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December 2, 1997

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Q/A Topics:
Planets:

Comment:
Did you see the alignment of the planets and the moon? It was something. Hal Lindsay had predicted it would happen in 1994, but he missed that one.

He wasn't thinking about God's timetable was he? His book, Late Great Planet Earth had a lot to say about it.

Have we not seen a great display of God's wonders in the sky this year alone. What may be next?

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New Age WebSite?

Q.
[URL witheld] This is going out to all AOL. I look at it and it seem to be newage there was nothing about Jesus in it Maybe you could check it out and tell the pepole what you thenk of it. If not get back to me an let me know.

A.
Most definitely it is "New Age" and everything else the One World Religion is all about. The "divinity within" and the light that we (as humans) are going to bring to the world as "we" usher in a millenium of peace. And then, there was the ominous tell-tale "true colors" to the little slogan at the bottom. "All for one...or none at all" That mentality certainly forebodes the attitude which will bring about the martyrdom of those who come to Christ during the time of God's Judgment on the earth. (Rev 13:7,15)

And then...the site colors, the "light" graphics on "black" background with stars....that is all the "look" of the New Age - satanic, mystic cult-type websites.

I have received other e-mails from some ???-lama in Tibet (organization) who is encouraging everybody on earth sometime this next month to light a single candle in their front window, on a certain day, at a certain time...as a show of world-wide unity, etc. The very end-time scenario is in place.

As for your suggestion to let others know...that is not something that VW is necessarily about. If I share the site's URL, that means more people will be going to check it out. And we don't need that. We need more people being in God's Word and drawing closer to Him. If we/they know God's Word, then when we happen to glimpse something like that site, we know immediately, that it is not of God.

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AntiChrist:

Q.
I was reading through a recent VW study subtitled "The Last Hour: desolate (1Jn 2:18-19)" and I have a question.

Towards the bottom where you say:

"Scripture prophesies the Antichrist.(vs18) The "lawless one"(2Ths2:8), the beast (Rev13:11). (Notice that the PerVersions omit the word "the." Very important that it be there, because THE Antichrist is a very SPECIFIC person...not just an anti-God "tendency or principle." Just as Jesus is "THE" Christ(vs22), there will also be "THE" Antichrist.)"

I certainly agree that the Bible foretells of a literal Antichrist but isn't the passage at Rev 13:11 referring not to "The Antichrist" but rather to "The False Prophet" another specific person of the last days? Rev 13:12-16 goes on to talk about what The False Prophet will do which is to say that he will force the people remaining on earth to worship the first beast, THE Antichrist so it would seem that this second beast has to be different from the first beast seen at vs 13:1 and earlier at vs 11:7 or am I misunderstanding something?

I have seen in some of the questions/comments that you post from some readers that some people are "displeased" with some of the things you have been writing. All I want to say is thank you for your hard work and dedication in declaring God's Word. I really enjoyed the studies on the comPromise Keepers. I did not watch much of their rally and I would not have picked up on their "uniformity and compromise at the expense of doctrine" position if not for VW.

A.
I'm not going to claim to be an "expert" in these matters. Like the recent thing about the "pieces" of the mystery puzzle of prophecy. I really doubt anybody can know for certain until it happens. But let me share my observations regarding your question.

There are three entities involved: 1) dragon/devil 2) beast 3) beast/false prophet. (Rev 16:13,20:10)

We see the dragon portrayed in Ch12. which seems to be, pretty obviously, "Satan." The beast in 13:1 seems to be "larger" than a "single person." It would appear to be a confederation of nations/religions...some have speculated "10 nations of Europe" ...but I highly doubt it's limited to "just" Europe. Possibly more like a world-wide confederation of 10 global regions. Whereas the "beast" (13:11) seems to be a "person" because of the things you observed in vs.12-18. This would be the same person as the "false prophet" (20:10) And would be a singular, personal representative/spokesperson for the "Beast" (national/religious confederation).

And in satan's diabolical fashion, he would be immitating God to a great extent. God is tripartite...Father, Son, Holy Spirit. So, satan has the Dragon, Beast, FalseProphet. So, just like "God" is "all-three" and yet the three are distinct...the same, I should think, with the "anti-Christ." While there are the three elements, they are all three orchestrated by the dragon. And yet, as God the Father and Holy Spirit are not humanly "visible" ...Jesus came in human form as a "man" ...so, too, the dragon and beast-conglomerate are not so readily visible (or obvious), the beast/falseprophet will be in antithesis to Jesus Christ...a "visible man" (13:18) a "representative" of the other two. As you say, the false prophet forces humanity to worship the "first beast." ...in immitation of what Christ came doing..."He who has seen Me has seen the Father"(Jn14:9) And further, that He did not come on His own authority, "...The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. (John 14:10) ...in antithesis the dragon gives the beast it's authority and power. (Rev13:2)

Another possibility. It could be that there will be "a man" who will rule over the international conglomerate (Dan8:23-25) and "that's" what the "beast" in Rev13:1 refers to...but that he is ruling over all this massive organization. And then, the beast of 13:11 is the "religious" arm of "antichrist." When, 13:18 speaks of "a man" it is a little confusing as to "which" of the two "beasts" (vs.1 or 11) it is refering to. Here, too...the "mystery" aspect of prophecy, I should think.

The important thing to know is...that it will come. But we don't need to worry ourselves about the details. Because we cannot do anything about it anyway. Because, even the beast's demise will be by other than human means. (Dan8:25) In other words, Christ will come and wrench away from the dragon the "kingdoms of this world."(Rev11:15,2Ths2:8)

So...it's probably no clearer than before you started to read this reply.(smile) But, maybe this helps a little...

And...thanks for your other kind remarks. What people retort is their business with the Lord. But it is God's Word upon which we stand.

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Eschatology:

Note: I hadn't really intended on addressing this topic again in a Q/A. But these questions are some common arguments one hears frequently, which haven't been addressed at VW yet.

Q.
I learned of your website from the placard placed in the window of your workplace. When I browsed it a bit I saw that you had a lot of good stuff on the bible on it. However, I did notice that you seem to have a particular view regarding who are true Christians who aren't according to a particular eschatological viewpoint. In short you seem to regard those that don't believe in the pre-tribulation rapture are not Christians.

"I realize more than ever, that the issue of the "Pre-Tribulation Rapture" is a defining issue regarding who is a Christian, and who is merely a christian. (Big "C" vs. little "c") And it's NOT Ok if people believe different things."--Q/A March 7, 1997

From your various articles I understand that you are of the dispensational theology camp. Yet I must point out to you that "Pre-Tribulation Rapture" is a relatively new position in eschatology having been brought in from the teachings of John Nelson Darby and the Plymouth Brethren. Samuel P. Tregelles, a member in the Plymouth Brethren during its early days, claimed that the idea of coming of Christ to rapture the church originated in an utterance at the church of Edward Irving, a preacher at the prophetic conference from which the Powerscourt House meetings {A series of prophetic conferences held by the Brethren members}. Darby took this as the voice of the Holy Spirit and accepted it as doctrine. Other Brethren leaders disagreed and this caused a split in the membership. (Please see George E. Ladd's The Blessed Hope. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956)

A conservative dating will show you that "Pre-Tribulation Rapture" has only been a eschatological position for about 150 years. If we are to take your stance: "Pre-Tribulation Rapture" is a defining issue regarding who is a Christian, and who is merely a christian." Then great leaders of the faith like Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, John Wesley, C.H. Spurgeon, and others were heretics as they did not hold to this viewpoint.

If however, we were to take the approach that the defining issue is whether or not you held to the Trinity, Salvation, by grace alone through faith alone, the Bible being the inspired Word of God sufficient for all our needs, etc ... Then we would spend less time pointing fingers and more time sharing to others the good news of Jesus Christ.

A.
Well, I'm glad to see that at least "somebody" has seen that little paper sign.(smile)

Regarding "eschatology" you claim that the "pre-trib" view is only a "recent" development. And then you name various names.

That PEOPLE have not "seen it" all those years would not necessarily be bad. After all, God told Daniel, "shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end:" and then He describes what the "time of the end" will be like..."many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase." (Dan12:4) We "now" live in the computer/internet "information age" ...and people think nothing of flying around the world back and forth...which has never been the case at any other time in human history.

He also says "the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand."(vs9-10) I believe from this (and what has already been said in the past) that only True Christians can truly, fully fathom the "pre-trib" aspect of the Rapture. It is, after all, ONLY for us who believe in Christ as Savior. And even after it happens, the rest of the world and unbelieving pretend christians won't recognize what happened. Their hearts will be hardened. (2Ths2:11)

As I have written in other notes and Q/A's of clarification, just the fact of not knowing, or not being sure, does not condemn a person. The Lord may have other lessons for the person to be learning for the present. But, if a person receives clear teaching on the matter, and he has been faced squarely with the matter in his heart, from God's Word, there is only One Truth; given by One Holy Spirit.(Jn16:13,Eph4:4-5) And we don't require "man's wisdom" to understand it.(1Jn2:27) It is clearly given in Scripture. (2Tim3:16-17)

So, where do we find "prior" teaching on the matter?

Jesus taught, ""Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; "but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:28-29) Lot was not "in" the cities of destruction. He went "out" over to another city.(Gen19) And the angel specifically said, "I cannot do anything until you arrive there."(vs22) ...safely.

And again, ""Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:36) In Revelation those who are "worthy" are those who are clothed in white. Righteous.(Rev3:4)

Paul reveals, "But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. ...Then... comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. (1Cor15:23-24) This "putting an end to all rule..." is what the whole book of The Revelation is about. The word "then" is pretty obviously a "before and after" word. Christ is coming to receive His own, and THEN, He will set about to deal with judgment.

John writes (Jesus to the Churches), ""Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. (Rev 3:10) As Paul wrote, "For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, (1Th5:9)

All three of these were PRIOR to merely "150 years" ago, and "Darby." In other writings and Q/A's we have given many other passages, so won't repeat them here.

Unlike what some say, THE Tribulation is not a time of "purifying" the Church. Nor is this the "tribulation" which Jesus promised for the Church in Jn16:33. That is what Satan has been doing to the Church, but has not been able to "prevail against" It.(Mt16:18) The 7-year Tribulation is a time of "God's wrath" (Rev6:16-17) And Christ is not going to subject His "bride" to His Wrath. He only gives "good" things to His own.(Jas1:13,17)

But we do know one thing, that "scoffers" are not prepared as they retort, "where is the promise of His coming."(2Pt3:4) And for the false prophets who proclaim that "My master is DELAYING his coming..." (Mt24:48) his portion will be with the hypocrites when He has come "at an hour that he is not aware of"(vs50)

For the Christian, Jesus' return(Jn14:3) is the "blessed hope" (Tit2:13)

And sorry. I didn't learn this from any MAN's writing/s or any "eschatological viewpoint". For many years when I heard what this man or that had to say, I saw three "possibilities." But was not convinced firmly. UNTIL, one particular year about 15 years ago, the Lord started showing me ...FROM SCRIPTURE... that this was so. And as the Scriptures spoke to me, there was then, no longer any question of the matter. It is quite clear. I hadn't even heard the name "Darby" or the others when the Lord opened my eyes regarding this. It came from my own quiet time with the Lord ...In the Scriptures.

Also, in this whole matter, the delineation/distinction between Israel and the Church is paramount. If a person starts applying Israel to the Church, prophetically, then it is easy to understand how many look at a post-trib view...because Israel, indeed, will go through the Tribulation. That is when "the sons of Levi" will be "purified."(Mal3:3)

You will notice that Jesus uses two examples for the end times; the "Days of Noah" (Mt24:37) ...who went "through" the flood protected, and the "Days of Lot" (Lk17:28-29) ...who escaped "out of" BEFORE judgment. Two examples, for two different groups of people.

Amen!

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