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Daniel 9:27 And The Confirmation Of The Covenant – A Peace Treaty?


By ICA

Daniel 9:27, “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”

Also See: Daniel 9:27 Redux: Will Antichrist Make A False 7-Year Peace Treaty With Israel?

On July 27, 2012, US President Barack Obama signed S. 2165, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act in the Oval Office. An official posting on The White House Blog revealed that:

President Obama signed the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act with an eye toward helping to strengthen the military edge Israel currently enjoys.

“I have made it a top priority for my administration to deepen cooperation with Israel across the whole spectrum of security issues — intelligence, military, technology,” the President said. “And, in many ways, what this legislation does is bring together all the outstanding cooperation that we have seen, really, at an unprecedented level between our two countries that underscore our unshakeable commitment to Israel security.”

Is this the “confirmation of the covenant” that the prophet Daniel spoke about in Daniel 9:27? Some in the Christian community are already wondering if it could be. But, alas, I have to say no, and there will likely never be any sort of “peace treaty” between Israel and the Muslim world surrounding her. Why do I say that, you ask?

Daniel’s 70th Week: Fulfilled or Not Yet Fulfilled?

First, we should understand that there are three views regarding the 70th week of Daniel, the time in which Daniel writes about “confirming the covenant”.  These three views state that the 70th Week is either: A. Already fulfilled, B. Partially fulfilled, or C. Not yet fulfilled.

Although the first view — that the 70th Week of Daniel has already been fulfilled — is the most prevalent view throughout church history, I currently lean towards the second view that it is partially fulfilled only. To the surprise of some, the popular position held by many premillennial Christians today which teaches that the 70th Week of Daniel is still awaiting a full future fulfilment is largely a relatively recent invention and, aside from Ireneaus and his student Hippolytus who put a date on Christ’s second coming around 500 AD that has long since come and gone, was never taught prior to the 19th century. We can verify this by reading any book on Biblical eschatology prior to Edward Irving and John Nelson Darby. Not only is this position the newest, it is, in my view, the weakest as well.

Today’s prevalent view teaches that Christ being “cut off” (crucified) was what ended the 69th week and that we are now in the midst of a 2,000 year gap in between the 69th and 70th weeks. Let’s take a look at verses 25 and 26 to see if this is what the text of Daniel teaches:

Daniel 9:25-26a, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince [the Anointed One comes], there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. And AFTER THE SIXTY-TWO WEEKS Messiah shall be cut off [killed], but not for Himself …”

Let us play close attention to the text emphasized above. If we read the text carefully it becomes apparent that Daniel 9:26 does not say that the cutting off of Messiah (meaning “Anointed One”) is what ends the 7+62 weeks, as the full futurist view assumes. Rather, Daniel is saying that after the 7+62 weeks is when the Messiah would be “cut off.” In other words, the Messiah is killed during the 70th week. The NIV renders Dan 9:26 to say that He “will have nothing”, however the Hebrew also means “but not for Himself”, which is precisely how it is translated in many Bibles. The Messiah would die after the 69th week had ended, but He would not die for Himself. Why? Because He would be dying for others. This describes Christ’s work, His substitutionary death on the Cross, perfectly.

Let’s also note that in 9:25 Daniel wrote that from the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One comes there will be 7 “sevens” and 62 “sevens.” In other words, Daniel is telling us that at the end of the 7+62 weeks the Messiah would come. Daniel does not say that “from the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah rides into Jerusalem on a donkey” or “until the Messiah is killed” there would be 69 weeks.  Daniel said until the Anointed One comes, which is to say, is made known publicly or is revealed. Jesus had already been well known for a few years prior to His “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem and His subsequent death. The question, therefore, is when was the Anointed One revealed? According to Scripture, it happened the day He was baptized by John the Baptist when “John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” (John 1:29-30). Notice what John says next: “I myself did not know Him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that He might be revealed to Israel.” (v 31). And indeed, the Anointed One has now come, “And John bore witness, saying, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him’” (v 32). Jesus is anointed and is now revealed to Israel as Messiah in fulfillment of Daniel 9:25. This is what started the 70th week.

On the basis of Scripture alone, I am therefore persuaded to believe that Christ is the One Himself who already fulfilled at least the first half of Daniel’s 70th week. When it was pronounced to Daniel that 70 weeks (each “week” being 7 years) were determined for his people and that the Messiah would be “cut off” after the first 69 weeks, the most logical and straight-forward reading the text is telling us that the death of the Messiah is what would take place sometime during the last week. Moreover, the fact that the Messiah is mentioned more times in Daniel 9:24-26 than anyone else only stands to reason that the Messiah is Daniel’s primary focus. After speaking about the Messiah and what He would accomplish, Daniel then writes:

Daniel 9:27a, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease…”

If a covenant was subsequently confirmed by Christ, then Scripture should affirm this elsewhere. And does it? Let’s allow Scripture to speak for itself and compare Daniel 9:27a above with the following verse below:

Galatians 3:17, “And this I say, [that] the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.”

Not only does it imply as much, Galatians 3:17 uses the exact same language as Daniel 9:27a, indicating that the Apostle Paul — an expert on the Old Testament — was referring directly to Daniel, telling us that Daniel’s 70 weeks did not stop once the 69th week came to an end. It continued right into the 70th week.

Daniel gives us a sequence of events. Messiah is revealed at the end of the 69th week, and once He is revealed the 70th week begins, the time during which Messiah would be “cut off.” The Hebrew word for “cut off” is karath, which means to cut down or kill and although it is frequently used in the sense of being rejected, it is also used 54 times in the Old Testament in the context of being killed (eg. Exodus 31:14). And indeed, something pivotal took place about 3.5 years after the 70th week began when the Lamb of God was anointed and began His earthy ministry. Not only was the Messiah rejected by the people (Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42), He was also crucified in accordance to the plan of the Father for the sins of the world.  As the Prophet Isaiah wrote, “He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken” (Isaiah 53:8), and being cut off and the shedding of His blood would be, according to the words of Messiah Himself, the confirmation of the covenant for many:

Matthew 26:28, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Jesus is the Messiah, the Anointed One. He is the Lamb of God. He is our Passover. Because of His sacrifice, the sacrifices and oblations (offerings) of the old law ceased. Even though Jews who rejected Jesus as the Messiah continued to offer sacrifices, they would no longer be acceptable to God and were now abrogated through Messiah’s sacrificial death once and for all:

Hebrews 8:6-8, “… he [Christ] is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.”

Hebrews 10:1-10, “For the law … can never with these same sacrifices … make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered?… For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and [sacrifices] for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come — In the volume of the book it is written of Me — To do Your will, O God.’’ … then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all].”

Rightly Dividing

There is nothing in Scripture that I could find to suggest a pause in between the 69th and 70th weeks, as the popular full futurist position attempts to do today. But a pause in time, however, is not out of the question in the middle of the 70th. Admittedly, I could be wrong, and perhaps there is no mid-70th week “split” at all and Daniel’s prophecy continued to completion with the stoning of Stephen (Acts 11) about 3.5 years after the crucifixion of Jesus, at which point the Gospel was then preached shortly thereafter to the Gentiles (cf. Romans 1:16). Or perhaps it’s something else entirely. Although the 70 weeks of Daniel can be consecutive from beginning to end, the possibility of a mid-week pause is a strong one in my view. We even find an example of a “mid-pause” in time essentially from a comma. In Luke 4:16-21 when Jesus went into the synagogue and read the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-3 to proclaim its fulfillment, He stopped mid-way in the prophecy. This is what He fulfilled:

Isaiah 61:1-3, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD [<– Fulfilled |  Not Yet Fulfilled –>], and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

Interestingly, Jesus felt the need to mention something a few verses later in Luke 4:25, stating, “But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land.” Could this have been a clue to something? Only God knows. But with respect to the 70th week of Daniel, however, if only the first half is fulfilled then the other half is yet to be fulfilled. But what would that be? The answer should be obvious: the 1260 days / 42 months / time, times and the dividing of time spoken of by the prophet Daniel and John in Revelation.

Like the curtain of the physical temple that was ripped in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:50-51), the Messiah’s death appears to have caused a separation of the 70th week into two separate periods of 3.5 years. This separation in the middle of the 70th week is again evidenced by the fact that Daniel 9:26 speaks of two subjects, namely, the Messiah and the “people of the prince that shall come.” Even the original Hebrew of Daniel 9:27 again infers that two separate subjects are in view. Contextually, this would have to be the Messiah and “the people of the prince that shall come” per the preceding verse. As Don Henson of Life, Hope & Truth ministries explains, “a careful reading shows that ‘he’ [of verse 27] does not refer to the prince, but rather to the Messiah. Notice the phrase in verse 26 ‘the people of the prince.’ It is not grammatically correct to assign the singular pronoun ‘he’ in verse 27 to the plural ‘people’ in verse 26. If ‘he’ were to refer to the prince, the phrase should have been stated differently: ‘the prince of the people.’ But since the verse refers to the ‘people of the prince,’ the prince is not the proper antecedent of the pronoun. ‘Messiah’ is the only person mentioned in verse 26 that can be the antecedent of the pronoun he. So the phrase ‘he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week’ refers to the Messiah” [1].

Although some English translations do not fully convey this distinction, other translations such as the New King James Version translate the verse more clearly. With that in mind, let us also make note that even though Scripture is inspired, chapter and verse divisions are not. They were later added by men. If those who added verse divisions had therefore separated v. 27 into two separate verses both subjects would be much more obvious for English readers. For instance, here is the NKJV with both subjects separated into their own respective verse:

Daniel 9:27, “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.”

Daniel 9:28, “And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”

Of course, in the example above Daniel 9:28 is actually 9:27b, but it serves to highlight the fact that 9:27 in its entirety is not just referring to one subject, but rather to both the Messiah and the “people of the prince that shall come” of the preceding verse. Other translations are careful to make this distinction as well in Daniel 9:27, such as the ESV (“And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate …”), the NASB (and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate …”), the RSV (“and upon the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate …”), the ASV (“and upon the wing of abominations shall come one that maketh desolate …”) as well as a few others. The One who confirms the Covenant is not the Abomination that desolates. Christ confirms the Covenant. Antichrist will set up the Abomination that desolates.

Messiah: Confirming The Promise Of The Covenant

In conclusion, Hebrews 10 explains how Old Testament sacrifices were merely a shadow of what was to come — Messiah — and now through Messiah’s sacrifice the old sacrifices ceased from being offered (10:2) because of the new covenant (10:16) that was confirmed by Christ (Galatians 3:17), through which we learn that Christ is the heir of all the promises. Jesus came “to confirm the promises made to the fathers” (Romans 15:8) and is the Seed of Abraham upon whom the blessings are bestowed, the only One who can “bring in everlasting righteousness” (Daniel 9:24). Galatians 3:14 clearly tells us that receiving the Holy Spirit is fulfillment of the covenant God made with Abraham. And when did we receive the Holy Spirit? After Messiah confirmed the covenant upon His death (Gal 3:17; Matt 26:28; Dan 9:27a; cf. John 16:7).

In all of Scripture we only read of 3.5 prophetic years in the eschaton just prior to the Second Coming of Christ. The “two witnesses” of Revelation 11:3 prophecy for only 3.5 years. During this time the “woman” flees into the wilderness and is fed for those 3.5 years per Revelation 12:6. John again reiterates in Revelation 13:5 that this persecution by the Beast will last for 3.5 years. Daniel calls it a “time of trouble” in Daniel 12:7 and is told by an angel that it lasts for 3.5 years. From the Abomination of Desolation until the end in 12:11 we again have about 3.5 years. Each and every time the prophetic texts only speak of 3.5 years, the time of Antichrist during which time the people of God suffer intense persecution by the Beast, during which time a coalition of Islamic nations gather against Israel for the battle of Gog-Magog, and during which time the Beast and its people incur the chastising wrath of God before their ultimate end. Scripture itself never speaks of a future seven-years of anything. It just doesn’t exist. But it does speak of 3.5 prophetic years repeatedly, which just so happens to be half of Daniel’s 70th week …

Daniel 9:27, “Then he shall confirm a covenant [‘the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ’ (Gal 3:17)] with many [‘this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many’ (Matt 26:28)] for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering [‘For the law … can never with these same sacrifices … make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered?’ (Heb 10:1-2)]. [<– Christ | Antichrist –>] And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate. [‘when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel … then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again (Matt 25:15,21)].”

Revised 11/19/2013
  1. debrabasham
    07/28/2012 at 7:41 AM

    Thank you for this. I have the same understanding as I also believe Jesus is the one who confirmed the covenant and am so glad you included Isaiah 61:1-3 as this IMO adds so much to this understanding. Also about the prophetic years as mentioned 1260 days/42 mos. /time times and the dividing of time. Love in Christ. So glad I found you. :-)

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  2. JohnDoe
    07/28/2012 at 9:56 AM

    “the traditional dispensational position — which teaches that the 70th Week of Daniel is still awaiting a full future fulfilment — is a relatively recent invention and was never taught prior to the 19th century.” – Argumentum ad antiquatum, argument, or argument from age, which is just a variation of the genetic argument

    “that the 70th Week of Daniel has already been fulfilled — is the most prevalent view throughout church history” – Argument from populatum, argument from popularity or consensus

    “Considering that the Messiah is mentioned more times in Daniel 9:24-26 than anyone else, it stands to reason in my mind that the Messiah is Daniel’s primary focus.” – Argument from numbers, another fallacious line of reasoning

    “After speaking about the Messiah, Daniel then writes” – You mean, after Dan 9:26, where the subject changes from Messiah (which has been cut off) to the “he”, referring to the “prince who is to come”, which wouldn’t be the Messiah since Jesus does not break covenants, but establishes and fulfills covenants. Also, the word “firm” in Dan 9:27 is from the Hebrew word “gabar”, which implies arrogance, prevailing strength…..even force. Neither arrogance or force fit with the character of Messiah Jesus.
    Then you quote Galatians 3:17, which is as far removed from the context of Dan 9:27 as one can get. It is referring to the 430 years after Abraham that the Torah came forth.

    The Jewish New Testament Commentary says…

    “The legal part of the Torah came into being in the days of Moshe, 430 years later than Avraham. In Judaism, the word “Torah” usually means one of the following: (1) the Chumash (Pentateuch, Five Books of Moses), (2) the Tanakh (the Hebrew Scriptures), (3) the Tanakh (Written Law) together with the Oral Law, or (4) all true religious teaching (see Mat_5:17). In any of these senses the Torah includes the promises to Avraham. But here “the Torah” means none of these. Rather, Sha’ul is distinguishing the characteristic element of Torah that was received on Mount Sinai at the time of Moshe, its specifically legal portions, from the elements which existed previously. He is contrasting the Torah’s commandments with its promises, or, to use Jewish language from a couple of centuries later, contrasting halakhah (what to do, how to live) with aggadah (narrative).
    Therefore, even if the legal part of the Torah had required legalistic obedience without trust, it could not nullify an oath sworn (or: “a covenant established”; see above, Gal_3:15-17) earlier by God, so as to abolish the promise to Avraham, which says that Gentiles will be blessed through Avraham (Gal_3:8-9) without having to become Jews or be subject to the Torah as non-Messianic Judaism expounds it.”

    You said here “Daniel’s 70 weeks did not stop once the 69th week came to an end. “ – This is just a baseless assertion. Show that it is true first. Then proceed with the rest of your argument.

    You said here “ this act of being “cut off” and shedding His blood would be, according to the words of Christ Himself, the confirmation of a new covenant for many:” – This cannot be true, because the Messiah, though crucified, contrary to 9:26, did not lose anything. After Jesus’ crucifixion, He was resurrected on the third day, and the faith of the disciples was restored and an entire church began to spread at an amazing rate….hardly what one can consider “having nothing”.

    You say here “There is nothing in Scripture that I could find to suggest a pause in between the 69th and 70th weeks, as many attempt to do today.” – However, there is also nothing in Scripture that suggests that it is a linear, uninterrupted segment of time. Prophecy does not hold to a particular time framework, as evidenced by instances of partial or dual fulfillment. That said, there is no reason to prohibit the view that Daniels “weeks” of years are not consecutive years, but years of events, interspersed by undetermined lengths of time.

    You say here “It’s the 3.5 prophetic years of Antichrist during which time the people of God suffer intense persecution.” – Yes! And what about the time afterwards (1290 days, 3.5 years), that the Church is absent from the world and the Jews flee to the mountains under God’s supernatural protection while God pours out His wrath upon those who remain on the earth? I think if you are willing to account for 3.5 years for the part of the tribulation that the church is present for, then you should be willing to account for the other 3.5 years that the church is not present for.

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  3. Ian
    07/28/2012 at 12:54 PM

    This is a very disconcerting – not to mention theologically incoherent – post on what is one of my better daily news feeds.

    Not much to add to JohnDoe’s thorough rebuttal of your position, but more to the point, if you are an “agnostic” preterist – meaning you believe there’s a possibility that all has been fulfilled — what on earth are you being a “midnight watcher” for?

    It seems you haven’t yet thought through the implications of asserting your viewpoint on eschatology; you may as well take this site down altogether if you’re not watching for the imminent return of Christ first FOR his Bride (John 14:2-4, Luke 21:36, Rev. 3:10) and then WITH his Bride (Rev. 19:11, 2 Thess. 1:8).

    No, this piece of news is not the covenant “with many” — that should have been your first clue in any exegetical study.

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  4. ICA
    07/28/2012 at 1:34 PM

    JohnDoe, “And what about the time afterwards (1290 days, 3.5 years), that the Church is absent from the world and the Jews flee to the mountains under God’s supernatural protection while God pours out His wrath upon those who remain on the earth? I think if you are willing to account for 3.5 years for the part of the tribulation that the church is present for, then you should be willing to account for the other 3.5 years that the church is not present for.”

    Hi JohnDoe, thank you for your reply. Allow me to focus on the crux of your above argument. Instead of interpreting Scripture to conform to our understanding, we must always strive to allow our understanding to conform to Scripture, and I strongly believe that Scripture never teaches a period of time in which the Church is removed from the Earth.

    I’m not sure what your own specific arguments would be to support this idea, but if they’re similar to what is often posited, allow me to say this.

    Some often argue that the word “church” is not found after Revelation 3:22, so it is not reffering to the Church and the Church must not be present. However, let us first recognize the fact that the Book of Revelation is an epistle, so it was written for the Church. As for the word “church” not being used after Revelation 3, we need to also remember that the word “church” is not mentioned in Mark, Luke, John, Galatians, Ephesians, 2 Peter, 1 John and 2 John either, and not until the 16th chapter of Romans, so if Revelation doesn’t apply to the church because the word “church” isn’t used after 3:22 then using that logic a large portion of the entire New Testament doesn’t apply to the church either.

    We find the words “saints” and “tribulation” in Scripture, but nowhere do we ever read about “tribulation saints”. These two words are never found side by side. The word “saint” or “saints”, however, is used 59 times in the New Testament, referring to believers in Christ (ie, the Church). This term is used repeatedly throughout the various books of the New Testament, including Revelation. For instance, Christians are directly mentioned in Revelation 14:12, saying “Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the FAITH OF JESUS“, and Revelation 20:4-5 says in no uncertain terms that those who do not worship the beast or receive the mark and are killed for “the witness of JESUS” and will rule and reign with Christ for a thousand years.

    Having said that, let us focus on those who are caught up in the Resurrection to rule and reign with Christ.

    1 Thess 4:15-17, “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive [and] remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

    Paul is very careful to show us that the dead in Christ are resurrected first, and then those of us who are alive and remain (the Greek word means “survive”) are caught up with them. The obvious question is when does this resurrection happen? John tells us in Revelation:

    Revelation 20:4-5, “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then [I saw] the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received [his] mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years… This [is] the first resurrection.”

    The dead in Christ that rise first are caught up in the First Resurrection, which is after the tribulation according to John in Rev 20:4-5. The logical implications of the plain and straightforward teachings of the text is undeniable: If the First Resurrection is after the tribulation then there can be no resurrection before the end of the tribulation, and if there is no resurrection before the end of the tribulation then there is therefore no rapture before the end of the tribulation. It is impossible. According to Scripture, the rapture can only happen after tribulation, which means that the Church is present on Earth right up until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

    The only way for teachers to get around this dilemma is to somehow contend that there are “phases” to the First Resurrection, but when we draw that suggestion out to its logical conclusion it is essentially stating that the rapture takes place before the First Resurrection is even fully completed, yet Scripture is clear that we who are alive and remain will by no means precede those who are asleep in Christ. The dead in Christ rise first, and then we who are alive and remain will be caught up with them. According to Revelation 20:4 there are obviously still those who are dead in Christ at the end of the tribulation who will be raised in the First Resurrection, thus showing us that the rapture and Second Coming are married together as one singular event.

    Additionally, one other significant detail regarding the event of the resurrection must also be addressed. Paul says in 1 Thess 4:16-17 that when Christ descends, the dead in Christ are resurrected to Christ and then we will be caught up to meet Christ and the resurrected saints in the air. Now here’s what you may not have been taught. The word “meet” is the Greek word “apantesis”, and this word only occurs here and in three other places. In Vocabulary of the Greek Testament by G. Milligan and James Hope Moulton, “The word apantesis seems to have been a kind of official welcome of a newly arriving dignitary – a usage which accords excellently with its NT usage.” And indeed it does. In Matthew 25:1,6 it describes the virgins going out to meet the bridegroom, to escort him back into the house. In Acts 28:14-16 it is used to describe brethren from Rome coming out to Appii Foru, to meet Paul and his company, and then escort them back to Rome. In each example of “apantesis”, the escort back is virtually immediate. Although they may greet the one they escort for a brief moment, we do not have them going out to meet the subject, then leaving to go where the subject originated for days, weeks or years, only to then escort the subject back. That was not the custom. The subject who was coming is met by those who are already at his destination. And what is His destination? Where we are — earth. When Christ comes back to Earth, we will go out to meet him, and where ever He goes, we go, and He is going to Jerusalem to set His feet upon the Mount of Olives.

    Zech 14:4-5, “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, [Making] a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee [through] My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, [And] all the saints with You.

    In Greek culture the word “apantesis” had a technical meaning to describe the visits of dignitaries to cities where the visitor would be formally met by the citizens, or a deputation of them, who had gone out from the city for this purpose and would then be ceremonially escorted back into the city. Apantesis was often used to suggest the meeting of a dignitary or king, a famous person, describing people rushing to meet the one who was coming. For instance, when a Roman emperor approached a city, the leading citizens went out to welcome him and had the honor of processing into the city with him. This whole event was described as the “apantesis.”

    Apantesis from apantáo from apó = from + antáo = to come opposite to, to meet especially to meet face to face describes a meeting especially a meeting of two who are coming from different directions.

    What is Scripture saying? It is saying that we are not removed from the Earth to conveniently go to Heaven while all hell breaks loose down below. Those of us who are alive and remain (the Greek word means those who survive) are transformed from corruptible to incorruptible, and we are caught up to meet the Lord in the air per the “apantesis”, which means that we immediately escort Him back to earth — ie. Jerusalem — which is consistent with its usage in each of the other verses of Scripture. The pre-trib position, however, suddenly changes the intended meaning of the word. Instead of us escorting Jesus back to Earth immediately for His Second Coming, non-post-trib positions have us conveniently going to Heaven instead, which the text does not say anywhere, at any place, at any time.

    The Early Church Father John Chrysostom (347-407) comments on this passage by saying the following: “If he (Christ) is about to descend, on what account shall we be caught up? For the sake of honor. For when a king drives into a city, those who are in honor go out to meet him; but the condemned await the judge…

    But, you may ask, if this is true, then doesn’t that destroy our “Blessed Hope” of a pre-trib rapture? Truth be told, this is yet another prime example where many have interpreted Scripture to conform to their understanding, instead of allowing their understanding to conform to Scripture. Let’s examine what the Apostle Paul was referring to in the epistle of Titus:

    Titus 1:2, 2:13, 3:7, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began … Looking for that blessed hope [eternal life], AND the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ… That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

    Paul uses the word “hope” three times in his epistle — at the beginning when speaking about eternal life and then later while referring to that blessed hope, and then once more again near the end. Each time he is referring to the blessed hope of eternal life. Nowhere does Paul ever say that the “blessed hope” is a pre-trib rapture. We are looking for the blessed hope of eternal life, and (in addition to) the glorious appearing of Christ. The Greek includes the word “kai”, which the NIV does not incorporate in the English translation, unfortunately.

    The glorious appearing is the “epiphaneia” (G2015) and there is something that is very important about the “epiphaneia” of Christ that very few pre-trib teachers will discuss:

    2 Thess 2:8, “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness [epiphaneia G2015] of his coming

    The “epiphaneia” is post-trib. If we are to believe that the “blessed hope” of eternal life is actualized at the “epiphaneia” of Christ, then we must therefore also believe that the blessed hope is His post-trib appearance and gathering of the elect. This means that Scripture is, yet again, teaching a post-trib rapture, not pre-trib.

    I can show many more reasons why Scripture teaches a post-trib understanding, but I’ll leave it there for now, having said all that to say this: Scripture does not teach two separate 3.5-year periods of tribulation, one (or more) in which the Church is not present on Earth. As we can see from above, we will be here right up until the very end until judgement comes upon the wicked.

    Proverbs 10:30, “The righteous will never be removed, But the wicked will not inhabit the earth.”

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  5. ICA
    07/28/2012 at 1:51 PM

    Ian, “if you are an ‘agnostic’ preterist – meaning you believe there’s a possibility that all has been fulfilled — what on earth are you being a ‘midnight watcher’ for? … you may as well take this site down altogether if you’re not watching for the imminent return of Christ first FOR his Bride (John 14:2-4, Luke 21:36, Rev. 3:10) and then WITH his Bride (Rev. 19:11, 2 Thess. 1:8).”

    Hi Ian, of course not all has been fulfilled. See what I wrote in the last paragraph of the article, for instance. That not all has been fulfilled should be quite obvious to anyone. There are events that are taking place in the Middle East right now as we speak (the Mark of the Beast, the coming Gog-Magog war, and more) that are beginning to fulfil so many of the remaining prophetic texts and we are watching these things coalesce, and are watching for the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in power and great glory.

    For your consideration, I would encourage you to read through a few of the articles in the Theology and Eschatology section.

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  6. JohnDoe
    07/28/2012 at 4:50 PM

    I see you have no substantive reply to my taking down of your Daniel argument, but instead you move on to issues I never brought up, and that are irrelevant. For example, the fact that the word “church” is not mentioned in several Epistles and likewise after Rev 3:22, but this is not a line of reasoning I have used, so why mention it unless its only purpose is as a straw man?

    In addition to other hermeneutical methods, I tend to use a “model” approach to Scripture, where God’s word is the model and our understanding needs to conform to the model, instead of us making up stuff to fit what is ambiguous. For example, the Biblical model for authentic Christians are those who, following the model of Acts 2, are people who are humble, in awe of God, do not hold onto material things, have compassion for other people and a passion for Jesus Christ. Another example is the Biblical model demonstrating that God always spares the righteous from judgment resulting in destruction. The Bible says that “Christ became sin for us”, so this does not apply to Jesus, but it does to the rest of humanity.

    God spared the righteous at the time of the Flood (Noah and his family). Since those who are in Christ have the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, from God’s perspective, we are innocent. Thus, we can expect God to spare the church from God’s wrath on sin as well.

    The Bible says that Jesus “saves (rescues) us from the wrath to come” (1 Thess 1:10 NASB). Thessalonians is not part of a white throne judgment context, but in the context of Jesus’s return and the wrath of God being poured out on the rest of the world.

    Zeph 2:3 (NIV) “Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.”

    How does Jesus rescue us from God’s wrath and how does He shelter us during that “day” (time period) of the Lord’s anger? By removing us from the earth. That is a good reason why in the last part of the Tribulation, it is Israel that is on the earth, not the church, that seeks shelter in the mountains

    (Rev 12:6 NASB) Then the woman [Israel] fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. [bars mine]

    While Jews run to the hills under God’s supernatural protection, Christians get persecuted during this period of time while satan’s wrath is directed at anyone who does not receive the “mark”.

    (Rev 12:17) So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

    In context, this all takes place BEFORE the battle with the antichrist/false prophet and beast, before Jesus’ returns WITH the Bride (the church) and before the armies in heaven who are dressed in fine, white linen and mounted on horses (Rev 19:7,8 & 14) follow Jesus back to earth. The bride (church) has to have been taken up to be with the Lord in order to return with the Lord at His visible return.

    Thus, it both follows God’s model that the in Scripture, the righteous are spared from judgment, and it follows the narrative of the events, that the church is present for severe persecution by the beast, the antichrist/false prophet and their armies. This means that the church is present for part of the tribulation period, the period before the 1320 days that Jews go to the mountains for protection (Rev 12:6), but not during the period of God’s judgment, which is stored up for wrath directed at those who willfully reject Jesus Christ.

    There is not one verse in the New Testament spoken by either Jesus, Paul, or Peter that tells us that Christians should prepare to endure the entire Tribulation. On the other hand, there are passages that tell us we are to be “saved from the wrath to come.

    God pours out his wrath upon unbelievers–NOT his own children. Ma 3:7, Mk 3:5Lk 3:7, 21:23, Jn 3:36 Ro 1:18, 2:5, 8, Ep 2:3, 4:31, 5:6, Co 3:6,8, 1 Th 1:10, 2:16, 1 Tim 2:8, Hb 3:11, Ja 1:19, 20, rev 6:16, 17, 11:18

    We are also told to wait for “his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come.” We must wait for Jesus to come, and he has already delivered us from the wrath to come. It’s already a done deal. Thus, we will endure tribulation, but not God’s wrath that is reserved for the beast, antichrist/false prophet and those who follow them.

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  7. 07/28/2012 at 4:53 PM

    I’m not one, but in defense of Preterists, even they believe in an end time Gog-Magog war, which appears in Revelation 20 after the Millennium (they believe it to be the church age) and Jesus’ return.

    I think we need to be gracious to each other even if we have some differences on our end times views.

    These three basic scriptural truths are shared by Post-trib Pre-Mills, Historicists, Continual fulfillment Historicists and Preterists, but unfortunately not by most Dispensational/Pre-tribbers:

    1. It is the surrounding nations (which are all Islamic) that will attack Israel in the end

    2. We don’t all disappear before this happens

    3. That Jesus is returning physically to 1st resurrect the dead and 2nd transform the saved into their resurrection bodies

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  8. JohnDoe
    07/28/2012 at 4:55 PM

    Remember, Jesus prayed to the Father that we would not be taken out of the world during tribulation, but he did promise he would return to take us out of this world immediately after the tribulation of those days.” The Lord Jesus Christ will take us out of here immediately after the tribulation, and before God’s wrath (the great and terrible day of the LORD) is come. (Joel 2:31, Acts. 2:20, Rev. 6:12)

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  9. Willard
    07/28/2012 at 4:56 PM

    ICA – As you said above so many use the argument that the church is not to be seen in Rev after Chapter 3 – Yet is is mentioned in Rev 22:16 as after the reward and that this book was wrote as testimony for the churches.

    Rev 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning

    Verse 4:1 – 2 John is taken into heaven and shown all that the book of Rev writes about. Being in heaven spiritualy would make sense not to see the word church in the chapters ahead simple because the church was not yet and is not yet in heaven

    Also this may shed some light on the debate is Rev to be understood as allegorical or is it to be understood as literal – If John was in Heaven after 4:1 what may seem allegorical here on earth may well have been seen as literal in heaven by John?? It never mention Johns coming back from his spiritual journey into heaven although we know pyhsically he never likely left the earth – so if he was in heaven spiritually through out the picture he would have seen all of end days prophecy up in heaven where the church has yet to appear – Just thinking out loud here

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  10. 07/28/2012 at 5:23 PM

    Wow I must say first I’m not a new reader to this MidnightWatcher’s Blogspot but a new poster as of this morning. Also have been a watcher for very many years. After reading through some of the comments I must take a stand here. :-) I’m not a preterist. The preterists I’ve come in contact with believe ALL has been fufilled. I certainly don’t. I believe Revelation was written around 95AD. All through the centuries the Lord has been fufilling His word and now we are right down to the VERY soon coming of the Lord. I don’t know what label I would fall under. I can’t go along with all of the historists view or all of the dispensationalists view and certainly not the full preterists view. Where do I fit? In the grace of my Lord and Savour Jesus Christ the one who will soon be coming to finish Isaiah 61:1-3

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  11. 07/28/2012 at 6:12 PM

    Debra,

    You are correct about “full Preterists”. “Partial Preterists ” believe “The Second coming and the resurrection of the dead, however, have not yet occurred in the partial preterist system.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preterism). A-mill Partial Preterists share many of the same views post-tribbers hold such as no pre-trib rapture and, like some us, don’t believe in a seven year Tribulation, with of course the exception of the Millennium.

    Kurt

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    • 07/28/2012 at 6:34 PM

      So some do believe in a Millennium?

      All I know is there will be a 3 1/2 period coming very soon. BTW How do we know when this starts?

      I have another take with the prison epistles for in them the mystery which was HID BEFORE the foundation of the world that is before the call of Abraham and then Israel seem to have a higher calling above the heavenlies far above principalities, rulers, powers where of course Jesus is seated right now UNTIL HE stands up Ephesians 2:6 & Ephesians 1:20 -21 So maybe some of the confusion or different interpretations have to do with who are the scriptures talking to. Israel or the body of Christ the mystery from the prison epistles? Also where is our calling on earth or to the heavenlies? Oh boy hope I didn’t stir things up with this.

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      • 07/28/2012 at 6:41 PM

        Preterists don’t believe in the Millennium (there might be a few confused ones who do]. Full Preterists, as you stated, believe all of Revelation was fulfilled in the 1st Century, including Christ’s Second Coming in 70 AD. This is clearly wrong.

        Part-Preterists would still believe in a future Gog-Magog battle and 2nd Coming.

        On the other hand, there are A-mills who are not Preterists; Ellis Skolfield is one, see here: http://www.beholdthebeast.com/the_false_prophet.htm

        Debra, I don’t understand what you are driving at with your “prison epistles” comment; I would direct that toward ICA.

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        • 07/28/2012 at 7:00 PM

          I read Ellis’ books back in the 90’s. Agree with his hidden beast understanding disagree with his view on the Millennium.

          As far as the prison epistles just trying to rightly divide. :-)

          2 Timothy 2:15

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      • 12/03/2013 at 5:44 PM

        Some say today was the day He stood up!

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  12. ICA
    07/28/2012 at 6:13 PM

    JohnDoe, “I see you have no substantive reply to my taking down of your Daniel argument, but instead you move on to issues I never brought up, and that are irrelevant.”

    Hi JohnDoe, it is not irrelevant at all. The entire push of the dispensational postition regarding Daniel’s 70th Week is done in order to support the idea that the Church is snatched off the Earth while global chaos ensues. If this idea is shown to be in err, which I believe that it is, then the idea of a gap between the 69th and 70th weeks is called into question, and its support severely diminished.

    JohnDoe, “In addition to other hermeneutical methods, I tend to use a “model” approach to Scripture, where God’s word is the model and our understanding needs to conform to the model, instead of us making up stuff to fit what is ambiguous.”

    Yet your model imposes a gap between the 69th and 70th week, but not one in between the first 7 and 62 weeks? When we start off with the wrong model and assume even one or two false premisses as true, the wrong conclusion will more often than not be the end result.

    Daniel’s entire focus from 9:24-27 is the Messiah. There is no mention of a “peace treaty” that many often insert, nor is there any mention of a rebuilt Jewish temple that many often envision. When Daniel focuses on the Messiah in 9:24-27, he then writes that “He shall confirm the covenant with many.” Jesus said, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many” in Matt 26:28. Does it not stand to reason that Jesus was quoting Daniel 9:27? When Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said that the “covenant” was “confirmed before by God in Christ” in Galatians 3:17 and that Jesus Christ came “to confirm the promises made to the fathers” in Romans 15:8, does it not stand to reason that he was referring directly back to Daniel 9:27, especially when the word “covenant” in these contexts is a Messianic term, and only applies to the Messiah? When Daniel wrote that “In the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice … to cease”, does it not stand to reason that this is referring to the direct work of Christ on the Cross who, after 3.5 years of His earthly ministry, became the final Sacrifice for sin and put an end to animal sacrifices and offerings? I say yes, it most definitely does.

    Hebrews 9:26b, “… But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

    JohnDoe, “Thus, we can expect God to spare the church from God’s wrath on sin as well. The Bible says that Jesus ]saves (rescues) us from the wrath to come] (1 Thess 1:10 NASB). Thessalonians is not part of a white throne judgment context, but in the context of Jesus’s return and the wrath of God being poured out on the rest of the world…. We must wait for Jesus to come, and he has already delivered us from the wrath to come. It’s already a done deal. Thus, we will endure tribulation, but not God’s wrath that is reserved for the beast, antichrist/false prophet and those who follow them.”

    I agree brother. But here’s something for your consideration, which is one of the reasons why I adhere to a post-trib/pre-wrath stance and not a pre-trib, mid-trib or pre-wrath (Rosenthal’s version) position. Let’s begin by looking at all the verses which tell us that we are not appointed to wrath, or are saved from wrath:

    1 Thess 1:10, “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, [even] Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”

    1 Thess 5:9, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”

    Romans 5:9, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

    Eph 5:6, “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”

    Next, let’s look at the Greek word specifically used for “wrath” in each of these verses to better understand what we are studying:

    1 Thess 1:10, — The wrath that we will be delivered from is the Greek “orge” (G3709).

    1 Thess 5:9, — The wrath that we are not appointed to is the Greek “orge” (G3709).

    Romans 5:9, — The wrath that we are saved from is the Greek “orge” (G3709).

    Eph 5:6, — The wrath upon those who are disobedient is the Greek “orge” (G3709).

    Easy enough. We are saved from, or not appointed to suffer, the “orge” wrath of God. Now let’s examine the “wrath” that is described in Revelation. The word “wrath” itself is found 13 times in English translations of Revelation, but in the Greek text the word translated as “wrath” is not just from the Greek word “orge”. It is from two separate words: “orge” and “thymos.” The “orge” of God that we are promised to be saved from according to each verse above is only found six times. And here’s the kicker — each time “orge” is used it is always in a post-trib context only:

    1 and 2. It is mentioned after the cosmic signs and the revealing of Christ Jesus (Rev 6:16-17). Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms that these signs happen immediately after the tribulation (Matt 24:29).

    3. It is found after the seventh trumpet (Rev 11:18). (When the 7th and last trump begins to sound we find the rapture described in Revelation 10).

    4. It is used to describe the final torment of unbelievers in hell (Rev 14:10).

    5. It is found after the seventh bowl (Rev 16:19). (The trumpets and bowls are two sides of the same coin. They are separate descriptions of the same event. The trumpets are the cause and the bowls are the effect).

    6. It is used in connection with Christ’s Second Coming (Rev 19:15).

    Moreover, according to Revelation the thymos wrath is directed upon a very specific group only — the Antichrist, his land, his kingdom, those who have received the Mark of the Beast, those who worship the image of the Beast, those who have shed the blood of the saints (see Rev 16). Those upon whom the bowls of thymos are being poured are still given the opportunity to repent, but they refuse (Rev 9:20-21; 16:9-11). But when the orge wrath comes, however, there is no such provision for repentance. I believe that we will be here on earth witnessing these events right up until the beginning of the post-trib seventh and last trumpet, at which point we are gathered to Christ just before the orge wrath. Hence, post-trib/pre-wrath.

    This, therefore, is telling us that the orge wrath that we are saved from is not the same type of wrath that we find during the Great Tribulation. It is only immediately after the tribulation at the Second Coming of Christ. As such, even if the rapture does not happen until immediately after the tribulation we are still saved from the “orge” wrath of God as promised, yet still be present to witness the “thymos” wrath of the first six trumpets/bowls upon the Antichrist, his kingdom, and his people.

    The Difference Between “Orge” and “Thymos” Wrath

    So, what’s the difference between “orge” wrath and “thymos” wrath? We should first be aware that some incorrectly assume that these two words have essentially the same meaning, however if that were the case then why did the Holy Spirit inspire the writers of the New Testament to use them both, and at times why were they both used in the same verse? Obviously, though they could have similar meanings they must, therefore, be qualitatively distinct. Here are some examples where they are both used in the same verse:

    Col 3:8 – “But now ye also put off all these; anger (orge), wrath (thymos), malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth”

    Rev 14:10, “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath (thymos) of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation (orge); and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb”

    Rev 16:19 – And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness (thymos) of his wrath (orge).”

    thymos – sudden passionate anger; anger boiling up and subsiding again
    orge – deliberate anger; indignation; hostile vengeance

    Truth be told, the trumpets are themselves not even called wrath anywhere at all really. As I mentioned above, however, I view the trumpets/bowls as opposite sides of the same coin where the trumpet is the cause and the bowl is the effect. So knowing that the bowls are called the thymos wrath of God associates, to me, the trumpets with thymos wrath as well.

    Every time in Scripture we read that we as believers are not appointed to wrath, or will be delivered from wrath, it is always the orge of God which is found in a post-trib context only. In this orge the anger will not subside, it will not abate. It is not a punishment to chasten and invoke repentance like thymos, because when the orge of God comes it is then too late.

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  13. HeReigns
    07/28/2012 at 6:16 PM

    the “he” spoken of is not Jesus Christ….or it would’ve been “He”….that in of itself refutes your theory.

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  14. ICA
    07/28/2012 at 6:42 PM

    HeReigns, “the ‘he’ spoken of is not Jesus Christ….or it would’ve been ‘He’….that in of itself refutes your theory.”

    Hi HeReigns, are you arguing from the standpoint that the English translation doesn’t capitalize the letter “H”, so it can’t be referring to Christ? What about the NKJV, which says that “in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering”?

    At any rate, this isn’t my theory. This has been the position of the Christian Church for nearly 2000 years, as evidenced by voluminous Bible teachers and scholars throughout the ages. Here are a few examples:

    Matthew Poole – “I say then, with Graser, Mede, and others, that this he is the Messiah, and the covenant He confirms is the new testament or covenant… ‘Shall confirm the covenant;’ He shall corroborate it, as if it began before His coming to fail and to be invalid. ‘With many;’ noting thereby the paucity of the Jewish church and nation, compared with the great increase and enlargement by believing Gentiles throughout all nations and ages of the world.”

    Jamieson, Fausset and Brown – “The confirmation of the covenant is assigned to Him also elsewhere. Isa 42:6 , ‘I will give thee for a covenant of the people’ (that is, He in whom the covenant between Israel and God is personally expressed); compare Luk 22:20 , ‘The new testament in My blood’; Mal 3:1 , ‘the angel of the covenant’; Jer 31:31-34 , describes the Messianic covenant in full.”

    Matthew Henry – “He must confirm the covenant with many. He shall introduce a new covenant between God and man, a covenant of grace, since it had become impossible for us to be saved by a covenant of innocence. This covenant he shall confirm by his doctrine and miracles, by his death and resurrection …”

    Not to mention Adam Clarke, John Calvin, John Wesley, Bede, John Wycliffe, Luther, Melancthon, John Gill, and so many others. And let’s not forget to mention early Church Fathers such as Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Athanasius, Augustine and Eusebius …

    “The fact is, Daniel 9:27 says nothing about a future rebuilt temple, nothing about restored sacrifices, nothing about the Antichrist making a covenant with the Jews! There are over 280 references to ‘covenant’ in the scriptures and NOT ONE of them in any way introduces the idea of a covenant being made between the Jews and the Antichrist.” (Ralph Woodrow in Great Prophecies of the Bible).

    “The Hebrew words are unusual. They are sometimes interpreted as though they meant simply ‘to make a covenant.’ Such an interpretation, however, is incorrect, for it does not do justice to the original which can only mean to cause a covenant ‘to prevail,’ or ‘to make a covenant firm.’ The implication is that the covenant is already in existence and that its terms and conditions are now to be made effective… It is better to regard the subject as the Messiah, since He has been the most prominent Person in this passage. The covenant which is to prevail is the covenant of grace wherein the Messiah, by His life and death, obtains salvation for His people.” (Edward Young, The Prophecy of Daniel: A Commentary).

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  15. JohnDoe
    07/28/2012 at 8:26 PM

    You say here ” your model imposes a gap between the 69th and 70th week”…I respectfully disagree. My model is what is consistent with the known character of God, that He spares the righteous from periods of judgment upon earth.

    Your appeal to the different forms of the word “wrath” are I think, a stretch. Context makes a better case for a position when a plain reading of the text is allowed. Instead you are taking a particular word out of context, and forming a doctrine around it. I disagree with this type of hermeneutic, but I will love you as a brother in Christ regardless. :)

    You still had no comment on how I showed that the “he” in Daniel 9:27 is not referring to Jesus, but to the “prince that is to come”. Also, that Jesus does not break covenants, like the “he” in Daniel 9:27 evidently does and that the sense of the word “firm”, from the Hebrew, suggests an arrogant, forceful covenant, which does not fit the model that other Scriptures show for the character of Jesus. No Christian wants to deliberately attribute a work of the antichrist to Christ Himself, yet I think we should tread very carefully on this issue so that it is not done accidentally.

    We are in agreement my friend, in that there is no mention of a so-called “peace treaty” in Daniel 9:27. This has to be one of the most abused, read-into passages of all time when people claim there is some kind of peace treaty, and of the sort that suggests some kind of national or international treaty. The text simply doesn’t say it and the Hebrew doesn’t support it.

    However, I must respectfully object to your correlating terms that sound the same, or even may be exactly the same, while they are obviously in different contexts. You did this here. I will quote you here

    “When Daniel focuses on the Messiah in 9:24-27, he then writes that “He shall confirm the covenant with many.” Jesus said, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many” in Matt 26:28. Does it not stand to reason that Jesus was quoting Daniel 9:27?”

    This type of hermenuetic dreadfully off. Matthew 26 and Daniel 9 are two entirely different contexts. Matthew 26:28 refers back to Jeremiah 31:33 which is an OT prophecy concerning the later, new covenant that would be inaugurated by Jesus’ blood. Now one can suggest that this covenant would have taken place at the Cross (which it did), but the problem is that Matthew 26:28 is not an eschatological passage. One would have to impose a correlation between it and Daniel to make it fit. That’s a rather violent way to make Daniel 9:27 be referring to the Cross, especially in light of my other commentary which showed that the Messiah being “cut off and having nothing” cannot have been referring to the Cross, since the church sprang into existence and spread at a remarkable rate and with supernatural demonstrations of God’s power…..hardly an indication of Christ, the head of the Church being cut off and having nothing, at least from the standpoint of an early church. Rather, we must look elsewhere for a context where Christ as the head of the Church is cut off, and has nothing.

    May I suggest you stay away from additional fallacious types of reasoning? For example, you said here…

    “This has been the position of the Christian Church for nearly 2000 years,”… again, another example of argumentum ad antiquatum, argument from age. This is highly fallacious.

    Another from your last post…

    “as evidenced by voluminous Bible teachers and scholars throughout the ages. Here are a few examples: Matthew Poole – “I say then, with Graser, Mede, and others…”

    That is yet another example of fallacious reasoning, an argument from authority. The fact that all those named scholars and commentators agree with your view doesn’t make your view correct. We need to compare our view with what Scripture says, Scripture to Scripture, and if it is in correct context, then we will have a more correct understanding.

    You say here,

    “The fact is, Daniel 9:27 says nothing about a future rebuilt temple, nothing about restored sacrifices”..

    I agree. There is an unusual amount of “rebuilt temple” speculation. I think there is no support for it in Daniel.

    Well, we have each made a Scripturally supported case for our views, each have put forth opinions from commentaries of our choice yet we remain in difference on some issues, and in agreement on other issues. I’m thankful for your courtesy and self control, for discussing the issues in the Spirit of God, with gentleness and tact.

    I recognize that we are brothers in the Lord and I love you with the love of Christ and wish you very well. Thank you for the interesting, even lively discussion, and I’m glad that it has drawn others into it as well, to share their opinion or to just think about the issues more or in ways they may not have before.

    This will be it for me for now. Keep up the good work on this very important blog..that many people need to know about. GOD bless.

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  16. ICA
    07/28/2012 at 9:31 PM

    JohnDoe, “My model is what is consistent with the known character of God, that He spares the righteous from periods of judgment upon earth.”

    Hi JohnDoe, the righteous have always been present on the earth, even during the times when God had judged the wicked. Sparing the righteous has never meant removal from the Earth.

    Proverbs 10:30, “The righteous will never be removed, But the wicked will not inhabit the earth.”

    JohnDoe, “Instead you are taking a particular word out of context, and forming a doctrine around it.”

    I disagree that “orge” is taken out context anywhere. They are presented in their proper contexts in each example and demonstrate how and why the “orge” wrath of God is directed upon the wicked, and not the righteous, and when this “orge” occurs in the eschaton.

    JohnDoe, “You still had no comment on how I showed that the ‘he’ in Daniel 9:27 is not referring to Jesus, but to the ‘prince that is to come’.”

    According to the New Testament, Christ has confirmed the covenant and has put and end to sacrifices once and for all. See Matthew 26:28, Galatians 3:17, Romans 15:8, Hebrews 8:6-8, Hebrews 10:1-10 and compare with Daniel 9:24-27. I don’t believe that this is all just one monumental coincidence that we should ignore because it doesn’t fit inside the relatively new interpretational paradigm of dispensationalism. When it was pronounced to Daniel that 70 weeks were determined for his people and that the Messiah would be “cut off” after the first 69 weeks, the natural presumption can only be that the death of the Messiah would take place sometime during the last week. What could be more naturally assumed than that the death of Messiah concerned the 70th week?

    The dispensational argument for a gap between the 69th and 70th weeks is based on the belief that verses 26 and 27 are phrased in a modern style of prose that describes events in a strictly sequential and chronological order. But a close examination of these two verses reveals that they are structured in the poetic style of synonymous parallelism in which the 27th verse repeats and elaborates the content of the 26th verse. Thus, events that occur “after” the 69th week (v. 26) occur “in” the 70th week (v. 27).[1].

    JohnDoe, “Also, that Jesus does not break covenants, like the ‘he’ in Daniel 9:27 evidently does and that the sense of the word ‘firm’, from the Hebrew, suggests an arrogant, forceful covenant, which does not fit the model that other Scriptures show for the character of Jesus.”

    There is no breaking of a covenant in Dan 9:27. It is “confirmed” (gabar – strengthened), meaning that it must be something that had already existed or was promised. In my view, the position which states that a covenant is broken is not supported by the text and is instead presumed, and a presumption that is compounded by another presumption that is nowhere in the text, which is to say, that the ceasing of the sacrifice and oblation is the work of someone other than Christ.

    JohnDoe, “Matthew 26 and Daniel 9 are two entirely different contexts. Matthew 26:28 refers back to Jeremiah 31:33 which is an OT prophecy concerning the later, new covenant that would be inaugurated by Jesus’ blood. Now one can suggest that this covenant would have taken place at the Cross (which it did), but the problem is that Matthew 26:28 is not an eschatological passage.

    Neither is Daniel 9:27a. It pertains to the work of Christ on the Cross, not to a future act by the “man of lawlessness.”

    JohnDoe, “the Messiah being ‘cut off and having nothing’ cannot have been referring to the Cross, since the church sprang into existence and spread at a remarkable rate and with supernatural demonstrations of God’s power”

    The word for ‘cut off’ is “karath”, which means to cut down or kill and is the same word used in Leviticus 7:27 for the death penalty. There is no doubt that this prophecy is telling us that the Messiah would be killed. Now, the NIV renders Dan 9:26 to say that He “will have nothing”, however the Hebrew also means “but not for Himself”, which is precisely how it is translated in many Bibles. The Messiah would die, but He would not die for Himself. Why? Because He would be dying for others. This describes Christ’s work on the Cross perfectly.

    JohnDoe, “‘This has been the position of the Christian Church for nearly 2000 years,’… again, another example of argumentum ad antiquatum, argument from age. This is highly fallacious… ‘as evidenced by voluminous Bible teachers and scholars throughout the ages. Here are a few examples: Matthew Poole – ‘I say then, with Graser, Mede, and others…’ That is yet another example of fallacious reasoning, an argument from authority. The fact that all those named scholars and commentators agree with your view doesn’t make your view correct.”

    You’re right, it doesn’t prove that this view is correct. It does, however, provide for us a good historical weight of evidence and demonstrates how the Christian church for nearly two millennia never heard the dispensational view, never taught it, never believed it. Why? I would contend because there no Scriptural support for it.

    JohnDoe, “Well, we have each made a Scripturally supported case for our views, each have put forth opinions from commentaries of our choice yet we remain in difference on some issues, and in agreement on other issues. I’m thankful for your courtesy and self control, for discussing the issues in the Spirit of God, with gentleness and tact.

    I recognize that we are brothers in the Lord and I love you with the love of Christ and wish you very well. Thank you for the interesting, even lively discussion, and I’m glad that it has drawn others into it as well, to share their opinion or to just think about the issues more or in ways they may not have before.

    This will be it for me for now. Keep up the good work on this very important blog..that many people need to know about. GOD bless.”

    Thank you brother for the kind words and for taking the time to partake in the discussion. God bless!

    Like

  17. Mike Watts
    07/30/2012 at 4:30 PM

    Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
    Romans 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
    1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
    1Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
    The above verses show us that God had a plan hidden from the Apostles and given to Paul.This is what happened AFTER Israel rejected Christ as the Messiah. Everything talked about in Matthew 24 and Revelation has nothing to do with the Body of Christ.It has everything to do with the nation Israel.Everyone saved after the rapture will not be able to take the mark of the beast. If a person rightly divides the Word the Bible becomes a lot easier to understand. The first resurrection in Revelation 20:6 cannot be talking about a first time someone has been resurrected because Jesus was resurrected. It is talking about “saved” people that have gone through the tribulation as it describes then as being the ones killed and not taking the mark of the beast.
    Anyway if you will just divide the Word and know that Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles and once the time of Gentiles is completed God returns his focus on Israel it becomes easier to understand.
    thanks Mike

    Like

  18. ICA
    07/31/2012 at 5:04 PM

    Mike Watts, “Everything talked about in Matthew 24 and Revelation has nothing to do with the Body of Christ.”

    Hi Mike Watts, thank you for your reply. When you say the Body of Christ, do you mean the “Bride of Christ”? If we are going to rightly divide the Word, then let’s take a moment to recognize what the Word of God has to say about the nature of the Church.

    Many Christians today are taught that the Church is a New Testament creation that is completely distinct from Israel and is parenthetical to the plan of God, a teaching which posits that the Church only began at Pentecost and did not exist in the Old Testament. According to this view everyone — including Jews — can be a part of the NT Church … if they believe in Jesus. According to the whole of Scripture, however, such a view does not convey the full, Biblical definition of precisely what the Church is.

    When Jesus says that He will “build” (oikodomeō) His Church in Matthew 16:18, the word carries with it the meaning “to build up from the foundation.” Contrary to pop-theology the Church did not begin at Pentecost. It began in the Old Testament where the foundation of the Church had already been laid. Because of Jesus, everyone who believes would be added to His Church (cf Acts 2:46-47 – “And the Lord added to the church ekklesia G1577 daily those who were being saved) and would no longer be foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built upon the FOUNDATION of the apostles AND PROPHETS, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone (Eph 2).

    This should be evident to us when Jesus explained to His disciples how to resolve conflicts in Matthew 18:15-17, saying, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church (ekklesia G1577)…” Now, this is in the book of Matthew and many Christians believe that Jesus was addressing this teaching to a Jewish audience only, as demonstrated from your comment above, yet here He is calling them the Church. Since the Church — as it is taught by traditional dispensationalism — was not yet formed until after Pentecost, what was Christ referring to? The answer is simple: it WAS the Church, and the dispensational teaching regarding its post-Pentecost nature is incomplete because Scripture clearly tells us that the Church existed in the Old Testament all along:

    Acts 7:36-38, “He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the CHURCH (ekklesia G1577) in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and [with] our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us”

    1 Corinthians 10:2-4, “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

    According to Scripture, the Church therefore did not begin at Pentecost. It was INCREASED at Pentecost. The Church began in the Old Testament with the assembly of believers of YHWH. It is ‘believing Israel’. They had the same gospel preached to them that we preach (Heb 4:2, “we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did”) and are they who put their faith in God’s promise of the Deliverer, in the hope of Messiah. It is because of their Messiah that we as Gentiles who believe are adopted into this family of God. Said another way, we should not view believing Jews as being a part of the Church because they believe in Jesus, but rather it is we as Gentiles who are now a part of the Church because we believe in Yeshua. We have become a part of Jacob.

    Having said that, let’s take a look to see what the Word has to say about the Bride of Christ. In Hosea 2:14,16,19 we read the following:

    Hosea 2:14,16,19, “Therefore I am now going to allure her (Israel) … ‘In that day,’ declares the Lord, ‘you will call me ‘my husband‘; you will no longer call me ‘my master… [and] I will betroth you to me forever.’”

    The Word of God seems to be saying here that believing Israel is the Bride of Christ. If that is the case, then it should be confirmed for us elsewhere.

    Revelation 21:9-12, “And there came unto me one of the seven angels … saying, come hither, and I will shew thee the bride, THE LAMB’S WIFE. And he … shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem … which had a wall great and high, and twelve gates… and names written thereon which are the NAMES OF THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL.

    Let’s allow to Word of God to speak one more time in this regard:

    Isaiah 54:4-5, “For you [Israel] will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. For YOUR MAKER IS YOUR HUSBAND — the LORD Almighty is his name — the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”

    Jesus Christ — the Lamb of God — is the One who created all things (Col 1:16, Rev 4:11). He is Israel’s Creator. He is Israel’s Maker. And through Him, we are no longer excluded from citizenship of Israel and are no longer foreigners and aliens, but are now fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household (Ephesians 2).

    So I’ve said all that to simply say this: According to the Word of God the New Testament ‘Gentile’ Church is not the Bride. The New Testament ‘Gentile’ Church does not replace the Bride. As a part of Israel — as a part of Jacob — both believing Jew and believing Gentile are together the Bride of Christ.

    Mike Watts, “Everyone saved after the rapture will not be able to take the mark of the beast.”

    The Apostle Paul says the ‘Rapture’ is at the ‘last trump’. John shows us when this will be in Revelation 10 (see here). As for the Mark of the Beast, I believe that it is already present today (see here to find out why).

    Mike Watts, “The first resurrection in Revelation 20:6 cannot be talking about a first time someone has been resurrected because Jesus was resurrected.”

    Jesus was the “first fruits.” This is separate from the resurrection of the dead in Christ, which is called the “first resurrection” by John in Revelation 20:5-6. Some have pointed to 1 Corinthians 15:22-24 in an attempt to claim that Paul was referring to “phases” of the first resurrection, but if we read carefully what Paul is saying in 1 Corinthians 15, he is simply explaining for us the order of three distinct resurrections, not about “phases” to the first resurrection. Here are the three resurrections that we are told of:

    1. Christ’s resurrection — He is the First Fruits
    2. Those in Christ who are resurrected at His coming — Revelation 20:5-6 tells us that this first resurrection of the dead is after the tribulation, not before it.
    3. Then the end. Revelation 20:5a tells us that the rest of the dead after the post-trib first resurrection are not resurrected until the thousand years have finished.

    After this passage is examined closely, we come to the inescapable conclusion that there are no phases whatsoever to the first resurrection. The logical implications of the plain and straightforward teachings of the text is undeniable: If the first resurrection is after the tribulation then there can be no resurrection before the end of the tribulation, and if there is no resurrection before the end of the tribulation then there is therefore no rapture before the end of the tribulation. It is impossible. According to Scripture, the rapture can only happen after tribulation, which means that the Church is present on Earth right up until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in power and great glory.

    1 Peter 4:13, “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”

    Matthew 24:29-31, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days … shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven … and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect …”

    Mike Watts, “once the time of Gentiles is completed God returns his focus on Israel it becomes easier to understand.”

    God is dealing with Israel right now. Today. And once the fulness of the Gentiles is complete, then all of Israel will be saved (Rom. 11:25-26).

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    • Mike Watts
      09/14/2012 at 10:48 AM

      I just saw this today on your reply. I never received anything telling me someone else had responded. Anyway thanks for your response.
      The church is the Body of Christ. I would think but am not absolute on this that Israel is the Bride. When Paul was called to be the Apostle to the Gentiles He was given a mystery Gospel given to him by God. The Bible says that Israel is “blinded” until the fulness of the Gentiles have come in.
      Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
      Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
      This is the “pause” in the seventieth week of Daniel.God offered his salvation to the nation Israel and they rejected it. He then gave Paul the new Gospel for the Gentiles. Anyone can be saved during this time including the Jews. They must Believe in the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and accept his FREE gift.
      When you quote out of the Gospels and non Paul books you are quoting books written to and FOR the Jews during the tribulation period. No where in MAtthew 24 or Revelation is the rapture seen. It was “hid” from the people until it was given to Paul

      thanks
      Mike Watts

      Like

  19. Anonymous
    08/01/2012 at 5:31 PM

    Fascinating stuff.

    Like

  20. Mike Watts
    09/14/2012 at 10:35 AM

    I just wanted to say something about The First Resurrection in Revelation 20 that so many say proves there was no rapture prior to this. When was Jesus resurrected? Also look in the passage and see who it says is resurrected. Do you see the dead in Christ anywhere in that resurrection that died BEFORE the tribulation? If you read the clear meaning you will see that this is a different resurrection than the rapture of the Church.

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    • ICA
      09/14/2012 at 12:35 PM

      Mike Watts, “I just wanted to say something about The First Resurrection in Revelation 20 that so many say proves there was no rapture prior to this. When was Jesus resurrected?”

      Hi Mike, the resurrection of Christ is separate from the resurrection of those in Christ. He is the “First Fruits”. Per above, Paul gives us three distinct resurrections. 1) Christ’s resurrection, 2) The resurrection of the dead in Christ after the tribulation, which John calls the “First Resurrection”, and then 3) The end. There are no phases and no other resurrections mentioned anywhere in the text, and we therefore have no Scriptural justification to arbitrarily add phases or another resurrection somewhere in order to support a theory such as pre-tribism that is itself nowhere found in the text. There are absolutely no verses in the entirety of Scripture which teach a pre-trib rapture that do not already necessitate that one first assume a pre-trib rapture to begin with.

      The “rapture” (the Greek word “harpazo” which means “plucked” or “pulled” or “snatched”) is the gathering of the elect together to meet Christ in the air. Since the resurrection of the dead in Christ is after the tribulation then there can be no resurrection before the tribulation, and if there is no resurrection before the tribulation then there can therefore be no rapture before the tribulation.

      Mike Watts, “Do you see the dead in Christ anywhere in that resurrection that died BEFORE the tribulation? If you read the clear meaning you will see that this is a different resurrection than the rapture of the Church.”

      Yes, I absolutely see that this is referring to not just those who are killed by the Beast, but to the Church as a whole throughout the ages. We are called “priests” of God who will rule and reign with Christ (cf 1 Pet. 2:5,9; Rev. 1:6, 5:10), which is precisely how those who are raised up in the First Resurrection are described, for “they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev 20:6b). Moreover, let us not forget the fact that Christians are, as we speak right now, being shot, stabbed, blown up, beheaded etc. by the Beast. Today. The Beast is not a system that all of a sudden appears overnight out of thin air. It is already here, now. We see it every day. Turn on the news, and you will hear about it and see it waging war against Jews and Christians in minutes.

      The First Resurrection of the dead in Christ is the resurrection of the assembly of God who have died throughout the ages in Messiah, even during Great Tribulation. All believers killed by the Beast are in the Church. They are in Christ’s Body. There is no Biblical basis to believe otherwise, in fact to do so is to invite a tremendous amount of theological inconsistencies. To quote R. Totten, “The sacrifice of Christ benefits any truly repentant sinners who have sincere faith and trust in Christ, but this benefit is conferred as God automatically baptizes all true believers in the Holy Spirit, which places them ‘into’ the Body of Christ (1 Cor.12:13), which is the Church (Eph. 1:22,23), so that they are ‘IN Christ’ (2 Cor.5:17). Being ‘in Christ’ is the place of justification (Gal. 2:17), redemption and forgiveness of sins (Eph. 1:7)… There is no other place, than in Christ’s body, for those spiritual transactions in the NT. It will only be people ‘in Christ’ (and in his body), who have been crucified with him, who have died and been buried with him, and are made alive with him (read Rom. 6:1-10). For anyone to be saved, God places Jews or Gentiles ‘in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross’ (Eph. 2:16) and that one body of reconciliation is the Church (Eph. 1:22-23). There will never be any other way to justification, reconciliation to God, redemption, resurrection and eternal life, than by being ‘IN Christ,’ which is in his body, the Church … anything else is another way (and really, another gospel) than is found in the Bible. It would take some major explaining to tell how a person could be ‘in Christ’ but not in his body. If the tribulation saints are not in Christ’s body, then how are they saved? Consider especially verses like Romans 12:5, which says, ‘so in Christ we who are many form one body.’ Paul says explicitly there that being ‘in’ Christ means being in his ‘body’, and he uses those two ideas as being inseparable. Biblical Christianity can never advance any other way of justification and redemption, other than being ‘IN Christ.’

      So, the pre-trib notion of a group of ‘tribulation saints’ who are saved and redeemed during the tribulation, but yet are not part of the body of Christ (the Church), is actually a contradiction in terms, which rests on very shabby theology that undermines the biblical doctrine of salvation. The true situation during the tribulation will be: there will be Spirit-baptized saints who are ‘washed …in the blood of the Lamb’ (Rev. 7:14), so, they are blood-bought and justified saints; they will be born-again Christians ‘who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus’ (Rev. 12:17), and who ‘remain faithful to Jesus’ (Rev. 14:12). And very crucial for this discussion: note those saints who ‘die IN the Lord’ during the Great Tribulation (see Rev. 14:12-13 with 6:9-11)… that being ‘in the Lord,’ or ‘in Christ,’ is precisely the NT description of a believer who is part of the Church, the body of Christ. There is no possible way that these tribulation saints are not part of the Church.” (Source).

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    • 11/29/2013 at 9:26 PM

      Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.Revelation 20:5

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  21. ICA
    09/14/2012 at 12:50 PM

    Mike Watts, “The church is the Body of Christ. I would think but am not absolute on this that Israel is the Bride.”

    Yes, I agree. For your consideration, I write about this in the following article: The 144,000 and the Great Multitude – It’s Not What You May Think.

    Mike Watts, “When you quote out of the Gospels and non Paul books you are quoting books written to and FOR the Jews during the tribulation period. No where in MAtthew 24 or Revelation is the rapture seen.”

    You missed a word. It is written for Messianic Jews. The rapture, as I will demonstrate below, was explicitly mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24. The Apostle Paul even said that our gathering to Christ is the Day of the Lord in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3. Here it is slightly condensed:

    “concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him … [do not] become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy … saying that the day of the Lord has already come … for [that day will not come] until the [apostasia] occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed …”

    Paul ties in the Day of the Lord with our gathering to Christ. He is saying that our gathering (rapture) will not happen until the falling away (apostasy) happens and the man of sin is revealed first. But, in an effort to support a pre-trib presupposition, some teachers are now trying to convince us that the “apostasia” is the departure of the Church, effectively saying that the gathering (rapture) will not happen until the departure (rapture) happens first (!).

    Paul uses the word “episynagōgē” (G1997) here when referring to the rapture as “our gathering”, which is from the word “episynagō” (G1996) — the exact word that Christ used in Matthew 24:31 regarding the gathering of the elect immediately after the tribulation. In explaining the rapture, Paul is in fact referring directly to Christ’s own teaching in the Olivet Discourse and connects the “watching” for the rapture with Jesus’ instructions for His disciples to be watching for His coming “immediately after the tribulation“. In other words, Paul is teaching us that the rapture is post-trib, not pre-trib.

    This becomes even more evident when we compare all of Paul’s teaching on the rapture in 1 Thess 4 and 1 Thess 5 and how it parallels with Christ’s own teaching of the Olivet Discourse. Notice the following:

    Paul Referred to Jesus – Coming of the Lord From Heaven

    Jesus: Matt 24:30 “…they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
    Paul: 1 Thess. 4:16 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven…”

    Paul Referred to Jesus – Angel(s)

    Jesus: Matt. 24:31 “…He shall send forth His angels…”
    Paul: 1 Thess. 4:16 “with the voice of the archangel…”

    Paul Referred to Jesus – Trumpet Blast

    Jesus: Matt. 24:31 “…with the sound of a trumpet…”
    Paul: 1 Thess. 4:16 “…with the trumpet of God”

    Paul Referred to Jesus – Catching up of the Living

    Jesus: Matt. 24:31 “…they shall gather together His elect…”
    Paul: 1 Thess. 4:17 “…shall be caught up together…”

    Paul Referred To Jesus – Thief in the Night

    Jesus: Matt. 24:43 “…if the master … had known what hour the thief would come…”
    Paul: 1 Thess. 5:1,2 “…so cometh as a thief in the night.”

    Paul Referred to Jesus – Warning Against “Sleeping”

    Jesus: Mark 13:36 “lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping.”
    Paul: 1 Thess. 5:6 “…let us not sleep as do others”

    Paul Referred to Jesus – Warning Against “Drunkenness”

    Jesus: Luke 21:34 “take heed … lest your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness”
    Paul: 1 Thess. 5:6-8 “be sober … they that are drunken are drunken in the night … be sober”

    Paul Referred to Jesus – “Watching” for Christ’s Coming

    Jesus: Mark 13:35-37 “Watch ye therefore … What I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch.”
    Paul: 1 Thess. 5:6 “let us watch…”

    This is not just some simple yet astounding coincidence. Even in 2 Thess 2 we see where Paul again alludes to Christ’s own teaching on the Olivet Discourse and teaches a post-trib rapture:

    Paul – two things take place before the gathering:

    1. Paul says that that day (the Day of the Lord and our gathering to Him) will not come unless “there come a falling away first …”.
    2. “… and the Man of Sin be revealed, the son of perdition… who sitteth in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

    Jesus – two things take place before the gathering:

    1. Before the gathering of His elect, Jesus says “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved” (Mat 24:9-13).
    2. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)” (Mat 24:15).

    Paul teaches the same thing as Jesus. Jesus taught a post-trib gathering of the elect that would be preceded by a departure from the faith and the revealing of the man of sin. Paul also taught a post-trib gathering of the elect, preceded by a departure from the faith and the revealing of the man of sin.

    1 Tim 4:1, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith …”

    When all of this is laid out and considered in their full context only one inescapable conclusion can be drawn: Paul referred to Jesus when speaking about our gathering (rapture), and Jesus spoke of this gathering and Himself stated that it was immediately after the tribulation.

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    • Mike Watts
      09/14/2012 at 7:08 PM

      Thanks for responding.
      You are mixing the rapture with the second coming. I will point out a couple of things that makes it clear to me.
      First look at 2Thessalonians 2;3
      Let no one deceive you in any way. For it will not be, unless the departure comes first,and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction.
      This is quoted from the World English Bible and notice that it does not say the “falling away”. Did you know the first 5 English versions of the Bible translated that as saying “departure? Wow!
      and verse 6 and7 says what is holding him back(man of lawlessness)
      6Now you know what is restraining him,to the end that he may be revealed in his own season
      7For the mystery of lawlessness already works. Only their is one who restrains now until he is taken out of the way.
      The Body of Christ is the restraining force. Once we have “departed” the man of sin will start his work.
      As for the verses you quoted to compare and I will only show 1 comparison as this will so the point I am making.
      Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
      Jesus sends his angels to gather elect. No mention of dead in Christ raising from the grave. He is gathering the ones who made it through the great tribulation and they will repopulate earth. Notice in verse 30 what Jesus says
      Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
      The whole earth will see Christ coming at the second coming. Paul NEVER says the whole earth will see Jesus coming. We are caught up in the air in the rapture.And Paul says we will be caught up in the twinkling of an eye. I do not think that will be seen by the whole world.

      1Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
      1Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
      1Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
      1Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
      Notice above that the dead will rise first and we who are alive will be “caught up”. We will not be gathered by the angels but the Arcangel will deliver a shout.

      In the second coming Jesus comes to earth. In the rapture we rise and meet him in the air.No where in the bible does it say any different.
      1 Corinthians 15:51 tells us the rapture is a “mystery”
      1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
      1Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
      Notice above this all happens in “twinkling of an eye” This was a muystery shown by God to Paul who is the apostle to the Gentiles. The Second Coming is not a mystery and neither is the First Resurrection. This were prophesied in the old testament and by Jesus. This is what the Jews are looking for.

      Like

  22. ICA
    09/14/2012 at 8:09 PM

    Mike Watts, “You are mixing the rapture with the second coming. I will point out a couple of things that makes it clear to me.
    First look at 2Thessalonians 2;3 … This is quoted from the World English Bible and notice that it does not say the ‘falling away’. Did you know the first 5 English versions of the Bible translated that as saying ‘departure? Wow!'”

    Hi Mike, the Greek word is “apostasia”, and it means departure from the faith, to defect, to forsake. Paul is clear that our gathering to Christ and the Day of the Lord are one and the same, not two separate events.

    2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 is so detrimental to the idea of a pre-trib rapture that the only answer pre-trib teachers can provide is a completely distorted and strained explanation of the plain and straightforward teaching clearly laid out by Paul. Throughout the history of Christendom every single teacher, theologian, scholar, commentator, translator et al all understood what “apostasia” referred to, and it was never a “physical departure” as in the “rapture”. It wasn’t until the idea of a “pre-trib” rapture starting creeping into the Church in the mid-late 19th century that some later attempted to conveniently change its inconvenient meaning.

    Nowhere in Scripture does “apostasia” ever refer to “physical departure”, either in the Greek LXX (Joshua 22:22; 2 Chron 29:19; Jer 2:19) or the New Testament (Acts 21:21). It is always understood as falling away or departing from the faith. Even pre-trib scholar Paul Feinberg admits that, “If one searches for the uses of the noun ‘apostasy’ in the 355 occurrences over the 300-year period between the second century B.C. and the first century A.D., one will not find a single instance where this word refers to a physical departure.” (Robert R Ramirez, The Complete Layman’s Guide to End Times Prophecy a Biblical Perspective, p 280). This is again demonstrated in The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament Illustrated from the Papyri and Other Non-Literary Sources by Moulton and Milligan. The word “apostasia” is never used to refer to a “physical departure”, because it is only used in a political or religious defection sense (p. 68-69).

    Mike Watts, “and verse 6 and7 says what is holding him back(man of lawlessness) … The Body of Christ is the restraining force. Once we have ‘departed’ the man of sin will start his work.”

    The view that the Body of Christ/Church/Holy Spirit is the restrainer is forced into the text. Let’s take a moment to look at it a little bit more closely. In 2 Thess 2, Paul has two subjects in view:

    1) The “man of sin/lawlessness” (2:3 – Subject 1)
    2) A restrainer, (2:7 – Subject 2) — the principle here is described in personal terms as “he who holds back/restrains”

    2 Thess 2:3, “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for [that day will not come] until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.”

    2 Thess 2:7, “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.”

    The Greek for “taken out of the way” is “ginomai ek mesos” and the word “ginomai” is a deponent verb (middle for active voice), so it need not mean removal by an outside force, but rather removal through a determined act on the part of the subject. That is to say, the Restrainer moves himself out of the way or the midst by stepping aside or getting out from in between. He stops restraining. To be “taken out of the way” does not mean to be completely removed as some suggest but simply means to cease from standing in between or to refrain from actively restraining. The closest English translation for 2 Thess 2:7 is found in the NLT:

    2 Thess 2:7, “For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way.”

    But this begs the question: Who is restraining the “man of lawlessness”? Is it the Holy Spirit or the Body of Christ as is often claimed? I find no evidence for that in Scripture at all. But I do find strong evidence of something else entirely.

    When Paul told the Christians of Thessalonica about the revealing of the “man of lawlessness”, the one “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2:4) he was obviously alluding directly to the Prophet Daniel (Daniel 11:36-37) who spoke of the exact same event:

    Dan 11:36-37, “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods … for he shall magnify himself above all.”

    In fact, Paul even continues by saying, “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” (2:5). Told them what things? The things that were written in the Book of Daniel. Keep in mind that up until then, the Old Testament was their only Scriptural reference to draw from. After Paul reminds them that he told them these things from the Book of Daniel, he then continues, “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time” (2:6). So, given the fact that Paul references the end of Daniel 11, what else does Daniel say that Paul’s words would have caused them to remember? A few verses later Daniel writes:

    Dan 12:1, “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book.”

    Here we discover that Archangel Michael has watched over the people of God throughout history and even today, but that a time would come when Michael will “stand up”. The Hebrew word for “stand up” in Dan 12:1 is “amad” (H5975) and it means “to stand aside or stand still, stop (moving or doing), to cease.” How do we know that this is the intended meaning? The context. We know because after Michael does this we read about “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time”.

    Bingo. This should immediately sound familiar to us. 2 Thess 2:7 says “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.” As was mentioned above, the word “ginomai” need not mean removal by an outside force, but rather removal through a determined act on the part of the subject. The Restrainer moves himself out of the way or the midst by stepping aside or getting out from in between, and once he does this THEN the “lawless one” will be revealed (2 Thess 2:8). Look at what Jesus says in Matthew 24:15,21:

    Matt 24:14,21, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place … then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

    This is exactly what the prophet Daniel said would happen when Michael steps aside, that “there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time,” and I believe that this is precisely what Paul reminded the Christians of Thessalonica about so that they would remember.

    Because of this, I believe that the restrainer is therefore Archangel Michael, and when the time comes for Michael to “amad”, all hell breaks loose. Literally.

    Mike Watts, “As for the verses you quoted to compare and I will only show 1 comparison as this will so the point I am making… Jesus sends his angels to gather elect. No mention of dead in Christ raising from the grave.”

    In 2 Thess 2:1 we agree that Paul is talking about the rapture, despite the fact that important details such as Christ descending from Heaven, the last trump, the resurrection of the dead, etc. are all omitted. Not every last detail needs to be provided. If the dead in Christ raising from the grave doesn’t need to be mentioned in 2 Thess 2:1, why would it need to be mentioned in Matthew 24:29-31?

    Mike Watts, “He is gathering the ones who made it through the great tribulation and they will repopulate earth.”

    There will be many Gentile survivors after the Day of the Lord. Remember, the Millennial Kingdom is not the eternal state. This is simply the earthly reign of Christ, and the sheep and goat judgement of nations is a separation of peoples, not of one national country from the other in the sense that we often think of when referring to nations in our modern vernacular. The word for “nations” is “ethnos” and refers to multitudes or groups of peoples, and is often translated as “Gentiles” or “heathens”.

    There are portions of Scripture that without a doubt tell us there will be Gentile nations entering into the Millennial Kingdom:

    Isaiah 2:2-4, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. AND HE SHALL JUDGE AMONG THE NATIONS, AND SHALL REBUKE MANY PEOPLE: AND THEY SHALL BEAT THEIR SWORDS INTO PLOWSHARES, AND THEIR SPEARS INTO PRUNINGHOOKS: NATION SHALL NOT LIFT UP SWORD AGAINST NATION, NEITHER SHALL THEY LEARN WAR ANY MORE.”

    Isaiah is obviously talking about nations of the Earth that are not destroyed either during the Great Tribulation or after the Second Coming of Christ.

    Isaiah 14:1-2, “For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. AND THE PEOPLE SHALL TAKE THEM, AND BRING THEM TO THEIR PLACE: AND THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL SHALL POSSESS THEM IN THE LAND OF THE LORD FOR SERVANTS AND HANDMAIDS: AND THEY SHALL TAKE THEM CAPTIVE, WHOSE CAPTIVES THEY WERE; AND THEY SHALL RULE OVER THEIR OPPRESSORS”

    Again, these verses wouldn’t make any sense unless it referred specifically to surviving Gentile nations.

    Zechariah 14:9,16-19, “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one … AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT EVERY ONE THAT IS LEFT OF ALL THE NATIONS WHICH CAME UP AGAINST JERUSALEM shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of ALL NATIONS that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”

    Ezekiel 36:24-28,36, “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God…. THEN THE HEATHEN THAT ARE LEFT ROUND ABOUT YOU shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.”

    Why are there so many Gentile survivors after the wrath of God on the Day of the Lord? God could destroy literally every last non-Christian or non-Jew on the planet if He wanted to. But I think the last portion of this verse is why many will live …

    Habakkuk 3:2, “O LORD, I have heard Your speech [and] was afraid; O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make [it] known; In wrath remember mercy.”

    After the post-trib rapture, there are many who will be alive after the Second Coming to repopulate the Earth, and these are they who did not worship Antichrist but are permitted to enter the Millennial Kingdom after the Sheep and Goat judgment. Scripture leaves no doubt about it.

    Mike Watts, “Notice above that the dead will rise first and we who are alive will be ‘caught up’. We will not be gathered by the angels but the Arcangel will deliver a shout.”

    In your view, the Apostle Paul was therefore wrong when, in speaking about the rapture in 2 Thess 2, he described it as “our being gathered” to Christ?

    Mike Watts, “In the second coming Jesus comes to earth. In the rapture we rise and meet him in the air.No where in the bible does it say any different.”

    Acts 3:21, Scripture tells us that “He [the Lord Jesus] must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.”

    According to the Old Testament prophets, God does not restore everything until the Second Coming when Christ destroys Israel’s enemies and sets up His Millennial Kingdom. The text of 1 Thess 4:16 says that Christ will descend (“katabaino” –> to come down [from another place]) from (apo –> separation) heaven. According to the Greek text, Christ cannot “descend from heaven” yet still “remain in heaven” at the same time. Again, the text is teaching a post-trib understanding, not a pre-trib understanding.

    Mike Watts, “The Second Coming is not a mystery and neither is the First Resurrection.”

    The mystery was what will occur at the Second Coming. And what will occur is not only the resurrection of the dead in Messiah, but also those in Him who are alive and remain (the Greek word means to “survive”) will be changed in the twinkling of an eye at His coming, that our mortality would put on immortality. We are also given a snapshot of this scene and this mystery being fulfilled (“teleō”, finished or coming to pass or completed) in Revelation 10. See the article titled “The Revelation of Jesus Christ and the Rapture of the Church” to learn more.

    Hope this helps! God bless …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mike Watts
      09/15/2012 at 10:40 AM

      Well You really need to get your facts straight. The word “apostasia” was first translated “departure” in the first 5 or maybe 7 English translations. It was not until the King James Version made a a new translation of “falling away”. Taken in context starting with 2Thessalonians 2 The people are all upset because someone was telling them the rapture had already taken place.He is speaking of TWO events 1-The Coming of our Lord Jesus and 2-The gathering together of the believers.
      You see the church was being “fooled” into thinking they would be going through the tribulation, in fact they thought they were in the tribulation! Just as Post Trib believers say we will be going through the tribulation. But Paul told them that NO “The Departure” will happen before the tribulation and before the man of sin is revealed. But the man of sin had to be revealed BEFORE the Second Coming.
      Whether you translate apostasia “the falling away” or correctly translate it as the “the departure” It is a definite EVENT that will be recognized. By incorrectly translating it the falling away then no one really knows exactly which event that is. There have been many times in history where Christians have seemed as though the lost their faith or falling away. Pleant of times Christians have been killed and murdered because of their faith.So taken in context Paul was talking about the rapture or departure and secondly AFTER the rapture the man of sin revealed and the Second Coming happens.
      As far Who is to be taken out of the way, Whether it is the Holy Spirit, The Church, or Michael, does not change the context. Paul is still talking about the rapture BEFORE the Tribulation.
      You quoted
      In fact, Paul even continues by saying, “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” (2:5). Told them what things? The things that were written in the Book of Daniel. Keep in mind that up until then, the Old Testament was their only Scriptural reference to draw from. After Paul reminds them that he told them these things from the Book of Daniel, he then continues
      Where do you see anywhere that Paul said he told them these things from the Book of Daniel??? That is just another distortion to make the scripture “fit” your own doctrine.And to say they did not have the New Testament is being somewhat misleading and dishonest.
      Let me quote what Paul said:
      Galatians 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. and skip to verse 16
      Galatians 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Galatians 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

      He says he DID NOT get his information from the Old Testament. He was teaching us Gentiles a NEW MYSTERY that he received special training from Jesus Christ himself. and guess what was a part of that NEW revelation that Paul did not get from any man. Any man would include Daniel,Peter, or any other apostle.Yes look at the next verse and you will see what is also a part of the MYSTERY taught to Paul.
      1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
      THE RAPTURE wow NOT THE SECOND COMING. The Second Coming was not a mystery. It was prophecied in the Old Testament and by Jesus and the Apostle. The Second Coming will happen when the tribulation is over. The Rapture happens before it starts!!
      I agree completely and without a doubt that there will be Gentiles and Jews alike saved during the tribulation. They will be saved by Faith in Jesus and NOT taking the mark of the beast. There will be a great revival as John said too many to count coming from every nation tongue…There will be nations on earth during the 1,000 year time that Jesus rules. The ones who are resurrected in Revelation 20 will be Priest and serve Christ during this time.But please when you read Revelation 20 you must admit there is NO mention of the ones who died before the tribulation. That is absolutely not saying that. When the Bible talks about the Second Coming it NEVER mentions the dead in Christ rising first and then we who are left will meet them in the air. The Second Coming is when Christ comes back to earth and gathers together his people. The resurrection in Revelation brings the people back from the dead but to the earth.
      I really hope God opens your eyes to the truth. I once believed the way you do and my eyes have been opened to the truth and Glorious Hope of the rapture!!

      Thanks
      Mike Watts

      Like

  23. ICA
    09/27/2012 at 7:55 PM

    Mike Watts, “Well You really need to get your facts straight. The word ‘apostasia’ was first translated ‘departure’ in the first 5 or maybe 7 English translations.”

    Hi brother, I almost missed your reply during all of the traffic the site received during your response.

    With respect to your statement above, it may be true that many translations used the word “departure” when translating the word “apostasia”, but they are always referring to a departure from the faith. A pre-trib bias is adding meaning to the text so that “departure” means “physical removal from the earth.” Per my previous reply, the word “apostasia” never refers to a “physical departure”, either in the Greek LXX (Joshua 22:22; 2 Chron 29:19; Jer 2:19) or the New Testament (Acts 21:21). It is always understood as falling away or departing from the faith. Paul Feinberg, a pre-trib scholar, readily admits that “If one searches for the uses of the noun ‘apostasy’ in the 355 occurrences over the 300-year period between the second century B.C. and the first century A.D., one will not find a single instance where this word refers to a physical departure.” (Robert R Ramirez, The Complete Layman’s Guide to End Times Prophecy a Biblical Perspective, p 280). This is again demonstrated in The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament Illustrated from the Papyri and Other Non-Literary Sources by Moulton and Milligan. The word “apostasia” is never used to refer to a “physical departure”, because it is only used in a political or religious defection sense (p. 68-69).

    Mike Watts, “He is speaking of TWO events 1-The Coming of our Lord Jesus and 2-The gathering together of the believers.”

    Two events that happen simultaneously. There is absolutely nothing in the text of 2 Thessalonians 2 that separates the gathering of the elect from the Day of the Lord. According to the words of Paul, they both occur together.

    Mike Watts, “But Paul told them that NO ‘The Departure’ will happen before the tribulation and before the man of sin is revealed.”

    Paul told them that the “apostasy” would happen before the gathering of the elect per Matthew 24:29-31. See above.

    Mike Watts, “Where do you see anywhere that Paul said he told them these things from the Book of Daniel???”

    Not only are the words of Paul himself evident of this, the fact that Paul was repeating the teaching of Christ during the Olivet Discourse is undeniable. See the parallels above. Jesus said, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand” (Matthew 24:15).

    Mike Watts, “And to say they did not have the New Testament is being somewhat misleading and dishonest.”

    Not at all. The New Testament wasn’t canonized until many years later.

    Mike Watts, “Galatians 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. and skip to verse 16
    Galatians 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Galatians 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
    He says he DID NOT get his information from the Old Testament.”

    We’re not talking about the epistle to the churches in Galatia. We’re talking about the epistle written to the church in Thessalonica. Regardless, Paul is distinguishing the difference between the true Gospel of God and a false “gospel” created by man in Galatians. This is unrelated to the topic at hand. Having said that, the Gospel in the Old Testament was the same Gospel that we have today: faith in Messiah. See Hebrews 4:2.

    Mike Watts, “Any man would include Daniel,Peter, or any other apostle.Yes look at the next verse and you will see what is also a part of the MYSTERY taught to Paul.
    1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
    THE RAPTURE wow NOT THE SECOND COMING.”

    In order to read a pre-trib rapture in 1 Corinthians 15:51 and not the Second Coming, one must first assume a pre-trib rapture to begin with. There is nothing in the text, however, separating the rapture from the Second Coming. In fact, Revelation 10 makes the rapture and the Second Coming one and the same. See here.

    Mike Watts, “The ones who are resurrected in Revelation 20 will be Priest and serve Christ during this time.But please when you read Revelation 20 you must admit there is NO mention of the ones who died before the tribulation.”

    It doesn’t need to. The Beast is not something that spontaneously appears overnight. It is here, today. It is killing Christians, today. It is waging war against the saints, today. Tribulation is therefore happening, today.

    Tribulation for the ekklesia of God began nearly 2000 years ago since the time of the Apostles. Tens of millions of Christians have died for their faith throughout the centuries.

    John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

    Acts 14:22, “Confirming the souls of the disciples, [and] exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

    Rom 5:3, “And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience”

    Rom 8:35, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”

    Rom 12:12, “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer”

    2 Cor 1:4, “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble…”

    2 Cor 7:4, “Great [is] my boldness of speech toward you, great [is] my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.”

    1 Thess 3:4, “For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.”

    I do see 3.5 prophetic years of “great tribulation” that will be unprecedented, but this does not negate the fact that the Beast is at war with the elect of God, today.

    Mike Watts, “The Second Coming will happen when the tribulation is over.”

    Yes, I agree.

    Mike Watts, ‘The Rapture happens before it starts!!”

    According to pre-tribism, but not according to Scripture. Per above:

    Acts 3:21, Scripture tells us that “He [the Lord Jesus] must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.”

    According to the Old Testament prophets, God does not restore everything until the Second Coming when Christ destroys Israel’s enemies and sets up His Millennial Kingdom. The text of 1 Thess 4:16 says that Christ will descend (“katabaino” –> to come down [from another place]) from (apo –> separation) heaven. According to the Greek text, Christ cannot “descend from heaven” yet still “remain in heaven” at the same time. Again, the text is teaching a post-trib understanding, not a pre-trib understanding.

    Mike Watts, “I once believed the way you do and my eyes have been opened to the truth and Glorious Hope of the rapture!!”

    You mean the “Blessed Hope”? Again, this is yet another prime example where many have interpreted Scripture to conform to their understanding, instead of allowing their understanding to conform to Scripture. Let’s examine what the Apostle Paul was referring to in the epistle of Titus:

    Titus 1:2, 2:13, 3:7, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began … Looking for that blessed hope [eternal life], AND the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ… That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

    Paul uses the word “hope” three times in his epistle — at the beginning when speaking about eternal life and then later while referring to that blessed hope, and then once more again near the end. Each time he is referring to the blessed hope of eternal life. Nowhere does Paul ever say that the “blessed hope” is a pre-trib rapture. We are looking for the blessed hope of eternal life, and (in addition to) the glorious appearing of Christ. The Greek includes the word “kai”, which the NIV does not incorporate in the English translation, unfortunately.

    The glorious appearing is the “epiphaneia” (G2015) and there is something that is very important about the “epiphaneia” of Christ that very few pre-trib teachers will discuss:

    2 Thess 2:8, “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness [epiphaneia G2015] of his coming

    The “epiphaneia” is post-trib. If we are to believe that the “blessed hope” of eternal life is actualized at the “epiphaneia” of Christ, then we must therefore also believe that the blessed hope is His post-trib appearance and gathering of the elect. This means that Scripture is, yet again, teaching a post-trib rapture, not pre-trib.

    Forgive me, but I seriously doubt that you once believed the way I do now. None of the arguments presented really address what I believe. Fortunately, the timing of the rapture is a secondary doctrine, so what really matters is not that we see eye to eye regarding when the gathering of the elect happens, but rather that we know it will happen for all those who believe in Him.

    Like

    • Mike Watts
      09/28/2012 at 9:52 AM

      Hi Again
      You have only showed the twisitng of all your verses again. I fully understand the New testament was not availble in written form until the apostles finished their work. It was still being told to them. What I was saying and you really did not answer my question, was that you are being dis-honest when you say they did not have the New Testament when in fact they were receiving it right off the press. Paul was given his instruction from God as he told the people. He was given a “mystery “Gospel and a “mystery” rapture that is only for the Body of Christ.
      And no they did not have the same Gospel that we have today in the Old Testament. If they did how come even up to the Apostles they had no idea Jesus was going to die and then be resurrected. The gospel was Hid in God until revealed to Paul.
      Our Gospel today is that we Believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and that he took our place on the cross. If we accept that and believe that we are saved. Nothing else required.
      That is not what they believed in the Old Testament because Jesus had not come yet.
      I really wish people would quit twisting the scripture to fit what they want.
      Again I do agree that Jesus talked about Daniel’s prophecy but that was Jesus and he was explaining in Matthew 24 about the second coming not the rapture.
      Paul was talking about the rapture. He never spoke of Daniel’s prophecy and you have failed to show where he ever did talk about it.

      You see the second coming was not a mystery. Even Old Testament people knew of a resurrection. The Apostles talk of it. But according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, the rising of the dead in Christ and then the ones who are alive was something totally new. A MYSTERY. Christ had already risen so the resurrection is no mystery. But the rapture IS A MYSTERY. They will meet Christ in the air. Jesus will NOT come back to eart at this time. He comes back at the second coming.

      Again you are making Second Coming verses and saying they are rapture verses. Total mis-leading.

      Like

  24. ICA
    09/28/2012 at 4:16 PM

    Mike Watts, “You have only showed the twisitng of all your verses again.”

    Hi Mike, I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Can you please show which verses you believe are being twisted, and how they are being twisted?

    Mike Watts, “you are being dis-honest when you say they did not have the New Testament when in fact they were receiving it right off the press. Paul was given his instruction from God as he told the people.”

    Letters were being circulated, but again, the New Testament was not canonized until many years later. Regardless, this is a moot point. The New Testament attests to what was already written before it in the Old. It largely explains and expounds upon what they already had. In Acts 7:11 we read that:

    Acts 7:11, “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

    What Scriptures did they examine to test the words of Paul? The Old Testament Scriptures.

    Mike Watts, “He was given a ‘mystery ‘Gospel and a ‘mystery’ rapture that is only for the Body of Christ… But according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, the rising of the dead in Christ and then the ones who are alive was something totally new. A MYSTERY.”

    The “rapture” is taught in the Old Testament. Jesus described the great tribulation by quoting the Prophet Daniel, saying, “when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place … then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.” What was Jesus quoting? Daniel said in 12:1a that “there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time”, but then after describing the great tribulation he immediately writes, “and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:1b-2). This correlates precisely with the words of Christ who then said, “But immediately after the tribulation of those days … the Son of Man will appear in the sky … and He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other” (Matt 24:29-31). Paul teaches the exact same thing, telling us that “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven … with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:15-17). Even the Prophet Jeremiah alluded to this, saying, “Alas! for that day is great, there is none like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s distress, but he will be saved from it” (Jer. 30:7). We are grafted in to Israel (see Ephesians 2, Romans 11). We are a part of Jacob.

    Having said that, what was the mystery that Paul was teaching? The mystery was not the “rapture” (resurrection and deliverance of God’s people) itself. It was that when it happened, we who are alive would be transformed from mortal to immortal and death would no longer have its sting. This is Paul’s entire point:

    1 Cor 15:51-51, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— [when –>] in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.'”

    So again, the mystery is not the rapture. It is what would happen to us when it took place.

    Mike Watts, “And no they did not have the same Gospel that we have today in the Old Testament… The gospel was Hid in God until revealed to Paul.”

    The Gospel was not a mystery. It was taught to the children of Israel in the Old Testament, which is to have complete faith in God and His Messiah. They looked forward to the Messiah. We look back to the Messiah.

    Notice what Paul was referring to in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4. Was Christ not the Savior of Old Testament saints as well?

    1 Cor 10:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

    Yes, Christ was their Savior. In fact, Paul also writes in the epistle of Hebrews the following:

    Hebrews 3:16-4:3a, “For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, [was it] not all who came out of Egypt, [led] by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? [Was it] not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard [it]. For we who have believed do enter that rest …”

    Old Testament saints were born again. They were saved by grace through faith, just as we are today. But the New Testament explains and expounds upon what Israel experienced, because now the Holy Spirit was being sent to bring in a world of Gentiles into the household of Israel, to be grafted in to the family of God.

    Mike Watts, “If they did how come even up to the Apostles they had no idea Jesus was going to die and then be resurrected.”

    The revelation of the work of Messiah was progressive. After the resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was sent to teach them everything Christ had taught them so that they would be empowered to preach the Gospel to the world.

    Mike Watts, “Our Gospel today is that we Believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and that he took our place on the cross. If we accept that and believe that we are saved. Nothing else required.”

    It was the same with the Old Testament saints. God never changes brother (Heb 13:8) and grace abounded all throughout the Old Testament, for all time. Was salvation of Old Testament saints obtained through their good works, or following the Law? Of course not. No one is saved, nor have they ever been saved, by works, nor were they saved by sacrificial offerings “For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Heb. 10:4). So how were they saved? BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH. (See Gen. 15:6, for example). They looked forward to the promise of Messiah. The animal sacrifice was merely a shadow of the substance, which was Christ.

    Mike Watts, “That is not what they believed in the Old Testament because Jesus had not come yet.”

    It doesn’t matter that Christ had not yet come. Who was their Redeemer? It was Messiah. What was required in all of them? Faith was. The blood of animals didn’t save anyone. Faith justified them. Abraham was justified by what? By faith. Faith in what? In the Promise of God. From the protoevangelium of Genesis 3:15 until the physical manifestation in the substance of Messiah, all looked forward to the Promise of the Deliverer who was to come, just as we all look back today to the Deliverer who came.

    Revelation 13:8, “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

    2 Timothy 1:9, “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began

    Per Rev 13:8 and 2 Tim 1:9, even though Christ had not yet come from their linear perspective of time, it seems to me that the promise of Messiah was as good as done and the efficacy of the Cross existed before the death of the coming Deliverer, not just after. As such, it doesn’t seem reasonable to me to conclude that its efficacy was only “retroactive” and limited to our linear time. Christ’s Sacrifice atoned for all those who believed in Him, whether it be those who looked forward in faith to the Deliverer who was to come, or we today who look back to the Deliverer who came. If, as Revelation 13:8 and 2 Timothy 1:9 tells us, the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world and grace was given in Christ Jesus before time began and they were preached the same Gospel (Heb 4:2, “we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did“) then how could those in the Old Testament not be saved in the same way that we are today?

    Mike Watts, “Again I do agree that Jesus talked about Daniel’s prophecy but that was Jesus and he was explaining in Matthew 24 about the second coming not the rapture.”

    If Paul, in teaching the rapture, paralleled the teaching of Christ in Matthew 24, then Christ was also therefore teaching the rapture. Pre-tribism is blinding people to this truth.

    Hope this helps. God bless …

    Like

    • Mike Watts
      09/29/2012 at 9:22 AM

      As far as twisting, I will give you a couple.
      You said the verse below also included the believers who had died before the tribulationYou have to “spiritualize” the verse to fit that in. Nowhere does it say that.

      Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

      You also have not showed me in the next verse where the ones are who died before the triblulation. because they are not there! The Body of Christ has already been raptured.

      Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
      Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

      As for the word “departure” (apostasia) below is a link that can explain it to you better than me.
      http://raptureready.com/featured/ice/TheRapturein2Thessalonians2_3.html

      As for God never changing I agree 100%!! But God does change the way he deals with people in different times.In every dispensation except for this one that we are presently in, the people had to show their faith in some way. For instance Noah had faith but he had to show it by building the ark. What would have happened to Noah had he not built that ark? What about the Jews? They had to show their faith by being circumcised.

      Today we believe in the death burial and resurrection of Jesus and we are saved. Do not have to prove it to anyone.
      Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

      God has blinded the Jews for a period of time. After the rapture the blinders will begin to be lifted with the preaching of the 144,000 and the two witnesses.
      Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

      The rapture and the “mystery” of the Body of Christ was NOT in the Old Testament. It was in fact hid and it was hid for a specific reason.Notice Paul says the mystery Gospel was given to him first. He would give it to us.
      Ephesians 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: Ephesians 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Ephesians 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)Ephesians 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
      Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
      1Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 1Corinthians 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

      You see Jesus came to the Jews first. He told the apostles to go to the Jews and not the Gentiles. The plan was for the Jews to reach the Gentiles AFTER the whole nation was saved. Since the Jews rejected Christ they were blinded. God called on the apostle Paul to preach a message to the small remnant of Jews who would believe and then to the Gentiles of which the majority of the Body of Chrsit is made up of. The rapture was NEVER in the Old Testament. Anytime you quote from the Old Testament or from Matthew 24 you will never see the dead rising firat and the alive meeting Him in the air. The Old Testament and the Gospels and Revelation were all written TO the Jews. They are looking for an earthly Kingdom and a ruler. They will be “resurrected” not “raptured”.They will see Christ on Earth NOT in the clouds of heaven.

      Just because a word is translated Gospel does not mean it is the Gospel of this dispensation. Paul had a mystery Gospel given to him by God. It was different from the one the Apostles were preaching. Paul was taught by no man. He was taught this mystery Gospel and it would be taught to the Gentiles mainly. It would be to make the Jews jealous.

      Like

  25. ICA
    09/29/2012 at 1:52 PM

    Mike Watts, “You said the verse below [Revelation 20:4] also included the believers who had died before the tribulation You have to ‘spiritualize’ the verse to fit that in. Nowhere does it say that… You also have not showed me in the next verse where the ones are who died before the triblulation. because they are not there!”

    Hi Mike, in order to believe that “the Body of Christ has already been raptured” one must first assume a pre-trib rapture that is found nowhere in the whole of the New Testament. Just because those being martyred directly by the Beast are given special mention in the verse does not negate the fact that the First Resurrection describes those who rule and reign with Christ for 1000 years — the Body of Christ. Again, we are called “priests” of God who will rule and reign with Christ (cf 1 Pet. 2:5,9; Rev. 1:6, 5:10), which is precisely how those who are raised up in the First Resurrection are described, for “they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev 20:6b).

    If we are to believe the suggestion that the First Resurrection only includes “tribulation martyrs” then we need Scriptural justification for doing so. The problem is, there is none. Not only does the New Testament not teach a pre-trib understanding of the gathering, it also specifically refers to this resurrection as the “prōtos anastasis”, which means first in time or place or ranking. This resurrection is for the righteous. The other resurrection is for the wicked.

    My view accepts the plain and straightforward teachings given by Paul and John. To reiterate what Paul taught us, Jesus was the “first fruits.” This is separate from the resurrection of the dead in Christ, which is called the “First Resurrection” by John in Revelation 20:5-6. Some have pointed to 1 Corinthians 15:22-24 in an attempt to claim that Paul was referring to “phases” of the First Resurrection, but if we read carefully what Paul is saying in 1 Corinthians 15, he is simply explaining for us the order of three distinct resurrections, not about “phases” to the First Resurrection. Here are the three resurrections that we are told of:

    1. Christ’s resurrection — He is the First Fruits
    2. Those in Christ who are resurrected at His coming — Revelation 20:5-6 tells us that this first resurrection of the dead is after the tribulation, not before it.
    3. Then the end. Revelation 20:5a tells us that the rest of the dead after the post-trib first resurrection are not resurrected until the thousand years have finished.

    After this passage is examined closely, we come to the inescapable conclusion that there are no phases whatsoever to the First Resurrection. The logical implications of the plain and straightforward teachings of the text is undeniable: If the First Resurrection is after the tribulation then there can be no resurrection before the end of the tribulation, and if there is no resurrection before the end of the tribulation then there is therefore no rapture before the end of the tribulation. There is absolutely no way around this without purposefully changing the intended meaning of Scripture. According to both Paul and John, the rapture can only happen after tribulation, which means that the Church is present on Earth right up until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in power and great glory.

    Mike Watts, “The Body of Christ has already been raptured.
    Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
    Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

    Revelation 7 is post-tribulational, not pre-tribulational. This is very easily demonstrated because the seals of Revelation 6-7 parallel Matthew 24. Allow me to explain.

    John begins Revelation 6 with the seals, providing a general overview of at least the past 1400 years until immediately after the tribulation. John then does a “rewind” to refocus on the judgments that take place during and immediately after the tribulation (called “trumpets”), and then refocuses his camera once more on the end-result effect of each one of the seven judgments (called “vials” or “bowls”). The seventh seal, seventh trumpet and seventh bowl all end together right around the same time in the eschaton. John used a Semitic writing style, something that we also find in the Genesis account regarding creation, which is why some skeptics claim that there are two different creation accounts when in fact there is only one.

    Here are all of the parallels between Revelation 6-7 and Matthew 24. This should help to solidify the placement of specific events, and I’ll also pay particularly close attention to the details surrounding the sixth parallel itself:

    Parallel 1:

    * Matthew 24:5 — Many will come in Christ’s name and deceive many.
    * Revelation 6:2 — The 1st Seal – White horse and rider with bow who is given a crown; went out conquering and to conquer. (We know that Christ is God, the Prince of Peace, and although Mohammed — who was crowned a “prophet” — and his followers acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah and claimed to be following the true faith of God, a religion they call the “religion of peace”, Mohammed’s teachings denied Christ’s divinity and denied the Triunity of One God while claiming to be the final prophet of God).

    Parallel 2:

    * Matthew 24:6-7 — Wars, nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom.
    * Revelation 6:3-4 — The 2nd Seal – Red horse to take peace from the earth.

    Parallel 3:

    * Matthew 24:7 — Famines and earthquakes.
    * Revelation 6:5-6 — The 3rd Seal – Black horse bringing famine.

    Parallel 4:

    * Matthew 24:15 — The Anti-Christ and the Abomination of Desolation.
    * Revelation 6:7-8 — The 4th Seal – Pale (Green) horse with Death and Hell. Green is the official color of Islam. He has power over 1/4 of the earth to kill by sword, famine, death and “wild beasts”.

    Parallel 5:

    * Matthew 24:9-13, 15-22 — Great Tribulation. Many are delivered up to be afflicted and killed. Many fall away from the faith.
    * Revelation 6:9-11 — The 5th Seal – Saints in heaven are told that fellow servants are to be killed.

    Now notice the 6th Parallel. I’ll include some verses and break it down into individual parts:

    Parallel 6a:

    * Matthew 24:29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken”

    As you pointed out above, this corresponds with:

    * Revelation 6:12-13, “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood, And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth …”

    Parallel 6b:

    * Matthew 24:30, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

    This corresponds with:

    * Revelation 6:15-17, “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

    Parallel 6c:

    * Matthew 24:31, “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

    This corresponds with:

    * Revelation 7:1-4,9,14 “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God … Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: [and there were] sealed an hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel … After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands … these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation.”

    In Revelation 7 “And after these things I saw …” is a continuation of the post-trib signs that John witnessed at the 6th Seal a few verses earlier (the text is inspired but chapter and verse divisions were added later by men). After John sees the post-trib cosmic signs he then witnesses the gathering of the elect — the 144,000 and then the great multitude that the angel says in Rev 7:14 “are the ones who come out of the great tribulation”. In order to come out of the great tribulation, they had to be in it. (For anyone else who may be reading, see the article called “The 144,000 and the Great Multitude – It’s Not What You May Think” for more thoughts in this regard).

    Mike Watts, “As for the word “departure” (apostasia) below is a link that can explain it to you better than me. http://raptureready.com/featured/ice/TheRapturein2Thessalonians2_3.html

    Thank you for the link, Mike. The problem, however, is that Mr. Ice jumps through numerous hoops in a strained effort to redefine the meaning of “apostasia” to make it somehow fit the doctrine of pre-tribism. Not only is this intellectually dishonest, the redefinition of “apostasia” itself to “physical departure” essentially teaches that the rapture cannot happen until the rapture happens first. This is nonsensical, to say the least, and a serious lapse in linguistical integrity. The verse only makes any logical/contextual sense when “apostasia” is understood as it was intended — to refer to a departure from the faith — which is hermeneutically consistent with what Scripture teaches elsewhere:

    1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith …”

    Mike Watts, “But God does change the way he deals with people in different times.In every dispensation except for this one that we are presently in, the people had to show their faith in some way. For instance Noah had faith but he had to show it by building the ark.”

    In your view then, was Noah saved by works? The truth of the matter is that even today we have to “show” our faith in some way, because “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17).

    Mike Watts, “God has blinded the Jews for a period of time. After the rapture the blinders will begin to be lifted with the preaching of the 144,000 and the two witnesses.”

    This is what pre-tribism teaches, not Scripture. For your consideration, please visit the link above laying out the meaning of the 144,000.

    Mike Watts, “The rapture and the ‘mystery’ of the Body of Christ was NOT in the Old Testament. It was in fact hid and it was hid for a specific reason.Notice Paul says the mystery Gospel was given to him first. He would give it to us.”

    To Gentiles. This is Paul’s entire point in Ephesians 2 and 3. The mystery was not the rapture, nor was the mystery the Gospel itself, but rather that God would bring in a world of Gentiles into the faith, to graft them into Israel, to make both Jew and Gentile one body, one people, under one faith of one God and one plan of salvation.

    Ephesians 3:1-6, “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel”

    In Ephesians 2 he even writes:

    Ephesians 2:11-19, “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh–who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands– that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, [that is], the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man [from] the two, [thus] making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God

    Mike Watts, “The rapture was NEVER in the Old Testament. Anytime you quote from the Old Testament or from Matthew 24 you will never see the dead rising firat and the alive meeting Him in the air.”

    It was mentioned, as I have previously shown. It was, however, expounded upon in the New Testament with more detail.

    Mike Watts, “The Old Testament and the Gospels and Revelation were all written TO the Jews. They are looking for an earthly Kingdom and a ruler. They will be ‘resurrected’ not ‘raptured’.”

    The Old Testament, Gospels, Revelation, and everything in between was written to the Church. Per a previous reply above, the Church always existed, even in the Old Testament. And the “rapture” was always a part of the plan of God from the beginning. Nothing changed. God knew the end from the beginning — its revelation to us was simply progressive.

    My brother, there is only One Body. One Church. One Olive Tree. One plan of salvation. One Gospel. One faith. One people of God. The Gospel — in both the Old and New Covenants — was written and administered by Jews. There is nothing Gentile about it. The Christian faith is therefore 100% Jewish, no matter the doctrine, just like the Old Covenant is 100% Jewish. The entire Bible is Jewish, not Gentile, and it is the Gentiles who are brought into fulfilled Judaism, which we call Christianity, not the other way around, because we are grafted into the Jewish paradigm, not into a Gentile one. We should therefore not view believing Jews as being a part of the Church because they believe in Jesus, but rather it is we as Gentiles who are now a part of the Church because we believe in Yeshua. Once the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, however, Israel will believe again. And all of Israel will be saved.

    Hope this helps, God bless …

    Like

    • Mike Watts
      09/30/2012 at 11:11 AM

      Well I appreciate all your responses and will reply to only a couple of points here.

      1-You disregard 2 Thesaloonians 2 as being departure(rapture) and you insist that this is a departure from the faith when in fact once the tribulation begins there will be a great revival in which there are too many to count.
      Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands

      2-You continue to mix the Second Coming verses with the verses Paul was revealed concerning the rapture. I agree that Matthew 24 parrallels the seal judgements in Revelation but this is concerning the second coming.

      3-You say that you read the scripture just as it is written but in fact I have given several examples in which you “assume” that tsomething is included that is not. EX: In Revelation 20 where the resurrection comes and there is no mention of the Christians who died before the tribulation you tell me that I am “assuming” that a rapture took place prior. When in fact you are “assuming” that they are included. Now that is being dis-honest.

      4-I agree Revelation 7 is not the pre-trib rapture. I think you mis-understood what I said. I was showing that indeed this was taking place during the tribulation with no mention of the Body of Christ. Again in this part of scripture there is absolutely NO mention of the Body of Christ and the people who died BEFORE the Tribulation. You never see a mention of the Body of Christ in the book of Revelation pertaining to the ones who were “raptured” prior to this period. Again, you only “assume” they are included.All these people gathering around the throne and not a single mention of the ones that died before the tribulation. Does that not strike you as a little odd that you accuse me of reading into scripture when I am only going by what the Holy Spirit had John pen.

      5-You say there is no evidence Israel was blinded. Well is it not strange to you today that most of Israel today still rejects Jesus as their Messiah. But so I have scripture to back me up here it is. Eventually all Israel will be saved but not until AFTER the rapture.
      Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

      6-As far as how people are saved I believed everyone is saved by the blood of Jesus. But I believe they had different ways to show it. You ask me if Noah was saved by faith or by works. He was saved by faith and his faith was shown because he was told to build an ark. Now you tell me would Noah have been saved if he had NOT built the Ark?

      7-Then you quoted James about your faith will produce works. This book again is written to Jews and specifally to the twelve tribes scattered abroad. I believe this is written to the Jews during the tribulation. As you know faith during this time will cause someone to lose his life for being a Christian. A person cannot take the mark of the beast or he will be totally doomed. So if a person says he has faith but he has received the mark of the beast then the Christians living during this time will know he is an imposter.

      8-As for this period we are in we are also saved by faith. And as for us having to prove it well you tell me or let us just let the Bible tell us.
      Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

      It looks like we could go on debating this forever but I have puleed nothing out of context nor have I added anything. I have read the verses above just as they were written. God has a plan for all of humanity. He called out a people who were Jews. They continued to fail in every aspect. When they finally rejected Jesus he put blinders on them and decided to call out a new Apostle whose name is Paul for the benefit of us Gentiles. Jews can also be a part of this but they have to accept this plan apart from any works.But since the Bible says they have been blinded God will deal with them in “The time of Jacobs Trouble”. We are to “rightly Divide The Word” as Paul says.

      God Bless You and thanks for all your time

      Like

  26. ICA
    09/30/2012 at 10:06 PM

    Mike Watts, “You disregard 2 Thesaloonians 2 as being departure(rapture) and you insist that this is a departure from the faith when in fact once the tribulation begins there will be a great revival in which there are too many to count.”

    Hi Mike, where does Scripture say that the departure from the faith only starts “once the tribulation begins”? Scripture does not say that. The Church today is already experiencing a departure from the faith. It doesn’t take long to look at the spiritual state of the West right now to see waning Church numbers, not to mention all kinds of unscriptural doctrines and false teachers creeping in:

    Church in America Marked By Decline – “The church in America is shrinking. The number of men, women and children in the pews has dipped to the lowest level since a comprehensive effort to count members began in 1980, according to the 2009 edition of Churches of Christ in the United States. In the newly released directory, 21st Century Christian identifies 12,629 a cappella Churches of Christ with 1,578,281 adherents nationwide. Those figures represent 526 fewer churches and 78,436 fewer people in the pews than just six years ago. “While I do not want to say that the sky is falling — at least not yet — I do think this should be a concern for all Christians,” said Carl Royster, who compiled the data for the Nashville, Tenn.-based publisher.” (Read more)

    Europe: Churches Empty, Mosques Full – “In their different attempts to cater for Scotland’s largest Muslim communities, both al Furqan and the Edinburgh Blackhall mosque also cast light on the steady decline in Christian worship. Increasingly, mosques are being created or expanded in what were Christian premises; al Furqan occupies a building formerly owned by a neighbouring centre for the elderly, run by Christian spiritualists, while the Blackhall mosque has made its home in what was until 2006 a church of the United Free Church of Scotland. “We find quite often that mosques are opening or extending in what used to be Christian church property,” said Dr Javed Hussain Gill, 56, the Pakistan-born secretary of the al Furqan mosque and a teacher of religious studies.” (Read more).

    Muslims Converting Empty European Churches into Mosques – “Muslims in Europe are increasingly converting empty Christian churches into mosques. The proliferation of mosques housed in former churches reflects the rise of Islam as the fastest growing religion in post-Christian Europe. There are now more practicing Muslims than practicing Christians in many parts of Europe, not only in large urban centers, but also in smaller towns and cities across the continent. As Islam replaces Christianity as the dominant religion in Europe, more and more churches are set to become mosques, which increasingly serve not only as religious institutions but also function as the foundational political building blocks for the establishment of separate, parallel Muslim communities in Europe that are based on Islamic Sharia law.” (Read more).

    I believe, however, that we are going to witness a revival in the Church, one that will bring in more believers than the numbers that left (at least I hope!). As you can see from the post-trib Scripture you quoted, there will be a tremendous number who come out of great tribulation according to Revelation 7:9.

    Mike Watts, “You continue to mix the Second Coming verses with the verses Paul was revealed concerning the rapture. I agree that Matthew 24 parrallels the seal judgements in Revelation but this is concerning the second coming.”

    Paul does not make any distinction between the rapture and the Second Coming because Jesus did not make any distinction. Neither does John, nor Peter. According to Paul, Jesus, John and Peter, the rapture and the second coming are one and the same.

    Mike Watts, “Revelation 20 where the resurrection comes and there is no mention of the Christians who died before the tribulation you tell me that I am “assuming” that a rapture took place prior. When in fact you are “assuming” that they are included. Now that is being dis-honest.”

    I take John at his word. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John is writing about the First Resurrection at the end of the tribulation. If this is the First Resurrection, then there is no resurrection before it. If there is no resurrection before it, then is no rapture before it. I don’t need to make any assumption.

    Mike Watts, “I was showing that indeed this was taking place during the tribulation with no mention of the Body of Christ.”

    If Scripture, in no uncertain terms, tells us repeatedly that there is only one body (Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 10:17; Eph 2:16; Eph 4:4) then who are we to say that there is yet another? Who is the great multitude of Revelation 7, if not the one body that Scripture repeatedly speaks of?

    Mike Watts, “All these people gathering around the throne and not a single mention of the ones that died before the tribulation. Does that not strike you as a little odd that you accuse me of reading into scripture when I am only going by what the Holy Spirit had John pen.”

    If the great multitude of Revelation 7 is post-tribulational, as you now acknowledge, and since there is only one body in Messiah, then this number includes all who were in Christ throughout the ages, including those who just went through and came out of great tribulation (see Daniel 12:1-2). Why would it need to mention “the ones that died before the tribulation” – notwithstanding the fact that a pre-trib rapture is nowhere to be found in the whole of Scripture itself?

    Mike Watts, “You say there is no evidence Israel was blinded. Well is it not strange to you today that most of Israel today still rejects Jesus as their Messiah.”

    I’m not sure where you got the impression that I said Israel wasn’t blinded. Physical Israel is obviously blinded in part (Romans 11:25) as you’ve shared.

    Mike Watts, “Eventually all Israel will be saved but not until AFTER the rapture.”

    That’s not what Scripture tells us in the book of Romans. The text states that it is when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. But let me ask you this for something to chew on (you don’t need to answer): Is the Second Coming of Messiah the catalyst that brings about their belief in Yeshua, or will their belief in Yeshua be the catalyst that brings about the Second Coming of Messiah?

    Mike Watts, “Now you tell me would Noah have been saved if he had NOT built the Ark?”

    He would have had a dead faith (in which case God would not have asked him to build the ark) and would have drowned along with the rest of the wicked. Only the righteous were saved from the flood (Gen 7:1).

    Mike Watts, “Then you quoted James about your faith will produce works. This book again is written to Jews and specifally to the twelve tribes scattered abroad. I believe this is written to the Jews during the tribulation.”

    I think you might want to read it again my friend.

    James 2:1,26, “My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, [the Lord] of glory, with partiality… For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

    The lens of pre-tribism is skewing how you’re reading the text.

    Mike Watts, “As you know faith during this time will cause someone to lose his life for being a Christian. A person cannot take the mark of the beast or he will be totally doomed.”

    The Mark is spiritual. See here. It is impossible to receive the Mark if one has the faith of Christ.

    Mike Watts, “As for this period we are in we are also saved by faith. And as for us having to prove it well you tell me or let us just let the Bible tell us.
    Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

    You’re missing the entire point brother. The writer of Romans is saying that we are justified by faith, not by works. James, quoting the same portion of Scripture, is in obvious agreement but James is also making it very clear that although we are justified by faith alone and not works, it must be true faith — not just a said faith (see James 2:14). It must be a faith that leads to works, otherwise the said faith is a dead faith.

    Hope this helps, God bless you my friend …

    Like

    • Mike Watts
      10/01/2012 at 10:32 AM

      This is where I got that you implied Israel was not blinded.
      Mike Watts, “God has blinded the Jews for a period of time. After the rapture the blinders will begin to be lifted with the preaching of the 144,000 and the two witnesses.”

      You replied
      This is what pre-tribism teaches, not Scripture. For your consideration, please visit the link above laying out the meaning of the 144,000.

      I always held that the people in Revelation 7 were killed during the triblulation. You mis-understood, I did not” just acknowledge it.” You misunderstood.

      I agree 100% there is only 1 Body 1 Spirit and 1 Baptism. This is for the Body of Christ. The people in the tribulation are NOT part of the body of Christ. They will inherit the earth. The Body of Christ has a heavenly inheritance.

      You forgot this verse
      1Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

      Yea one body, one spirit, one Baptism.Hmm I wonder which baptism is “one”. The water or the Spirit. You see the apostles preached you had to be water baptized. And we both know you must have the Holy Spirit Baptism to be saved. That happens when you believe.
      Ephesians 1:13″ In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” Paul preached you had to believe to be saved.

      There is no “assuming” in what I believe. I take God’s Word at face value. When it is clear it is clear. The people in the tribulation are not part of the body of Christ. They that die will be resurrected at the time of the second coming. Paul told us that the ones who would be raptured to “heaven” were the ones who were already dead “in Christ: and the ones who were alive and remaining. In the resurrection Jesus talked about in Matthew 24 and the one in Revelation 20 and the one in Daniel 12, these are all resurrected to the earth when Christ will return to earth.

      And one more thing about the departure from the faith. I never said the departure from the faith starts after the tribulation begins. You said that is what 2 Thessalonian chapter 2 is saying. I am saying the departure from the faith has been going on for a long time and therefore would NOT be the correct interpertation of “apostatia” What I said was that after the rapture or departure, there is going to be just the opposite. There is going to be a great revival as the ones in Revelation says the multitude coming out of great tribulation is too many to count.

      When you rightly divide the Word as we are commanded to do the scripture is very clear.
      So I think you are missing the point. Please tell me how to interpret this verse
      Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

      No works are required. Your faith is “true” faith if you believe. There is obviously going to be people in heaven who have ZERO works during this dispensation.

      Every verse in the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Every Word was inspired. If a person is a Christian today does he have to do the things in the Old Testament to prove he is saved? Does he have to go to the preist? Does he have to offer an animal sacrifice? Does he have to tithe? Does he have to build an Arc? Does he have to be water baptized?

      i think you know the answer to the above questions. If you are going to be honest with yourself you know that God does NOT change but the way he deals with people DOES! We are living in a time when God is offering mankind a FREE gift. A person must realize that they are a sinner and need a savior. They must know that Jesus Christ came to earth and lived a perfect life. That he died and rose from the dead. They must believe that and accept his FREE gift. What happens after that is the Holy Spirit indwells that person and never leaves.

      Like

  27. ICA
    10/02/2012 at 12:13 AM

    Mike Watts, “This is where I got that you implied Israel was not blinded.
    Mike Watts, ‘God has blinded the Jews for a period of time. After the rapture the blinders will begin to be lifted with the preaching of the 144,000 and the two witnesses.'”

    Hi Mike, ah, I see. The response was directed at the second part of your statement regarding the rapture and the 144,000.

    Mike Watts, “I agree 100% there is only 1 Body 1 Spirit and 1 Baptism. This is for the Body of Christ. The people in the tribulation are NOT part of the body of Christ.”

    On one hand, you agreed that there is only one body, but then speak of yet another. Can you explain how, using Scripture, these blood-bought, redeemed, spirit-filled New Testament believers in Christ are not members of His Body, especially when Paul is clear that all believers are baptised into “one body” (1 Cor 12:13), which is the Church (Eph. 1:22-23), because they are now “in Christ” (2 Cor 5:17)?

    Mike Watts, “They will inherit the earth. The Body of Christ has a heavenly inheritance.”

    When you say that the Body of Christ has a “heavenly inheritance” and the “other body” of believers who are raised in the First Resurrection “inherit the earth”, can you please point to where Scripture teaches this dichotomy? Do you believe that this “other body” of believers is in Christ?

    Is it not true that we rule and reign with Christ on earth? Is it not also true that we have physical bodies while we rule and reign with Christ on earth? And is this not also true about the “other body” of believers who are raised to life in the First Resurrection?

    Mike Watts, “Yea one body, one spirit, one Baptism.Hmm I wonder which baptism is “one”. The water or the Spirit. You see the apostles preached you had to be water baptized. And we both know you must have the Holy Spirit Baptism to be saved.”

    I’m not sure what point you’re making, but 1 Cor 12:13 does not say “one baptism.” Regardless, that point is moot. The Apostle Paul is telling us that we are baptised into one body by one Spirit, which is to say, we are washed/cleansed/purified into one body by one Spirit. Paul is not referring to water, but rather to being baptised (washed) by the Spirit of the God of Israel. Paul previously taught that “you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor 6:11). And how are we washed? By the BLOOD of the LAMB “who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Revelation 1:5 says that Christ has “washed us from our sins in His own blood.” And guess what? This is EXACTLY how Scripture describes the great multitude of Revelation 7. They are washed in what? They are washed “in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev 7:14).

    Do you see what Scripture is telling us? Scripture is telling us that the “great multitude” of Revelation 7 is baptised into one body by one spirit, and this one body is the CHURCH (Eph 1:22-23, “… He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body”).

    Mike Watts, “There is no ‘assuming’ in what I believe.”

    Then why do you believe it, when it isn’t taught in Scripture?

    Mike Watts, “Paul told us that the ones who would be raptured to ‘heaven’ were the ones who were already dead ‘in Christ: and the ones who were alive and remaining.”

    Where do we find Paul teaching anything about being raptured and then going “to heaven”? Pre-tribism teaches this, but not Paul, nor anyone else. Scripture is teaching quite the opposite my friend. In 1 Thess 4:16-17 Paul says that when Christ descends, the dead in Christ are resurrected to Christ and then we will be caught up to meet Christ and the resurrected saints in the air. The word “meet” is the Greek word “apantesis”, and this word only occurs here and in three other places. In Vocabulary of the Greek Testament by G. Milligan and James Hope Moulton, “The word apantesis seems to have been a kind of official welcome of a newly arriving dignitary – a usage which accords excellently with its NT usage.” In Matthew 25:1,6 it describes the virgins going out to meet the bridegroom, to escort him back into the house. In Acts 28:14-16 it is used to describe brethren from Rome coming out to Appii Foru, to meet Paul and his company, and then escort them back to Rome. In each example of “apantesis”, the escort back is immediate. We don’t have them going out to meet the subject, then going to where the subject came from for days, weeks or years, and then escorting the subject back. That was not the custom. The subject who was coming is met by those who are already at his destination. And what is His destination? Where we are — earth. When Christ comes back to Earth, we will go out to meet him, we will remain in the air temporarily until the indignation/wrath is complete, and where ever He goes, we go, and He is going to Jerusalem to set His feet upon the Mount of Olives.

    Zech 14:4-5, “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, [Making] a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee [through] My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, [And] all the saints with You.

    In Greek culture the word “apantesis” had a technical meaning to describe the visits of dignitaries to cities where the visitor would be formally met by the citizens, or a deputation of them, who had gone out from the city for this purpose and would then be ceremonially escorted back into the city. Apantesis was often used to suggest the meeting of a dignitary or king, a famous person, describing people rushing to meet the one who was coming. For instance, when a Roman emperor approached a city, the leading citizens went out to welcome him and had the honor of processing into the city with him. This whole event was described as the “apantesis.”

    Apantesis from apantáo from apó = from + antáo = to come opposite to, to meet especially to meet face to face describes a meeting especially a meeting of two who are coming from different directions.

    What is Scripture saying? It is saying that we are not removed from the Earth to conveniently go to Heaven while all hell breaks loose down below. Those of us who are alive and remain (the Greek word means those who survive) are transformed from corruptible to incorruptible, and we are caught up to meet the Lord in the air per the “apantesis”, which means that we escort Christ back to earth — ie. Jerusalem — which is consistent with its usage in each of the other verses of Scripture. The pre-trib position, however, suddenly changes the intended meaning of the word (again). Instead of us escorting Jesus back to Earth for His Second Coming, pre-tribism has us conveniently going to Heaven instead, which the text does not say anywhere, at any place, at any time.

    Mike Watts, “In the resurrection Jesus talked about in Matthew 24 and the one in Revelation 20 and the one in Daniel 12, these are all resurrected to the earth when Christ will return to earth.”

    Per the “apantesis” above. Again, if the resurrection of Revelation 20 at the end of the tribulation is the First Resurrection, then there is no other resurrection before it. And since there is no resurrection before it, there is therefore no secret pre-trib rapture.

    Mike Watts, “I am saying the departure from the faith has been going on for a long time and therefore would NOT be the correct interpertation of ‘apostatia'”

    Would you not agree that we are in the latter times, right now? Are we not living in the last days? I think you would agree that we are. We have been since Pentecost (cf Acts 2:16-17). And does 1 Timothy 4:1 not say that “in the latter times some shall depart from the faith”? Indeed, it does. If we are in the latter times today, does it therefore not stand to reason that the departure from the faith is already taking place today, in the latter times, like 1 Timothy 4:1 says? Of course. And we see it every day. This is what Paul said would happen before the “man of lawlessness” is revealed, and when he is revealed then “that day will come” — the Day of the Lord and our being gathered together to Him.

    “Apostasia” means departure from the faith. It has never referred to a physical departure in the history of the word. And it never will, no matter what any pre-trib teacher says.

    Mike Watt, “Please tell me how to interpret this verse
    Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

    It is our belief alone, apart from any work, that justifies us. Per above, Scripture is saying that we are justified by faith, not by works. James, quoting the same portion of Scripture as Paul, is in obvious agreement but James is also making it very clear that although we are justified by faith alone and not works, it must be true faith — not just a said faith (see James 2:14). It must be a faith that leads to works, otherwise the said faith is a dead faith.

    “We know that it is by faith alone because there are only two options available to us: faith and works. Paul very clearly negates works as an option for our justification before God. This means that faith is what is left” (CARM). The NLT is a good rendering, saying that, “people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners” (Rom 4:5 NLT).

    Mike Watts, “No works are required. Your faith is “true” faith if you believe.”

    If one’s faith does not lead to works, then it is a dead faith. That is what Scripture says, brother, plain and simple. James 2:14,26, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? … For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.”

    Mike Watts, “We are living in a time when God is offering mankind a FREE gift.”

    A free gift does not mean a free pass. One must truly believe, not just pretend that they do. One must have genuine faith, not just a said faith. They must have the type of faith that drives them to reflect what they believe, that gives them a hunger for righteousness, for the Word, to be conformed to the image of Christ. If someone says they believe, yet they have not been transformed by the renewal of their mind, then what does it profit him? This has been true throughout the ages, from the time of Adam, until today.

    Mike Watt, “A person must realize that they are a sinner and need a savior. They must know that Jesus Christ came to earth and lived a perfect life. That he died and rose from the dead.”

    What you are describing is the beginning of a genuine faith, to which I agree.

    Mike Watts, “What happens after that is the Holy Spirit indwells that person and never leaves.”

    I agree, the Holy Spirit will never leave, but there is a condition: They must remain in Christ. Remember, 1 Tim 4:1 says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith.

    John 15:4,6, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me… If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”

    God bless …

    Like

    • Mike Watts
      10/02/2012 at 9:57 AM

      Wow talk about reading into verses and taking greek words to make them say what you want, you are the master at that.
      For your information the Body of Christ are Ambassadors for Christ. The Jews that are saved in the tribulation are priest.We each have our own responsilities.
      The clear reading of the scripture is simple. There are different dispensations for different times. Trying to say a person’s faith will produce works or he does not have “true faith” during this time is saying Jesus payment was not sufficient. A message so simple yet you guys who think you are Greek scholars are forever confusing people. If I were to tell a person that his faith had better produce works then the first thing he will do is go out and try to produce something to show his faith. Now would that not be trying to add works to the formula? You confuse people.

      I have one more passage I would like for you to tell me what it means.
      Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; Mark 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

      Again a clear reading of the Matthew 24 Second Coming shows Jesus on his way back to earth and his angels are gathering the elect. In Paul’s letters the dead are rising out of the grave and meeting Jesus in the air in a “twinkling of an eye”. Do you realize how fast that is?Yet when he comes back at the Second Coming his angels are gathering up the people and all the earth will see him.

      The Gospel Paul preached was a “mystery”. He said this several times and part of that mystery is the rapture which was not known before Jesus died. This is what the Bible says, not me. Here is the verses
      Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
      1Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
      1Corinthians 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
      1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
      1Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

      Now Paul has something to say to the person who teaches a work based salvation. You can say you are not teaching that but when you say a person’s faith will produce works you are saying they are trying to be made perfect by the law.
      Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Galatians 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

      And see what Paul is saying. in the below verses. These people were teaching that the gentiles must follow the law to show they have faith
      Galatians 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
      Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

      God does not expect us all to be Greek scholars. If someone has to go to the Greek to get a specfic meaning and try to look so smart, He is only doing that so he can make the word “fit” his false theolgy.
      God Bless You
      Heaven is a free gift during this dispensation. Accept it now as this is about to end.

      Like

  28. ICA
    10/02/2012 at 12:21 PM

    Mike Watts, “For your information the Body of Christ are Ambassadors for Christ. The Jews that are saved in the tribulation are priest.We each have our own responsilities”

    Hi Mike, all who are in Christ are “priests” of God. 1 Peter 2:5,9 says that “you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… you [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood …” Revelation 1:6 says that Jesus has “made us kings and priests to His God and Father”. Jesus has “made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10).

    Mike Watts, “There are different dispensations for different times.”

    This does not change the fact that there is only one redemptive plan of God, not one for Israel and one for the Church and one for “tribulation Christians”, nor the fact that there is only one true nation of God in heaven as well as on earth, not two (Romans 11). There is only one people of God. There is only one Body. One Church. One tree. One plan of salvation. The New Testament does not use a dispensational hermeneutic with Old Testament prophecies. The Apostles often expounded and expanded upon, or re-applied, the original prophecies.

    The Gospel — in both the Old and New Covenants — is written and administered by Jews. There is nothing Gentile about it. The Christian faith is therefore 100% Jewish, no matter the doctrine, just like the Old Covenant is 100% Jewish. The entire Bible is Jewish, not Gentile, and it is the Gentiles who are brought into fulfilled Judaism, which we call Christianity, not the other way around. We are grafted into the Jewish paradigm, not into a Gentile one. As I mentioned above in a previous post, we should not view believing Jews as being a part of the Church because they believe in Jesus, but rather it is we as Gentiles who are now a part of the Church because we believe in Yeshua.

    Mike Watts, “Trying to say a person’s faith will produce works or he does not have ‘true faith’ during this time is saying Jesus payment was not sufficient… Now Paul has something to say to the person who teaches a work based salvation. You can say you are not teaching that but when you say a person’s faith will produce works you are saying they are trying to be made perfect by the law.”

    I think you’re misunderstanding the text and what I am saying my friend. Nowhere am I saying that Jesus’ payment was insufficient. Scripture is clear in this regard. Again, faith is what justifies us, not works. It is by grace through faith in Christ alone that saves us. But although we are saved by faith alone, the faith that saves us is not alone. James is very clear in this regard. The faith must be real, genuine, that results in a change of behavior (cf Mark 6:12; Luke 13:3,5; John 8:11; 14:15; Acts 3:19).

    Do you not agree that unless one repents and turns from their ways, they are not saved, even if they say that they believe?

    Mike Watts, “If I were to tell a person that his faith had better produce works then the first thing he will do is go out and try to produce something to show his faith. Now would that not be trying to add works to the formula?”

    True faith will inevitably result in, by its very nature, a life consistent with good works. We do not “add works” as a means of gaining salvation. We have never been, and will never be, saved by works.

    Mike Watts, “I have one more passage I would like for you to tell me what it means.[Mark 16:15-18]”

    In a nutshell: Preach the gospel. Those who believe and are cleansed will be saved, and genuine faith will be followed by works.

    Mike Watts, “Again a clear reading of the Matthew 24 Second Coming shows Jesus on his way back to earth and his angels are gathering the elect. In Paul’s letters the dead are rising out of the grave and meeting Jesus in the air in a ‘twinkling of an eye’. Do you realize how fast that is?”

    The “twinkling of an eye” is not a description of how quickly we are gathered together. Paul is referring to how quickly our physical bodies are transformed from mortal to immortal. This is Paul’s primary focus, our immediate transformation from corrupt to incorruptible.

    Mike Watts, “The Gospel Paul preached was a ‘mystery’. He said this several times and part of that mystery is the rapture which was not known before Jesus died. This is what the Bible says, not me.”

    The Gospel that Paul preached. The mystery referred to in Romans 16:25 was not the Gospel itself, but rather the mystery that Paul identified in Ephesians: the complete equality between Jews and Gentiles. In Ephesians 2 and 3 the mystery is the revelation that God would bring in a world of Gentiles into the faith, to graft them into Israel, to make both Jew and Gentile one body, one people, under one faith of one God and one plan of salvation. Gentiles would be fellow heirs, fellow citizens and fellow partakers with Israel. Again, the mystery is not the Gospel itself. The Jews already had the Gospel preached to them (Hebrews 3:16-4:3).

    In 1 Corinthians 2:7-8, Paul is speaking of God’s mysterious wisdom, of His plan for all of us.

    In 1 Corinthians 15:51-56 the mystery was what will occur at the Second Coming: we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye at His coming, that our mortality would put on immortality. The mystery was not the “rapture” itself.

    Mike Watts, “God does not expect us all to be Greek scholars. If someone has to go to the Greek to get a specfic meaning and try to look so smart, He is only doing that so he can make the word ‘fit’ his false theolgy.”

    Scripture instructs us to rightly divide the Word (2 Timothy 2:15). In order to do so, there will be times when we must properly exegete the original text in order to fully realize its intended meaning. The word “apantesis” is one case in point. But if someone seeks to change the intended meaning of a word, like Thomas Ice has done with “apostasia” to make the word fit their own doctrine, they are not only misleading themselves but are misleading everyone they are teaching. We must make every effort to ensure that we are not interpreting Scripture so that it conforms to our understanding. Rather, we must make every effort to ensure that our understanding is conforming to Scripture.

    God bless …

    Like

    • Mike Watts
      10/02/2012 at 2:41 PM

      Yes I believe if someone has faith but no works they are saved. Turning from sin is a work. Jesus paid for ALL our sins at the cross. The Corinthian church was full of sin yet Paul let them know they would be in the rapture. He tried to tell them to live right but Paul knew they had that old sinful nature that would have to be shed before entering heaven.
      1Corinthians 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

      You see NO sin can enter heaven. We all sin until we die or until we get our new bodies.

      You keep quoting from letters written to the Jews. 1 Peter was written to the Jews and is a book written to the ones living during the tribulation. The Jews will be Priest we will be part of the Body of Christ, Ambassodors of Christ. Nowhere in Paul’s epistles does he say we will be priest.

      The Jews will in fact be grafted back in but to their own tree.
      Romans 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

      All the verses you listed (Mark 6:12,Acts 3:19 ect) are the Gospel of the Kingdom not the Gospel of Grace. They were to repent and prepare the way of the Lord and when Jesus died and rose from the grave they were to repent of crucifying Jesus. If the whole nation of Israel would have repented then the tribulation would have started and Jesus would have come back to rule the earth. God knew they would not and already had another plan in place where he would blind the Jews and call out a new apostle to the Gentiles. This is so clear I do not see how you can miss it. Although this verse could explain it
      2Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

      You see in this dispensation a person is saved by trusting Jesus Christ and Him alone. If you say it takes works then you have a problem. Trying to disguise it into saying your faith will produce works put you in a position of the Pharisee. Even Paul said he fought daily with sin and did things he knew he should not of or wanted to do. The Spirit fighting against the flesh. Old Nature against New nature.

      You really skirted Mark 16:16-18
      Tell me does a person have to be water baptized to be saved? After he is saved will he speak in tongues, take up serpents, drink deadly drink and so forth. How do you spirtialize this verse if there are not different dispensations? I am really interested to see how you twist this.

      To say Paul was not shown a new “mystery” is being dis-honest. There are way to many times that Paul refers to “his Gospel” as the mystery which was not known until Jesus taught Paul. The Bible says had it been known they would have never crucified Christ. Paul calls it “my Gospel” and he says many times HE is the Apostle to the Gentiles. Peter and the other Apostles were the Apostles to the circumsied and Paul was the Apostle to the uncircumsied.If you mix the two together you will confuse the Gospel of Grace with The Gospel of the Kingdom. The apostle were looking for Jesus to come rule on Earth but since the nation of Israel rejected him God put that on hold and called out Paul to preach the Gospel of Grace to the Gentiles. After the rapture the Gospel of the Kingdom will once again resume.

      By the way “rightly divide the Word” means to not mix the dispensation together. We no more want to be put under the law and we do not have to build a boat. We have to believe and it is the only way to be saved during this dispensation. Any other way will not work.

      The Bible is clear and we lay people do not have to study a different language to understand the Bible. God made sure of that.

      God Bless You

      Like

  29. 10/02/2012 at 3:47 PM

    Mike Watts :
    You see Jesus came to the Jews first. He told the apostles to go to the Jews and not the Gentiles. The plan was for the Jews to reach the Gentiles AFTER the whole nation was saved. Since the Jews rejected Christ they were blinded. God called on the apostle Paul to preach a message to the small remnant of Jews who would believe and then to the Gentiles of which the majority of the Body of Chrsit is made up of. The rapture was NEVER in the Old Testament. Anytime you quote from the Old Testament or from Matthew 24 you will never see the dead rising firat and the alive meeting Him in the air. The Old Testament and the Gospels and Revelation were all written TO the Jews.

    Is this what a typical dispensationalist actually believes, that only the apostle Paul’s letters, and I suppose John’s, James’ and Peter’s epistles too (since Mike didn’t include those in the list of books written “to the Jews”), were written to Christians? I imagine it won’t be long before Mike throws out everybody but Paul, given the “Jewishness” of John, James and Peter; after all, per his understanding, two of John’s books already belong to the Jewish dispensation — his Gospel and the Book of Revelation.

    Mike, don’t you see how preposterous this position is?

    Is this all to prop up a pre-trib rapture?

    Like

    • Mike Watts
      10/02/2012 at 4:16 PM

      Hi Kurt
      Please tell me where I am wrong. Did Jesus come to the Gentiles or the Jews? Was the 4 Gospels written to the Gentiles or the Jews? I am throwing nothing out. The books written by Paul to the Gentiles are for the Gentiles doctrine. The books written to the Jews are for us to read and gain from but not for doctrine. God is wonderful and put together his Word in such a way that if we “rightly divide the Word” as he tells us to it makes it so simple. People are so confused today because they do not separate the different dispensation.
      Let me ask you this. Do you go to the priest with an offering so your sins are forgiven? God dealt differently in that dispensation than in the one we are in now.
      Let me ask you this. Do we as Christians share everything in common and give to each other as needed? The Apostles and the ones in the Kingdom Gospel did.
      Let me ask you this. Did Paul teach a different Gospel than Peter?
      To answer that last question read Mark 16:15-18 and read what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:17.
      The Apostles taught a Kingdom Gospel and they were fully expecting Jesus to come and rule the earth shortly. You can read Acts 2 and see that Peter knew he was in the last days. He was teaching a Gospel of faith and repentance. Had Israel accepted Jesus the tribulation would have began. But sadly they rejected Jesus. God put blinders on Israel for now and called the Apostle Paul to be our Apostle. He gave a “mystery” Gospel that no one new about. He was taught by Jesus not by man. God put the Kingdom plan on hold until the full number of Gentiles are saved. This is the Body of Christ.
      The Bible says Paul is our Apostle. I did not say it. Peter said Paul was our Aposlte. Moses was the spokeperson for the Jews when the Law was given. They had to listen to Moses to get their facts straight. Why is it so hard to believe that Paul is our spokesperson? He tells us to listen to him. Remember he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write to us.
      The 4 Gospels written to the Jews
      Acts written as a transition from one dispensation to the next.
      Romans-Philemon written to us Gentiles during the dispensation of Grace.
      Hebrew-Revelation written to the Jews and people living during the tribulation.

      That is simple if you will open your mind to God’s Word. Absolutely do not have to twist anything. It all fits together perfectly. God still has 7 years(1 week) left to deal with the Jews.

      God Bless You

      Like

  30. 10/02/2012 at 5:38 PM

    Mike,

    First off, I want to say ICA has done completely excellent job responding to ALL of your questions, inaccurate statements, and doctrinal misunderstandings. You would do well to pay attention to all of his responses, because they are exactly on target and if you can get them into your spirit they are going open up your understanding of God and His Word.

    In my response to you I am mainly going to paste some scriptures that I think address your questions, because ultimately my opinion or yours means nothing, but only “rightly dividing the word of God”, which means comparing scripture with scripture to arrive at a consistent or hermaneutical belief. Earlier in one of your posts you dismissed looking at the Greek to arrive at an accurate understanding as if that were tantamount to admitting doctrinal “defeat”. All I can say is “wow”.

    So I will give this a try, once. We’ll see how it goes. ICA has already expended a great effort for you. Even if ultimately you don’t begin to change your mind, maybe these efforts will help others? Hopefully.

    Mike Watts :
    Hi Kurt
    Please tell me where I am wrong. Did Jesus come to the Gentiles or the Jews?

    The Jews, as have been pointed out, were/are entrusted with revealing God to the world. Everything spiritual is to them first. We are grafted into the root that springs from them, ultimately from Yahweh God. Jesus came for BOTH the Gentiles and the Jews, for the entire world:

    John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

    John 10:16, “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.”

    The other sheep are the Gentiles; they will become part of the “one flock”.

    Mike Watts :
    Let me ask you this. Did Paul teach a different Gospel than Peter?
    To answer that last question read Mark 16:15-18 and read what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:17.

    15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

    17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.

    You ask “Did Paul teach a different Gospel than Peter?” Do you mean “than Mark”? Or do you think Peter wrote Mark? I’m a little confused. Be that as it may, if your point is that Jesus sent his disciples to baptize but Paul said he didn’t come to baptize, did you read the verses preceding 1 Cor 1:17? He just got finished saying he had baptized people:

    14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one would say you were baptized in my name. 16 Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other.

    Paul’s point was not that baptism is essential for salvation, but the gospel (the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ alone) and belief in it.

    Mike Watts :
    The Apostles taught a Kingdom Gospel and they were fully expecting Jesus to come and rule the earth shortly. You can read Acts 2 and see that Peter knew he was in the last days. He was teaching a Gospel of faith and repentance. Had Israel accepted Jesus the tribulation would have began.

    Your mistake derives from not understanding that both they and we are in the last days, that even in the book of acts, the “tribulation” (better used as a verb than as a proper noun) had already begun:

    Acts 14:22, “…strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “ Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

    Romans 5:3, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;”

    Romans 12:12, “rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,”

    Ephesians 3:13, “Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.”

    1 Thessalonians 1:6, “You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,”

    Hebrews 10:33, “partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.”

    Revelation 1:9, “I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”

    We are not waiting for “the Tribulation”; we are in it, the apostles were in it, it will last until Yeshua returns.

    We are in the “last days”; where do you think that term comes from?

    Hebrews 1:2, “in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”

    Mike Watts :
    God still has 7 years(1 week) left to deal with the Jews.

    No, this is misinterpretation of a single verse, Daniel 9:27. You have removed it from its context. You have built a faulty dispensational construct. Consider for a moment that I am correct; that the 70 sevens were contiguous (does your mind even allow you to do this??). Does your current understanding still survive without this verse? The truth is, everything discussed in Dan 9:24-27 was accomplished by Yeshua, except of course the abomination on the wing of the temple, which now stands (look at the temple mount in Google Earth).

    I’m not going to take further time responding to your other questions. ICA addressed them previously. We both presumably read them. If you’re still not clear, re-read them. If at some point you truly become honestly curious about the faulty foundations of dispensationalism, I imagine that will be evident, but as of now, you seem rather committed to your system.

    Like

  31. ICA
    10/02/2012 at 6:04 PM

    Mike Watts, “Yes I believe if someone has faith but no works they are saved. Turning from sin is a work.”

    Hi Mike, in your view, James was therefore wrong and faith without works can still save someone? And Jesus was wrong as well when He said, “I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5)? Peter was also wrong when he said, “Repent and be baptized … for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38)? Did Paul misspeak when he said that “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” (Heb 10:26:27)?

    Anyone can claim to believe and have faith, but unless they have a complete change of mind that leads them to work on changing their old ways, then their faith is dead.

    Mike Watts, “You see in this dispensation a person is saved by trusting Jesus Christ and Him alone. If you say it takes works then you have a problem. Trying to disguise it into saying your faith will produce works put you in a position of the Pharisee.”

    It does not take works. Brother, it seems that there is some misunderstanding in what I am saying and I really don’t know how else to say it so that you’ll understand. Again, we are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is not alone. It is the type of faith that by its very nature leads to works. If someone claims to have faith but it does not lead to change, then that faith is not alive. It is dead.

    As for the Pharisees, they were stuck in legalism and sought to do works in front of men so that they could be seen. Jesus didn’t rebuke what the Pharisees taught (Matt 23:1-3), but he did rebuke their motives (Luke 12:1-3).

    Mike Watts, “The Corinthian church was full of sin yet Paul let them know they would be in the rapture. He tried to tell them to live right but Paul knew they had that old sinful nature that would have to be shed before entering heaven.”

    My friend, Paul told the church in Corinth to “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin” (1 Cor 15:34).

    Mike Watts, “1Corinthians 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

    You see NO sin can enter heaven.”

    Paul is not talking about entering Heaven. Can you show me the Scriptures you believe tell us that we go to Heaven after being resurrected/raptured?

    Mike Watts, “You keep quoting from letters written to the Jews. 1 Peter was written to the Jews and is a book written to the ones living during the tribulation.”

    Peter himself says that he is writing to Christians, not Jews. “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead … you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold … but with precious blood … the blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:1-3, 18-19).

    If 1 Peter was “written to the Jews”, then why does Peter address his epistle to fellow Christians, remind them that they are redeemed by the blood of Christ and repeatedly reference the faith of Jesus?

    Mike Watts, “The Jews will be Priest we will be part of the Body of Christ, Ambassodors of Christ. Nowhere in Paul’s epistles does he say we will be priest.”

    Paul doesn’t have to. But John does tell us. Revelation 1:4-6, “John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him [be] glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

    Mike Watts, “Even Paul said he fought daily with sin and did things he knew he should not of or wanted to do. The Spirit fighting against the flesh. Old Nature against New nature.”

    This must not be viewed as a license to sin. You’re referencing Romans 7, but this must be read in its full context of Romans 6 and 8. In Romans 7 the writer is referring to his pre-conversion self and is speaking in an “historical present tense”. The writer is clear in the previous chapter that we are no longer live in sin:

    Romans 6:1-4, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

    Read through Romans 7 and notice how many times the writer speaks about “the law” throughout the chapter. The text’s primary focus was that the law was/is insufficient for us to be victorious:

    “If you are familiar with the great theme of Romans (Justification by Faith), then you will know the great lengths to which Paul has discussed that salvation is not earned by keeping of the law. It would be very inconsistent then to teach in chapter 7 that the Christian is somehow in a struggle to keep the law. The law definitely serves it’s purpose by showing us our exceedingly sinful condition without the grace of God. But the law didn’t make us perfect, only the bringing in of a better hope did-which Jesus accomplished for us. The law is our ‘schoolmaster’ to bring us to Christ-Paul told Timothy that ‘the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient…'(I Timothy 1:9). Any effort to please God ‘in the flesh’ (or by keeping the law) will ultimately fail. We must have the Holy Spirit in order to please God. It is with that in mind that we must interpret these ‘difficult’ passages. Let’s take a look at some and examine them closely.

    Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

    Now many ‘scholars’ have taken that verse to mean that Paul was a carnal Christian. Nothing could be further from the truth. Notice what Paul says in chapter 8.

    Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

    Paul very clearly teaches that those who live a carnal life are spiritually dead… God states that His word was written by ‘holy men of old.’ God would not use a carnal unholy vessel to pen the words of this book-plain and simple. Now let’s continue….

    Romans 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

    Those who like to preach the carnal-Christian message will point to this verse and try to portray Paul as a man who has no self-control but is completely at the mercy of his fleshly desires. Again, nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s look at Paul’s own words in other places (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of course).

    Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    Romans 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin

    Here we see Paul had just told them that as Christians we are dead to sin. We are not to continue a lifestyle of sin. Let’s look at another oft-abused passage in chapter 7.

    Romans 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do

    Now if we were just to snip this passage out by itself (as many hyper-grace teachers do) and try to make it stand alone-it sure looks as if this person described above is a wretched-carnal Christian. The confusion arises because the writer (Paul) is writing in the first-person. But again, this can’t be talking in the present tense because we know that Paul was not dominated by his flesh. Remember we just read earlier that those who live after the flesh are in danger of spiritual death. Again, let’s look at Paul’s words in other chapters of the same book.

    Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

    Now of course I’ve highlighted certain words for emphasis but let’s look at it. Paul emphatically states that as a Christian sin does not rule (or have dominion) over us. He also points to the fact that grace is not a license to sin as some teach and affirm. It’s also important to notice the imagery of slavery that Paul uses here. We (as born-again Christians) are not slaves or servants to sin. We are now servants to righteousness. Even Jesus said ‘whom the Son shall set free is free indeed.’ This totally contradicts the theory that Paul was making excuses for sin in the life of the believer. This is what God says (through Paul) about sin .

    Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Paul would not tell us in one breath that we are free from sin and it’s bondage and that sin’s wages are death-and then in the next breath claim to be a slave or servant to sin — that just doesn’t make good common sense — let alone theological sense. That’s why it’s so important to ‘rightly divide’ the Word of Truth as Paul told young Timothy. It’s easy to distort the meaning of any given passage when we don’t consider the context in which it’s written.

    Let’s look at one more oft-misunderstood passage from this chapter.

    Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

    Again we must look at Paul’s words in other places in this book to make sense of it all. Paul is no longer a wretched man because he now has the Spirit of God to enable him to live in victory.

    Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh

    In conclusion, it is very important that we understand the context of chapter 7 of Romans. Because of time and space, I feel as though I really haven’t done justice to the passage, but I felt that it was important to post this because of all the misinformation out there. What I’m not trying to say is that we as Christians will never struggle with our flesh. The scriptures do teach that there is a war going on between the spirit and the flesh. The apostle Paul said ‘I die daily’ and they that are Christ’s indeed wake up each day with the task of crucifying our flesh. We must present our bodies as a living sacrifice and I personally must continually go to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need! But the bottom line is this-God gave us the Holy Spirit and the grace of the Lord Jesus so that we could live a life that is not enslaved by sin. Any teacher, preacher, or author who tries to teach otherwise, does so against the volume of scripture-not to mention at his own peril. I’ll leave you with an emphatic passage written by the Apostle Paul to the Romans.

    Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God

    Source – http://www.truthablaze.com/romans7.html

    Mike Watts, “You really skirted Mark 16:16-18
    Tell me does a person have to be water baptized to be saved?”

    No, water baptism isn’t required for salvation, but I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. The thief next to Jesus on the Cross was not baptized, but he showed faith by believing in Christ and was with Him in Paradise that very day. Obviously, we deduce that he had the type of faith that would have lead to works.

    Mike Watts, “To say Paul was not shown a new ‘mystery’ is being dis-honest. There are way to many times that Paul refers to ‘his Gospel’ as the mystery which was not known until Jesus taught Paul.”

    This was already addressed brother, but to reiterate, it was regarding the grafting in of Gentiles.

    Mike Watts, “The Bible says had it been known they would have never crucified Christ.”

    This is referring to the wisdom of God’s plan. If they had understood it, they would not have crucified Christ.

    Mike Watts, “The apostle were looking for Jesus to come rule on Earth but since the nation of Israel rejected him God put that on hold and called out Paul to preach the Gospel of Grace to the Gentiles. After the rapture the Gospel of the Kingdom will once again resume.”

    Sorry my friend, but Scripture does not teach that all of a sudden God switches from one gospel to another gospel after an imaginary pre-trib rapture. There is only one Gospel, and it is the Gospel of Christ, which incorporates the kingdom facet of the Good News. It is eternal. Dispensationalism, as you have presented it, is severely mired by theological inconsistencies and errors. I know you mean well, but it is a false teaching.

    Revelation 14:6-7, 12, “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth–to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people– saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.’ … Here is the patience of the saints; here [are] those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

    Many blessings, keep studying the word, and I would encourage you to dig deeper. There is so much more to the Word of God than what a 19th century dispensational hermeneutic teaches.

    Like

  32. 10/02/2012 at 10:52 PM

    Very good and clear explanation ICA, as always. Romans 7 is followed by Romans 8:

    Romans 8:2-4, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

    Scripture reiterates in Galatians that we don’t walk by the Law but by the Spirit:

    Gal 5:16-18, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

    Jeremiah foretold the New Covenant (not the “New Dispensation”) whereby we keep the Law in our hearts, not by outward adherence to a set of rules:

    Jer 31:32-34, “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

    By the way, at the beginning of the same O.T. chapter Jeremiah tells us of God’s grace:

    Jer 31:1-4, “At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.”

    2 Thus says the Lord,
    “The people who survived the sword
    Found grace in the wilderness
    Israel, when it went to find its rest.”
    3 The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying,
    “I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.
    4 “Again I will build you and you will be rebuilt,
    O virgin of Israel!

    In Yeshua we are the bride/virgin/woman of God.

    Finally, watch this:

    Giving of the Law: 50th day after First Fruits, the Day of Shavuot
    Giving of the Holy Spirit: 50th day after First Fruits, the Day of Pentecost

    The Day of Shavuot: Law written on tablets of stone (Exo 24:12)
    The Day of Pentecost: Law written on our hearts (Jer 31:33; Psm 40:8; 37:31; Is 51:7; Ezek 11:19-20; 36:22-27; 2 Cor 3:3; Heb 8:10)

    The Law: Written by the finger of God on Stone Tablets (Exo 31:18)
    The Law: Written by the Spirit of God on Human Hearts (Jer 31:33, 2 Cor 3:3; Heb 8:10)

    The Day the Law was given: 3,000 slain (Exodus 32:1-8,26-28)
    The Day the Spirit was given: 3,000 saved (Acts 2:38-41)

    The Old Covenant: The letter of ‘the Law’
    The New Covenant: The spirit of the Law (Rom 2:29, 7:6)

    The Old Mtn: Mt. Sinai (Exo 19:11, Heb 12:18-21)
    The New Mtn: Mt. Zion (Rom 11:26, Heb 12:22)

    The old testament covenant foresaw the new; the Word of God fits hand in glove from one to the other. God knows the end from the beginning. There is no mid-stream, on-the-fly revision that God has made because the Jews have failed.

    We walk in victory; we do it by the Spirit. We keep in step with the Spirit, and as we do, being in Christ, who fulfilled the Law, we do as well.

    Like

    • ICA
      10/02/2012 at 11:20 PM

      Great parallels between the Old and New Covenants. The depth and richness of God’s Word never ceases to amaze. And grace was definitely plentiful in the Old Testament. Man has always been, and will always be, saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). The Law never saved anyone. Nor did the blood of bulls and goats. Nor did works. It was always grace through faith.

      Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”

      Exodus 33:12, “Then Moses said to the LORD, ‘See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.”

      Like

    • Anonymous
      04/15/2016 at 7:03 PM

      I like it

      Like

  33. Willard
    10/03/2012 at 12:07 AM

    Amazing Kurt – God is definitely a God of order and perfection – the depth of his word simply astonishes me

    Like

  34. 10/03/2012 at 1:13 AM

    Amen brothers.

    Like

    • Mike Watts
      10/03/2012 at 10:52 AM

      This response is to all.
      I really hate that you attack the Word of God with all your so called ever learning but never understanding.
      1-It sounds like you do not believe in once saved always saved?
      Tell me if I am wrong
      2-You keep saying dispensationalism is invented for a pre-trib rapture?
      this is crazy. I did not invent it God did!
      3-As for the Mark 16 quotation I think your little snidey comment is to avoid answering the question. Of couse I know Mark wrote what the Holy Spirit told him to write. But this particular passage was the commission given to the apostles which obviously includes Peter. Do the one who believe today handle snakes and drink poisnous drinks? All of you have avoided that question. Because even with your Greek understanding(which allows you to twist words)you know they were given a different message and different things follow them that believe.
      4-If I can lose my salvation then which sin will cause that or how many works must I do to keep it?
      5-If God does not have a separate plan for Israel than why did he blind them and why are they still blinded today?
      6-We have not been in the last days for 2,000 years. That is an ubsurb comment to make and definetly not scriptural.Peter and the Apostle could have been and thought they were but then as I said before God put that plan on hold.
      7-It is so simple even a child can understand the Bible with rightly dividing it. The scribes and Pharisees could not nor can the Greek scholars.
      8-The verses you pull from Hebrews are for the ones living in the final 7 years.
      9-As far as James being wrong, the way you look at it either he was wrong or Paul was wrong. Cannot forget Romans 4:5. James is writing to the Jews during the tribulation. They will have to have a faith that produces works.They cannot take the mark of the beast.

      Now I do believe Paul taught the Christians to live a pleasing life to God and full of good works. But their are obviously some and maybe a lot of “carnal christians” as their were in Corinth. He never once told them they would lose their salvation. They were told they would be in the rapture. I am sure glad you guys are not the ones to judge a person on salvation. You know with all the faith Our faith in Christ makes us righteous not any works we do. Therefore if I think I must do good works to keep my righteous than you are saying Jesus could not do it alone.

      One more thing. According toMark 1616 a person in that dispensation had to be baptized to be saved. “he who believes and is bapitzed” Paul did baptize a few and only a few probably all Jews. But he was sent to preach a Gospel of Christ crucified and those who believe in Jesus will be saved. Nothing else nothing less. The Apostles were sent to have the people repent and be baptized. Jesus “holds on to all believers” during this dispensation. Just as God promised Abraham without condition that he would bless all nations through him God promised the believer eternal life with no strings attached.

      God Bless you guys and I really hope you open your mind of the truth. Unless you think we should go to the priest and offer up sacrifices or be water baptized, then you too believe in different dispensations. If God has the same plan for us all then why are we not doing the things the past believers are having to do.

      Like

  35. 10/03/2012 at 1:08 PM

    Wow, that was mind-blowing! There certainly is a wide variety of Christians. Mike essentially believes only what Paul wrote applies to him (except for Hebrews, which was clearly written by Paul). Nothing else in the Bible has specific application to his life of faith.

    I’ll leave any specific responses to ICA, particularly about “once saved always saved” and how someone might “lose” their salvation. Paul had plenty to say about that (even if you ignore Hebrews), so I’m confused as to how Mike would reject those portions of Paul’s writings.

    Mike, I hope you continue to read and follow ICA’s blog. Perhaps in time you will begin to change your views. You have certainly expanded my understanding of how far some people take Dispensationalism.

    Like

  36. ICA
    10/03/2012 at 2:23 PM

    Hi Mike, I’ll take a moment to address a few of your questions. Others have already been covered in previous replies above, and as such it’s best to go back and re-read those responses …

    Mike Watts, “I really hate that you attack the Word of God with all your so called ever learning but never understanding.”

    Nobody is making any effort whatsoever to attack the word of God. We are, however, making every effort to rightly apply the Word of God contextually, exegetically and hermeneutically to expose erroneous teachings because “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16).

    Mike Watts, “It sounds like you do not believe in once saved always saved? Tell me if I am wrong”

    If someone who believes could never depart from the faith and lose their salvation, why did God bother to inspire the writer of the Book of Hebrews to warn believers about drifting away, or departing from the faith, or about disobedience and apostasy? (Heb 2:1-4; 3:12-14; 4:11; 5:11-6:6). Why does Jesus imply that names are blotted from the Book of Life? (Rev 3:5). Why does 1 Tim 4:1 say, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils…”? It does not stand to reason in my mind that one can depart from the faith if they never held to that faith in the first place.

    Jesus explicitly taught against the false doctrine of “once saved always saved.” Let’s take a look at four separate groups of people that Jesus Himself described when it comes to faith and salvation. There are:

    1. Luke 8:12 — those who hear, but do not believe. “… the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”

    2. Luke 8:13 — those who believe only for a while. “… who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.”

    3. Luke 8:14 — those who love the world more than the Word. “… choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.”

    4. Luke 8:15 — those who keep the Word in their heart. “… having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep [it] and bear fruit with patience.”

    In Luke 8:12 Jesus says that “Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.” According to Jesus, to believe is to be saved. In Luke 8:13, however, Jesus describes those who believed for a while — and by believing they are saved according to 8:12, if even only for a while. Notice the words in bold below:

    Luke 8:13, “But the ones on the rock [are those] who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.”

    They believe for awhile and are therefore saved while they believed. We know this because Romans 10:17 clearly lays out the precise process whereby the Spirit draws one to faith and salvation, which is found in Luke 8:13. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

    Those whom Jesus describe in Luke 8:13 come to faith by hearing the word, and receiving the word with joy, if even it is only for awhile. During their time of belief, they are not simply ‘professing’ Christians. As Luke 8:12 is clear to tell us, by believing they are saved.

    Now consider the following question: With respect to those who believe for awhile according to Luke 8:13, if they were to die while they still believed would they go to heaven, even though they would have later fallen away in a “time of temptation” if they had lived?

    Mike Watts, “Do the one who believe today handle snakes and drink poisnous drinks?”

    First of all, we should be aware that some scholars believe that Mark 16:9-20 was added and was not a part of the original text. It is missing from the ancient Syriac, Armenian and Georgian manuscripts as well as the Old Latin codex Bobiensis, so the fact that those eleven verses are missing from some of the most authoritative and earliest manuscripts of the New Testament could easily infer that these particular verses were added, particularly after what happened to Peter in Acts 28:1-6. It doesn’t prove that they were, but we should just be aware of it. Moreover, “Early church fathers Clement of Alexandria and Origen show no knowledge of these verses, and Jerome and early church historian Eusebius write that the passage was missing from almost all the Greek copies of Mark’s gospel they had seen. Many manuscripts that do contain this section have scribal notations to the effect that older Greek copies lacked it, and in other manuscripts there are scribal markings indicating, according to Metzger, that it is a ‘spurious addition.'” (Source).

    Having said that, I see no reason to read Mark 16:18 in a wooden, literal sense. To do so could obviously lead to deadly consequences (http://tinyurl.com/6r8y6x6). “Snakes” being unable to hurt someone who has true faith in Christ could be a reference to hypocritical or false teachers whom Jesus referred to as “serpents” and “vipers” (cf Matthew 23). True believers — those who abide in Christ — will not be deceived by their words or actions and the “poison water” they give to drink, for in the words of Jesus “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

    Mike Watts, “If I can lose my salvation then which sin will cause that or how many works must I do to keep it?”

    The determination as to whether or not our name remains in the Book of Life is made once we die. Do we die in Christ, or do we die in sin? When we first believe and are cleansed (baptised) by the Spirit, our faith spurs within us a desire to live a life that seeks after His righteousness. We are not saved by turning away from sin (that would be works-based). But we are saved by a faith that spurs within us a desire to turn away from sin and live a holy life for the Author of our Salvation. But “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Heb 10:26-29). Paul is not talking about “the ones living in the final 7 years” of anything. Paul is talking about you and I who are saved by grace and sanctified by the Son of God, today.

    Mike Watts, “James is writing to the Jews during the tribulation. They will have to have a faith that produces works.They cannot take the mark of the beast.”

    James describes himself as a bondservant “of the Lord Jesus Christ” and is writing to his “brethren” in the faith of Jesus (Jewish Christians) who were scattered around the Mediterranean in the first century because of persecution. He was instructing them how to live. He was not writing to non-Christian Jews during a future tribulation.

    Just as the Jewish Christians of the first century needed to have faith that produced works, we all must have faith that produce works. Otherwise our faith is a dead faith.

    Mike Watts, “One more thing. According toMark 1616 a person in that dispensation had to be baptized to be saved.”

    They did not have to be baptized by water. Though it is important — an outward public expression and confession of our inward spiritual cleansing — water baptism is not a requirement in order to be saved, and it never was. The thief on the cross wasn’t baptized, for instance. Although John the Baptist did so with water, he was simply preparing the way for Christ. John himself even stated that “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me … will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matt 3:11). The word “baptize” must be understood properly. The word is “baptizo” and it means “to wash”, “to cleanse”, to “fully whelm” and it does not always mean with water, evidenced by the fact that there are at least ten different baptisms taught to us in the New Testament and many involve no water. The context of a passage alone will sometimes determine whether it is water or not, and Mark 16:16 is one that speaks of salvation and is therefore not referring to water, but rather to the Holy Spirit (see John 3 and Christ’s words to Nicodemus).

    Mike Watts, “God Bless you guys and I really hope you open your mind of the truth. Unless you think we should go to the priest and offer up sacrifices”

    Nobody is talking about offering up animal sacrifices as priests. As priests in the kingdom of God, our sacrifices are not physical, but spiritual:

    1 Peter 2:5, “you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

    Hebrews 13:15, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”

    Hope this helps …

    Like

  37. Willard
    10/03/2012 at 6:05 PM

    MIKE SAYS – 1-It sounds like you do not believe in once saved always saved?
    Tell me if I am wrong

    GOD SAYS

    2Pe 2:20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.
    2Pe 2:21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.
    2Pe 2:22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud

    Pr 26:11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.

    Like

  38. Sharon
    07/03/2013 at 5:03 AM

    Hallo ICA,

    I am so appreciative to you for all the tremendous teaching you have given through these blogs – thank you so much. It has given me such a lot to think about and changed my way of seeing so much of what we have been fed in these last days.

    I understand you hold to the view that the first 3.5 years of the final 70th week prophecy of Daniel has already been taken in that it was covering the 3.5 years of Jesus ministry? I am also thinking along those lines. I wonder if you could tell me when the beginning of the 70 weeks is calculated from to end up 3.5 years before the crucifixion? There have to be 483 years of the prophecy to end up at the beginning of the ministry and I wonder which of the proclamations begins the prophecy.

    I love the LXX – Septuagint but in reading the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 there seems to be a rendering of it somewhat differently in the AV and other versions??? I have copied the appropriate verses below.

    I have been told that the timing for the 483 years could not be ending at the beginning of Jesus ministry as later versions say “… After the 62 weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing” meaning that the final week must be at the end of the last days!

    As you can see the LXX says “the anointed one shall be destroyed and there is no judgement in him” so I see it that after the 69th week is the 70th week and so the anointed one could quite easily be destroyed IN the 70th week not at the exact end of the 69th week. So you see I think it is important to know what that calculation is taken from.

    Hope you can help.

    Sharon

    Below is the LXX

    24 Seventy weeks have been determined upon thy people, and upon the holy city, for sin to be ended, and to seal up transgressions, and to blot out the iniquities, and to make atonement for iniquities, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal the vision and the prophet, and to anoint the Most Holy.

    25 And thou shalt know and understand, that from the going forth of the command for the answer and for the building of Jerusalem until Christ the prince there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks; and then the time shall return, and the street shall be built, and the wall, and the times shall be exhausted.

    26 And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed one shall be destroyed, and there is no judgment in him: and he shall destroy the city and the sanctuary with the prince that is coming: they shall be cut off with a flood, and to the end of the war which is rapidly completed he shall appoint the city to desolations.

    27 And one week shall establish the covenant with many: and in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: and on the temple shall be the abomination of desolations; and at the end of time an end shall be put to the desolation.

    Like

  39. ICA
    07/04/2013 at 4:13 PM

    Sharon, ” I wonder if you could tell me when the beginning of the 70 weeks is calculated from to end up 3.5 years before the crucifixion? There have to be 483 years of the prophecy to end up at the beginning of the ministry and I wonder which of the proclamations begins the prophecy.”

    Hi Sharon, there are a few various opinions on this. One of them is that the starting date for the decree to rebuild Jerusalem was announced by Artaxerxes in 457 BC (cf. Ezra 7:13,20). Others contend that the command to rebuild Jerusalem was already given to the Israelites by Cyrus per Ezra 1:3, however they were commanded to stop rebuilding by Artaxerxes according to Ezra 4:21,23. Another command was later given by Artaxerxes to begin rebuilding again. According to Daniel 9:24-25 the Messiah would be anointed after 69 weeks had been fulfilled, which is 483 years (69×7) as you’ve noted. 457 BC plus 483 years brings us to the year 27 AD, which was the year that Jesus was baptized by John and anointed by the Holy Spirit to begin His ministry. This was the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week.

    Sharon, “I have been told that the timing for the 483 years could not be ending at the beginning of Jesus ministry as later versions say ‘… After the 62 weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing’ meaning that the final week must be at the end of the last days!”

    The word for ‘cut off’ is “karath”, which means to cut down or kill and is the same word used elsewhere to refer to the death penalty. There is no doubt that this prophecy is telling us that the Messiah would be killed. Now, the NIV renders Dan 9:26 to say that He “will have nothing”, however the Hebrew also means “but not for Himself”, which is precisely how it is translated in many Bibles. The Messiah would die, but He would not die for Himself. Why? Because He would be dying for others. This describes Christ’s work, His substitutionary death on the Cross perfectly.

    Hope this helps. God bless!

    Like

    • Sharon
      07/10/2013 at 10:03 PM

      Thank you ICA,

      Yes your reply is a help. Would you however just clarify the comment “457 BC plus 483 years brings us to the year 27 AD” Why add 457 and 483??? I think you meant 457 from 483??? This brings it to 26 years but year 0 adds a year? bringing it to 27 years which was the beginning of Jesus ministry. Do you then personally believe the calculation starts at 457BC?

      If you believe that the 70th week started at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus what makes you sure the calculation must be taken from that verse in Ezra 7:13 apart from the fact that the years add to 483? I know we can calculate back from our supposition but I would like more surety! Sorry to be pedantic but I know I will meet opposition to this presentation and I would appreciate the information.

      The verse in Daniel 9:25 (LXX) from which any calculation must start says “… the going forth of the command for the answer and for the building of Jerusalem until Christ the Prince …” so what would be “the command for the answer”? This is the first part of the proclamation and I suggest that King Artaxerxes in his decree was asking the question of the Israelites “… who may volunteer to go up to Jerusalem …” It was a question of volunteering to go and restore Jerusalem. A principle there I think. I can accept this is the starting point just wanted more to go on! The building of Jerusalem of course followed.

      Another question. Why do you think the calculation was divided into 1 week then 68 weeks of the 69 weeks? What defines the starting of the first of the 68 weeks? Did it take 7 years for them to actually start the rebuilding of Jerusalem or was the rebuilding actually finished after 7 years?

      Regarding the “karath” saying Messiah would be killed yes that says it all. In the LXX it says “… and there is no judgement in him …” meaning his sacrifice was not for his own sins but for ours.

      Thank you again for your writings, they are tremendous and such a great help to me. I will wait eagerly for your reply. Incidentally, with all your internet activity in answering the miriad of comments – do you get time for anything else!!!

      Blessings again and again to you

      Sharon

      Like

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  1. 07/28/2012 at 4:06 AM

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