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In the topic of eschatology, few things are debated with more passion than the timing of the rapture with respect to the great tribulation. In online forums there are many opinions expressed. Some of them in my opinion are so far out there that few people if any take them very seriously.
 
Some people read these topics and will express their opinion that the topics are not important. Somehow though, they seem to think it important to express their opinion that it isn't important. I have not quite figured that one out yet.
 
One of the opinions often expressed is the tongue-in-cheek position:" I am pan tribulation". At the risk of possibly offending those people who say they are pan tribulation, I say this:
"The pan-trib position is supposed to be cute or humorous, and I suppose it is the first time one hears it. By now though I am sure that I have heard it over 100 times, and to me it has become a worn-out old joke. I have been hearing it since the 1970s, so pardon me if I don't laugh too hard.

Still there are those who are reading this post who have no doubt not heard of the pan-trib position even now. For their sakes I will explain the pan-trib position. "I do not care if the rapture is before, during, or after the tribulation, as long as it all pans out".
 
I have very little respect for the pan-trib position. I suspect that people who hold that position fall into one of several categories:
  • Perhaps they are too lazy to study the Bible.
  • Perhaps they feel they are underqualified to have a real opinion.
  • Perhaps they detest debate.
  • Perhaps they are afraid to express their opinion.

 

Sometimes they will make the point that eschatology is not a salvational issue and therefore is not worth having a strong opinion about. It often seems to escape their notice though, that almost all of the Bible is not about salvational issues, so I would have to guess that most of the Bible is also not important to them.

 

Considering how much space (in the New Testament especially) is devoted to eschatology by the apostles and even by Jesus Himself I find it extremely difficult and even disrespectful to imply that the things that Jesus said and that the apostles (who were inspired by God to write) expressed, are of little importance.

Coming up with flippant, worn-out remarks does not in my mind, justify what seems to be an aire of superiority in being wishy-washy about Scripture.
 

I know I am on my high horse. I know I am often on my high horse. I know that I am on my high horse frequently lately. You can reply to this post and inform me of that if you wish, but don't think you're telling me anything that I do not already know and freely admit.
 
As I have already stated there are many opinions and many positions in the field of eschatology. The different positions contradict each other of course and most of them (if not all of them) contradict Scripture at at least one point. No more than one position can be 100% accurate and perhaps none of them are.
In spite of the fact that I have used a lot of words so far in this post, I really only want to invite comments on the following proposition:
 
There are many reasons that people may use to explain why they believe what they believe about eschatology. With respect to the issue of whether or not the rapture is before, during, or after the great tribulation, I believe the following reasons should be discounted.
 
The character of God argument.
 
Some people believe that the church will not go through the great tribulation because it is not within the character of God to allow his church to suffer. This reasoning is invalid because God's people have always been allowed to suffer historically. This is true whether we are talking about the Jews or the Christians, prophets or apostles, martyrs since the time of Christ and even today, and of course Jesus himself who said a servant is not above his master.
 
If God has allowed his people to suffer for thousands of years, how can we think that it is not in God's character to allow such suffering?
 
Wishful thinking.
 
It is so easy for us in the West to find the idea of suffering distasteful. Many of us have never missed a meal even one time in our entire life nor slept without a roof over our head unless it was by choice. We live in a time and in cultures where most people have access to transportation which requires no physical work, access to nearly continual entertainment and access to vast amounts of knowledge that we never had to study to obtain.
 
I read just today that Google claims that the average Android user checks his or her Android 150 times each day. In these days of comfort and convenience, fast food and instant gratification, it is no wonder that some of us cannot conceive of going through a time of suffering and persecution lasting from 3-1/2 to 7 years. However, just because we have had it so easy does not mean there won't be a time when we will have it so hard.
 
I have gone on long enough. I intended to list a lot of reasons which are not valid reasons for believing some of the things that we do believe. It seems to me that in the area of eschatology the only reason to believe anything is because the Bible tells us so.
 
I am sure that many of us believe we believe what the Bible says about these things. It is my observation however that many of us if not most of us believe what we believe by taking preconceived ideas to the Scripture and then interpreting the Scripture in a way that agrees with what we already believe about it, rather than taking Scripture at its word and adjusting our thinking to align with what the Bible itself says.
 
Do we really want to be a people who gather to themselves teachers who will tell us what our itching ears want to hear? Or do we think that the better idea is to be like the Bereans, and search the Scriptures daily to see whether these things be so?

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Hi Omegaman,

 

Eschatology, mmm the study of things to come. Well we all would like to know that in detail but we all know for sure that the Lord is coming to rule. Now why some people don`t want to get involved is that they are nurturers. They are more concerned with the everyday life of helping others. Also others see the conflicting views & bad attitudes of some discussing & thus keep well away.

 

Now my thoughts from scripture are that the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit is growing up into maturity of knowing Christ`s character & His purposes. We are not there yet but are in the stage of `tossed to & fro & carried about with every wind of doctrine...` working towards `speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head - Christ.`  (Eph. 4: 14 & 15)

 

We also know that the Holy Spirit is guiding us into all truth. (John 16: 13) Now this is a process & thus we are still coming from different positions yet obviously as time goes on then it will become very clear what the details are that God`s word tells us.

 

So let us be patient with each other & let the Holy Spirit adjust our attitudes so we can `speak the truth in love.`  with the right attitude.

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In the topic of eschatology, few things are debated with more passion than the timing of the rapture with respect to the great tribulation. In online forums there are many opinions expressed. Some of them in my opinion are so far out there that few people if any take them very seriously.

 

Some people read these topics and will express their opinion that the topics are not important. Somehow though, they seem to think it important to express their opinion that it isn't important. I have not quite figured that one out yet.

 

One of the opinions often expressed is the tongue-in-cheek position:" I am pan tribulation". At the risk of possibly offending those people who say they are pan tribulation, I say this:
"The pan-trib position is supposed to be cute or humorous, and I suppose it is the first time one hears it. By now though I am sure that I have heard it over 100 times, and to me it has become a worn-out old joke. I have been hearing it since the 1970s, so pardon me if I don't laugh too hard.
 
 

I hear you, it is a little frustrating. But the way I see it, some temperament types are just not suited to deep analytical study of the scriptures and the order of events. They may prefer the Psalms and the gospels to prophecies and the more doctrinal epistles. They may prefer preaching the gospel to getting their doctrine correct on the rapture, knowing that as long as we abide in Jesus and remain in the faith our souls are safe. They may not fully understand the order of events during the tribulation but their heavenly reward will be no less. Each to their own, I love eschatology, but I don't bore those who love other biblical subjects more than I do. For example I don't know much about the feasts, yet to some it is another whole fascinating biblical study.

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    • By omharris
      As a quick disclaimer: I have seen your replies and clearly some of you have a heart for God. Others, spend far too much time listening to the doctrines of demons. Know this, unless they block me I will not quit. I write for a world that is filled with people with a heart like mine; one that has learned to err on the side of mercy. Have a great day basking in the love of Jesus Christ our soon coming King.
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      Having addressed who or what Gog could be in my previous post, we now look at the directive given to Ezekiel to prophecy against Gog (from a great distance, and through time,) about what God's plan is, for the last days.
      Ezekiel 38:3 NASB and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal.
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      Ezekiel 38:4 CJB I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with all your army, horses and horsemen, all completely equipped, a great horde with breastplates and shields, all wielding swords.
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      But Jonah also knew something about God that most of us miss, and that was that God's nature was one of mercy. The other thing that Jonah understood was that the Ninevehites were a part of the Assyrian nation, just as Gog is, and they had the nasty habit of dragging their victims back to their lands by putting hooks in their mouths, among other places.
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      “and bring you out with all your army, horses and horsemen, all completely equipped, a great horde with breastplates and shields, all wielding swords.”
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      Persia – Modern day Iran
      Ethiopia – At one time Ethiopia was known as Cush.
      Put - Put is the Libyans. While Qaddafi may have been a wild man, since his removal the nation has turned into a violent Muslim nation.
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      Beth-togarmah - This was territory from which the Medes emanated. It is the region in which the Armenians resided. At one point in time, the Assyrian nations bordered Beth-togarmah, and it is the Caucasus region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. While Russia has dominated these people at times they seem to be independent of Russia while maintaining civil war amongst themselves.
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      Ezekiel 38:7 CJB Prepare yourself, get ready, you and all your crowd gathered around you; and take charge of them.
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      Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
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    • By Steve Conley
      Understanding the Activity of Michael the Archangel in the Middle of the Seventieth Week

      In this brief post, I would like to make a strong case for Michael the archangel being the restrainer that Paul says is withholding the revelation of the man of sin until it is God's determined time.
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      The Holy Scriptures present Michael as the mightiest of the Heavenly Host. He is seen opposing Satan on a handful of occasions in the Scriptures. Jude tells us that Michael contended with the Devil over the body of Moses, whom he rebuked in the name of the Lord. As recorded in Daniel 10, it is Michael that dealt with the prince of Persia when he had detained Gabriel on his way with a message for Daniel. In the future Michael and his angels will fight a war in heaven with Satan and his angels, after which he will cast Satan to the earth. It is he who appears to have been tasked with the responsibility to hold back the revelation of the man of sin until it is the right time.
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      In the future eschatological period known as Daniel's seventieth week, the archangel Michael will play a significant role. We find him in three passages that present events that take place in the middle of the week.
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      Dan 11:45  And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
      Dan 12:1  And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
      Dan 12:2  And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
      Dan 12:7  And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
      The context of the end of Daniel chapter 11 is the activities of the Beast in the end of the age. In chapter 11 we learn characteristics about him and see some of his military activities. The chapter ends with him placing the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain. This location appears to be Mt Zion in Jerusalem. The significance of this is that it is at that time (Dan 12:1) that Michael makes a change in his activity which results in an unparalleled time of trouble (Dan 12:1). This time of trouble is consistent with the great tribulation Jesus spoke of. We also see that there is a unique period length that is mentioned in relation to what is taking place in the beginning of chapter 12. The length that is given is "a time, times, and an half" or 3 1/2 years. Seven times in the Scriptures we find this same length spoken of in various forms: 1260 days, 42 months, and 3 1/2 years. It appears each time that they are associated with the second half of the seventieth week. The obvious conclusion is that the change in activity by Michael takes place in the middle of the week.
      2) War in heaven, Satan cast to the earth (Rev 12:7-14)
      Rev 12:7  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
      Rev 12:8  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
      Rev 12:9  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
      Rev 12:10  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
      Rev 12:11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
      Rev 12:12  Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
      Rev 12:13  And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
      Rev 12:14  And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
      Rev 12:15  And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
      Rev 12:16  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
      Rev 12:17  And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
      Michael and his angels will fight a war in heaven with the dragon (Satan) and his angels, after which Satan is cast to the earth having great wrath. Once upon the earth Satan goes after a remnant of Israel (represented by the woman) but she is hid and fed by God in the wilderness for 1260 days (Rev 12:6). The 1260 days indicate that the war in heaven took place in the middle of the week. Again, we see that Michael is very prominent in the middle of the week.
      3) The abomination of desolation starts the great tribulation (Matt 24:15, 21; Dan 9:27)
      Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
      Mat 24:21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
      Dan 9:27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
      The temple is defiled in the middle of the week which initiates the great tribulation. This is consistent with the Dan 12 passage but Michael is not mentioned by name or referred to.
      4) The revelation of the man of sin (2Thess 2:3-10)
      2Th 2:1  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
      2Th 2:2  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
      2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
      2Th 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
      2Th 2:5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
      2Th 2:6  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
      2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
      2Th 2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
      2Th 2:9  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
      2Th 2:10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
      In Paul's instruction to the Thessalonians, he tells them that before the day of Christ can come there must be a falling away first and the man of sin be revealed. He also mentions that there is one who is withholding the revelation of the man of sin and that they, the Thessalonians,  knew who it was. This revelation would involve the man of sin sitting in the temple and shewing himself to be God. Paul also says that this Antichrist shall receive power from Satan. 
      We already know from the previous passages we looked at that the abomination of desolation takes place in the middle of the week and it begins the great tribulation. Here we see further details concerning the defiling of the temple and learn of one hindering the work of the mystery of iniquity. It is said that this hindering will continue "until he be taken out of the way." It is interesting to note that the last Greek word in verse seven is "mesos" which means middle even though it is translated "the way". It is as if Paul is saying that the restrainer will continue to hinder until the middle. I wonder what middle he was referring to. Could it be the middle of the week? Could this restrainer be Michael who is associated with the middle of the week?
      I believe Michael is the restrainer of 2Thes 2.
      All praise, honour, and glory be unto the Lord Jesus Christ.

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