that happened no one would survive.. if this time period of great tribulation goes outside this seven years everyone would be dead."  The problem with Andy Woods' argument is that the great tribulation will be cut short before its allotted time frame for the sake of the elect. The pre-trib camp are obdurate in their unwillingness to differentiate between the scriptural designations (thlipsis) and wrath (orgē) during this period. The application of the great tribulation is unprecedented persecution against believers # the elect # the church. (Matthew 24:15-22). Daniel 12:1 and Jeremiah 30:7 refer to unbelieving Israel (your people/Jacob). It is evident that the unequalled distress of the great tribulation does not apply to the world, since the world will not suffer the persecution of the Antichrist. The Day of the Lord follows the great tribulation and the rapture and is directed against the world. 

..let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. (Matthew 24:16,21-22).
Alas! That day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob; yet he shall be saved out of it. (Jeremiah 30:7).
At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. (Daniel 12:1).

The Great Multitude (Revelation 7:9-17)

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming (erchomai) out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:13-14).

To paraphrase Andy Woods: "The present tense participle (erchomai) describes a process of continuous action. This cannot be the rapture because erchomai is a process, whereas the rapture happens in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. (1 Corinthians 15:52)." It may seem that at last Andy Woods has found the Achilles heel in the prewrath view. However the preponderance of evidence is against him. 

The reference to "the ones who are coming out of the great tribulation" is attached to a sequence of two Greek verbs in the aorist tense. i.e. "have washed" and "made" These verbs refer to the timing of the event as a completed action. One of the elders asks: .. from where have they come (elthon)He did not ask where are they coming from, rather the past tense of the Greek verb (to come) is employed. This is further corroborated by: ..they have washed (past tense) their robes and made (past tense) them white in the blood of the Lamb.

The context of Revelation 7:13-14 gives a fuller view of the great multitude in heaven: 

# The appearance of the great multitude in heaven is sandwiched between the sixth seal cosmic disturbances when the rapture becomes imminent, and the breaking of the seventh seal and the onset of the Day of the Lord via the trumpet judgements. (Revelation 8:1-13 cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:9). This scene precisely parallels Jesus timeline of events in Matthew 24:29-31, i.e. the cosmic disturbances follow the great tribulation and then the angels gather the elect from the four winds.

# The phrase a great multitude that no one could number from every tribe and language and people and nation in Revelation 7:9 echoes the language of every tribe and language and people and nation in Revelation 5:9, the great multitude in Revelation 19:6 and also God's promise to Abraham: I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. (Genesis 22:17). This scene is the immediate prelude to the opening of the seventh seal and indicates the rapture.

The prewrath view teaches that the church will remain on the earth until the tribulation is "cut short". (Matthew 24:22). There is no evidence of a "worldwide revival" during the 70th week of Daniel. (Revelation 9:20-21). The sudden appearance of the innumerable multitude before the throne does not correlate well with a worldwide revival. However, this scene does correlate with the rapture and the appearance in heaven of innumerable numbers i.e. the resurrected saints of all time. (2 Timothy 3:12). 

The saints will receive their resurrected bodies at the rapture. (1 Corinthians 15:35-58 cf. Philippians 3:21). We see the great multitude described in physical terms: ..standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. (Revelation 7:9). 

# Regarding the praises of the great multitude: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” and the subsequent angelic praises: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” This scene suggests that a momentous event has just occurred. The contention of prewrath teachers is that this momentous event is rapture of the church.

The objection that John should have known the identity of the great multitude because he is a foundation stone of the church is clutching at straws. (Ephesians 2:20).  Revelation 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants.. is precisely that. If John had been au fait with the entirety of the revelation he was given, there would have been no need for him to receive it. (1 John 3:2 cf. Revelation 21:14). We could ask why John began to weep because no one was worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals. (Revelation 5:3-5). These kind of inane questions are redundant. 
 
The forty seven long weeks that Andy Woods has been teaching and defending the pre-trib rapture is unprecedented as far as I am aware. Tragically, Woods is a hardcore pretribulationalist, despite the fact that he has been made aware of many evidences to the contrary. 

While I believe that many true believers have been sucked into the pre-trib deception by stealth, unfortunately I cannot say the same for their leaders. (Genesis 3:1). Technically, those who teach the pre-trib doctrine fall into the category of false prophets who distort the scriptures. (Revelation 22:18-19). Many pre-trib teachers are hirelings who remain loyal to their denominational label above the scriptures. (John 10:13). The words of Jeremiah come to mind: “Amen! May the LORD do so; may the LORD make the words that you have prophesied come true.. Jeremiah continued: ..the LORD has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie. (Jeremiah 28:6-15).

Pre-trib teachers will need some good answers when the time comes for them to give an account! (Hebrews 4:13).

1. tmsj13f.pdf

Friday, 30 April 2021

ANDY WOODS PREWRATH RAPTURE ONSLAUGHT (PART 5)

Rapture Sermon Series 46 - Explaining & Refuting Pre-Wrath, Pt. 5. 1 Thess. 4:18. Dr. Andy Woods. - YouTube

I was hoping that this would be the last onslaught against the prewrath rapture position by Andy Woods, but apparently not. This week he began with a brief repetition of his previous arguments against prewrath and continued with The Blessed Hope and The Restrainer. Apparently he has found four more arguments against prewrath, which is rather tiresome considering that every one of his arguments to date have been shown to be fallacious.  

The Blessed Hope

The pre-trib camp dislocate the rapture from the second coming (Parousia) of Jesus Christ and place it before the first seal in the book of Revelation. The problems with this view are insurmountable. The pre-trib camp are battling not only with the fact that there is not one single verse of scripture to validate their claim, but also that the scriptures directly contradict them! Biblically, the second coming of Jesus begins with the prewrath rapture at some unspecified point between the sixth and seventh seal in the book of Revelation. 

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14).

Andy Woods asks the question: "How is the prewrath rapture a comfort to the believer (John 14:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:18; Titus 2:13?" 

The above passages are not time specific i.e. they do not prove the imminency of the rapture. The assumption that the rapture is imminent is contradicted primarily by Matthew 24:29-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 and Revelation 7:9.

The comfort (encouragement) of believers is based on the sure hope of all Christians based on the promise that they will ultimately be received to heaven and will dwell with the Lord forever. (Hebrews 6:18-20). 

Our motivation is the cross of Jesus Christ. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19). 
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10). Persecution on some level is a promise to all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:12). No matter what trials or persecution we might face in this life, our ultimate destiny is to be with Him. In the meantime we persevere until He comes. The danger of the pre-trib theory is that believers will take offence, and apostasy/rebellion (apostasia) will result due to dashed hopes of an escape from the persecution of the Antichrist. (Matthew 24:10 cf. Proverbs 13:12). Tribulation or persecution are two reasons specifically given by Jesus Christ as the cause of falling away ..yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. (Matthew 13:21; cf. John 15:20). 

The pre-trib mantra that Christians will not have to suffer the persecution of the Antichrist has all the lethal echos of.. did God really say? (Genesis 3:1); This shall never happen to you. (Matthew 16:22-23); and false prophets like Hananiah who prophesied "peace". (Jeremiah 28:9-11). Jesus prefixed his warnings in the Olivet Discourse with See, I have told you beforehand. (Matthew 24:25). He warned believers to be prepared to endure during this critical time in history. It is necessary for the pre-trib camp to silence Jesus Christ on this subject by invalidating the specific warnings given to Christians in the Olivet Discourse. 

Michael the Restrainer?

And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. (2 Thessalonians 2:6–7).

According to Andy Woods, the church is the restrainer, or to be more specific, the Holy Spirit in the church is the restrainer. This dubious presumption precludes the presence of the church on earth during the 70th week of Daniel.

The Antichrist is revealed at the mid point of the 70th week of Daniel. (2 Thessalonians 2:4). In context, Paul links two events specifically in time: (a) the Antichrist will be revealed when he takes his seat in the temple of God and proclaims himself to be God; (b) the restrainer will cease restraining in order to facilitate the revealing of the Antichrist. Neither of these events occur at the beginning of the 70th week when Andy Woods claims that the restrainer will be taken out of the way.

Let no one deceive you in any way, for it will not come until the rebellion (apostasia) occurs and the man of lawlessness—the son of destruction—is revealed.. And you know what is now restraining him, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one who now restrains it will continue until he is taken out of the way. (2 Thessalonians 2:3,6,7).

A further argument against the pre-trib view is the great tribulation, i.e. the period when the church will be persecuted. The Antichrist will make war with the saints, who have the testimony and faith of Jesus. (Revelation 12:17, 13:7, 14:12). The body of Christ i.e. the church will be on the earth and resisting the Antichrist during the great tribulation. Jesus prefaced his warning to the disciples: ..when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination of desolation'.. (Matthew 24 15). Pre-trib teachers deny the significance of the eschatological implications for the church in the Olivet Discourse. However, there are several scriptures confirming that Jesus was addressing the church as his primary audience. For instance Jesus assured his disciples: And behold, I am with you always (πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας), to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Of all the various theories regarding the identity of the restrainer, the most feasible candidate is the archangel Michael. This view has been reinforced following groundbreaking research undertaken by Colin R Nicholl and taught by Alan Kurschner (Eschatos Ministries). 

I will briefly summarize this view, but I recommend that readers of this post listen to Alan Kurschner on this topic on the links below. 

In Jewish thought, Michael, whose name means "Who is like God" is the principal angel who is believed to act as the right hand of God and is represented as the tutelary prince of Israel. He is a military commander with a critical eschatological role in opposing, and ultimately defeating Satan/Belial and punishing the fallen angels. 

At that time Michael, the great prince who stands watch over your people, will rise up (Hebrew amad). (Daniel 12:1). 

The prewrath view takes the definition of amad as stand still, stop, cease moving, of moon as in Joshua 10:13) {1} This view agrees with Rashi's early interpretation of Daniel 12:1 i.e. Michael will withdraw or stand aside immediately before the great tribulation. In addition, the Greek term parerchomai in the Septuagint (LXX) is translated to pass by. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7; Daniel 11:45-12:1). {2}

Michael’s war against the dragon in Revelation 12:7-17 coincides with the unprecedented persecution of God’s people. These events are consistent with 2 Thessalonians 2:6–7 and Daniel 11:45–12:1.

According to Andy Woods, Michael does not "like" to have conflict with Satan on the premise of Jude 1:9. These fallacious arguments from Andy Woods are an insult to any Christian with even the slightest biblical knowledge! Whether the archangel Michael likes it or not, there is absolutely no doubt that he does contend with Satan!

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. (Revelation 12:7-8). 

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. (Daniel 12:1). 

But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” (Jude 1:9).

This phrase is used by the Angel of the Lord in Zechariah 3:2. And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! According to Keil and Delitsch, the phrase "The Lord rebuke you" is believed to be a standing formula for the utterance of the threat of a divine judgment, from which no conclusion can be drawn as to the relation in which the person using it stood to God. {3} It may be that Jude was referring to some rabbinical tradition, or to the apocryphal Assumption of Moses. In any event, this phrase does not prove that Michael does not contend with/restrain Satan. In fact, quite the reverse is the case as the scriptures demonstrate. 

Three Parts?

The Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24 and 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21) identifies three separate phases of the 70th week of Daniel  ~ birth pains, great tribulation and the Day of the Lord. Andy Woods tacked his puzzling objections to Jesus' teaching on this subject onto the end of part 5: 


The great tribulation will begin at the mid point of the 70th week when the Antichrist takes his seat in the temple of God and causes the abomination of desolation. (Daniel 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). Andy Woods fails to take into account that those days will be cut short. 

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short (koloboó), no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. (Matthew 24:21-22). koloboó means to curtail. {4} 

The Day of the Lord will be unleashed after the great tribulation is curtailed for the sake of the elect. God's wrath will continue throughout the remainder of the seven year period. In other words, the Day of the Lord is an inclusive part of the 70th week of Daniel. 



Saturday, 24 April 2021

ANDY WOODS PREWRATH RAPTURE ONSLAUGHT (PART 4)

(1) Rapture Sermon Series 45 - Explaining & Refuting Pre-Wrath, Pt. 4. Rev. 6:16-17. Dr. Andy Woods - YouTube

Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” (Revelation 6:1).

In part 4 of Andy Woods' onslaught against the prewrath rapture, he continues to insist that wrath, as against travail, defines the entirety of the 70th week of Daniel in clear contradiction to Matthew 24:8 and Revelation 6. Andy Woods' attempt to reinforce his theory that the opening of the first four seals is equivalent to wrath is to make a false association between Come! (erchomai) in Revelation 6:1,3, 5 and 7 and has come (ēlthen) in Revelation 6:17.

Some scholars interpret "Come!" in Revelation 6:1,3 5 and 7 as an invitation to John to "come and see". Benson notes the subsequent: And I looked, and behold, a xxxx horse! in verses 1, 5 and 7. {1} I am not convinced by this explanation. Rather, it seems to be more like a summoning of the four horsemen each in their turn. Whichever view we decide to take, Revelation 6:17 refers to a different scene entirely: for the great day of their wrath has come (ἦλθεν/ēlthen), and who can stand? 

Andy Woods has laboured over has come (ēlthen) in his previous videos in order to "prove" that it refers to the previous seals. However, pre-trib attempts to demonstrate that ēlthen refers to the past seals are disingenuous. Dissecting words without taking the context into consideration is bad exegesis. A close study of ēlthen demonstrates unequivocally that context is the key to Revelation 6:17, as per the following examples:

It is enough; the hour has come (ēlthen). The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. (Mark 14:41).

Swing Your sickle and reap, because the time has come (ēlthen) to harvest; for the crop of the earth is ripe. (Revelation 14:15).

Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come (ēlthen), and his Bride has made herself ready; (Revelation 19:7).

Andy Woods' previous interpretation of apostasy (apostasia) as the rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 has also been demonstrated to be false. {2} Woods continues to double down and teach these falsehoods irrespective of their obvious flaws. The right thing for him to do would be to correct his theology, but tragically (both for him and his followers), this seems unlikely.  

Imminency

All the verses Andy Woods cites as proof of imminency completely ignore the Olivet Discourse i.e. the key passages in Matthew 24 and 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21, where specific signs of the end of the age are given to the church by Jesus Christ Himself. The Olivet Discourse must be disregarded as irrelevant to the church according to the pre-trib camp. In other words, Jesus Christ Himself must be silenced in order to make way for the pre-trib doctrine!  

Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age? (Matthew 24:3).

..the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:13).

So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand).. (Matthew 24:15; Daniel 12:11).

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.  (Matthew24:29-31).

The relationship between Matthew 24:32-35 and James 5:7-9

When the New Testament says that the Lord's coming is near it does automatically follow that it is imminent. James 5:7-9 supplements the fig tree analogy in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:32-35). The context of both these passages is a call for patience and endurance. Both Jesus and James use analogies from nature in order to make the point that the Lord's coming (parousia) is near; it is certain, but it is not imminent. The rapture will occur in a specific generation only after certain signs have taken place. These particular signs could unravel rapidly in any given generation, hence the necessity for Christians to stay alert and watchful. (Matthew 24:43).

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer awaits the precious fruit of the soil—how patient he is for the fall and spring rains. You, too, be patient and strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near. Do not complain about one another, brothers, so that you will not be judged. Look, the Judge is standing at the door (thurōn)! You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. (James 5:7-9).

From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates (thurōn). Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. (Matthew 24:32-35).

Titus 2:13

..waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ..

Arguments from isolated verses that do not mention the signs preceding the blessed hope do not constitute a valid defence of the pretrib theory. Good exegesis takes the sum total of God's word into account. (Psalm 119:160). Paul says elsewhere: Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.. (2 Thessalonians 2:3).  

Andy Woods claims that opposition to the pre-trib rapture is Satanic and that Satan is trying to destroy the pre-trib doctrine. (38:00 mark)  Andy Woods: "Satan hates the doctrine of imminency.. he has raised up forces trying to tear the doctrine down..  The ferocity and hatred towards pre-trib is spiritual warfare... it is part of the angelic conflict. He is right, but he has it backwards! The plan of the enemy is to sabotage the specific warnings given by Jesus Christ so that His church will be unprepared for His coming. The pre-trib theory does not stand up to the test of the scriptures, it is a false teaching that must be sharply refuted. (1 Timothy 4:1; Titus 1:13; 1 John 4:1). 

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20).

It is a difficult task to refute the pre-trib theory without alienating genuine believers who have been taken in by it. The intention of most prewrath proponents is to encourage pre-trib believers to test the scriptures to see if these things are so. (Acts 17:11). Pre-trib teachers like Andy Woods are putting the church at great risk. If the church is not prepared to face the persecution of the Antichrist, then the results are potentially catastrophic. (Matthew 24:10). The pre-trib theory essentially trashes approximately 1800 years of church history before imminency was ever heard of in this context. 

Andy Woods final comments about prewrath proponents: "They are the most disgruntled unhappy people lacking in joy that you will ever meet." He goes on to say that they are always focused on the news, the economy, the political situation, spiritual warfare and inflation.. and that is all they can talk about. These generalizations appear to form part of Andy Woods carte blanch attack on anyone who promotes the prewrath view by fair means or foul! All believers are exhorted to be sober minded and watchful. (1 Peter 5:8). Those who have a genuine concern for truth and express their doubts about the validity of pre-trib are not devoid of joy! 

In conclusion, I should mention that not everyone who promotes their own version of prewrath is reliable. We should mark and avoid revilers and false teachers like Jacob Prasch and Steven Anderson, and also modern Judaizers like Doug Hamp. (Romans 16:17). John Haller (Fellowship Bible Chapel) majors on politics and is close to both Prasch and Hamp. Although it is critically important, the timing of the rapture is not the only criteria that determines sound teaching; we should test teachers by their doctrines (Titus 1:9), and by their fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). If Andy Woods were to mention some names then it would be possible to respond to his various sweeping accusations. 

Andy Woods seems determined to misrepresent and undermine the warnings given to the church by Jesus Christ Himself in the Olivet Discourse. Likewise, he employs various subversive tactics against those who repeat Jesus' end time warnings. (Matthew 5:11; John 15:20).


Further Link

Saturday, 17 April 2021

ANDY WOODS PREWRATH RAPTURE ONSLAUGHT (PART 3)

Rapture Sermon Series 44 - Explaining & Refuting Pre-Wrath, Pt. 3. Rev. 6:16-17. Dr. Andy Woods - YouTube

Part 3 of Andy Woods' onslaught against the prewrath rapture did not add anything new to the subject. This video consists of repeated accusations against the prewrath position. Much of this content has already been addressed in my previous two posts. {1}

Andy Woods brought up Alan Kurschner's prewrath chart below which correlates the birth pains in Matthew 24 with the seal judgements of Revelation 6-7:  


Andy Woods confirms the prewrath view that the "beginning of birth pains" will precede the Day of the Lord as either Satan's wrath or man's wrath. His objection to the above chart is that the third seal is described as "famine" rather than "famine and earthquakes". Matthew is the only gospel that links famines and earthquakes, and Revelation 6:5-6 omits earthquakes altogether. Mark and Luke apply earthquakes in a general sense to the beginning of birth pains. I am not sure if there is a strict necessity to apply famines and earthquakes exclusively to the third seal as there may be some overlap.

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7).

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. (Mark 13:8).

Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.(Luke 21:10-11) .

I am confident that no-one within the prewrath camp has overlooked, or would attempt to deny, that God is the first cause of the events released by the seals. (Revelation 5:9). The scriptures indicate that a significant increase in earthquakes will occur subsequent to the arrival of the Antichrist. Paul uses the birth pains metaphor to describe the present subjection of all creation to travail (ὠδίνω) ~ For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. (Romans 8:22 cf. Romans 8:19-21; Genesis 3:17; Job 9:6). The breaking of the first seal i.e. the arrival of the Antichrist, is the catalyst that precipitates the breaking of the subsequent seals, beginning with wars and famine. As such, the Antichrist is the "secondary agent" that God will use to fulfil His ultimate purposes. The metaphor "the beginning of birth pains" expresses travail and pain. To insist on anything more than that is to go beyond what is written. (1 Corinthians 4:6).

The period the scriptures designate as the Day of the Lord/the Day of His wrath begins specifically when the seventh seal is broken. After the seventh seal is broken, God's wrath is orchestrated directly from heaven itself against the wicked. (Revelation 8:6-13). The scriptures apply the designation the Day of the Lord to unprecedented wrath (orgé), not previously known on the earth, and never to be repeated.

..a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations. (Joel 2:2).

A major problem for those who do not follow the biblical distinctions, the beginning of birth pains, tribulation and wrath are the fifth seal martyrs.

And when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had upheld. And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You avenge our blood and judge those who dwell upon the earth?” Then each of them was given a white robe and told to rest a little while longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers, were killed, just as they had been killed. (Revelation 6:9-11 cf. Revelation 12:17).

According to pre-trib reasoning, the fifth seal martyrs will experience God's wrath. The fifth seal specifically addresses the martyrdom of faithful believers killed under the persecution of the Antichrist. (Daniel 7:25; Matthew 24:9). This cannot possibly be God's wrath. Those under the altar ask how long it will be before God avenges their blood and judges the earth dwellers. This is a reference to the wrath which will begin after the great tribulation. Furthermore, Revelation 6:17 confirms "the great day of Their wrath has come (ηλθεν/ēlthen)."

Revelation 6:17 and the aorist indicative verb ēlthen

Andy Woods repeats the skewed translation of ἦλθεν (ēlthen) as a past action. This translation does not fit the context of the previous six seals, but rather the wicked realize that God's wrath has arrived, or rather, it is/has become imminent. As much as Andy Woods quotes pre-trib scholars Robert L Thomas and Gerald B Stanton, there are many more Greek scholars who disagree with them. {2} 

The examples below demonstrate that context is the key to ἦλθεν/ēlthen.

It is enough; the hour has come (ἦλθεν/ēlthen). The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. (Mark 14:41).

Swing Your sickle and reap, because the time has come (ἦλθεν/ēlthen) to harvest; for the crop of the earth is ripe. (Revelation 14:15).

A further problem is that there is no indication that believers will be exempted from seal four: sword, famine, plague, and the beasts of the earth. As Andy Woods indicates, a quarter of the worlds population will perish during this period. (Revelation 6:8). If this is wrath, then there is a contradiction with 1 Thessalonians 5:9. While there are similarities with Ezekiel 5:5-17, Ezekiel 7:14-15 and Ezekiel 14:21, the context of these passages is not eschatological, i.e. these OT passages refer to the desolation of Jerusalem/Israel, not to the 70th week of Daniel.

Andy Woods quoted a saying of Tim LaHaye regarding "specialists". Frankly I would not embarrass myself by quoting novelist Tim LaHaye (Left Behind). LaHaye's involvement with, and support of, messiah claimant Sun Myung Moon (Moonies) means that we can write him off as a person of integrity! {3}

Andy Woods' unwillingness to engage in any kind of debate or discussion, and also the fact that he has turned off the comments on his YouTube videos, is not conducive to openness. He makes all kinds of accusations against the prewrath camp without giving anyone the right of reply. By shutting down opposing views, Andy Woods isolates himself and constrains others from legitimate exegesis. Pre-trib leaders are playing a very dangerous game that has the potential to devastate the church. (Proverbs 13:12).

1. WOLVES IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING: FALSE PROPHETS AND BIBLE TEACHERS IN THE LAST DAYS: ANDY WOODS PREWRATH RAPTURE ONSLAUGHT (PART 1) (bewareofthewolves.blogspot.com)
1. WOLVES IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING: FALSE PROPHETS AND BIBLE TEACHERS IN THE LAST DAYS: ANDY WOODS PREWRATH RAPTURE ONSLAUGHT (PART 2) (bewareofthewolves.blogspot.com)
2. 
Revelation 11:18 Commentaries:

Sunday, 11 April 2021

JOEL RICHARDSON & DALTON THOMAS: MARANATHA BIBLE STUDY - SOME DIFFICULT QUESTIONS

One of the Most Important End-Time Prophecies in the Bible You've Probably Never Heard Of - YouTube

Joel Richardson and Dalton Thomas have been engaged on a series entitled A Roadmap to Explore the Book of Revelation. (Maranatha Global Bible Study - FAI Studios). In this particular video, Dalton Thomas examines the very difficult passage of Daniel 8:9-14 and its relation to Revelation 12. He goes on to identify the "restrainer" in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 as Satan.

9From one of these horns a little horn emerged and grew extensively toward the south and the east and toward the Beautiful Land. 10It grew as high as the host of heaven, and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the earth, and trampled them. 11It magnified itself, even to the Prince of the host; it removed His daily sacrifice and overthrew the place of His sanctuary. 12And in the rebellion, the host and the daily sacrifice were given over to the horn, and it flung truth to the ground and prospered in whatever it did.13Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long until the fulfillment of the vision of the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, and the surrender of the sanctuary and of the host to be trampled?”14He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be properly restored.” (Daniel 8:9-14).

And the great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. (Revelation 12:9).

Dalton Thomas does not see a connection between Daniel 8:9-12 and Revelation 12:9. I agree that there does not seem to be a connection between these two passages. Daniel 8:9-10 concerns "the little horn" (the Antichrist), and Revelation 12:9 concerns "the great dragon" (Satan). Dalton Thomas' interpretation of Daniel 8:9-12 is that the Antichrist will cast down and trample the saints during the tribulation period, and he makes a connection with the saints in Daniel 12:3 ~ who will shine like the stars of heaven. I am not 100% sure about this interpretation. The "saints" (the wise) are not literally "the host", they are "like the host", and they are on the earth: And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:3). A literal interpretation of Daniel 8:9-12 suggests that the Antichrist literally casts down some of the host and some of the stars to earth and tramples them. This seems to equate to angelic beings literally cast down and trampled by the Antichrist. Angels are fully engaged in the cosmic battle between God and Satan and it does not seem incomprehensible that some will be cast down and trampled (temporarily). (Daniel 10:13; Revelation 12:7). Daniel 7:25 says that the Antichrist will wear out the saints of the Most High. The Antichrist will make war on the saints.. i.e. those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Revelation 12:17). These descriptions about the persecution of the saints do not seem to fit with the Antichrists action of casting some of the stars to earth. I am wary about a definitive interpretation of this verse. 

At around the 46:00 mark, Dalton Thomas begins to introduce some very blurred distinctions between Satan and the Antichrist. 

It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown. (Daniel 8:11). 

This verse refers to the removal of the daily sacrifice and the overthrow of the earthly temple in Jerusalem. Dalton Thomas refers to two sanctuaries; the heavenly sanctuary of the little horn, and the trampling of the temple in Jerusalem. There is no indication that the little horn is "forced out of his sanctuary". Daniel 8:11 and Revelation 12:12-13 are not the same event although they are obviously connected. Satan is cast down to the earth from heaven, and almost simultaneously, the Antichrist overthrows the earthly temple i.e. the sanctuary. I do not see "the sanctuary of the little horn" or even "the sanctuary of Satan" in heaven in the scriptures; I only see the sanctuary of God in heaven and its counterpart on the earth. (Hebrews 9:23-24). As God's throne is in heaven, Satan has a throne or "seat" on the earth. (Revelation 2:13 cf. Revelation 11:16; 13:2; 16:10; Luke 1:52).

Dalton Thomas: "Satan is cast out of heaven.. Satan does not want to lose his position, his abode, his sanctuary, his governmental authority in the heavenly places.. he doesn't want to lose it or surrender it. He is being forced out.. Satan is restraining the revealing of the Antichrist .. when he (Satan) is cast out of heaven he gives his authority to the beast, and the beast rises." (1:09 Mark)

Is the Restrainer Satan?

And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8).

If we backtrack to 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the "him/he" is identified as the man of lawlessness, the son of destruction, yet to be revealed: 

Let no one deceive you in any way, for it (the Day of the Lord) will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness—the son of destruction—is revealed.. (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

2 Thessalonians 2:6 repeats that the man of lawlessness is restrained and will be revealed/uncovered. 2 Thessalonians 2:7 refers to "it" i.e. the mystery of lawlessness as distinct from the Antichrist. The lawless one (the Antichrist) will be revealed when the mystery of lawlessness is released and is no longer restrained. The revealing of the Antichrist depends upon the release of the mystery of lawlessness.. and then (at that time) the lawless one will be revealed. My problem: If Satan releases the Antichrist, then who or what releases the mystery of lawlessness? (Matthew 12:26). 

This scenario also coincides with Satan's expulsion from heaven.

7Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Revelation 12:7-9).

Dalton Thomas: "The moment that he (Satan) is cast out of heaven is the moment the man of sin is revealed." (1.15 mark).

Dalton Thomas' convoluted explanation does not explain who or what expels Satan from heaven, and this question should be our primary concern. 

I am not dogmatic, but it seems more likely that 2 Thessalonians 2:6–7 refers to Michael the archangel as the restrainer for a number of reasons; not least, Michael is the primary opponent of Satan and the protector of Gods people in Daniel 10-12. (See Further Link)

Dalton Thomas' discussion about Satan at the end of this video is a complete muddle. (1:14 mark) "He (Satan) is cast out of his abode..  he goes forth in great fury devoting many to destruction, and he meets his bitter end at the second coming of Jesus when Jesus comes and destroys him with the breath of His mouth and his appearing and his return." Thessalonians 2:8 applies to the Antichrist, not to Satan.  

And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming; (2 Thessalonians 2:8).

Satan's demise is not the same as the demise of the Antichrist. Satan is bound for a thousand years after the defeat of the Antichrist and the false prophet in Revelation 19:20. 
 
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while. (Revelation 20:1-3).

This video is one of the most convoluted teachings I have heard.

Further Link

Friday, 2 April 2021

ANDY WOODS PREWRATH RAPTURE ONSLAUGHT (PART 2)

Rapture Sermon Series 43 - Explaining & Refuting Pre-Wrath, Part 2. Rev. 6:16-17. Dr. Andy Woods. - YouTube

When Andy Woods talks about the "tribulation" he refers to the entirety of the 70th week of Daniel. In contrast, the prewrath view employs the scriptural designations that relate to the 70th week in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Revelation 6:17, i.e. birth pains, tribulation, the day of the Lord.  Matthew 24:21 specifies that the tribulation begins at the half way point of the 70th week i.e. At that time there will be great tribulation.. Mark sets this particular period apart as a time of unmatched tribulation. (Mark 13:19 cf. Daniel 12:1). The tribulation therefore begins at the event known as the abomination of desolation at the mid point of the 70th week and lasts for 3.5 years (cut short). 

The special designation the day of the Lord applies to unprecedented wrath (orgé) not previously known on the earth, and never to ever be repeated. This is not to suggest that God's wrath has been absent on the earth prior to this point. (Genesis 6:13-17, 7:4; 19:13; Deuteronomy 29:28; 1 Chronicles 27:24 etc.)

..a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations. (Joel 2:2).

Andy Woods presents an either/or scenario as the reason that both Israel and the church cannot exist on the earth simultaneously during the 70th week of Daniel. Andy Woods: "You cannot have any scenario where the church is in faith simultaneously with Israel being in faith.. The church and Israel cannot exist together in faith on the earth. The point of the 'tribulation' is to bring Israel to faith. God never leaves the earth without a witness of Himself .. You can't have the church on the earth when Israel is in faith as well..  that is one of the main reasons that we don't think the church can be in this time period.. Israel and the church are separate, they are not just separate people, they are separate programs.." 

Is God limited to single-tasking?

Andy Woods either/or scenario does not stand up to close scrutiny.

According to the pre-trib view there will be so called "tribulation saints", who come to faith during the 70th week. These "tribulation saints" allegedly constitute a worldwide revival during the 70th week after the church is raptured. In effect Andy Woods debunks his own argument, since even by their own admission, the pre-trib camp recognizes two groups of believers on the earth during the 70th week; Israel and non-Israelite believers from the nations who allegedly are not "the church". The prewrath view teaches that the church will remain on the earth until the tribulation is "cut short". (Matthew 24:22). There is no evidence for a "worldwide revival" during the 70th week. The great multitude that no one could number in Revelation 7:9-14 are those who came out of great tribulation. The sudden appearance of the innumerable multitude before the throne does not correlate well with a worldwide revival. However, this scene does correlate with the rapture and the appearance in heaven of innumerable saints of all time. (2 Timothy 3:12).

During the great tribulation, Satan (the dragon) becomes enraged with the woman (Israel) after attempting and failing to destroy her. He then turns his attention to the church i.e. he goes off to make war with those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Revelation 12:12-17). 

The prophet Daniel was aware from the writings of Jeremiah that the 70 year desolation of Jerusalem was about to come to an end, and that the exiles from Jerusalem would be restored to their land. (Daniel 9:2 cf. Jeremiah 25:11-12, 29:10). In response to Daniel's prayers and repentance, the angel Gabriel came to give him insight and understanding, not only with regard to the immediate situation of the exiles, but also regarding the time of the end. (Daniel 9:20-27). When Daniel sought further clarification about the outcome of the visions he had received, he was refused. No further enlightenment was possible for him at that time: I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. (Daniel 12:89 cf. Daniel 8:26; 12:4; Acts 1:7). What was sealed until the time of the end in Daniel, John is told not to seal: And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. (Revelation 22:10). Andy Woods takes his either/or understanding of Israel and the church during the 70th week from Danie 9:24. However, we do not get a complete view of the time of the end exclusively from Daniel. A progressive/wider application is seen in the book of Revelation, and Revelation concerns both Israel and the nations. The book of Revelation unseals Daniel.  

It appears that God can and does multitask in that he does work with both Israel and the church simultaneously during the 70th week. It is very dangerous to presume how God will operate during this period using convoluted pre-trib arguments that do not align with the scriptures. (2 Timothy 2:15; 1 John 4:1).

Andy Woods points out that the word church (ekklēsia) is missing from Revelation from chapter 4 onwards until chapter 21. The letters of Revelation chapters 2-4 are addressed to specific individual first century churches in Asia Minor; to the church in Ephesus, Smyrna etc. What conditions will be like exactly for individual believers during the tribulation is very difficult to say. There will be unprecedented persecution during this period, and it seems likely that believers will not be able to meet openly without a backlash. It also seems likely that the hostile conditions during the tribulation will necessitate that individual believers live off grid in order to avoid taking the mark of the beast. (Revelation 13:7, 16-17). As such, the church will exist in such dire conditions that I doubt it will be recognized as a "transnational entity" as we understand the term. However the universal church will exist during that time as clearly demonstrated by "the saints".  In the NT "saints" are referred to fifty nine times to refer to groups of individual believers i.e. the church. The word ekklēsia is also missing from 1 Thessalonians 4:13–17 and John 14:1–4. Andy Woods uses the unreliable word-concept fallacy aka the concordance method of interpretation, which works on the false assumption that studying a word (or phrase) equates to having studied the entire biblical concept. {1} We cannot draw the conclusion that the church is absent during the 70th week from Andy Woods' faulty argumentation in this respect. 

Smoke and Mirrors!

Andy Woods' attempt to show that Psalm 50:5 and Psalm 149:1 refers to "saints" is disingenuous. The Hebrew word is chasid which, according to Brown Driver Briggs, is kindpious. {2} The King James Version translates chasid as "saints". The ESV has "faithful ones", and other versions have "holy ones" or godly ones". The Greek word ekklēsia (church) does not transliterate to, and is not synonymous with, chasid (kind, pious). On this basis, we can disregard Andy Woods' argument that "saints" does not refer to the church in the book of Revelation. 

Regarding  Zephaniah 1:14-15  

The great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there. A day of wrath is that day a day of distress (tsarah) and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness.. (ESV)

The great day of the LORD is near, Near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the LORD! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. That day is a day of anger, A day of trouble (tsarah ) and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness.. (NASV)

Septuagint: δυνατὴ ἡμέρα ὀργῆς ἡ ἡμέρα ἐκείνη, ἡμέρα θλίψεως (thlipsis) ~ day of tribulation.

According to Andy Woods, the Septuagint translation of Zephaniah 1:15 debunks the prewrath concept of thlipsis/tribulation and orgé/wrath as separate periods, since it translates tsarah ~ thlipsis in the specific context of the day of the Lord. Firstly it should be noted that the Septuagint has its limitations. The Hebrew word tsarah = straits, distress.. tsarah is not strictly trouble since trouble can mean all sorts of things apart from distress. {3} Even if trouble were the correct translation, which is is not, this would not make any difference to the prewrath view ~ thlipsis in a general sense is persecution, affliction, distress, tribulation. The Greek word thlipsis can apply to any situation that involves distress or affliction e.g. Now there came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction (thlipsis), and our fathers could find no food. (Acts 7:11).

Revelation 6:17 and the aorist indicative verb ēlthen
..the great day of their wrath has come (ηλθεν/ēlthen).

Woods quotes Robert L Thomas' skewed interpretation of ηλθεν (ēlthen): "The verb ēlethen ("has come") is aorist indicative, referring to a previous arrival of wrath, not something that is about to take place." (4)

Virtually the same phrase occurs in Revelation 11:18 following the seventh trumpet preceding the bowl judgements in Revelation 16:21.

And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come (ηλθεν), and the time of the dead, that they should be judged.. KJV (Revelation 11:18 cf. Revelation 16:21).


Various commentaries agree on the interpretation of ηλθεν (ēlthen) in this particular context. {5}

Matthew Poole: And thy wrath is come; now it is time for thee to show thyself angry, and thou hast begun to do it.

Pulpit Commentary: And thy wrath is come; thy wrath came. This verse points conclusively to the judgment day, the events of which, however, as before remarked (see on ver. 15), are merely indicated, not fully described. This is the last final infliction upon the wicked, the seventh of the trumpet plagues. And the time of the dead, that they should be judged; to be judged.

The proclamations of the three angels in Revelation 14:6-13 precedes the harvest of the earth, the great winepress of the wrath of God. (Revelation 14:14-20). This verse is yet another confirmation of the imminent aspect of ηλθεν/ēlthen.

And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come (ηλθεν), and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:7).

After hearing the above bogus arguments from Andy Woods, I was so grieved that I found it very difficult to continue writing this post due to my growing conviction that he is a deliberate deceiver. Woods accuses the prewrath camp of being "intellectually dishonest with the data", and yet he provides us with glaring examples of "intellectual dishonesty" in his own sermon. I find it hard to imagine what it must feel like to waste ones not inconsiderable talents on teaching false doctrines. I often wonder how pre-trib teachers will face the Lord after leading many believers astray in this respect. (Romans 14:12).

The prewrath view focuses on the endurance of the saints during the tribulation in contrast to an unsubstantiated escapist pre-trib rapture mentality. (Revelation 14:12). Pre-trib is a highly irresponsible and dangerous catalogue of misinformation and eisegesis. It has the potential to leave many believers unprepared and unwilling to face the persecution of the Antichrist. (Matthew 24:9-10).

1. Does the Absence of the Word 'Church' (Ekklēsia) in Revelation 4–21 Support a Pretribulation Rapture? - Ep. 75 | ESCHATOS MINISTRIES (alankurschner.com)
2. Strong's Hebrew: 2623. חָסִיד (chasid) -- kind, pious (biblehub.com
3. Strong's Hebrew: 6869a. tsarah -- straits, distress (biblehub.com)
4. (62) Rapture Sermon Series 33. Mid-Trib View: Analyzed, Refuted, and Exposed, Pt 1 - YouTube
5. Revelation 11:18 Commentaries:

Thursday, 25 March 2021

ANDY WOODS PREWRATH RAPTURE ONSLAUGHT (PART 1)

Rapture Sermon Series 42 - Explaining & Refuting Pre-Wrath, Part 1. Rev. 6:16-17. Dr. Andy Woods - YouTube

Andy Woods (Sugar Land Bible Church) is quite defensive when it comes to the prewrath rapture view. Of the various rapture theories he has critiqued over the last few months, the prewrath rapture is the most challenging. I think to use the derogatory term "three quarters rapture" is deliberately provocative as it obviously has upset some prewrath proponents in the past. Andy Woods claims claims to be "pre-wrath" himself, in that he believes that the wrath of God applies to the entirety of the 70th week of Daniel. It is critical that we allow the scriptures to define our theology rather than our presuppositions. The prewrath position applies the scriptural designation "the beginning of birth pains" to the first half of the 70th week. (Matthew 24:8). It is also important to distinguish the terms thlipsis (tribulation) and orge (wrath) during the 70th week, since the scriptures make these distinctions. The specific period designated as the wrath of God in this context is the day of the Lord, i.e. the day of his wrath. (Amos 5:18; Joel 3:14 Revelation 6:17, 14:10 etc.) This term refers to the final period of the seventh seal judgements leading up to the battle of Armageddon spoken of by the OT prophets and confirmed in the book of Revelation as the great day of His wrath. (Revelation 6:17). 

I find nothing confusing or deceptive about the term "prewrath". When I first began to consider this view after leaving the AOG some years ago, I had no problem understanding the term. It is true that there are some variations within prewrath camp regarding the exact position of the fourth seal, vis-à-vis  the the great tribulation. Nevertheless, in my view, the defining principle of the prewrath position is the timing of the rapture. 

Regarding the other two rapture views critiqued by Andy Woods: The mid-trib view is no longer popular or considered viable by most bible scholars these days. The post-trib view also has its problems, but unfortunately, no-one within that camp is willing to discuss or address the inconsistencies associated with this view. I have previously contacted two post-trib ministries. I did receive an initial response from Good Fight Ministries, but regrettably they have never followed up on the issues raised in that conversation. Sam Adams (Independence Baptist Church) has completely ignored me. (See further links). 

For the most part, Andy Woods seems to understand, and he has correctly described, the main points the prewrath position as a three part structure i.e. the beginning of birth pains, the great tribulation and the day of the Lord. (Matthew 24:8, 21-30). Andy Woods' comprehension of prewrath will ultimately make it much more difficult for him to give an account for his own teaching. (Hebrews 4:13). I should clarify that the prewrath rapture will occur immediately after the tribulation as per Matthew 24:29-31, following the cosmic disturbances of Revelation 6:12-17. Andy Woods teaches that the tribulation continues for the entirety of the 70th week, whereas the scriptures inform us otherwise. The great tribulation begins at the mid point (the abomination of desolation) and is "cut short" for the sake of the elect. (Matthew 24:22). 

The history of the prewrath rapture view is nothing to be ashamed of. Robert Van Kampen (1938–1999) was a pioneer in the business world and he was also involved in Christian missions and missionary organizations. Van Kampen developed the prewrath rapture position from the scriptures during the 1990's and he authored three books on the subject. As one of the wealthiest men in the US, Van Kampen had no particular agenda, and he had nothing to gain personally from the prewrath rapture position. He sought the help of Marvin Rosenthal who subsequently changed his own view from pre-trib to prewrath. It is very unfortunate that Van Kampen's private collections of rare antique bibles and manuscripts have fallen into the hands of TBN. In June 2007, eight years after Van Kampen's death, the Holy Land Experience Board of Directors sold the property to TBN for an estimated $37 million. {1}  

I own a copy of Van Kampen's book The Rapture Question Answered. It is a straightforward book that gives a clear and concise presentation of the prewrath position. This is more than I can say for Darby's abstruse writing style, his bewildering doctrines and his violation of the scriptures. Charles Spurgeon commented: "If the author would write in plain English his readers would probably discover that there is nothing very valuable in his remarks." {2} If Spurgeon and other learned men of that time had difficulty with Darby's obfuscations and cultish behaviour, then I think there is no shame in admitting that I have similar difficulties.

Andy Woods has referred to the teaching of Robert Van Kampen and Marvin Rosenthal some thirty years ago. He has not yet referred to modern scholars, such as Alan Kurschner in particular. He briefly referred to Charles Cooper whose prewrath articles are useful, although his hyper-charismatic tendencies are a cause for concern. {3} 

Andy Woods tells us that he has six arguments against the prewrath rapture view that he intends to address in the coming weeks. The first of these arguments is the assumption that the 70th week concerns Israel exclusively, and he cites Jeremiah 30:7 and Daniel 9:24 as proof texts. The pre-trib camp are adept at making unsubstantiated assumptions where the scriptures are silent. (Proverbs 30:6). As well as presuming that the 70th week applies exclusively to Israel, Andy Woods claims that a worldwide revival amongst the Gentiles will occur during the 70th week resulting from the preaching of the 144,000 Jewish "evangelists". The scriptures are silent about a worldwide revival during this period, and furthermore, there is nothing to indicate that the 144000 Jews are evangelists. In addition, the doctrine of imminence is pure fantasy, and there is nothing in the scriptures to indicate that the Holy Spirit is the restrainer. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7). In fact the whole pre-trib view is based upon eisegesis! The inclusion of the church in God's ultimate plan is a progressive revelation. Even the disciples had difficulty in understanding that the Gentiles were also included in God's plan. (Acts 10:9-16, 44-48, 11:18). 

Alan Kurschner: "The New Testament through its progressive revelation reveals the overlay of the church during the final seven year period of Daniel’s prophecy, viewing God working with Israel and the church simultaneously to accomplished his purposes. God’s revelation of Daniel’s prophecy is augmented with more information from the New Testament, just as Old Testament prophecy is described more in detail in the New Testament (e.g. who the Messiah is and what he does). Robert H. Gundry (First the Antichrist, 135) rightly notes, 'So progress in the biblical history of salvation makes the situation in a future seventieth week different from what it was during the past sixty-nine weeks. You can’t legitimately argue from one to the other.'” {4}

For Andy Woods, the discussion is over and he has dismissed the possibility of a debate. I really don't know if his comments about debates and locations are germane. Certainly any man who is willing to travel to a pre-trib stronghold to debate the prewrath position is very brave. As for the accusation that prewrath teachers seek to proselytize pre-trib believers; surely the point of any discussion or debate is to establish truth from the scriptures in order to give believers the opportunity to test the spirits. (1 John 4:1). It is almost as though Andy Woods perceives views of the rapture at variance with pre-trib as another religion! 

1. Holy Land Experience - Wikipedia
2. Commenting & Commentaries—Catalogue (spurgeon.org)
3. WOLVES IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING: FALSE PROPHETS AND BIBLE TEACHERS IN THE LAST DAYS: Charles Cooper (bewareofthewolves.blogspot.com)
4. ANOTHER GLARING Inconsistent Pretrib Interpretation on Daniel's 70 Weeks Prophecy | ESCHATOS MINISTRIES (alankurschner.com)

Further Links