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Eschatology Issues XI:

Trumpets, the Millennium, the Time of the Tribulation and the Resurrection.

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Question #1:

Hello again Dr. Luginbill -

Unfortunately the last reply you sent me in this thread was lost by being pushed out of my email limit, but I included the past dialogue just to identify myself.

In a nutshell, you opined that the Nephilim are totally extinct now. After reading your explanation and links, I agree with you (although I still feel there was something "fishy" about the incident with Ham and "Noah's nakedness" that deserves further consideration - not having anything to do with Nephilim, however). Thanks for taking the time even though I had missed some of your existing work on that topic.

Hopefully I have not likewise missed something you have already written about my next question.

Is there somewhere in your website you elaborate on the difference between the two silver trumpets of Numbers 10 and the ram's horn trumpets of Joshua as pertaining to Paul's epistles and/or the New Testament in general? I find it confusing, as the two different type of trumpets are clearly identified in the Old Testament by completely different Hebrew words, but in the Greek of the New Testament all trumpets seem to be translated into one word as they are in the English bibles.

It seems clear to me that the "shophar" or ram's horn trumpets modeled in Joshua are the trumpets of Rev 8-11, but what about the trumpet references in Math 24, 1Cor 14-15, 1 Thes 4, Hebrew 12, Rev 1, Rev 4? Which types of trumpets are they? I would imagine one could not know the real meaning of any of those scriptures without knowing the Old Testament model they are referring back to. Your knowledge of both languages makes you the perfect person to ask.

Please don't feel compelled to waste your time with redundant writing if your website already has content relating to this matter. I was embarrassed to see how much pre-existing information I had missed when you replied to my last question. Feel free to just send links if you feel that would suffice.

Thank you,

Response #1:

Thanks for your patience!

On your current question, the word for the silver trumpets of Numbers chapter ten is chatsotsarah, whereas as you rightly note the trumpet in Joshua at Jericho is the shophar. However, these words seem to be used mostly synonymously in the OT (they are both translated in the LXX with the Greek word salpynx, the same word used for all NT occurrences of the word "trumpet"). So I don't think we can distinguish the biblical significance by means of these two words. The shophar is merely a "poor man's trumpet", whereas the chatsotsarah was the work of a metal smith, often made of silver in OT times. Their biblical use is similar.

Generally speaking, trumpets are used in scripture to convey messages (as opposed to being normal musical instruments). Sometimes these messages are announcements (as in religious festivals); sometimes they convey military directions (the bugle calls of the Civil War era are an exact parallel); most often the trumpet blast conveys a warning, as, for example, of an enemy attack:

For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?
1st Corinthians 14:8 NKJV

This is the function of the trumpet judgments, namely, to warn. On the other hand, the trumpet blown by the archangel at the second advent is for "assembly", for it commences the resurrection and the assembling of the Church in battle formation before the Lord to observe (and in one sense to participate in) the battle of Armageddon. In military usage, bugle calls (and also trumpet calls of antiquity) are very specific so that those who hear will understand from the "tune" precisely what direction is being given. It is this "tune" which differentiates the instances in scripture, not the instrument itself. We don't what these melodies were or will be, but we can be sure that the angels do, and also that we shall know too when they apply to us (as at the resurrection).

Here are some links to where these issues are discussed at Ichthys:

Voice like a trumpet

Feast of Trumpets

Trumpet Judgments

On the issue of financial contributions and donations about which you had asked earlier, thank you so much for your encouraging words and your willingness to give. You are correct that Ichthys does not solicit financial gifts. However, I would like to mention that Pastor/teacher Curtis Omo's Bible Academy website now does have a way for interested parties to contribute to his wonderful efforts to spread the truth of the Word of God (please see the link). I personally consider his ministry very worthy of support.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Professor Luginbill,

Grace and Peace to you.

My question regards the blowing of the seven trumpets in Revelation 8: 6 - 12 and Chapter 9: 1 - 15, and the kind of destruction that follows each one. Do you think the destruction described is the result of the use of nuclear weapons? (or) Do you think the destruction described is the direct result of angelic intervention (without regard to weapons made by man), acting under God's authority, that brings about the destruction described?

Thanking you very much for your reply.

Sincerely,

Response #2:

Good to hear from you again, my friend. Revelation is a good deal more literal than most people suppose. Whenever something is symbolic or allegorical, John tells us so (e.g., Rev.12:1). The seven trumpets are warning judgments designed to graciously wean the people of earth away from antichrist, but they are largely unheeded (as in the case of the parallel and foreshadowing Exodus plagues). I would not rule out angelic agency in carrying out these judgments (especially given Rev.7:1-3 and Rev.17:1, e.g.). However, I cannot square the descriptions with "nuclear war" or other man-made events (and as it turns out, such an exchange of weapons would make the rest of the events prophesied for the Tribulation largely impossible). You can find a detailed exegesis of these judgments at Ichthys in CT 3A at the link: "The Trumpet Judgments".

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hi Dr. Bob,

I hope all is well with you and your ministry and family. As always, you are on my mind for continued prayer. I am reading your Pneumatology series and on page 82 where you are discussing the "filled" with the Spirit. In the eternal state and during the Millennium, will all believers be in "perfect" filling status with His Spirit ? Basically, there will no longer be a need of an "active" role of us striving to be under His influence. It will happen automatically. Your thoughts on this is appreciated.

Thank you sir in Jesus Christ.

Response #3:

The Millennium will be a wonderful time, with our Lord in command of the entire world, and with the world itself restored to pristine conditions. However, human beings will be the same. Part of the purpose of the Millennium is to demonstrate that even in perfect environment human beings, in this world and in this body, still have free will and a sin nature. So the struggle will be the same, even though the battlefield will be radically different. At the end of the Millennium the vast majority of the world's population, having known nothing but conditions of perfect government and perfect environment, will nonetheless rebel against the King of Kings (Rev.20:7-9), responding to the evil one just as soon as he is released. So I don't expect (and see no scriptural reason to suppose) that the filling of the Spirit will be any different during the Millennium for believers than it is today. Those privileged to live in that time will, of course, have the wondrous pouring out of the truth of the Word of God (Hab.2:14). Since the Spirit uses the truth believed as His fulcrum, so to speak, we can anticipate that the effects of the ministry of the Spirit to believers will be more obvious and dramatic. Also, the functioning of overtly miraculous gifts will return. But believers will still need to hear and believe and apply the Word of God to move forward spiritually, just as is the case today. As with the Church where there will be highly rewarded and lowly rewarded among our ranks, so it will be with the Friends of the Bride (the Millennial believers), complementing our numbers in what is likely to be a perfect balance.

P.S., In regard to your previous comment, I see that pastor Omo's Bible Academy website now has a donation button (through Paypal).

Yours in Jesus Christ our Lord,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Thank you for the quick response. I have put pastor Omo on my contribution list and am praying that God blesses his ministry as well.

Thank you for the information on believers being "filled" during the Millennium but my question was not necessarily about Millennium believers but glorified risen believers who reign with Christ and their "filled" status.

Thank you again for everything in Christ Jesus.

Response #4:

Thanks much for your support of Bible Academy!

On the issue of resurrected believers, whether in the Millennium or in the eternal state at the end of time, I fully expect our relationship with all three members of the Trinity to be perfect in every way. Scripture does not address this issue directly in terms of what our precise relationship to the Spirit will be. His "filling" of believers as spoken about in the Bible relates exclusively to believers in the world and the help and encouragement we receive from Him thereby. Please see the link: "The Role of the Holy Spirit in Eternity".

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Good evening Dr.

I pray my email find you in good spirits and hope all is well with your family. I am reading along now in CT6 and have a question about this passage versus the judgments in Revelation.

Can you see if I am along the same line in seeing the correlation between the day of wrath(s) mentioned in Zeph with its corresponding seal, trumpet and bowl judgments.

1. Day of wrath (1:15) refers to the Christ 2nd Advent, which constitutes the 7th seal, 7th trumpet and 7th bowl judgment in Revelation

2. Day of distress and anguish (1:15b) refers to 3rd and 4th seal (famine and death), 5th trumpet (release of demons) and 1st, 3rd and 4th bowl judgments (personal afflictions)

3. Day of ruin and devastation (1:15c) refers to 2nd seal (war),1st and 2nd trumpet (environmental catastrophe) and 2nd bowl judgment

4. Day of darkness and gloom (1:15d) refers to 4th seal (death), 4th trumpet (darkness) and 5th bowl (darkness)

5. Day of clouds and thick darkness (1:15e) refers to 4th seal and trumpet and 5th bowl judgment . Also a prelude to 1st seal, trumpet and bowl judgment declaring the wrath of God.

6. Day of trumpet blast and battle cry (1:16) refers to 2nd seal (war), 5th seal (martyrdom), 6th trumpet (Armageddon), 6th bowl (Armageddon) and 7th seal, trumpet and bowl judgment declaring our Lord imminent return for His Kingdom.

Can you see if my correlations are somewhat in-line what you have? I know there might be multiple variations of day of wrath correlation to specific judgments but I want to see if I am capturing the gist of it.

Also, you wrote: "Israel will turn to Him in number that will proportionally outstrip the greatest gains of the Church age, as God abundantly blesses His chosen people fulfilling all the promises He has made."

Question #1: How can Israel conversion be proportionally more than the Church age. when in fact their overall population size is much smaller? Are you meaning in terms of percentage of conversion? That would make more sense to me because of the absolute volume population difference.

Question #2: If a proportion or i.e percentage much larger than Church Age turn to the Messiah, how can it reconcile with Zech 2:10-11, where our God says only a remnant will of Israel will be saved?

I guess I am trying to understand in somewhat pure mathematics how these two statements can reconcile each other.

I really appreciate your time and effort with me growing in Christ. Your CT series has really helped me delve into OT teachings and every book of the bible.

May God enrich your ministry in our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Regards

Response #5:

Good to hear from you as always – and thanks so much for your encouraging words. As to your questions:

1) I wouldn't rule out breaking this passage (Zeph. 1:15-16) down into specific applications to different parts of the Tribulation, however I would also wish to retain it as a general comment on the horrific nature of the Tribulation overall inasmuch as most of these characteristics overlap the entire period.

2) Yes, that is correct, I am speaking about believers. In terms of the math, don't forget that we are talking about a thousand year period of almost perfect environment under the reign of the Messiah. Things will be better in every way, in terms of environment and government and peace, etc., than has ever been the case this side of the garden of Eden. After leaving Eden, mankind exploded into vast numbers in a very short time, and after the flood the population explosion was equally astounding. The Jewish remnant which survives the Tribulation (that is what Zechariah chapter two is speaking about) will be large in proportional terms compared to those previous historical parallels, consisting of all Jews who were unwilling to take the mark of the beast (which would have excluded them from the Millennium), but who did not accept Christ until the point of His Second Advent (so that they missed the resurrection of the Church and will still be physically alive for the Millennium instead). While gentiles during the Millennium will by and large not come to Christ (as is indicated by the nearly universal nature of the Gog-Magog rebellion of Revelation chapter twenty), most of Israel born during that time will accept their King and Messiah with saving faith. That, in a nutshell, is how the math works out: a massive population increase with Israel starting from a higher relative percentage of those alive on earth than is the case today coupled with near total acceptance of Christ as the Messiah by the Jewish population of the Millennium (in contrast with a general lack of interest by the gentile population of that day).

"Though you were ruined and made desolate and your land laid waste, now you will be too small for your people, and those who devoured you will be far away. The children born during your bereavement will yet say in your hearing, ‘This place is too small for us; give us more space to live in.’ Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who bore me these? I was bereaved and barren; I was exiled and rejected. Who brought these up? I was left all alone, but these—where have they come from?’ "
Isaiah 49:29-32 NIV

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Bob,

Thank you for your response; I appreciate it. In retrospect, I do agree with your line of thought. A few more questions that I have pondered upon.

1. Is the tribulation Global or regional? Luke 2:1, says "all the world should be taxed" really meaning all the roman world. Similarly, is it possible that the world may be affected by wars and natural disasters that may wipe out a significant percentage of the world population (including destruction of babylon/USA), but the tribulation itself is confined to within the old roman empire?

2. At the second coming, the righteous dead form the past and the righteous living (who survived tribulation) get Christ like bodies; the wicked dead are not raised up till the 1000 years are over. The ones who took the mark of the beast are doomed. So then we presume that the few people living on earth who have yet take the mark of the beast but who survive till Christ comes will be the people who will populate the transformed earth. And it is some of these people that come against the saints when satan is released after 1000 years and he manages to trick them even though Christ is ruling perfectly.

So we now have two groups of people populating the earth. The transformed saints (who probably can travel between heaven and earth) and natural people who will not be subject to the curse, who will live long lives whose children will play with the lion and serpent and not be harmed.

Question is: after satan is into the lake of fire and when the final judgement happens after the 1000 year rule, who inhabits the new earth and who the new heaven? are there two groups of people one with Christ like bodies who will be in the new heaven and one with eternal but bodies similar to us that will be on the new earth?

Thank you

Response #6:

Please forgive the delay in response. I was out of town at a family wedding and am only just now digging out. As to your questions:

1) Antichrist will not come from revived Rome but from Babylon, and will also conquer the southern alliance; together, these three areas constitute three quarters of the world. During the Armageddon campaign, the beast will also summon the armies of the kings of the east – so that all four quadrants of the world will be involved in the closing tribulational events. Also, when the world's seas are said to be involved in the trumpet judgments, e.g., we may be sure that this is not just talking about the Mediterranean. Finally, in Luke 2:1, the Greek word often translated "world" is not kosmos or ge, but actually oikoumene, and refers to the "civilized world", or more particularly, the "area under Roman hegemony" (cf. the English derivative "ecumene"). I'm afraid no one on planet earth is going to be able to sit out the Tribulation – with the exception of the Jewish believers who, in response to the divine command, escape at its midpoint to the place of refuge in the desert; also, I have opined that Babylon seems to be a sort of safe haven in many respects, at least initially; this will change once the Great Tribulation begins (and all believers will want to heed the divine warning when it comes time to "flee Babylon").

2) Yes, this is all true; however, the population of the world so greatly diminished by the Tribulation will explode under the blessed conditions of the Millennium, and so much so that I expect it will swiftly exceed by a significant degree what it was before the great loss of life during those terrible seven years. So for the most part the individuals who participate in the Gog-Magog rebellion at history's end will be the descendants of those few survivors – and it does seem, based on the description in Revelation 20:7-9, that the vast majority of the world at that time will reject Christ and His perfect world rule (which says more about human nature, free will, and truth that God is fair in allowing human beings to self-select for heaven or hell than just about anything else).

3) As to your last question, if I am understanding it correctly, the Millennial Kingdom will have as its subjects initially only those who survive the Tribulation as unbelievers – but who also did not take the mark of the beast (those marked who survive the second advent are removed in the baptism of fire judgment; see the link). Some of these unmarked individuals, Jews in particular, will become believers at Christ's return, and many of their descendants will as well; however, the great majority of gentiles born in the near Edenic conditions of the Millennium will not deign to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, even though He will be their Sovereign. We who are resurrected at the second advent will indeed share in Christ's world rule. What our roles will be in the Millennial administration is not spelled out in scripture (see the link: "Millennial Administration"), but we will most definitely play a role:

That one 'will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery'—just as I have received authority from my Father.
Revelation 2:27 NIV

This resurrected group is "the Church" and consists of all believers from Adam and Eve until the last person to believe before the second advent. Those who believe during the Millennium will be resurrected at history's end, and they will be followed by the resurrection of the unrighteous who will then be judged (the last judgment). So there is only one "Bride of Christ", us, the Church, and it is we who will rise to join our Lord Jesus at His return. Please see the link: "The Resurrection of the Lamb's Bride" (in CT 5)

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior for whose return we eagerly wait.

Bob L.

Question #7:

Dear Dr. Robert,

To the question on your Website "Who will populate earth during the Millennium?" you give this answer:

"Simply put, all those who survive the Tribulation and the series of cleansing judgments which follow will form the basis for the repopulation of the earth during our Lord's millennial reign; additionally, the resurrected Church (i.e., all believers from Adam and Eve until the point of the Second Advent) will rule with Him for that thousand year period, albeit in eternal resurrection bodies (Rev.2:26-28; 20:4, etc.)."

I can understand some believers will survive the Tribulation but can you please explain to me how mortal humans in their earthly bodies survive "the day of the Lord" when he "...will come as a thief in the night...and...the earth...and the works that are therein shall be burnt up?" (2 Peter 3:10)

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely, (Australia)

Response #7:

Good to make your acquaintance. The problem here is understanding what "the Day of the Lord" means. This "Day" commences with the second advent (although the Tribulation is sometimes associated with it, especially in Old Testament prophecy, as the necessary prophetic prologue to "that Day"), but the Day continues down to the end of human history. That is, "the Day of the Lord" is the final millennial day of the seven millennial days of which human history is composed (from the divine point of view; see the link). The end of this "Day" is what Peter has in mind in the passage cited (2Pet.3:10) – clearly enough since we know that it is only at the absolute end of history following the 1,000 year reign of Christ that the present heavens and earth are burned up and replaced with the new heavens and the new earth. E.g.:

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
Revelation 20:11 NKJV

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Revelation 21:1-2 NKJV

Here is how I translate the passage you ask about:

For the Day of the Lord will come like a thief, a day in which (i.e., over the course of which) the heavens will depart with a roar, the very elements will ignite and dissolve, and the earth and everything which has been done upon it will be laid bare [for the Lord's inspection].
2nd Peter 3:10

Peter's language does not necessitate that the destruction take place at our Lord's return (at least it does not in the original Greek, pace English versions which may lead to that erroneous conclusion); and in fact we know that such is not the case because otherwise there would be (among other things) no millennial reign of Christ over a world where human beings are still mortal (something absolutely essential to fulfill the promises to Israel of an actual regathering, re-population, and blessed time of enjoying the Messiah's rule for a thousand years, e.g.).

That is the "nutshell" problem and answer. For more please see the following links:

The Day of the Lord Paradigm

The Day of the Lord (2Pet.3:10)

The Day of the Lord I

The Day of the Lord II

The Day of the Lord and 2nd Thessalonians 2:2

Incidentally, believers who survive the Tribulation are immediately resurrected at Christ's return. It will only be unbelievers who survive in mortal bodies who are left behind to populate the millennial kingdom – and only those who did not take the mark of the beast will be allowed to populate the Millennial kingdom (I expect a large proportion of these to be children who were not old enough to be allowed to take the mark of the beast). This is all covered in parts 5 and 6 of the Coming Tribulation series (see the link)

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob Luginbill

Question #8:

Dear Dr. Robert,

To my question regarding how mortal humans in their earthly bodies survive "the day of the Lord" when he "...will come as a thief in the night...and...the earth...and the works that are therein shall be burnt up?" (2 Peter 3:10) - you have answered that:

"This "Day" commences with the second advent (although the Tribulation is sometimes associated with it, especially in Old Testament prophecy, as the necessary prophetic prologue to "that Day"), but the Day continues down to the end of human history."

Your answer necessarily implies "the day of the Lord" encompasses the Millennium whose timeframe you give as: "From the Second Advent of Christ to the Gog-Magog Rebellion." So you describe this day of the Lord as: "the seventh day of human history, the Millennium, with all its promised peace and abundance." http://ichthys.com/human-history-time-line.htm

Your describing "the day of the Lord" as a time of "peace and abundance" however, contradicts the Bibles uniform description of "the day of the Lord" to "...be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?" (Amos.5:20)

Amos 5:20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?

There are 24 verses in the OT and 5 in the NT that I have found, and not one them fits your description of "the day of the Lord" as promising "peace and abundance," but contrariwise promises "destruction" (Isa.13:6), "fierce anger" (Isa.13:9); "vengeance" (Isa.34:8); and Joel 2:11 asks the question "who can abide it?"

Kindly show me scripture that gives credibility to your assertion that "the day of the Lord" is a time of "peace and abundance."

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

Response #8:

The Day begins with the second advent (prefaced by the Tribulation), wherein there will indeed be many judgments (the seven "thunder judgments" of Revelation; see the link); but the result of that judgment is restoration and replacement under the reign of Messiah:

For the Lord has a day of vengeance, even a year of retribution for Zion's cause.
Isaiah 34:8

"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations."
Isaiah 61:1-4 NKJV

Both passages make clear that the vengeance/judgment of the Day of the Lord is not only "against" the wicked but also on behalf of the righteous. Also, since the period is both "a day" and "a year", we are to understand that it has a shorter and longer term focus and meaning: the Day begins with judgment but stretches out with blessing when the Messiah is done judging and begins ruling.

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

As I say, this is the "nutshell" view of things which is explained in greater detail in the Coming Tribulation series. Did you have a look at the previous links?

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Dear Dr. Robert,

In my last email I asked you to show me scripture that gives credibility to your assertion that "the day of the Lord" is a time of "peace and abundance." http://ichthys.com/human-history-time-line.htm

You replied by saying: "The Day begins with the second advent (prefaced by the Tribulation), wherein there will indeed be many judgments...but the result of judgment is restoration and replacement under the reign of Messiah.."

In my opinion you are confusing "the day of the Lord" with its "result." For the Bibles uniform description of "the day of the Lord" is that it is "a day of vengeance" (Jer.46:10). As a result of the "day of vengeance" there is "peace."

Your describing "the day of the Lord" as a time of "peace and abundance" turns scriptures description of "the day of the Lord" on its head. The phrase "the day of the Lord" appears 29 times in the KJV Bible and is first mentioned in Isa. 2:12.It is a special phrase used to refer to a period of time when God directly intervenes in human affairs--- in "judgment" (Zep.2:3). It is not clear if it is a 24 hour day or longer, however it is certainly not a period of hundreds of years including the Millennium as you suppose, but rather "DAYS of vengeance" (Lk.21:22) after which there is "peace." Peace follows judgment (Isa.9:7).

In answer to my request that you show me scripture that gives credibility to your assertion that "the day of the Lord" is a time of "peace and abundance" you quoted Isa.34:8 which says:

For the Lord has a day of vengeance, even a year of retribution for Zion's cause. (Your emphasis)

The New Living Translation gives us the sense of this verse:

For it is the day of the LORD's revenge, the year when Edom will be paid back for all it did to Israel.

You will kindly acknowledge that this verse has nothing to do with "peace and abundance."

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

Response #9:

I think you have misunderstood me somewhat. The Millennium is the Millennium. My point is that the Day of the Lord can and sometimes is used by writers of scripture to extend not only to the literal 24 hour day of the second advent but beyond into the end of the millennial day it comprises. That is certainly clear from 2nd Peter chapter 3 (as well as many other passages).

In terms of Isaiah 34:8, the point is that "Zion's cause" embodies more than the destruction of her enemies: it clearly also entails the restoration of her fortunes (pace the liberties taken by the NLT in their disastrously incorrect translation). Please see the next chapter (Isaiah chapter 35; e.g., vs. 1: "The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose") . . . bearing in mind that the chapter divisions in your English Bible are artificial and, in the Old Testament, do not date back to before the 14th cent. A.D., so that this is all part of the same piece of Hebrew poetry.

Also, I note that you neglect to even mention the Isaiah 61:1-4 citation, which makes this all very clear as well since it is mostly concerned with the blessings that follow our Lord's return even though it too speaks of the initial judgment (i.e., the "day of vengeance" in verse two).

Finally, your tone and approach leave me concerned (e.g., "You will kindly acknowledge that this verse has nothing to do with "peace and abundance" "). Did you have questions about this point? I had thought that was your reason for contacting me. If you really do have legitimate questions, the links previously provided have the answers and then some – please do not take this brief correspondence as the sum total of all there is to say on this topic. Due to the nature of this ministry, it is not possible to lead every reader by the hand point by point without said reader having first attempted to get what can be gotten from the main postings. So please do read the links.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior.

Bob L.

Question #10:

Robert,

Good evening and God bless. I am reading your CT and I am in the section referencing the second campaign against the King of the South, i.e., the Mahdi.

You cross referenced Isaiah 19:4-25 and I went and study the passage about Egypt turning back to Christ after the defeat and God blessed them along with Assyria. From studying scriptures, God is about reconciliation. Is this a case where God is reconcile Abraham's seed both Ishmael and Isaac back into his fold?

Can you elaborate on these verses? You glossed over it in CT

I appreciate it very much.

God Bless.

Response #10:

I mention this passage again (several times) in CT 6, since the reconciliation you mention is accomplished by the Messiah after His second advent return. In the Millennium, there will peace and harmony worldwide (until the devil is released at the very end); part of the peace will be the situation described in this passage of renewed, amicable relations between Israel and her neighbors. This will be true of all the gentiles nations, but is perhaps particularly remarkable in the case of these nations with whom historical Israel had so much trouble. The Millennium will be a wonderful time – that is for sure. In particular, section III, "The Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ", treats these issues.

I'm also happy to answer any other specific questions about this issue/passage which you may have.

Yours in our dear Lord Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Once again, good evening Brother Luginbill. I really appreciate you expounding your biblical knowledge to a thirsty soul. May God continue to bless you, your family and ministry.

As you know I am studying your CT in-depth, verse by verse and while corroborating certain of your assumptions with additional due-diligence. I hope you don't take offense. Just trying to grasp every potential translation while allowing the Holy Spirit speak to me to guide me to the right analysis. And yours always seem to make sense to me.

In light of Matthew 24:37 where our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ foretold that prior to his arrival, the world will be as it is in the time of Noah. Many commentators, i.e translators have stated that the moral decay of the society is what Jesus is referencing to and they cross reference that with 2 Timothy 3:1-5. While I agree with this premise, is there not a duality. In the time of Noah, wasn't the world prosperous as well. So while the moral decays is important, I believe the affluent nature of the entire world is what Jesus is also alluding to. Because the more prosperous you are, the more degenerate you become and less likelihood to need the Lord.

Can you expound on this as well Robert?

Like always, may Christ strength and Spirit be with you.

Regards

Response #11:

Always good to hear from you. As to the Noah question, I'm not sure we can say for certain what the world was like in the days of Noah with enough specificity to pronounce it prosperous or not. We only know that there were cities and industry (from Gen.4:17-22), and a population boom (Gen.6:1). Morally, the degeneracy could not have been worse (see the link: "Satan's antediluvian attack on the purity of the human line: the Nephilim" in SR 5). Our Lord's purpose in making this comparison is, rather, the common point of the eradication of the evil and the deliverance of the righteous, with the righteous being "lifted out" of the destruction while the evil are "swept away". This is also what happened in Sodom; and it is what will happen at the second advent as believers are resurrected while unbelievers – those who have taken the mark of the beast – will be destroyed at Armageddon and in the following "baptism of fire" (e.g., 2Thess.1:6-10).

Affluence does have a tendency to feed the fires of degeneracy – for those who are degenerate in heart (cf. Deut.32:15). On the other hand, there are examples of righteous people whose spirituality was not adversely affected by wealth (Abraham and Job, e.g.). As with all other things, life presents temptations and tests. The prosperity test is difficult for many people to handle, but so is the adversity test (e.g., Matt.13:21; Mk.4:17).

"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 (i.e., apostatize into unbelief). Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity."
Luke 8:13-14 NKJV

We see from the above that adversity is usually what causes people to cast aside their faith; prosperity, on the other hand, is what often causes believers to lead unproductive lives (without necessarily leading them into apostasy).

As to Isaiah chapter 19, this is a panorama of prophecy which moves chronologically from the late Tribulation into the Millennium, and which begins with (and is synonymous with) the coming of the Day of the Lord: this is "that day" in verses 16, 19, 23, 24.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hi Bob,

I read something interesting regarding Nebuchadnezzar's statue dream: just as the legs as a whole represent the Roman Empire, the forking of the legs into a left leg and a right leg represent the schism of the Roman Empire into an Eastern half and a Western half. Do you believe this to be correct?

Also, it may interest you as a classicist to know that there was a poet named Prudentius who lived in the fourth and fifth centuries in the Western Roman Empire. Apparently his poems were a hit with the (literate) populus. But what was most interesting about him was the theme of his poems: namely, that the Roman Empire was at its apex! Even though shortly after his death Rome would end up being sacked by Alaric the Great, he nonetheless believed that Rome was never better.

The figure of Prudentius always comes into mind whenever I think about Steven Pinker's work The Better Angels of Our Nature, which sets forth the thesis that right now is the least violent era of human civilization, and that this is due to the fact that we are the most loving and empathetic generation of humanity in existence. If it was possible for Prudentius and his followers to be unaware of societal collapse while it was happening in front of them, what shall we make of Dr. Pinker's little book?

Sincerely,

Response #12:

No, I don't accept this interpretation. The two legs represent the bipartite nature of revived Rome (see the link). Apart from the trends of the seven churches (which contain no prophesied events per se), there is no prophecy in scripture for the Church Age, the mystery age, the age intercalated between the temporary termination of Israel and its seven year resumption before the Lord's return (which time, the Tribulation, is shared with the Church as its last seven years). Prophecy begins again with the commencement of the Tribulation.

Don't know Pinker. On Prudentius, I've read a little (his comments on the gemstones, mainly). All prediction is difficult, especially when it involves the future, even the near future (to borrow from Niels Bohr), so it doesn't surprise me either that contemporaries have inklings of things about to happen or that they are entirely wrong and clueless. We can see that every day in the world of punditry (even among the elite of foreign policy wonks – even when they have inklings, they are generally clueless about what is really going on). Blessedly, we believers have the Bible, and with it a very clear road map to all the truly important things to come. And remember, the truly important causation of all these things about to come to pass is entirely different from the secular world imagines: the culmination of the devil's rebellion in the judgment of God.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – Marana Tha!

Bob L.

Question #13:

Hello Bob,

Praise The Lord. Its been a year since our last correspondence. How have you been and how are things at work and the ministry? I want to keep this email short to save you time. I have a relative whom I love very much; he lives in a different city and we have been close for the past 14 years. I love him just the way Jonathan did David...He is a great guy. I introduced him to Ichthys a while ago and he wasn't very enthusiastic and he wrote me back couple of days ago. I am copying the entire email here. Bob can you answer his questions please so I can forward it to him right away? Thank you and God bless you Always.

I am not against any single person. I only discount all the false suppositions he makes about the 7000 year history of mankind and the date setting for Jesus' return. Also I find it a little disconcerting that you implicitly take this man's word without critically thinking it through. I am ready to concede to him on anything that agrees with the Bible. In his defense of Martin Luther Dr. Luginbill says - I am pretty sure that if most of what I have said in informal conversation (not even his thoughts - he says what he has spoken with others) were recorded for posterity, there would be plenty of things I would like to take back after the fact as well – things most definitely not meant for general consumption. We all know no one measures up to God's standards, but you do not expect a Bible teacher to come out and imply its okay to say anything as long as what you say is not meant for general consumption! Does that mean in our informal conversation we can say anything that comes to our mind and shoot our lips off? If we are allowed separate private and public lives then we might as well do in private whatever we fancy and live a holy life outwardly - that is plain hypocrisy. For a Christian there is no such thing as conversation meant for general consumption and informal conversation. James 3 minces no words on how we ought to use our tongue. I am sure you know the history of how Martin Luther's views towards Jews resulted in antisemitism in the church. With the postrib rapture let me point out a few things. One interesting point is that there are so many different views in the post-trib camp itself - they just cant seem to agree even among themselves. You all keep going back to Matthew 24. Even there Jesus clearly says we can never know - you will always point to the fig tree analogy that when the season comes you will know.

But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, (doesn't sound like the tribulation at all) And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Does this imply we will be able to point to a certain time or approximate year and say this is when it will happen. God never told Noah when the flood would come when he started building the ark he just asked him to build the ark. A careful reading will show that the flood started seven days after Noah had entered the ark, and God revealed when the flood would come only on the day that Noah went into the ark! When I brought to your notice how JWs and Mormons and even some astral communities make a big deal of 2033/34 you just brushed it off saying that the devil also is able to reveal things to his followers. Is the devil really capable of knowing the future? And has he ever been able to reveal any of God's plans or even know them?

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: 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.

I am sure the one thing we can agree on is that Paul is talking about the coming of Christ here. The thing to note here is the dead in Christ shall rise first and then we who are alive shall be caught up. If post-trib rapture is true the dead in Christ rise first - get their glorified bodies - make a u turn and come down with Jesus immediately followed by the ones who are alive. So when does the marriage supper happen? According to post-trib then there is no supper because when he is coming after the tribulation he comes to defeat the armies of the world gathered at Armageddon. Also who populates the earth during the 1000 year reign? As per post-tribbers most of the true believers get killed by antichrist and the rest are transformed when Jesus comes ...and all the unbelievers who get the the mark of the beast are killed by Jesus' word. so who do Jesus and the saints reign over in the millennium because it is clearly said all the dead do not rise until after the 1000 years. Revelation 7 is not a good chapter for post-tribbers though I have never seen it used to counter post-trib rapture before.

And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

After that they seal 144000 Jews only. So why isn't the church sealed if it is still on earth - why are only Jews sealed? Is it because not one person in the church was found to be the servant of God? Or is it because the church is comprised entirely of Jews? Another big claim that post-tribbers make is that God will protect the church from his judgments like he protected the Israelites in Egypt. The below reference clearly shows who will be protected from God's judgment.

And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

So if only 144000 Jews are sealed and these locusts are to torment all those not sealed then the church (if post-trib rapture be true) will be tormented by this judgment of God - and by that token all the other judgments that proceed from God!! So then according to post-tribbers - for the Church the great tribulation will not only be a time of persecution from the antichrist but also a time of severe judgment from God. The Bible does not even say torment those who have the mark of the beast - it says anyone who does not have the seal of God in their forehead, and no prizes for guessing - only 144000 Jews have the seal.

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; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 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.

A very important question is who are the 24 elders and the countless multitude of people in Revelation 7 standing before the throne of God and before the Lamb?

1. It is explicitly mentioned that they are the ones redeemed by the blood of the Lamb from all nations and parts of the earth. Apparently these people are there in heaven before the trumpet and bowl judgments of God on the earth. You might say - see they came out of great tribulation, but the great tribulation has just about started and the trumpet and bowl judgments are yet to happen and the two witnesses are yet to go to the earth so all of them could not have been killed in the tribulation.

2. Are they the dead in Christ over the past 2000 years? They have bodies and are clothed in white and have palms in their hands. (however we know the dead in Christ do not get glorified bodies until the rapture). If these are just spiritual bodies they cant be clothed and cant hold palms either. Explaining this by saying they have interim bodies is just pure guess work and extra-Biblical. There is no mention anywhere of any interim bodies prepared or given. This will have to be added externally to support the post-trib theory. Some of them say we get glorified bodies only after the last judgment - cant be. Paul clearly says

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.

That would hardly be possible in mortal bodies just renewed until the last judgment. For me the pretrib rapture is the only explanation that reconciles all these points. There is no need for pre-tribbers to invent theories to support their point or set dates on when He will return. By far the most that anyone has against pretribulation rapture is how there is no single verse to support it and how it was a later add on. I have heard one person say Jesus said Peter would die an old man so he couldn't have come during Peter's lifetime as that would make him a liar - and so the early church did not believe in an imminent rapture. God's mandate for the church had just begun then and it would be highly unlikely that Jesus would have returned within the lifetime of his disciples.

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Matthew 24 :14

Again it is very clear in Jesus' own words that the gospel needed to be preached in all the world before the end came and the gospel was not preached to all nations during the period of the early church. I have endeavored to clearly show with references why the pretrib rapture is the best position. Don't take my word for it - you read the Bible and decide for yourself.

Response #13:

Good to hear from you, my friend. You have been in my prayers day by day, praying for your health and financial deliverance . . . and now I will be remembering your relative too. Let me say that family is always an issue. Those of us who are "gung-ho" for the Lord always wish our family members, especially the ones we love the most, would develop an equal desire to put Jesus first the right way, through learning and believing and applying the truth of the Word of God. So you are very blessed in fact because your relative 1) is a believer, 2) seems to be pretty well informed about basic doctrine, and 3) also seems to be enthusiastic about the truth (even if he is misinformed about certain principles). So I would certainly hope that the fact that you have found something better will not for that reason cause any estrangement between you and him. I think it is good and right and fine for you to reason with him on the truth, but it is also true that not all are willing to receive the truth at all, and others not willing to receive it past a certain point – especially from relatives. As in witnessing, there is a time to be very outgoing, and also a time to refrain until the Lord opens the person in question's heart. I rejoice that you have a believing relative who is also your brother in the Lord, and I don't want this correspondence to do anything to damage in any way your love for one another. That said, I will give brief replies to the observations below:

1) The 7,000 years. This interpretation of scripture goes back to Irenaeus in the 2/3 century (and I would argue even earlier as in my view it is in fact what scripture teaches). The point is that I did not invent it, and I certainly wouldn't want anyone to adopt this view unless they likewise become convinced by looking at the biblical evidence that it is true. It is possible, theoretically, that the history of the world is taking place willy-nilly. On the other hand, those of us with a strong sense of the Plan of God having completely taken all history into account are perhaps more willing to accept that His architecture of the ages is more precise than may be apparent at first glance.

2) Martin Luther. There are thousands upon thousands of pages of material at Ichthys; this bit about Luther was a tiny mention in a recent posting and certainly not theological in nature. I think it is clear enough for anyone reading the post (let alone anyone familiar with Ichthys) that I am not an adherent of or apologist for Luther or the Lutherans. The point of the comments referred to are not to justify sin of any kind (that would also be clear to regular readers and I feel also from the post itself), but to remind strident critics of this or that public person of the past or present that everyone has feet of clay, and that no one could stand up to a winnowing of everything we have ever said. My point is that if such is the standard, then the persons adopting it are merely trying to prove that don't have to listen to any Bible teaching authority anywhere at any time (since all are flawed); that would be fine, I suppose, if those doing the criticizing were not equally flawed – but we are all flawed (as going into print with strident criticism about someone else certainly proves in the case of the critics).

3) The Resurrection: The resurrection occurs when Christ returns. That is clearly what the Bible teaches if anyone is looking to scripture rather than to theological models. The fact that some people who don't believe in a rapture are also confused about the actual resurrection does not mean that the biblical position is wrong. That is, after all, the same argument the R.C. church always uses: "there are so many interpretations in the protestant world about virtually everything in the Bible that this variation itself proves them all wrong and the unified position of the R.C. church right" – this is obviously mere rhetoric which we would be unwise to accept.

4) The Fig Tree: The whole point of the fig tree analogy used by our Lord is that if we do pay attention (in the analogy to the progress of the tree's budding and leafing), then we can have a good idea of how close the time (summer / second advent) is. But this is all beside the point inasmuch as the real time to be concerned about is the beginning of the Tribulation. We do not, in fact, have any "signs" to guide us as to the commencement of the last seven years; once the Tribulation does begin, however, there is a wealth of information in scripture to help us get and keep our bearings as to the events therein (hence, the fig tree "signs"). The seven millennial years is our only guide as far as specificity is concerned when it comes to being alert for the Tribulation's commencement, however.

5) Noah: The analogy is of the flood to the second advent judgments. At the second advent, believers will be resurrected, but those who have the mark of the beast will be swept away and destroyed – just as the flood swept away and destroyed the Nephilim and the evil generation which Noah and his family were given to escape. Again, there is much in scripture about what happens and when once the Tribulation begins, including plenty to give us a very good idea of when "the end" will come – not "the day and the hour", but certainly within a month since the Day of Atonement (which occurs in the Fall) is symbolic of Christ's return when the battle of Armageddon will take place. Those who have counted on a pre-Trib rapture, however, will be among the worst prepared both in terms of spirituality (they have not "made hay while the sun shines" out of a desire not to fail in faith when the pressure ramps up) and also in terms of knowledge (they are generally not much interested in the details of the Tribulation because it "will not affect me").

6) JWs and Mormons: The Roman Catholics profess to believe in the Trinity. Since their religion is a religion of works which, if embraced in all of its teachings, makes it impossible even to be saved, should we then reject the Trinity because they accept it? I have never heard these dates emanating from either of these groups. But, after all, it does not take a Ph.D. in math to add 2,000 to the year 33 A.D. when our Lord was crucified for us and resurrected after providing our redemption. This date, I stress again, is not the critical one for us, however, but rather the date of the Tribulation's commencement is the one we need to watch for. The closeness of that date, seven years earlier, is such that every believer ought to be doing the utmost to prepare spiritually and help other believers do the same.

7) The Marriage Supper: This glorious event takes place during the early days of the Millennium, and the Millennium itself is the "after party", so to speak (see the link).

8) Population of the Earth: Only those who accept the mark of the beast are removed from earth during the "baptism of fire". We know that many Jews will not accept the mark – but will also not accept Christ until they see "His sign" in the sky and "look upon Him whom they have pierced" (see the link: "The Repentance of Israel"). There will be unbelievers around the world who likewise have not taken the mark; and since taking the mark will be a matter of accountable free will, children below the age of accountability will apparently not be allowed to take it. The earth's population today is over seven billion – coming from a mere eight persons some four thousand years ago. There will be many more than eight who survive to repopulate the earth during the Millennium.

9) The 144,000: The Church Age lasts 2,000 years. Almost all evangelic scholars who believe in a pre-Trib rapture recognize that the Age of Israel still has seven years to run: the seven years of the Tribulation. What is generally not recognized is that the Tribulation is a time of overlapping ages. It constitutes the last seven years of the Church and the final "week of years" for Israel. During the Tribulation, the Jewish people regain their ancestral leadership of the family of God, with the ministry of the two witnesses, Moses and Elijah, and the 144,000 Jewish witnesses being instrumental in the spiritual revival which then takes place. The Church's main contribution to the events of that last seven years before Christ's return is our endurance of the Great Persecution wherein one third will fall away into apostasy and one third will be martyred – but one third will survive to experience the living resurrection at our Lord's return. But the Great Persecution is what weighs on my mind in terms of my fellow believers who accept the erroneous false doctrine of the pre-Trib rapture: on the point of entering into the most severe period of testing the Church has ever known, a period of testing so severe that it will push an entire third of actual believers into apostasy, so many are stubbornly sticking their heads in the sand as if this can't happen to them. But it is precisely by being completely spiritually unprepared for what is coming that the Great Apostasy will happen (see the links).

10) Judgments: The fact that scripture tells us that the 144,000 will not be subject to the divine judgments of the Tribulation does not mean that other believers will be. In fact, we will not be. Both the trumpet judgments of warning and the bowl judgments of retribution are directed at the unbelieving world. Just as the Israelites were protected from the judgments which ravaged Egypt prior to the Exodus, so we too, if we enter that dark period, can have confidence in the Lord's protection. After all, unlike the 144,000 who will not be saved until the Tribulation commences, we believers are all already "sealed" – by the Holy Spirit (Rom.8:10; 2Cor.1:21-22; 5:5; Eph.1:13-14; 4:30). The Tribulation will be the most difficult period any believer has ever endured – but not because of the judgments emanating from our Lord.

11) The Elders: These are angels (see the link). They cannot be human beings regardless of what position a person takes on the timing of the resurrection because they were already in place when John say them almost 2,000 years ago. It is true that this is a vision of the future, but the elders already have thrones while the Church has not even at this future point been either resurrected or rewarded; the martyrs of the Tribulation are those having come out of the fire who have "white robes", that is, their interim bodies preceding resurrection.

12) Those in White Robes: In fact, the Tribulation does not start in the book of Revelation until the seventh seal is broken (see the link).

13) Mortal Bodies? Here I am not understanding the objection. Once resurrected, we are resurrected forever and can no longer die (and so are not in any way "mortal").

14) Gospel must be preached: Hasn't it been? It seems it has. In any case, this verse refers to the miraculous and heavenly worldwide proclamation of the gospel during the Great Tribulation:

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—
Revelation 14:6 NKJV

15) Pre-Trib resolves all problems: Really? Read any verse dealing with the parousia of Christ and it is clear that there is only one "return", and it is at that "return" that the resurrection takes place. There is not a single verse in scripture which actually and unambiguously teaches a pre-Trib rapture. That fact alone ought to result in giving the alternative traditional view a fair hearing. Here are some links for that:

No Rapture

The Origin and the Danger of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture Theory

When is the Rapture?

The Resurrection of the Lamb's Bride:  Revelation 19:6-10

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Dear Bob:

I apologize for the delay in writing back. Thank you for your prayers. Life is getting harder by the hour and am a bit worried to be honest. Meanwhile I have a response from my relative who lives in Chennai, the state capital of Tamil Nadu. Please find his email response below. Please do not worry about causing a rift between us...our brotherhood is sealed. Only tell him like it is bro.

Thanks for your time again.

God bless you.

Love,

Best Regards,

First off let me make it very clear that I have nothing against Dr. Bob and he is in fact a much learned person than I am or ever will be. His work on the Greeks is fabulous and I love history. However when it comes to the Bible God has given everyone a great teacher - the Holy Spirit and when I see any additions being made to what's written in the Bible I get really concerned. There is no need for us to assume or read in things in addition to what is written in the Bible.

1) The 7,000 years.

The answer given that this was something that Irenaeus taught from the second century does not necessarily make it the truth. Child baptism and baptism by sprinkling have been in practice for the greater part of 2000 years and that does not make it the truth. What I am asking is where does the Bible say that the history of mankind is 7000 years? Dr. Bob says in his mail (There is not a single verse in scripture which actually and unambiguously teaches the pre-Trib rapture.) Now will he hold himself accountable by that standard and show where in the Bible it says that the history of mankind is 7000 years.

2) Martin Luther.

Point conceded. I am not a regular reader at Ichthys and do not make judgments from this one post. It would have been more appropriate if Dr. Bob had said that it was wrong of Luther to say certain things instead of trying to say Luther's situation was such and that times were different back then.

3) The Resurrection:

The point here is just a comparison of the pre-trib versus the post-trib adherents and not against good and bad theology or the RCs and protestants.

4) The Fig Tree:

"We do not, in fact, have any "signs" to guide us as to the commencement of the last seven years" and if so what is there to watch out for? But I will concede this point as we need to be aware of what is happening in the world.

5) Noah:

"The analogy is of the flood to the second advent judgments." This is really being force read into the text here. Jesus is very clear in saying this is about his coming. How one interprets this as the second advent judgments is really puzzling to the say the least – if that sort of liberty were undertaken we can make any part of the Bible say whatever we want it to. Let us read what Jesus says in Matthew 24 about the days of Noah. The disciples ask Jesus for the signs of his coming and nowhere in Matthew 24 is there any mention of second advent judgments. The judgments are a result of his coming and not the primary focus of what Jesus says here. Two times Jesus says so shall the coming of the son of man be. Why is it necessary to add something where the text does not even mention that? Is it because a plain reading of the text does not support what one has in mind?

Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

6) JWs and Mormons:

The question was whether the devil has ever in the history of the world or in the Bible been able to preempt God and know God’s plan even once. If false cults like JW and Mormons are making out 2033 to be the year of Jesus’ return then I would be very wary. If you do a search on the internet you will find it. Moreover this 2033 number again comes from an assumption that 2000 years is the Church age and no more. I have only one question to ask - is there a single verse in scripture which actually and unambiguously teaches this? And also how does one prepare spiritually for the tribulation –Christian living – putting on the whole armor of God, living according to the word and being doers and not just hearers is what is required of us. Is there some tribulation boot camp that the Bible recommends? This is really just a huge vain assumption that one will be able to prepare for the tribulation just because he knows it will happen. One last note of caution – all date setting has turned out to be wrong – every single time.

7) The Marriage Supper:

The traditional Jewish marriage feast always takes place in the groom’s house or the groom’s father’s house not in the bride’s place. Having the marriage supper in the early days of the millennium and making out the millennium as one extended after-party is not the answer. Jesus was again very clear when he said I go to prepare a place for you. He has made the marriage contract and will come and take his bride to his father’s house for the marriage feast.

John 14: 2-3 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

9) The 144,000:

Again that assumption that the Church age is 2000 years when there is no Biblical basis for that. Building doctrine on assumptions will lead to disappointment at best and deviation from the truth at worst. Why do we have to assume things in the first place? Also where in the Bible does it say one-third will be pushed into apostasy and one-third will survive? So many assumptions that it becomes really concerning after a point.

10) Judgments:

Concerning the judgments not affecting believers again it is pure assumption at best and being willfully ignorant at worst. The same question again is there a single verse in scripture which actually and unambiguously teaches this? On the contrary the Bible clearly says (I am not assuming something here – I am quoting the Bible as it is and not adding my own bit or saying this is how it ought to be when the Bible does not explicitly say that). Only 144000 Jewish men are sealed in their foreheads with the seal of God and there is no mention of the church or anyone else being sealed. Revelation 9 explicitly says who will be tormented by the locusts.

"In fact, we will not be. Both the trumpet judgments of warning and the bowl judgments of retribution are directed at the unbelieving world" If that is the case why the explicit command to not hurt the ones who have the seal of God on their forehead but only the rest? It is quite simple to see that all the others on earth that do not have the seal on their foreheads will be tormented. Why should this be qualified or read that some who do not have the seal will still escape the torment – because per the Bible only these 144000 escape these torments! So if the Bible is true then we have no choice but to take this as the Bible says. All except the 144000 will be tormented (including the church because as per postrib they are still on earth). There is no way around it and nor is there any verse in the Bible to support this idea that people without the seal escape the judgments.

11) The Elders:

The elders are angels? Really? Again this is willfully ignoring Revelation 5 and what the elders say of themselves. Again I am just quoting from the Bible. I am not adding anything or changing anything to fit my ideas.

8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

There are three affirmations.

1. Hast redeemed us to God by thy blood

2. Hast made us unto our God kings and priests

3. We shall reign on the earth.

When were angels redeemed by the blood of Jesus?

When are angels kings and priests?

When do angels rule on earth?

Quoting from Dr. Bob - http://ichthys.com/Tribulation-Part2B.htm

1) The Chorus of Angelic Rulers: The first stanza is performed by the cherubs and the twenty-four elders alone. Stanza number one emphasizes the Lamb's worthiness to begin the final phase of history (by opening the scroll) based on His sacrificial death which redeemed the Church (as a replacement for fallen angelic kind).(49)

"You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain and have purchased with your blood for our God [men] from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made them into a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will rule upon the earth!"

Contrast this with that the Bible actually says and it is clear that the words are being completely changed to mean something else that the Bible does not say! This is absolutely unacceptable!

14) Gospel must be preached: Hasn't it been? It seems it has. In any case, this refers to the miraculous and heavenly worldwide proclamation of the gospel during the Great Tribulation:

Guess the point I tried to make was lost upon Dr. Bob. I had mentioned that Jesus said the gospel would be preached to all nations before the end would come. This was in answer to some people asking that if the rapture is imminent was it possible for Jesus to have returned during the period of the early Church – at that point the gospel had not been preached in all nations.

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—

Revelation 14:6 NKJV

Again if the Church is still on earth and witnessing for the Lord why would an angel from heaven be required to do it?

There are too many questions left unanswered and so many assumptions being admixed with what the Bible says that I am all the more reluctant now.

You read the answers and the verses I have given bro and see if I am adding any of my own ideas or assumptions.

Best Regards,

Response #14:

No worries. I'm keeping you and your relative in my prayers. Here are the responses to the latest comments:

1) Teachers, the Spirit, and the Bible: It is often claimed by those who disagree with a particular position which may be true but disliked by them that they "have no need of teaching" because they "have the Spirit". It is important to point out that while the Spirit does aid believers in finding the right teaching ministry, no one, not even a believer who may have the gift of pastor-teaching but not the preparation and experience of using it, is capable of feeding him/herself spiritually. That is axiomatic: the reason why the Spirit appoints teachers in the Church is to teach (Eph.4:11-16). After all, some of our Lord's last words were the directive, given to Peter, to "feed my sheep" (Jn.21:1-17). The thing that "you have no need for anyone to teach you" is not "anything" or "everything", but only that one thing John is speaking about in context, namely, that you have "the anointing of the Spirit" and that you "abide in Christ" – that is what "you ought to know without being taught". The fact of His anointing, while necessary to learn anything of spiritual content, does not obviate the need for the teachers who have been gifted by the Spirit, placed in ministry by the Lord Jesus, and given their effectiveness by the Father (1Cor.12:4-6). After all, in 1st John 2:27, a most misunderstood passage, why would John even be writing to his recipients in the first place if they really had "no need of a teacher"? What is he doing with this epistle except "teaching them"? Do they need the Spirit to understand this teaching? Yes indeed . . . but they still need the human agent too. We in the Church all need each other, all the gifts (and we are all gifted). Claiming that this one most critical gift of all is "not needed" will only guarantee that a believer who makes this arrogant claim will never advance very far spiritually. And that is true even if good, orthodox teaching is occasionally heard . . . because truth has to be believed to become real in the heart of the believer. People are also always saying that "the plain words" of scripture are good enough. By all means, believers ought to read the Bible for themselves (see the link). However, you won't, for example, find the word "Trinity" in the Bible. And yet that is a very critical doctrine. Even a genuine believer who is unsure of the specifics of that true teaching will be vulnerable to all manner of attacks from the evil one and his false teachers (think how many false groups and cult there are out there today who don't believe in the deity of Christ). "But I do believe the Trinity!", says "self-taught" person X. If so, I guarantee this person got that from a human teacher, whether first hand or second hand, from a book or the internet or another believer: he/she did not come up with this doctrine on his/her own merely by reading the Bible. And that is true of many other doctrines as well. When it comes to eschatology, an area which figures large in this exchange, it really is impossible for a believer to "get" the truth of all the details scripture offers merely by "do it yourself" methods. That is because so much turns on the original languages, and also because the details are contained throughout the Bible, not just in one small section of one book. It took me very many years to piece these things together correctly, and I did not start from nothing (I had teachers).

2) Irenaeus: The argument given here is rhetorical. First is it claimed that the 7,000 years can't be true because no one else with credentials teaches it; but when it is demonstrated that the teaching has been around for many centuries in orthodox teaching it is suggested that said prior teaching is the basis for the present teaching (!?). It is not. The Bible is the basis for the teaching (as demonstrated in the postings where it is taught). The fact that Irenaeus taught it is added as a historical aside and to show that the teaching is not original. All teaching has to stand on its own biblical legs (as this one does). I hope it is not being suggested that because the Bible does not contain the precise statement "the history of mankind is 7,000 years" that it cannot possibly teach this principle; the Bible also does not state directly "there is a Trinity", and yet it certainly does teach the principle. If truly interested in this subject, please see the link: "The Seven Days of Human History". On "the rapture" connection, it is fair to say, "since the Trinity is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, please demonstrate where it is", and I, along with many others over the years, have certainly done so. But the analogy is not precise. The Trinity does occur in scripture (Matt.28:19, just for example). And the seven days do too: what else is the purpose of "the Day of the Lord" being "a thousand years"? So while it is true that "no verse" speaking of a pre-Trib rapture is not "absolute proof" of no pre-Trib rapture, it is a fair objection which has to be answered – and one which in fact cannot be answered. That is the point. The Trinity and the Seven Days are doctrines which flow from scripture; the pre-Trib rapture is something no one would come up with on their own "reading the Bible"; Q.E.D.

3) Luther: Thanks. I was answering a question. In answering questions one has to respond to what is asked to do so effectively.

4) The Resurrection: The accusation had been made that since JW's and Mormons believe this, it has to be wrong; that is why the analogy to the RC church was brought in, that is, to demonstrate that "guilt by association" arguments are not proof (and pointless too, since there is always some cult out there teaching the truth on one point or another which may then be brought in to disparage any legitimate truth).

5) The Fig Tree: The greater point, which I am eager not to have lost, is that these things apply only once the Tribulation has begun. It is a problem for many of the interpretations and arguments used throughout that they are conflating pre-Tribulation time with Tribulation time. All biblical prophecy about the end times relates to the Tribulation and what follows; none of it speaks of what is happening now in the Church Age (this is the mystery age, hidden from the eyes of even the Old Testament prophets: cf. 1Pet.1:11-12). That is a key point because so many pre-Tribers are all het up about the significance of present day events, making much of the year 1948, just for example, when in fact there is nothing for us to glean from the history of these two thousand years about the timing of the coming Tribulation, and trying to do so is a mistake. However, applying the seven day interpretation gives us something to work with in being prepared for the times ahead.

6) Noah: I don't understand the objection. It seems to be conceded that we are talking about the second advent, not a pre-Trib rapture. Most pre-Tribers take this passage to be talking about the "rapture". If it is conceded that this reference is to the return of Christ, we do know, after all, that there will be judgment when He returns (most have heard of the battle of Armageddon at least, if not the other judgments); and the analogy is very clear too: the flood was a judgment, after all, and a very severe one wherein the believers were saved and the unbelievers swept away.

7) 2033: Again, the point is being missed. My whole emphasis in this teaching is for believers to be prepared and aware of the nearness of the commencement of the Tribulation, not its conclusion. No believer who stays faithful will fail to be "in the loop" about these things once we find ourselves in the middle of them. Again, I have never "set a date"; what I have done is to take the information scripture gives and draw the relevant conclusions. There are assumptions made to produce this particular part of the interpretation, and I make no bones about them. Since they seem to have been overlooked, I will repeat them here (from SR 5):

The most potentially controversial piece of information developed below, that is, the projected date for the commencement of the Tribulation, is based upon the following suppositions (all of which are treated within the context of this study):

The above points are all presented here as true, and the analysis upon which they are based is set forth below. Clearly, deviation from any of the above will alter the entire scheme. It is also true, as we have already said, that alteration of the schema presented below is certainly within the power and authority of the Almighty. The very end of the Tribulation, for example, will be shortened by some undisclosed amount of time (Mk.13:20). Rather than undermining the theory advanced in this study, however, Mark 13:20 in actuality supports the importance of paying heed to the Bible's chronological information. For if "the days are shortened", then surely this means that there was a definite heavenly timetable in the first place. Secondly, Mark 13:20 indicates that the shortening mentioned is a matter of days, weeks at the most (i.e., not enough to change the general time-line given below). This is certainly in line with the very specific tally of days and months given in Daniel and Revelation (Dan.7:25; 8:14; 12:7; 12:11-12; Rev.11:2-3; 12:6; 12:14; 13:5).

There is indeed much at Ichthys both about the necessity of preparing for the Tribulation and also about how to do so. It is true that what we should be doing anyway, growing and progressing spiritually and helping others do the same, is the preparation in essence. But it is undeniably the case that students study harder and more intensively when they know they have a big test coming than they would if it came as a complete surprise.

8) Marriage Contract (!?): I don't what to say about this. This is all extra-biblical speculation. "The traditional Jewish marriage feast". According to whom? And valid when? 1600 B.C. in Canaan? 1500 B.C. in Egypt? 20 B.C. in Palestine? 800+ A.D. in the diaspora – that is really the only era when we begin to have records about such things, and they come from secular, non-believing sources. I do not see in any case how, even if we accepted all of this as true, and even if we read it into the analogy of the Bride on the basis of some mystical hermeneutic principle, how even so it would make the interpretation shared unworkable. Finally, how did you come to know this? From the Spirit? Or from some secondary source (which can only be termed "teaching" – and bad teaching on this point too, I might add).

9) Misc. Objections: Many of these points are developed in very long pieces. If interested, links can be provided. Please do not assume that because every verse, every principle, and every argument and illustration is not provided here that there is not more (see for yourself). You clearly are not obligated to believe. No one can make you believe. However, I believe that the Bible contains the truth, and the truth can be extracted from the Bible by using correct, traditional, orthodox methodology, digging deep into the original language, theology, and historical background of all these matters. That is what I do. I then put forth not only the conclusion but all the steps that came before through which I arrived at the conclusion. You don't have to agree with the conclusion. You don't have to agree with the steps. But please don't assume that were no steps because you don't like the conclusion. On the Great Apostasy, please see the link. On the seven days, I'll develop (briefly) one point:

a) Scripture provides a detailed chronological record of the history from Eden to Christ, and that history when accurately calculated amounts to approximately 4,000 years.

b) Those 4,000 years are divided at God's calling of Abraham, yielding nearly 2,000 years for the Jewish people (in fact, just seven years short of 2K).

c) We do know that the "times" for Israel are precisely measured; to take but one example, Daniel's "weeks of years" (Dan.9:24-27).

d) We also know that the end times, which, in terms of its longevity is mostly consumed by the Millennium, is called "the Day of the Lord"; since that day is a 1,000 years long, we are required to consider that there may be other such "Days".

e) The Church Age, which began with the first Pentecost shortly following our Lord's resurrection, has so far lasted almost 2,000 years.

f) Adding 2,000 to the date of the resurrection, 33 A.D., yields 2033; and, much more importantly for our purposes, subtracting seven years yields 2026.

g) This pattern of the seven millennial days, wherein the last one is a day of rest, precisely parallels the seven Genesis days which were all about human history: making the world habitable again for human kind.

h) In order to dismiss the above, a person would have to find no significance whatsoever in the length of the Millennium, the number of the Genesis days, the detailed chronology of the Old Testament, the biblical statements comparing 1,000 years to a day, and many other things besides (see the previously given link). That would take a sort of studied and deliberate ignorance, in my view, and would thus beg the question of what the real purpose in ignoring the facts might be? If rejection is based upon a careful investigation of the biblical evidence, well and good. But if rejection has been decided upon a priori merely because a person doesn't want to have to contemplate the uncomfortable truth of the impending Tribulation and that fact that believers will indeed be caught up in it, well, that is not a spiritually beneficial position or decision.

10) Judgments: The Bible does not say that others are not sealed. It also does not say that, sealed or not, believers are subjected to judgments. We know they were protected during the judgments on Egypt which preceded the Exodus, which experience is a type of the Tribulation. Why do you want to assume that believers will be cursed by God? That makes no biblical sense to me, and I don't see a scripture reference to support it. John 14:16 suggests that believers will still have the Spirit, even in the Tribulation (as mentioned, we have already "been sealed": Rom.8:10; 2Cor.1:21-22; 5:5; Eph.1:13-14; 4:30). One of the most important reasons for the specific sealing of the 144,000 right at the beginning of the Tribulation is that most of these Jewish individuals will probably not yet be saved at this point: they will respond to the ministry of Moses and Elijah and then be saved and commissioned. So this is a special prophylactic protection, along the lines of the Holy Spirit's sanctifying of everyone who will believe from birth, before we are actually saved (1Pet.1:2). See the link: in BB 5: "Pre-Salvation (Sanctification of Prospective Believers)".

11) Revelation 9:4: This verse does not, in fact, contradict the above. In the diction of Revelation the world is often put into two camps, believers and unbelievers, and since we are in a context of judgment, unbelievers are in view as opposed to the recently mentioned 144,000. For details, see the link: The First Woe. Besides, don't you have the Holy Spirit? Isn't He "your seal" (2Cor.1:22; Eph.1:13:4:30)?

12) Elders: Nothing here calls them angels. In fact, it's impossible for them to be human beings. That would mean that no one who has lived since John – and that would include John – could be an elder. Everyone else of rank in this view of heaven is an angel too, after all. See the link if interested in the details.

13) Redeemed: A good point – or it would be if based on a correct rendering. This is a good illustration of how knowing something of the original languages is important for anyone wanting to build doctrine while reading scripture. The "us" and "we" are textually incorrect (see the link for explanation). The NASB version has this correct, based upon the actual Greek text:

And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth."
Revelation 5:9-10 NASB

As you can see, the above is absolutely compatible with the elders being angels – and passably strange for the elders to call the saved "men" and "them" and "they" if they were human beings since then they ought to be a part of that number (whereas for the reasons adduced previously it is clear that they cannot be human beings).

14) Gospel must be preached: I guess the point is still lost on me. How does this prove/disprove a pre-Trib rapture? Most who support the latter use the passage to indicate imminence, but the verse is actually quoted in Revelation showing that "the end" (that is the operative phrase) is the second advent, not some point before the second advent.

15) The Angel: This is the last olive branch from the Lord, not "required", but you can't place a limit on the grace and goodness of God. It's not a strong argument for the Church being missing, it is fair to say (especially since many or most believers who have at this point not been martyred will be in prison and unable to engage in missionary work, e.g.).

16) Assumptions: I do appreciate your spirit, and I do hope that this exchange will be of some use to you, even if I am unable to convince of the truth of the teachings of this ministry. Whenever a person gets deeper than skin deep into almost any area of inquiry, it is always revealed that one has "assumed many things". I assume that the Bible is God's perfect Word of truth, and the truth can indeed be gotten from it if diligence, wisdom, and correct methods are applied. It's not enough to read it in translation. To get beyond the obvious and unambiguous, one needs the gift, one needs specialized training, one needs the ministry of the Spirit, and one need very hard work over much time to be successful. And then the proof, as they says "is in the pudding". I have no doubt but that if the pudding is given a reasonable test without preconceptions, that those who really do want to know more about these issues will find it "good". But even if you do not, it has been a pleasure to converse with you and to get to know you and your relative. I do hope for all things blessed for you and him, and for us all to successfully negotiate the tribulation with faith secure and undiminished – should it fall to our lot to have to endure it.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #15:

I received this recently. What do you think?

How long is the tribulation of the antichrist?

The tribulation of the Antichrist has been shortened to 5 months. It is not 7 years long as many teach! If someone teaches it is 7 years, are they telling Gods truth? Who wants you to be deceived? You get 1 guess! Read for yourself! Daniel 1:12; Matthew 24:22 ; Mark 13:20-22; Revelation 2:10, 9:5 [5 months], 10 [5 months]; So, why do you believe it is still 7 years long? Are you wanting it to be 7 years? God just told you it is 5 months. Do you not trust Him? Your choice friend. Read Psalm 2:12; Jeremiah 17:5, 7 [trust God]; Who did He shorten it for? Read Matthew 24:22 and Mark 13:20 again.

Response #15:

Dear Friend,

Good to make your acquaintance. It is not uncommon to find all manner of theories out there in cyber-space which, upon close evaluation, have nothing to do with the Bible. As is understood by almost everyone who has read the scriptures, the Tribulation lasts seven years, while the Great Tribulation, its second half, lasts 42 months or 1260 days (for details and references, see the link: "the reign of antichrist").

As to the passages quoted, Daniel 1:12 has nothing to do with eschatology; Matthew 24:22 and Mark 13:20-22 merely say that the days will be shortened – and that means what is says, days, not years (or even months); Revelation 2:10 says "ten days" and is not speaking about the Tribulation but about the persecution of the Church during the second era of the Church (long past now; see the link); Revelation 9:5 and 10 are speaking of the fifth trumpet judgment – which lasts a literal five months within the Tribulation's first half.

In other words, while there are a multitude of important passages which very clearly lay out the length of "Daniel's seventieth week" as a seven year period (days representing years), a length of time which is paralleled throughout scripture (as in the seven days of re-creation in Genesis 1-2 which likewise have prophetic application; see the link), nowhere does scripture even suggest a five month Tribulation – and certainly not in the passages adduced.

It would also be wise to consider that the events which are prophesied to occur during the Tribulation, just for example: antichrist's rise to control Babylon, his taking over of revived Rome, his two campaigns against the Southern alliance, his gaining of control over the entire world, the great apostasy of one third of the Church, the Great Persecution of the Church, the trends of the first four seals, the trumpet judgments, the bowl judgments, and the Armageddon campaign as well as the events leading up to it, could certainly not all take place within a span of five months.

Please have a look at the links above; also, all of these matters are discussed in great detail in the Coming Tribulation series (see the link).

Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.
Titus 3:10-11 NKJV

Yours in the Lord Jesus Christ whose return we breathlessly await.

Bob Luginbill

Question #16:

Good evening Dr.

I hope I find you in good spirit. I am reading your CT 6 where you are discussing Gog and Magog as it relates to eschatological outlook. I read where you referenced Eze 39:9 and 7 year cleanup not being consistent with immediate arrival of New Jerusalem. Can you please expound on this? I am not finished with CT 6 and it might be covered later but will there be a "gap" after the victory of Christ at Armageddon? I have never studied this verse in-depth.

Thank you and may God continue to bless you and your family in Christ Jesus.

Response #16:

Good to hear from you.

As to your question, the problem here is that many exegetes conflate Ezekiel 38-39 with Revelation 20:7-10, whereas Ezekiel is talking about Armageddon, and Revelation 20 is our only source for the final revolution and attack of Satan taking place at the end of the millennial kingdom. The reason for the confusion is the similarity of names; although they are NOT in fact identical: "Gog of Magog" is what Ezekiel has = the beast (see the link); "Gog and Magog" is what Revelation has = the entirety of all the gentile nations then on earth. The problem with taking both passages as post-millennial is that on the one hand Ezekiel cannot be made to agree with Revelation where we have an instantaneous judgment transitioning immediately to eternity (no seven months, e.g.), while on the other hand it causes the interpretation to lose two critical chapters of eschatological information about the end of the Tribulation and the second advent/millennium. The problem with taking both passages are pre-millennial is that we now have no idea about the final revolt of history and how the millennial kingdom becomes the Kingdom of God (although I don't know of many who go that route aside from amillennialists). Here are a couple of other links to shorter files where the issues are discussed:

Who are Gog and Magog?

Eschatology Issues (see Q/A #2)

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Sir,

I am happy every day for the opportunity our Lord gave to me to discover your website. I believe as you had always noted that 'anyone who desires to grow in the knowledge of Him will not be denied'; that is my case and I thank God that you are available Sir. Am still studying CT series after completing SR series and am using it to take over my time against watching the world cup because the Tribulation needed spiritual preparation if be my lot. My question is just on biblical name giving. Is is ok to give the name 'Zion' to a male child, and what is the significance of the name? Am really sorry for this question because there are other things of importance you must do. Please pardon me as this is important to your son in the Lord.

Thanks in advance.

Response #17:

It is no problem at all to answer you. Your dedication to the truth of the Word of God is indeed an inspiration. Keep fighting the good fight – in this there is great reward.

As to your question, Zion means something like "place of brightness", and that is certainly a significant name for the place where our Lord went into the darkness to put darkness to an end forever, the place to which He will return in brilliant light to rule a kingdom of light for a thousand years.

I can think of worse names for a child; however, you should know that, in Hebrew, Zion is a feminine noun and thus is modified by feminine adjective forms. There is a great difference between physical gender in people and grammatical gender in nouns (e.g., in Greek and Latin both, the noun "fatherland" is feminine), but it is good to know the facts on these things before the fact.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Hi Robert,

I came across your website and was interested to note that you calculate the tribulation to commence in 2026, not far off! Do you envisage a WW 3 before this? Another question if I may:

In Isaiah 11 [& other places ] Jesus has returned to earth and stands in Jerusalem and the Millennium has commenced. Then and only then does He call to the nations to return His people to Israel for the second time, and they undergo a purging. Do you agree with this and if so who is back in Israel now!?

Thanks,

Response #18:

Good to make your acquaintance. Yes, the calculation of the probable date of the commencement of the Tribulation is really a very simple calculation. Once one accepts that human history is composed of seven thousand years (with the Millennium being the last "millennial day"; see the link), and seeing that by any system of chronology the Old Testament demonstrates not more than approximately four thousand years from Eden to the Messiah, it is a simple matter of adding 2,000 years to the date of the cross and Christ's resurrection - two millennial days between the first and the second advents. Since 33 A.D. is the best date for the Church Age's commencement, 2033 is the likely date of our Lord's return. That return, as anyone who has read Revelation is aware, is preceded by the Tribulation, a period of seven years (hence, "2026"). Here are caveats I always try to include when affirming this as a likely date (taken from SR 5):

The most potentially controversial piece of information developed below, that is, the projected date for the commencement of the Tribulation, is based upon the following suppositions (all of which are treated within the context of this study):

The above points are all presented here as true, and the analysis upon which they are based is set forth below. Clearly, deviation from any of the above will alter the entire scheme. It is also true, as we have already said, that alteration of the schema presented below is certainly within the power and authority of the Almighty. The very end of the Tribulation, for example, will be shortened by some undisclosed amount of time (Mk.13:20). Rather than undermining the theory advanced in this study, however, Mark 13:20 in actuality supports the importance of paying heed to the Bible's chronological information. For if "the days are shortened", then surely this means that there was a definite heavenly timetable in the first place. Secondly, Mark 13:20 indicates that the shortening mentioned is a matter of days, weeks at the most (i.e., not enough to change the general time-line given below). This is certainly in line with the very specific tally of days and months given in Daniel and Revelation (Dan.7:25; 8:14; 12:7; 12:11-12; Rev.11:2-3; 12:6; 12:14; 13:5).

As to a WWIII prior to this, there is nothing in biblical prophecy about the specific events of our current Church Age. However, as explored in the Coming Tribulation series, in my view a scenario which allows for rather significant "peace and prosperity" before the Tribulation actually commences has much to recommend it. Once the Tribulation begins, events will proceed (or rather devolve) with historically unprecedented rapidity.

As to Israel, as we know from Romans, "they are not all Israel who are of Israel" (Rom.9:6 NKJV). A self-willed, secular return of some non-believing Jews to the land (not in any case even a majority of the Jewish population worldwide) is not in any way a fulfillment of the many prophecies in scripture which, as you rightly note, demonstrate our Lord's personal regathering of all Jews to the land only after His second advent return. At that point, the resurrection of the Church will have occurred, including all believers who are Jewish, past and present. The remaining majority of the Jewish people will be regathered at this point, but only those who accept Christ as the Messiah will be allowed to actually reenter the land. This is all written up in some detail at the following link: in CT 6 "The Regathering and Purging of Israel".

I hope this answers your questions. Do feel free to write back about any of the above.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob Luginbill

Question #19:

Good evening Dr.

I hope all is well. This is a brief email. In reviewing your Bowl Judgement charts on CT 5, you have chart legends of F26,S27, etc. I am confused and do not understand these legends. Can you please expound? I see them on most of your charts and forgot to email you about them.

Thank you in Christ Jesus.

Response #19:

These charts are based on the presumption of a fall 2026 start-date for the Tribulation, and "F" and "S" refer to Fall and Spring respectively. I probably should have spelled that out, but as I recall space and spacing were issues in making those charts.

Yours in our dear Lord Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hi Bob,

'God came from Teman, The Holy One from Mount Paran.'

According to the Bible, Teman is closely associated with Edom. What is the meaning of this verse, and does it have anything to do with Edom?

Sincerely,

Response #20:

This passage is prophetic of the second advent and, specifically, the route of the Messiah's return at the battle of Armageddon. The passage itself is translated and treated at the link: Habakkuk 3:3-6. It's part of a larger section in CT 4, "The Battle of Armageddon". Teman means "the south" (Israelis today use the word to refer to Yemen – which is south of Israel, after all), and Edom in this context is likewise a reference to this part of the Messiah's course in returning to fight the final battle. There is a chart of this route at the link: "The Winepress of Armageddon".

Yours in our dear Lord Jesus, and in anticipation of that wonderful day to come.

Bob L.

Question #21:

Good day sir,

How are you and yours and the ministry? I thank God always for you for being around for us who appreciate your work to be blessed thru them in this era of lukewarmness as your teachings has proved. I want to say that I have joined a small local church where at least I fellowship every Sunday but I place your teaching above what the pastor will teach. I read your weekly email post daily and study your teachings. I have read SR and on CT 2a.just one question: you said that '(although nothing will happen which has been revealed by the Bible before the Tribulation begins)' in your previous email to me. Does this imply that all the prophesies to note in the bible that should happen before the Trib has all been fulfilled? Thanks in advance.

Response #21:

Apologies for the delay – very hectic time here.

Yes, this is my position. There is no unfulfilled prophecy or event destined to take place before the Tribulation. This makes a good deal of sense for everything in the Old Testament, after all, since the Church was the mystery age, the time between the advents (which our Lord's contemporaries could not sort out), was not anticipated at all. The one exception of sorts is the list of trends comprised in the seven churches of Revelation 2-3; but these are not prophesied events – rather they are general patterns which have no fixed day or specific appearance (in contrast with the many events of the Tribulation and Second Advent to come). Once the Tribulation begins, however, it will be absolutely clear to all from the heavenly signs which will not be capable of being ignored (see the link: Signs of the Tribulation).

Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
Revelation 8:5 NIV

All you people of the world, you who live on the earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, you will see it, and when a trumpet sounds, you will hear it.
Isaiah 18:13 NIV

Here are a couple of other links where the issue is discussed:

Strange signs

No unfulfilled prophecy

Eschatology Issues VIII: Revelation, Tribulation and Judgment (see Q/A #7)

Christians Beware (see Q/A #6)

Israel and Antichrist in Eschatology (see Q/A #2)

I'm keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

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