Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
The Rabbis point out that, "the food that is ejected from the stomach is indigestible; but a dog, being senseless, will eat it again and suffer for it. In like manner a fool repeats his mistakes although they had previously harmed him."
The fool never learns. He goes back to the same sinful and harmful patterns and repeats them over and over. He cares not for those he hurts, much less the pain he causes himself. Lawson writes that repeating sinners are fools and dogs. All who sin in the same way over and over are like the unclean dog. Sometimes their awakened conscience causes them to temporarily stop sinning but in time their evilness causes them to break down and go back to eating of the same filth. Lawson adds, the sight of a dog returning to his vomit is loathsome; but it is much more detestable for sinners to return to their former wickedness. Nothing is more dishonoring to God; nothing is more hurtful to the souls of men, and especially to the sinner who does not learn the first time!
Waltke points out that the fool in his incorrigibility is like the dog's repulsive nature to return to its own vomit. The dog smells his vomit, licks it, and then eats it. The dog is pictured in Scripture in contempt in that they ate garbage, carcasses, corpses, and licked the blood of the dead, and were scavengers. They were seen as unclean and as detestable. They appear as figures for evildoers (2 Sam. 16:9).
Friday, May 23, 2008
ANSWER: I am not sure which dispensationalists you are reading. All the ones I checked say clearly that this is about the Lord's Army. The dispensational Bible Knowledge Commentary, Unger's OT Commentary, and the Popular Bible Prophecy Commentary all agree. These are the latest dispensational works. In the Popular volume, Dr. Fruchtenbaum writes on Joel 2:11: "God is able to execute His word, and He will execute it during the great and terrible Day of the Lord." Unger adds, "His intervention in God's invasion against His people will be a somber spectacle of the greatness and awesomeness of the Day of the Lord (v. 31; Joel 1:15; 3:14), and "who can abide (endure) it? (Ezek. 22:14; cf. Matt. 24:13)."
I cannot imagine a conflict over this passage. It seems quite clear in meaning and in context.
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
ANSWER: The verb returns is the Hebrew word shuv which is a Participle in the Hiphil verb form. This intensifies the meaning. “He who is characterized as definitely going about rewarding that which is good with evil, the evil will not leave from his house.”
The rabbis say: “This man arouses the contempt of his fellows, so that when he is in trouble nobody comes to his aid.” And, sin comes back upon him. The one practicing sin has the fruit of sin returning to him. On the word evil Unger writes “Evil can be translated ‘trouble, misfortune, adversity,’ and it shall not depart from his house.”
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
There has never been a more spoiled and selfish generation than now in America. This of course is not true of all young men but enough to cause us to be terribly concerned. The verb "teach" is in an intensive form in Hebrew and really makes the matter urgent for fathers as they lead their sons. Unfortunately, today many mothers interfere with the spanking of the child. They come between the father and the son. Of course the son picks up on this and sees his protector to be a woman, his mother! Young men need to have a healthy fear of their fathers. They will be chastened if they play games with their dads and do not obey what he says! Boys are like wild colts and need to be reigned in!
The Bible is addressed to fathers who have a spiritual mandate to lead their sons. If you get under control early the son/boy, you bring peace and happiness to the future bride who will be protected by a godly young man and husband/father.
"While there is hope" implies that teaching and discipline must be carried out when the son is still a youth. The rabbis read this as "while there is still hope." As he gets older, his character and disposition hardens and change, and doing the right thing, comes more slowly and painfully. The "chastening" according to the orthodox Jewish rabbis is corporal punishment where the rod is not spared! Because of secular psychology, many of the yuppy parents today think it is terrible to spank but in reality, they are being rebellious as to what God commands them to do.
Note that the parents' very souls (nephesh) are disturbed by the sons crying when disciplined. But what God says comes before our own emotional wishes or feelings. It is painful to spank but not to will bring even more soulish pain in the future. On this verse the old Scottish pastor Lawson writes:
Sunday, May 18, 2008
While sitting at his desk he heard that back in the States his wife Jean had just delivered a baby boy. MacArthur read his New Testament constantly and he knew that the Lord had sent this son to him by his providence and ever loving grace. MacArthur composed a prayer: "Build me a son, O Lord, … who will be strong enough when he is weak … whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be." He then went on to ask God for other strong marks of character, none more important than "to stand up to the storm" and to acquire the virtues of wisdom, humility, and "meekness of true strength." If God would only grant him these things, MacArthur prayed, "Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain."
MacArthur was relieved of his commanding position during the Korean War because he wanted to push American forces all the way up to the Chinese border. President Truman felt this could start a larger war with both China and Russia. When MacArthur came back to the States, at West Point (where he had been the Corp Commandant years before), he gave his famous speech: "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away."
Saturday, May 17, 2008
When the President passed Truman met with reporters and said, "Boys, if you ever pray, pray for me. I don't know whether you fellows ever had a load of hay fall on you, but when they told me yesterday what had happened, I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me."
Four days later, Truman told the Congress, "At this moment I have in my heart a prayer. As I have assumed my duties, I humbly pray Almighty God, in the words of King Solomon: 'Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people that I may discern between good and bad for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?' I ask only to be a good and faithful servant of my Lord and my people."
Though Truman was salty in his personal life he still had great trust in the Lord. He had a prayer that he prayed every day from his high school years until he died. He shared this prayer with his future wife Bess before they tied the knot. In part it went something like this:
Truman had been in business with a Jewish partner back in Independence, Missouri. When the issue of the establishment of the State of Israel came up before the UN, his old partner came to the White House and pleaded with Truman to support the founding of the Jewish State. While Truman had been raised in churches that denied the future Millennial Kingdom, he responded positively to his friend and supported the UN resolution to make this new nation in the Holy Land. Unfortunately Truman did not support the idea of supplying the new State with weapons to defend itself against the Arabs. Yet God in His sovereignty protected Israel despite the fact that thirteen Arab nations declared war against the Jews the day after independence was declared.
Billy Graham became a friend to the President and often met with him during his time in office and when he retired.
Friday, May 16, 2008
ANSWER: Yes, indeed, I have. This entire section is awesome. The context is Israel's alliance with Egypt in order to find safety and protection. Jeremiah is told to write on a tablet "before the people" what is coming. It would "serve in the time to come as a witness forever" (v. 8). In other words what God says will last forever and stands as a warning continually.
As with America today, the people failed to listen to what the Lord said in a warning. They were so self-absorbed that they refused to listen. He said, "This is a rebellious people, false sons, sons who refuse to listen to the instruction of the Lord" (v. 9). As with many in America the Jews were into themselves and did not want to hear what God had to say. They said to their seers and prophets: "You must not see visions for us, … You must not prophesy to us what is right. Speak to us pleasant words. Prophesy illusions" (v. 10). To the prophets they said, "Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel" (v. 11).
God, the Holy One of Israel, then answered further "This iniquity will be to you, like a breach about to fall, a bulge in a high wall whose collapse comes suddenly in an instant. And whose collapse is like the smashing of a potter's jar; so ruthlessly shattered" (vv. 13-14). He added, "Only in repentance and [spiritual] rest shall you be saved. In quietness and trust is your strength. But you were not willing" (v. 15).
America is dancing and laughing all the way to the edge of the pit! Entertainment, fun and games, self-serving pleasure is what keeps our nation going. It is going to come to an end! This nation will have served its purpose. It has been most blessed of the Lord but its days are numbered!
While America is just one nation among many nations, it will someday be judged. However, because God has made promises to Israel, that nation shall be, as it were, brought back from the dead! On verse 17 Unger writes in his great commentary that I had reprinted: "'For I will restore you to health … and will heal you of your wounds.' This great promise will be fulfilled in the salvation of the Israelite remnant during the Great Tribulation (Ezek. 37:20-28; Rev. 7:1-8) and their establishment in the Davidic-Messianic Kingdom (20:4-6). No longer will Zion be called an outcast (Isa. 11:12; 56:8; Jer. 33:24), one spiritually put away as a wife divorced by her husband (Isa. 62:4), but one restored to the Lord and one in whom He will delight in His grace."
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
- He advocates the "Freedom of Choice Act" for a woman's right to choose an abortion.
- He is concerned the legislative act "Gonzales v. Carhart" will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman's right to choose.
- Voted to kill a bill that would have required an abortionist to notify at least one parent before performing an abortion on a minor girl from another state.
- Voted in favor of funding embryonic stem cell research. He said "We should expand and accelerate research using these embryos."
- Co-sponsored a bill (S. 1520) in 2005 that would allow the cloning of human embryos for research but prohibit their survival.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Dr. Couch, what is the Postponement Theory?
ANSWER: I have written on this before, and in my Classical Evangelical Hermeneutics (Kregel), I have an entire chapter on the subject. The Postponement Theory says that because Israel rejected their Messiah, the kingdom has been postponed to another future time, and God is working now with the church age. Some have objected to this idea feeling that it represents the Lord somehow changing His mind, or being caught off guard as to His plans and purposes.
But this objection misses the point. God knows all things and He knew Israel would reject Christ. However it appears the Lord changed His mind and went to plan B by establishing the dispensation of the church. But this is not true. The church was always in the mind of God though it is not anywhere revealed in the OT. God is someday, and I believe soon, going to cease His work with the church. It will be raptured out of here with the seven year tribulation will follow. Then the kingdom will arrive, be established, and will then last for one thousand years!
The offer and presentation of the kingdom to the Jews was a real offer though God knew the nation in the larger sense would reject it. Because Christ was the promised King, the Lord could rightly say "Behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst" (Luke 17:21). Because the Jews were in the act of rejecting that earthly reign of the Messiah, Christ told them the day would come when they would look for it but it would not be here (v. 22). Then Jesus said to the Pharisees, "But first [the Messiah] must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation" (v. 25). The word first (proton) implies a second. In other words Christ must "first" go to the cross before the kingdom (the second thing) of heaven will arrive, the millennial reign! The writer of Hebrews picks this idea up and writes: So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him (Heb. 9:28).
This is a powerful premillennial verse. The church age comes in between Christ's first and second coming. The first coming was to deal with the issue of sin which the second coming will not have to deal with. His second coming has to do with His earthly reign!
The idea of the postponement seems certain in Acts 1:6-8. The disciples asked the risen Lord, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" (v. 6). He answered: "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you …" (vv. 7-8). In other words the kingdom is now postponed and the church age is inserted at this time into history!
James seems to reinforce this idea when speaking at the Jerusalem Council. He said "God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name" (Acts 15:14). This would be the church age. But then James adds, "After these things I will return, and I will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen, and I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, …" (vv.15-on). In conclusion Pentecost writes:
John the Baptist had preached that the kingdom of heaven was near (Matt. 3:2).
Christ had preached the same message as He began His ministry (4:17), and during His ministry Jesus had offered Israel a kingdom that would be established if the nation would receive Him as Savior-Sovereign. But the nation had rejected Him and the kingdom had to be postponed. Christ had previously taught that the generation of His day would not see the kingdom (Luke 17:22), because the kingdom would be postponed indefinitely to some future time. The Lord's words did not nullify the genuine offer of the kingdom in Hid day, nor deny the concept of a literal kingdom in a future day. Rather, this parable was designed to teach the truth concerning postponement of the kingdom.
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
ANSWER: This is a good question. The word know here is the Greek word oido in the Aorist Tense form and not the normal word "to know" which is ginosko. The difference between the two words can be significant. Oido has the force of "to pay attention to," "to observe," "to inspect," "to examine," and/or "to scrutinize."
While the Lord Jesus would certainly know the day and hour of His return to earth, in an informational way, the point is this is not something He dwells on. It is in the prerogative of the Father as to when He comes back to reign. The heavenly Father has the plan in mind when the Messiah comes to establish His kingdom. This is not in the purview of the Son in that the authority for the timing of that event is with the Father. While the Son has the knowledge of when He comes back, the Father focuses on the working out of that coming.
It may be an overstatement to say the Son does not pay attention to the when of His coming. He has His work cut out for Him and is being obedient unto the Father as He walks the path to the death on the cross!
I believe this is the proper answer to what is going on in this passage.
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
(1) "This is an open declaration … not only to Evangelicals and other Christians but other American citizens and people of all other faiths in America." This is so all inclusive, in an attempt to cover all bases, it ends up covering none! There is nothing they could say to me that would be palatable to liberal Christians, or other false religious beliefs—the "other faiths in America."
(2) It is addressed also to "those who say they have no faith." Then what value is this Evangelical Manifesto? In the opening of the Manifesto they say "the signers are not out to attack or exclude anyone, but to rally and to call for reform." What does "reform" mean to someone who has no faith? What would it mean to someone who may be a Christian but who then in his theology may deny some of the basic tenets of the Evangelical faith?
(3) Further, they write, this Manifesto is "an example of how different faith communities may address each other in public life." This sounds like a "let's come together" of Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, etc. I have no common ground with other faiths. God loves people of other faiths and calls for them to come to Christ for personal salvation. Otherwise, only judgment can be their fate. The theology of other faiths contradicts the Word of God, is antagonistic to it. There is no common ground by which we are to address each other. What we have to say is "accept Christ as your personal Savior. There is no salvation apart from Him!"
(4) The Manifesto is to present commonly with the various faiths, "a clear commitment to the common good of the societies in which we all live together." Multiple faiths do not bring about a common good. Only Christianity based on the clear teachings of the Word of God can bring peace to a society. "Faiths" do not come together to make that happen. America for example was not founded by nor propagated by a multitude of different faiths. It did not flourish under the teachings of Islam or Hinduism. It was founded by hard core, strong Reformed teachings that made the Bible the central document that promoted morality and spirituality!
(5) The Manifesto urges a "challenge to reaffirm Evangelical identity … to reposition Evangelicals in public life." I don't need to be challenged, "to reaffirm, to reposition" anything! What needs to happen is a return to solid propagation of the Word of God, to teach again verse by verse this wonderful revelation! Our seminaries need to get out of the business of training cheer leaders, psychologists, team leaders, facilitators, etc. They need to train pastors in the totality of Scripture and show them again how to be blessedly dogmatic and fearless in presenting spiritual truth.
We need to go back to basics and quite dancing around and presenting silly techniques in order to reposition ourselves with the world. "Teach the Word" must be returned to. –Dr. Mal Couch
Monday, May 12, 2008
But where God's favor, sought aright,
Fills every one with joy and light.
Is it the richest home? It is not found
Where wealth and splendor most abound;
But where ever in the house,
Men live contented with their lot.
Is it in the fairest home? It is not placed
In scenes with outward beauty graced;
But where kind words and smiles impart
A constant sunshine in the heart.
On such a home of peace and love
God showers His blessing from above;
And angels, watching over it cry,
"Lo! This is like our home on high!"
ANSWER: The seduction of television, freedom, and affluence are taking its toll on both men and women. Young men can be just flat out evil and young women can be silly temptresses! Women want to be in the company of men so they will sell themselves short to achieve that. They want to be sailors but then end up going to bed with the crew and getting pregnant. When the navy first deployed women on a ship almost all of them were coming back pregnant.
I saw a documentary the other day interviewing a girl soldier. She said she was proud to be defending her country. With all due respect that is not her role. Her main function is to be the keeper of the morality and the nurturer of the children. The men are to defend the nation! But young women have been brainwashed to believing they must "do" rather than "be." Our culture feeds this and our military lies to us. They say they keep women out of combat but this is not so. The women are stationed on all warships except subs. Can you imagine the chaos if the ship is sinking and mothers and wives are drowning as the vessel dives to the bottom? The military is slowly putting women in combat aircraft and equipping them with weapons in Iraq. The social agenda in our country is alive and well!
And young Christian women are following the feminist agenda in this country. The care of husband, children, and home, are no longer at the top of the list. They are unbiblical in setting their priorities. And their future husbands have also bought into the lies. They think it is okay for their wives to leave their homes and be deployed on a ship for nine months without seeing their children.
Paul says the supreme task of a woman is to pour her life into her children. Recent statistics prove the Bible right. Over forty percent of women, Christians and nonChristians, say they would rather stay home and raise the children rather than be in the work place. But they are driven on by the secular propaganda of feminism!
Paul also wants the young women to love their husbands and their children, be subject to their husbands, and be exemplary home makers (Titus 2:4-5). The problem is that evil young men give off the wrong signals, and most young girls follow their illicit leads.
Unfortunately in some ways things have not changed. In an 1882 book of essays and poems, Mary Lathrop wrote a piece entitled "To Our Girls." She noted that a pastor in a prominent church told her he had officiated at forty weddings and that all the brides were running risks with their choice of a husband but one! She added that young men of evil habits often did not marry their own moral kind but reached for a pure, sweet woman, who was somewhat blinded by his claims of love. Sadly, years later, they realized they had chosen wrongly.
The difference between then and now is that immoral young men do not hide their evilness. It is displayed openly and the women join them in their sins even before they are married. The proof is in the pudding. Almost half of the young people in America of both genders have a sexual disease.
Lathrop concluded as to what she witnessed: She saw young bright girls, at the height of their womanhood, give themselves into the keeping of men who, in base associations, had learned to undervalue all that belongs of worth.
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Sunday, May 11, 2008
ANSWER: Good question but it’s really easy to explain. Every Bible teacher worth his salt agrees that Romans 3:25 is saying that the death of Christ is covering the sins of the saints of the past—in former dispensations before the church age. It reads: Christ is displayed as a propitiation (a place of mercy), demonstrating “His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed.”
In his Word Pictures A. T. Robertson writes on this verse: The sins spoken of are “The sins before the coming of Christ (Heb. 9:15). … In this sense Christ tasted death for every man (Heb. 2:9).”
Charles Hodge adds: “The words, ‘that are past,’ seems distinctly to refer to the times before the advent of Christ. … (Heb. 9:15) ‘He is the Mediator for the redemption of sins that were under the first testament (the OT).’ … God has set forth Jesus Christ as a propitiatory sacrifice, to vindicate his righteousness or justice, on account of the remission of the sins committed under the former dispensation (the Law).”
Lenski goes further: “God passed over the sins of these Old Testament believers. … God pardoned their sins. … What took away the sins of the Old Testament saints was Christ’s blood. … The final reckoning with the sins of the Old Testament believers was, as it were, postponed until the true mercy seat was set forth. In this way the Old Testament saints had their ‘remission,’ it was in the form of a ‘passing over.’”
That the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, would do this for the OT believers was prophesied in Isaiah 53:12. He would “justify the many.”
Kroll rightly concludes in his Romans commentary: “The righteousness of God is declared by atoning for present and future sins as well as past sins. Therefore God is the justifier of any man or woman—past, present, or future—who places his or her faith in the blood of Jesus Christ.”
Yet the Bible is careful not to place OT saints into the body of Christ. They are never said to “be in Christ,” be part of “the body of Christ,” and they are never said to be “in the church.” The church is a unique dispensation in which believers of this present period have a special and different relationship with Christ than ever before. When the church saints are resurrected and the rapture of the living church saints takes place, there will be those who believe during the tribulation. They are “tribulation saints” but they are never seen as part of the body of Christ or labeled as those “in the church.”
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Saturday, May 10, 2008
ANSWER: Yes, I did. He signed in a law to take the DNA of all newborns. This would empower the Federal government to begin screening the DNA of all babies born in the U.S. within six months. The bill is described as a "national contingency plan" and entitled The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007, which was previously approved by both the House and Senate.
Many doctors are alarmed because it will give power to the government to look at records of people without permission. In a dangerous world one could argue for the necessity of such a program but on the other hand, this certainly sounds like Big Brother by which an evil administration, i.e. that of the antichrist, could have total control of a population. It would force people to cooperate with authorities or they would not be able eat or have jobs. Collecting DNA may not be the same as the mark of the Beast, but it does sound like a form of control by which the entire world's population is tied to the dictatorship of the Beast. Revelation 13:17 says: "He provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name."
We are now in an interlocking one world system in which the entire globe is interconnected. This will increase, leading up to the revived Roman Empire, governed by the Beast, who will by the world's consent exercise mastery over all nations. Some kind of international crisis will bring this about. The book of Revelation is full of "universal" statements that shows the unity of world society during that period. It is said of the Harlot that when she is at the height of her authority, "ALL the nations will be deceived by her sorcery" (Rev. 18:23)."ALL the kings of the earth, who have committed acts of immorality with her …" (v. 9). With the seventh bowl of wrath poured out there will come a great earthquake "such as has not been since man came upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty" (16:18). "And ALL who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain" (13:8).
The world is growing darker in every way—not brighter! Many pastors are lulling their flock to sleep by not teaching the full council of God! This now is also the day of evangelism in which the gospel should go forth with more clarity than ever! "Come quickly, Lord Jesus!"
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Friday, May 9, 2008
The most active people spiritually in that nation today may be the conservative dispensationalists. While they are a small group they appear to be healthy when it comes to propagating the gospel and teaching Scripture. But otherwise, Christianity is on life support there. With such a large spiritual vacuum it is no wonder that there is a hatred of Christian thought. And too, there is no wonder that the country opened wide its doors to accept Muslim influence.
In the April 18 edition of the Jerusalem Post Professor Robert Wistrich of the Hebrew University analyzed correctly what is happening in Britain. He put his finger on the fact that England lost its premillennial faith and its Christian connection, and from this, there is now a growing anti-Semitism in that nation. Here is a summary of what Wistrich said:
With a growing Muslim population, and a rising anti-Semitism, the increased spiritual confusion can be seen coming from the nation’s “detachment of the British from THEIR CHRISTIAN ROOTS.” For almost a thousand years Great Britain suffered from a large dose of Jewish hatred. In 1290, King Edward I, following years of anti-Semitism, gave the edict for the first violent major expulsion of the Jews, even more terrible than the expulsions of other Jewish communities anywhere in Europe. The Jews were banned from England until 1656, when Oliver Cromwell, a Puritan PREMILLENNIALIST authorized their return.
Then historian Wistrich makes a statement that I am sure he would fail to realize its full implications for those of us who are today premillennial and dispensational! He said “the straying of the British from their CHRISTIAN ROOTS has also created a changed reality in the Anglo-Israeli relationship with NO BIBLE-BASED reasons or raison de’tre for a Jewish presence in THE HOLY LAND.”
He cited the recent support of the archbishop of Canterbury for the adoption of parts of Shari’a, or Islamic law, in Britian—the same country which, he noted, was once the birthplace of the US EVANGELICAL MOVEMENT.
Finally he noted, “The loss of Christian identity in what was the MOST BIBLE-BELIEVING CULTURE in its day is one of the deeper layers of what has happened here in England.” He noted some of the biblical remarks of prominent British leaders of the past such as Lord Balfour and David Lloyd George would be viewed today as anathema. Both men after World War I supported the establishment of the Jewish people back to their ancient home in the Holy Land. There is no question about the personal faith of Balfour. He believed in the fulfillment of prophecy as premillennialists and dispensationalists do today!
Wistrich concluded with a most interesting statement: “You cannot speak or act [supportive for Israel] in that way today, or you would be considered the ‘BIGGEST THREAT TO CIVILIZATION’ as AMERICAN EVANGELICALS ARE.” A correction: That would be American premillennial Evangelicals not replacement theologians or the allegorical Reformed Covenant guys!
Dr. Mal Couch
Thursday, May 8, 2008
While there was a period when some premillennial/dispensational scholars thought that Revelation 6 started the second half of the tribulation, almost all today who are really knowledgeable of God's Word hold the correct view, and that is that this chapter actually begins the terrible events of the seven year period of horror on earth. It is clear from 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 and 5:9 that the church will not go under that terrible period nor will the church experience the persecution of the antichrist. While he may be alive and have some kind of political position he does not begin his evil work until the peace pact is made with the Jews. He is seen as a savior for humanity and for the Jewish people.
Since the time of the rapture is not revealed in Paul's epistles, it is seen as imminent or certain even to the early church. In other words the rapture could potentially have taken place at any time. This would be the perspective of the believers living during Paul's day.
Paul writes to the Thessalonians how he was told they had "turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and TO WAIT for His Son from heaven, whom [God] raised from the dead that is Jesus, who will deliver us OUT FROM (ek) the WRATH (orgas) that is coming" (1 Thess. 1:9b-10). There is no mention of the church saints experiencing the diabolical work of the antichrist. One would think that if the church was going to go under his persecution, Paul would have told them how they might survive and escape his evil intentions. And one would think in the book of Revelation there would be some kind of mention as to the work of the church during the tribulation period. Instead, the most prominent witnessing body mentioned in the book is the 144,000 Jews, not church saints! They believe in the Lord and were then sealed as the tribulation began (Rev. 7:4). We know the tribulation was going on when they believed and were sealed. John writes that an angel cries out with a loud voice to the four angels, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads" (v. 3). While these are believing Jews they are never called members of the church or seen as part of the body of Christ, or said to be "in Christ."
There are some important points to note as I point out in my Greek commentary (The Hope of Christ's Return, AMG) on 1 Thessalonians 1:10:
Who delivers us. This is a Present Active Participle from ruomai that should be translated "the one who is rescuing." Some commentators have translated it as a timeless substantive (that denotes characteristics of the noun), "the Rescuer Jesus," or "Our Deliverer" (Alford). "He is our Savior (Matt. 1:21) true to His name, Jesus. He is our Rescuer (Rom. 1:26, ho ruomenos, from Isa. 59:20)" (Robertson).
Ruomai actually comes from the Classical Greek word eruo but in Koine the e is dropped. In Classical Greek, eruo can be translated "drag, draw," implying force of violence as in "drag away the body of a slain hero," or "drag away, rescue friends" (L&S). Vincent translates ruomai with the force of the Middle Voice, that is, "to draw to one's self, with the specification [from] evil or danger." The Present Participle could have the force of a prophetic future: "The One who will drag us [to Himself]."
From the wrath to come. Wrath (orges) in the Thessalonians context, as a divine act, refers to the "coming" or "approaching" Tribulation that will immediately follow the rapture of the church. As Paul is using it here there is no room for the church to go through part of the seven year tribulation period and witness the work of the antichrist. Paul makes his argument clean, neat, and a complete rescue from the entire period. This wrath is the final seven year period of earth's judgment; it is the wrath of Daniel's Seventieth Week that purges Israel and also becomes a judgment upon the entire world as seen beginning in Revelation 6:12-17.
The church, the body of Christ, is rescued by Jesus before that day comes (1 Thess. 5:9): "For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." Here Paul describes salvation as a rescue from the earthly wrath, the Day of the Lord (5:2) that comes upon the world. This wrath "is a title for the [entire] period just before Messiah's kingdom on earth, when God will afflict earth's inhabitants with an unparalleled series of physical torments because of their rejection of His will" (HBC). This truth "teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ will return to the earth, and it leads the soul to wait for his appearing" (Barnes).
The wrath "coming" is a Present Active Participle of erchomai. It is a coming wrath! The Present Tense "is frequently used to denote the certainty of a future event" (Lightfoot). Some say "the Wrath absolutely" (Vincent), or some translate it "the Wrath absolutely, the Coming!" Another translation is "the Wrath is on its way someday to the world" (Ellicott).
The wrath has absoluteness about it. It is certain and even moving in this direction though it will not arrive until after the rapture. The church will not experience its terrors and therefore will certainly not experience the evil of the antichrist.
I Thessalonians 5:9 adds to this:
For God has not destined us for wrath. If the church does not go under any part of the wrath neither will it experience the work of the antichrist or see him at work during this wrath/tribulation time. For (hoti) introduces the reason for the anticipation of deliverance. Believers in Christ are not "assigned" to the wrath that is on its way (see 1:10). Destined (tithemi, Aorist Middle Indicative) can be translated "to place, position, firmly fix, determine, make something happen" (EDNT). The clause here might be translated, "God has [not] Himself assigned, appointed us for being recipients of His wrath." With the Aorist Tense and Middle Voice, the apostle is giving a firm, absolute soteriological promise, the keeping and protecting of which will be a sovereign act of the Lord. The promise is given without conditions: "God, according to His own good will and pleasure has decreed that we shall escape the outpouring of His wrath" (Ritchie). No idea of going through the tribulation for a cleaning up of wayward believers, or of a "moral sanctification" or of a partial rapture is found here. No believer who belongs to the body of Christ in this present dispensation will be placed under this wrath!
But what about those who become believers during the tribulation after Revelation 5? They are tribulation believers but they are not described as: "The body of Christ," "Saints in Christ," "In Christ," "The church." No church officers are mentioned, "elders," "deacons." No congregations are mentioned or described. The church is not here; it is gone in the rapture!
The resurrection that takes place just a split second before the rapture describes the resurrected as those God will cause Jesus to "bring with Him, those who have fallen asleep IN JESUS" (1 Thess. 4:14). They are the DEAD IN CHRIST (v. 16). These are technical descriptions of church saints. And we the living church saints join the resurrected church saints. Paul makes this clear by writing "For this we say TO YOU ... who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord" (v. 15).
The "last trumpet" of 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 is not the 7th trumpet of Revelation 11:15-19. 1 Corinthians 15 is similar to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, speaking of both the resurrection and the rapture of "those in Christ." That trumpet is blown to call the workers home from the fields. It is a harvest trumpet.The "wraths" of the book of Revelation are spread throughout the book. Wrath (orges) is mentioned in 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:10; 16:19; 19:15. The entire tribulation is described as "the wrath" right up front in Revelation 6:16-17. This is the "wrath of the Lord" i.e. "the great day of THEIR (the Father and the Lamb) came; and who is able to stand up under it?"
In Jeremiah 30, the birth pangs is "Jacob's distress" (za'rah, Hebrew, that can be translated tribulation) (v. 7). It is the Day of the Lord (v. 8). "Alas! for that DAY is great" (v. 7). The birth pangs of Jeremiah 30:6 is the Day of the Lord which the church saints will not go under (1 Thess. 5:2). It is the period when THEY, the world, will say "peace and safety" (v. 3). "They shall not escape" (v. 3), but "you, brethren (church saints), are not in darkness, that the day (of the Lord) should overcome you like a thief" (v. 4). You are sons of light, of day, and are not in darkness, "for God has not destined US for wrath but for obtaining deliverance through our Lord Jesus Christ" (v. 9). Why do I translate sozo deliverance when it is often translated "salvation"? Because in the context the discussion is about the escaping the Day of the Lord. Paul's discussion is not about spiritual salvation. Smart people interpret the Bible by CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT!
The best of premillennial Bible teachers know that the entire tribulation begins at Revelation 6. There the tribulation is called "the wrath". Verse 17 calls it "the great day of their wrath" (of the Father and the Lamb) and notes that "it came" (Aorist Tense). It was already there in the events of chapter 6. The best of scholars understand this. Even a non-dispensationalist like Bruce Metzger writes: "with the sixth chapter, the main action of the book may be said properly to begin." The author of the best commentary on Revelation, Dr. Robert Thomas, says of chapter 6: "the commencement of the revelation proper, the first five chapters [of Revelation] having been introductory." Thomas is one of the best living Greek scholars today, and on 6:17 he writes:
John Sproule raises the possibility, without endorsing it, that "came" is a dramatic
Aorist that would give no time indication for the beginning of the great day of wrath. ... The only time an aorist indicative speaks of something future or something about to happen, however, is if it is a dramatic aorist (Dana & Mantey). ... Some contextual feature must be present to indicate clearly these exceptional usages. No such feature exists in the context of the sixth seal, so these special uses are not options here.
Rosenthal (Prewrath Rapture) cites a use of the same verb form in Rev. 19:7 to demonstrate its futuristic connotation (PreWrath Rapture, pp. 166-67), but this usage is in one of the heavenly songs that often in the Apocalypse utilize proleptic aorsts (e.g. Rev. 11:15-19). His citation of "has come" in Mark 14:41 is not relevant to the sixth seal, because the historical context of that passage clearly refers to Christ's coming crucifixion. The verb in Rev. 6:17 must be a constative aorist looking back in time to the point in the past when the great day of wrath arrived. (Revelation, I: 460)
Conclusion: The Day of the Lord, the wrath of God, begins in Revelation 6. The church saints will not be here!
Most of the greatest scholars point out that the tribulation begins in Revelation 6, and that by 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and 5:9, it is clear the church will not go under the wrath, therefore, the church will not be a witness to the evil of the antichrist. Here are some who hold that position:
R. H. Charles
John Walvoord** (I know for a fact in interviewing him he held this view at the end of his life)
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
By Jim Cash, Brig. Gen., USAF, Ret.
I recently wrote about the war in Iraq and the larger war against radical Islam, eliciting a number of responses. Let me try and put this conflict in proper perspective.
Understand, the current battle we are engaged in is much bigger than just Iraq. What happens in the next year will affect this country and how our kids and grand kids live throughout their lifetime, and beyond. Radical Islam has been attacking the West since the seventh century. They have been defeated in the past and decimated to the point of taking hundreds of years to recover. But they can never be totally defeated. Their birth rates are so far beyond civilized world rates that in time they recover and attempt to dominate again.
There are eight terror-sponsoring countries that make up the grand threat to the West. Two, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, just need firm pressure from the West to make major reforms. They need to decide who they are really going to support and commit to that support. That answer is simple. They both will support who they think will hang in there until the end, and win. We are not sending very good signals in that direction right now, thanks to the Democrats.
The other six, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea and Libya will require regime change or a major policy shift. Now, let's look more closely.
Afghanistan and Iraq have both had regime changes, but are being fueled by outsiders from Syria and Iran. We have scared Gaddafi's pants off, and he has given up his quest for nuclear weapons, so I don't think Libya is now a threat.
North Korea (the non-Islamic threat) can be handled diplomatically by buying them off. They are starving. That leaves Syria and Iran. Syria is like a frightened puppy. Without the support of Iran they will join the stronger side. So where does that leave us? Sooner or later, we are going to be forced to confront Iran, and it better be before they gain nuclear capability.
In 1989 I served as a Command Director inside the Cheyenne Mountain complex located in Colorado Springs, Colorado for almost three years. My job there was to observe (through classified means) every missile shot anywhere in the world and assess if it was a threat to the US or Canada. If any shot was threatening to either nation I had only minutes to advise the President, as he had only minutes to respond.
I watched Iran and Iraq shoot missiles at each other every day, and all day, for months. They killed hundreds of thousands of their people. Know why? They were fighting for control of the Middle East and that enormous oil supply.
At that time, they were preoccupied with their internal problems and could care less about toppling the west. Oil prices were fairly stable and we could not see an immediate threat. Well, the worst part of what we have done as a nation in Iraq is to do away with the military capability of one of those nations. Now, Iran has a clear field to dominate the Middle East, since Iraq is no longer a threat to them. They have turned their attention to the only other threat to their dominance, they are convinced they will win, because the US is so divided, and the Democrats (who now control Congress and may control the Presidency in 2008) have openly said we are pulling out.
Do you have any idea what will happen if the entire Middle East turns their support to Iran, which they will obviously do if we pull out? It is not the price of oil we will have to worry about. Oil WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE to this country at any price. I personally would vote for any presidential candidate who did what JFK did with the space program; declare a goal to bring this country to total energy independence in a decade.
Yes, it is about oil. The economy in this country will totally die if that Middle East supply is cut off right now. It will not be a recession. It will be a depression that will make 1929 look like the "good-old-days". The bottom line here is simple. If Iran is forced to fall in line, the fighting in Iraq will end overnight, and the nightmare will be over.
One way or another, Iran must be forced to join modern times and the global community. It may mean a real war - if so, now is the time, before we face a nuclear Iran with the capacity to destroy Israel and begin a new ice age.
I urge you to read the book "END GAME" by two of our best Middle East experts, true American patriots and retired military generals, Paul Vallely and Tom McInerney. They are our finest, and totally honest in their assessment of why victory in the Middle East is so important, and how it can be won. Proceeds for the book go directly to memorial fund for our fallen soldiers who served the country during the war on terror. You can find that book by going to the Internet through Stand-up America at www.ospreyradio.us or www.rightalk.com.
On the other hand, we have several very angry retired generals today, who evidently have not achieved their lofty goals, and insist on ranting and raving about the war. They are wrong, and doing the country great harm by giving a certain political party reason to use them as experts to back their anti-war claims.
You may be one of those who believe nothing could ever be terrible enough to support our going to war. If that is the case I should stop here, as that level of thinking approaches mental disability in this day and age. It is right up there with alien abductions and high altitude seeding through government aircraft contrails. I helped produced those contrails for almost 30 years, and I can assure you we were not seeding the atmosphere. The human race is a war-like population, and if a country is not willing to protect itself, it deserves the consequences. Nuff-said!!!
Now, my last comments will get to the nerve. They will be on politics. I am not a Republican. And, George Bush has made enough mistakes as President to insure my feelings about that for the rest of my life. However, the Democratic Party has moved so far left, they have made me support those farther to the right. I am a conservative who totally supports the Constitution of this country. The only difference between the United States and the South American, third world, dictator infested and ever-changing South American governments, is our US Constitution.
This Republic (note I did not say Democracy) is the longest standing the world has ever known, but it is vulnerable. It would take so little to change it through economic upheaval. There was a time when politicians could disagree, but still work together. We are past that time, and that is the initial step toward the downfall of our form of government. I think that many view Bush-hating as payback time. The Republicans hated the Clintons and now the Democrats hate Bush. So, both parties are putting their hate toward willingness to do anything for political dominance to include lying and always taking the opposite stand just for r the sake of being opposed
JUST HOW GOOD IS THAT FOR OUR COUNTRY? In my lifetime, after serving in uniform for Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush I have a pretty good feel for which party supported our military, and what military life was like under each of their terms. And, let me assure you that times were best under the Republicans.
Service under Jimmy Carter was devastating for all branches of the military. And, Ronald Reagan was truly a salvation. You can choose to listen to enriched newscasters, and foolish people like John Murtha (he is no war hero), Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Michael Moore, Jane Fonda , Harry Reid, Russ Feingold, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, and on-and-on to include the true fools in Hollywood if you like. If you do, your conclusions will be totally wrong.
The reason that I write, appear on radio talk shows, and do everything I can to denounce those people is simple. THEY ARE PUTTING THEIR THIRST FOR POLITICAL POWER AND QUEST FOR VICTORY IN 2008 ABOVE WHAT IS BEST FOR THIS COUNTRY. I cannot abide that. Pelosi clearly defied the Logan Act by going to Syria, which should have lead to imprisonment of three years and a heavy fine.
Jane Fonda did more to prolong the Vietnam War longer than any other human being (as acknowledged by Ho Chi Minh in his writing before he died). She truly should have been indicted for treason, along with her radical husband, Tom Hayden, and forced to pay the consequences.
This country has started to soften by not enforcing its laws, which is another indication of a Republic about to fall. All Democrats, along with the Hollywood elite, are sending us headlong into a total defeat in the Middle East, which will finally give Iran total dominance in the region. A lack of oil in the near future will be the final straw that dooms this Republic. However, if we refuse to let this happen and really get serious about an energy self- sufficiency program, this can be avoided. I am afraid, however, that we are going in the opposite direction.
If we elect Hillary Clinton and a Democrat-controlled congress, and they carry through with allowing Iran to take control of the Middle East, continue to refuse development of nuclear energy, refuse to allow drilling for new oil, and continue to do nothing but oppose everything Bush, it will be over in terms of what we view as the good life in the USA.
Now, do I think that all who do not support the war are un-American ... of course not. They just do not understand the importance of total victory in that region.
Another failure of George Bush is his inability to explain to the American people why we are there, and why we MUST win. By the way, it is not a war. It is martial law that is under attack by Iranian and Syrian outside influences, and there is a difference.
So, what do I believe? What is the bottom line? I will simply say that the Democratic Party has fielded the foulest, power hungry, anti-country, self-absorbed group of individuals that I have observed in my lifetime. Our educational system is partially to blame for allowing the mass of America to be taken in by this group.
To win wars, you must put boots on the ground. When you put boots on the ground, soldiers are going to die. A President must make the war decision wisely, and insure that the cause is right before using his last political option. However, CONTROLLING IRAN AND DEMOCRATIZING THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE ONLY CHOICE IF WE ARE BENT ON DEPENDING ON THEM FOR OUR FUTURE ENERGY NEEDS.
Jimmy L. Cash, Brig. Gen., USAF, Ret. Lakeside, Montana 59922
"I'll tell you what war is all about, you've got to kill people, and when you've killed enough they stop fighting." - Gen. Curtis LeMay
Only rarely can you make doctrinal connections simply by the use of the same word(s). The most compelling key to interpretation is Context, Context, Context! And the context of this passage is clearly not a rapture context!
In the verses (2:1-7) leading up to 2:8 one must read carefully as to what Paul is saying. The Thessalonian church thought they might be in the tribulation, the Day of the Lord, because of the suffering they were undergoing. But Paul makes it clear that this was not so.
When the apostle gets to 2:8 he is writing not about the rapture but about the second coming of Christ. The Prewrath guys would make the verse about the rapture, thus when He comes (in the rapture), the verse would show that the church will be here during antichrist's reign! But most Prewrath advocates would say the church is raptured before the wrath of Revelation 16. Yet more happens in the winding down of the tribulation as seen from Revelation 17-20. The Prewrath guys have it all balled up! It is not until the very, very end of the tribulation that the beast (antichrist) is cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20) and then Satan is finally defeated (20:1-3).
In Paul's entire conversation about the antichrist in 2 Thessalonians 2 there is no mention of the church being around or seeing the antichrist! This is a false leap by the Prewrath guys!
Also what smashes their deficient view is the fact that the "restrainer" is taken out of the way before the antichrist is revealed (vs. 6-7). It is a settled issue that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit. I will not go into all the arguments on that issue here. It is certainly well argued that He leaves with the church. The antichrist would then begin his dirty work well before when he makes the covenant with the Jewish people that starts the seven year tribulation.
The Prewrath idea was initiated not by good Bible study but it came out of the brain storm of a layman by the name of Robert Van Kampen. He convinced Marvin Rosenthal of this deficient view for motives other than biblical! Van Kampen's ultimate motive was from the fact that he just plain did not like dispensationalism and the pretribulational biblically proven rapture. To fully answer in a thorough way, one must get Dr. Renald Showers' book The Pre-wrath Rapture View (Kregel). It is considered the classic in answering this false idea!
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Several decades before the Arabs had welcomed the Jews back home to the Holy Land. But by the 1930s and 1940s the Arabs turned on the Jews, and so did the British, to a degree, who were supposed to be the keepers of the peace in the Holy Land.
To keep the political fires burning the Arabs of Palestine had said that partition would only be achieved over the bodies of their people, their women and children. They vowed to drive the Jews into the sea and said the problem between the two peoples would only be solved by the sword; "all Jews must leave Palestine."
Where are we today?
Many believe that to keep the peace in the Middle East, Israel must attack the nuclear facility in Iran. The Iranians seem bent on building an atomic bomb and using it someday on Israel. But God is not asleep in these matters. He will have the final say in the Middle East in the tribulation. We are moving quickly to those days!
Monday, May 5, 2008
ANSWER: I believe the many verses that discuss heresy and error could be put together to form a guide to whom one should fellowship with. I think there are several layers of relationships to take note of that come from Scripture. (1) I can be glad for any true believer who is my brother in Christ. (2) While any true believer may be my spiritual brother, still, he may be destroying a large part of the Bible by his denial of certain doctrines. This would include those in the Reformed faith who deny the proven doctrines of the apostasy, the rapture of the church, the seven year tribulation period, and the bodily return of Jesus the Messiah who will reign on the throne of David for 1000 years in Jerusalem. (3) And then there are the believers who may outright hold to way, way out beliefs.
I could not see my church having joint ministries with any who deny the fundamentals of the Word of God. I may have a certain kind of accepting fellowship with them on a personal level but I could not share ministries with them. However, no one has ever called me an isolationist or legalist when it comes to these issues. I may write in very strong words against those who continue to give false interpretations against clear doctrinal issues but I do not have a fighting fundy mentality.
I believe a church should adopt a strong biblical doctrinal statement such as we have with Scofield Ministries. (You can click on it from the front page.) I wrote that some years ago and it has stood the test of time for a long while. Anyone reading it may feel free to use it however they wish.
A few years ago I got involved with a man who had come out of the Funda____ Bap_____ group. I thought I had him pegged right, and I thought he had disavowed some of the attitudes of that group, but when we began to do ministry together his narrowness and legalism came through. When he left our group, sure enough, he went right back to that persuasion. He lied about the fact that that had been his orientation. In fact, I caught him in over five lies on various issues. I find it interesting that he virtually claimed to walk sinless in his Christian life but he could tell fibs at the drop of a hat!
The Christian life is tricky in that groups and individuals can be deceptive and can look at the Bible in such a restrictive way. If they become embedded within a church they will set about to destroy that assembly or certainly try to take it over. They may doctrinally be in agreement but their attitude and their legalism can take a church down! Such folks I would avoid when it comes to sharing ministry.
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch
Friday, May 2, 2008
It is a convoluted view that says the church will go through part of the tribulation and be raptured before the wrath of Revelation 16:1-12. By doing this they put the church through part of the tribulation. They often use 1 Thessalonians 5:9 for their argument: "For God has not destined us for wrath but for obtaining salvation (deliverance) through our Lord Jesus Christ." They argue that the church does go to heaven before that wrath of Revelation 16 and on.
They foolishly in their poor interpretation practices fail to note two things: First chapter 5 is about the entire tribulation, the Day of the Lord, that will come upon the world like a thief in the night (v. 2). Paul never says this entire period (seven years), or even part of this period, will fall upon church saints. In fact he writes in the following verses about "them," "they," the lost, who will be caught up in that terrible period (v. 3). But the "you," the church, is not in darkness that that day should overtake the saints (v. 4).
The PreWrath guys fail to note also that Paul is alluding to the wrath of God, "that day," that falls on the Jews after they have returned from around the world back to the Holy Land (Jer. 30). That same wrath of course also falls upon the lost world. The "birth pangs" in Jeremiah 30:6 are describing the tribulation as a whole, an entire period of wrath. Those birth pangs Paul speaks about here in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 are seen as a whole, the complete seven years of earth horror. Thus the church shall escape the whole period of the birth pangs (the entire period of wrath) not just the last half.
But the spiritually challenged PreWrath guys ignore or certainly dance around Revelation 6:12-17 where it is clearly stated that the wrath of God begins at the front end of the tribulation, even though the final outpouring of wrath is described by the Bowls of Wrath in Revelation 16.
At the first of the tribulation, in Revelation 6:16-17, the world cries out (not the church or the Christians crying out), "Hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the WRATH of the Lamb; for THE GREAT DAY OF THEIR WRATH "HAS ARRIVED" (Aorist Tense, it is already here at the beginning of the tribulation) and who is able to stand [up under it]."
Conclusion: Since the church does not go under any part of the tribulation it will be gone in the PRETRIBULATIONAL RAPTURE before Revelation 6! Remember people who come up with such silly views have an agenda at stake. They want the church to be "purged" by the pain of the tribulation or just flat out cannot stand the clear teaching of Pretribulational Rapturists! They want to argue just to argue! They work disparately hard to create another view in order to deny the obvious. They need to go to counseling!
Part 2 to follow: Will the church face the antichrist?