So these end-times villains, the malevolent antagonists who are poised to invade the national political state of Israel in the soon-coming battle of Armageddon… has anyone noticed how their identity changes with the headlines? Anyone, anyone? Hello?
Which begs a fundamental question of Christian believers: “Is keeping one eye fixed on presumptive Bible prophecy and the other on the six o’clock news really the way to develop a sound understanding?”
The term used to describe the views most of the faithful hold today concerning eschatology is generically dubbed “Premillennial Dispensationalism,” a systemic theology that is as problematic as it is popular as it is biblically unsound.
And yet the masses who subscribe to its tenets, most having no clue it even bears such a moniker, are slavishly loyal to its sometimes “literal” other times “not so much” interpretive dichotomy.
Two interesting examples can be found in Matthew 24 and Ezekiel 38 & 39.
In the former, one reads about certain phenomenon occurring in the sun, moon, and stars (Matthew 24:29). Biblically, sun, moon, and stars often times represent people and even nations as is the case here. (See also Genesis 37:9 as one precedent)
The literal dispensationalists bemoan non-dispensational thought as “spiritualizing” the text, or simply, not taking it “literally.” Ironically these same literalists look at the ancient weapons and appurtenances of war (Ezekiel 38 & 39) and completely re-imagine what they are. And THIS is without biblical precedence.
According to modern prophecy writers, the horses mentioned by the prophet Ezekiel are understood to be horsepower – indicative of modern war machinery. The bows and arrows are said to actually be launchers and missiles, SCUDs and ICBMs for instance. And swords are actually machine guns. Etc., etc.
And yet we are to believe that THIS is a more literal approach? One might ask here, “How does THAT work?”
As for the villainous invaders from the north; well their identity seems to vary depending upon the geo-political landscape at any given moment. For the longest time they were thought to be the godless Russian communists. What the heck, the word “Rosh,” which prophecy experts believe sounds like Russia, is found there. (Ezekiel 38 & 39)
Then came the collapse of the Soviet Union. For the doomsayers that had the potential to be a real bummer. Not too big a problem though. Just re-direct everyone’s attention to the Islamic terrorist states surrounding Israel and voila, problem solved! The amazing part is the sedated dispensational believers never even asked, “Well what happened to Russia?”
Now that weakling cowardly leftists like Barack Obama have altered the landscape thus allowing the Soviets to re-gain momentum and consolidate their nefarious, Russia is once again becoming a primary candidate as the end-time bad guy.
Whatever one believes about when this thing called the “rapture” is supposed to take place, i.e. pre, post, or mid tribulation none can be supported in terms of WHEN the Bible says the “great tribulation” would occur. And that is clearly within the lifespan of Jesus’ listeners. (See Matthew 23:36-Matthew 24:34)
More to come soon in part 3
See also part 1 in this series: http://yeahstub.com/article/the-rapture-and-the-tribulation-part-1
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