Ezekiel 4 and the Coming Rapture: An Adaptation of the Work of Arthur E. Bloomfield
By Hermano Cisco, BABYLONFALLS.ORG
Table of Contents
In this paper, we will examine the work of Professor Arthur Bloomfield on Ezekiel 4 (in the context of his other works, which is necessary), and then suggest answers to the vital question, “what comes next prophetically?” We will also briefly assess the compromised condition of many practicing evangelicals; we believe this widespread condition is due in part to misunderstandings in eschatology.
This paper covers several complex propositions, and supposes a familiarity with the prophetic Scriptures. It does not make for casual reading.
In preparation for this study, we would do well to pray for a teachable and discerning heart. Perhaps some of our most cherished positions and suppositions will be challenged.
Regarding the general misunderstanding of prophecy, Professor Arthur E. Bloomfield pointedly observes:
At present there is some confusion in prophetic study. This is caused by two things: First, there is so much material; the details are so many that there will need to be organization and harmony. Second, there has been too much prophetic “teaching” not found in the Bible. Too many statements have been made without Scriptural support. Therefore, it is going to be necessary for us to proceed on the following basis:
No matter how many people believe a statement—
No matter how many great Bible teachers say it—
No matter how many books it is in—
If it is not in the Bible, it could be wrong.
This may sound axiomatic, yet the fact is that it would put a question mark after about nine-tenths of what we have been taught along some lines. This is actually a serious situation. For that reason, our first purpose must be to bring together the Scriptures themselves and apply them to the proper times (The End of the Days, p. 17).
Ezekiel 4 is a difficult passage of Scripture to interpret. Yet, according to Professor Bloomfield, grasping it is fundamental to our preparation for the end–times. Of course, abiding in Jesus is our most necessary preparation, but Jesus exhorts us:
Watch out for false prophets.
Watch out that no one deceives you.
Matthew 24:4 (NIV)
Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape
all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son
Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake….
And Paul tells Timothy:
There are two accounts regarding the scattering of the Jews among the nations which require our immediate attention. Daniel divides a period of 490 years into three parts (see Daniel 9:20-27, and notes), whereas Ezekiel has a total period of 430 years divided into two parts, one of 390 years, the other of 40 years.
Daniel’s 490 years puzzlingly take us all the way up to the Second Coming of Christ, whereas Ezekiel’s 430 years enigmatically take us to the end of the worldwide banishment of the Jews.
A convincing interpretation has been offered by several regarding the conundrum of Daniel’s 490 years (see Footnote 3); however the enigma of Ezekiel’s 430 years has only one cogent expositor of whom we are aware: Arthur E. Bloomfield.
Ezekiel 4:1-13 (NLT)
A Sign of the Coming Siege
1"And now, son of man, take a large brick and set it down in front of you.
Then draw a map of the city of
4"Now lie on your left side
and place the sins of
7"Meanwhile, continue your
demonstration of the siege of
9"Now go and get some wheat,
barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt, and mix them together in a storage
jar. Use this food to make bread for yourself during the 390 days you will be
lying on your side. 10Ration this out to yourself, eight ounces of food
for each day, and eat it at set times. 11Then measure
out a jar of water for each day, and drink it at set times. 12Each day prepare your bread as you would barley cakes. While all the people
are watching, bake it over a fire using dried human dung as fuel and then eat
the bread. 13For this is what the LORD says:
Professor Bloomfield explains:
[The] seventy years was an exact time [see Jeremiah 29:10,
Daniel 9:2]. At the end of that period of captivity in
return after the Babylonian Captivity was only a partial return, for many of
the Jews remained in
Scriptures, therefore, one line of prophecy [Daniel
-27, see Footnote 3] follows the
Jews who returned.
This includes the rebuilding of
Ezekiel was told about those who did not return. How long their dispersion would be was revealed, but it was told in such a way that it would not influence its fulfillment nor point to the time of the Resurrection [Rapture]. Because of the fact that the return of the Jews is closely associated with the Resurrection [Rapture], the time element must be somewhat veiled (Before the Last Battle: Armageddon, p. 175, emphases added).
So far so good? (Need to re-read?) Please understand that when Professor Bloomfield refers to “the Resurrection,” he is speaking of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture (although his work, in the main, can accommodate a mid or post-Tribulation rapture as well).
purpose of this prophecy is stated frankly—to show how long the Jews will be
scattered among the nations: “I have laid upon thee
the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days (vs. 5), “I
have appointed each day for a year” (vs. 6).
“Even thus shall the children of
iniquity and the dispersion of
This is noticeably difficult material to grasp --and a most unusual interpretation to tolerate, especially if you have not pondered Daniel 9 and Ezekiel 4 carefully. (Actually, it’s probably difficult even if you have given them much thoughtful study.)
Ezekiel gives us the grand total of years of the dispersion punishment for Jews: 390 years plus 40 years = 430 years total (Ezekiel acted out “a day for a year”).
Jeremiah and Daniel tell us of the initial punishment of seventy years (see Jeremiah 29:10, Daniel 9:2), but because the Jews did not truly repent, the remainder of their punishment of dispersion was then multiplied by a factor of seven, pointing to a still future time when remaining Jews worldwide will return to Israel; this in distinction to the partial (and temporary) return after seventy years captivity in Babylonia (being re-dispersed by the Romans in 70 A.D.), and also in distinction to the current partial return of the Jews to Palestine observed since Israel became a nation again in 1948.
Ezekiel’s 430 Days
laid siege to
will the 2520 years of punishment for
Assyrian records set the time of the Fall of Jerusalem at 586 B.C. The first return, seventy years from that date, would bring us to 516 B.C.; 2520 years from 516 B.C. would bring us to about A.D. 2004. We do not know what event will mark the end of this time….Before the return of Christ, there will be a temple built, for Malachi says, “The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple.” –Mal. 3:1.
the return of the Jews to
God was speaking of those events when He told us through Habakkuk, “I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.” –Hab. 1:5.
these figures in Ezekiel 4 no dates for the Resurrection [Rapture] or the
return of Christ can be set. But these
2520 years are beginning to run out, and the events scheduled are beginning to
take place. The time prophesied is about
up. The Jews are beginning to return,
sufficiently accurate for our purpose.
For the full understanding we will have to wait the event; but it will
undoubtedly come, as did the going out of
prophecy of the 2520 years concerns all
Based on the foregoing, our understanding of
draw your attention to Jeremiah 52:28-30 (NASB),
regarding the Fall of
28These are the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away into exile: in the seventh year 3,023 Jews;
29in the eighteenth year of
Nebuchadnezzar 832 persons from
30in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile 745 Jewish people; there were 4,600 persons in all.
Please note the approximate dates of these three phases of the exile:
Verse 28, “seventh year” 597 B.C.
Verse 29, “eighteenth year” 586 B.C.
Verse 30, “twenty-third year” 581 B.C.
Professor Bloomfield chose 586 B.C. (verse 29, above), the official date of the Fall of Jerusalem, as the starting date for the calculation. This date leads us to approximately 2004 A.D. as marking the end of the current worldwide Jewish dispersion. The complete return did not happen by this date, although he does caution that all dates ‘must be considered approximate.’
But why could we not instead use 581 B.C.
(verse 30, above) as our starting point?
This is the date of the final phase of the dispersion. This date would lead us to approximately 2009
A.D. for the complete return of the Jews to
Ezekiel’s 430 years total
dispersion time, minus the 70 years already served in
No repentance, therefore Moses warned (prophesied) that the remainder of the punishment time would be multiplied by a factor of seven: 7 x 360 = 2,520 more years.
So if our starting point for the punishment is instead made 581 B.C., (and recognizing 581 as a negative number on a timeline) then -581 + 70 + 2520 = +2009 A.D.
A Note about Date-Setting
Our date-setting is not to try to predict the timing of the Rapture, but to determine the approximate time for the ending of God’s banishment of the Jews to “eat defiled bread in the Gentile lands.” Possibly our interpretation is wrong, by which little is to be lost. But if it is not wrong, then our time is short to gain understanding, to prepare ourselves, and to instruct others.
Those times that are hidden, we should not try to pry into; but those that are revealed, we should understand thoroughly, for “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever” –Deut. 29:29.
What world conditions will transpire before the Pre-Tribulation Rapture? What events come next, prophetically?
Based generally on
After the Pre-Trib Rapture, peace is taken from idyllic earth, and only then will Antichrist be “revealed” for who he really is -- by his open persecution of Christians. But his activities on the world stage will have begun years before the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
Even now we may perceive the spirit of antichrist making astonishing advances worldwide. (In secular terms, this spirit may be referred to as “political correctness.”)
Widespread apostasy is seen today in the prevailing ecumenical antichrist spirit that advances false unity at the expense of truth.
The de-emphasizing of doctrine as ‘divisive’ is exemplified by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and its thesis that “doctrine divides but service unites.” But Scripture says, “There must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you” (1 Cor. ).
Many church members have the truth, but they do not have a love of the truth and therefore are easily deceived….You will not be deceived if you know what to expect (Before the Last Battle—Armageddon, p. 119).
Prior to the Pre-Trib Rapture, a global crisis will come, and be resolved militarily by the Antichrist; his uprooting three horns signifies defeating three countries:
"While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.”
Daniel 7:8 (NIV)
Habakkuk 1 (NIV)
1 The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet received.
2 How long, O LORD, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, "Violence!"
but you do not save?
3 Why do you make me
look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
We do not yet know how this impending global crisis will play out, i.e., who the troublemakers are. And, unlike the prophesied events after the Pre-Trib Rapture, we do not have a timetable to show how long this first time of crisis will persist--before the Antichrist knocks some heads together and produces world peace and ‘unity.’
We do know, however, that this forthcoming time of crisis must be of sufficient length and severity that virtually the entire world will be pleased to follow Antichrist out of it.
In a paper this size, we cannot carefully consider
All of this before the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, and before (many) Christians realize the identity of the Antichrist. To the contrary, Antichrist will be hailed as a great leader who has just led the world out of crisis; a benevolent king in the manner of Cyrus the Great, perhaps.
In their despair and affliction, most Jews will still
not recognize Messiah Jesus, but they will come back under the Law, and
This time of blessing continues while they yet hope in the LORD. However, we already know that they will unwisely make a seven year treaty with Antichrist (Daniel ), which he will break after three and a half years, ushering in the time of “Jacob’s Trouble (Jer. 30:7).”
it is commonly held that this notorious treaty length of seven years
(Daniel 9:27) represents the total time between the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and
the Second Coming of Christ, on horseback with his armies. However, as
We have become so accustomed to thinking that there are just seven years between the Rapture and the Return that it is hard to break the spell. Somebody jumped to a conclusion and everybody else followed along. Seven years does not give enough time (All Things New, p. 206).
(Please see this suggested Revelation Chart, which reconciles and harmonizes
the work of
After he resolves the coming crisis, Antichrist
will waste no time before going after the Jews.
They will appear to be as good as dead under him; but in the Lord’s
hand, Antichrist is only an instrument (“the rod of God’s anger,” Isaiah
10:5-6). As the Jews humble themselves,
the Lord will rescue them, and shepherd them all back to
34 I will bring you from the nations and
gather you from the countries where you have been scattered—with a mighty hand
and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. 35 I will bring you into the desert of
the nations [
11 Then he said to me: "Son of man,
these bones are the whole house of
Jesus himself warns us of the Rapture occurring during such a seductive time:
knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but
only the Father. 37As
it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the
days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving
in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what
would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will
be at the coming of the Son of
(Note: ‘The Coming of Christ’ may include from
the first Rapture to Christ coming with his armies.
Christ’s special warning to Christians during this coming time of peace and prosperity is perhaps anticipated in his rebuke of the Laodiceans:
You say, 'I
That is what
The people are deceived, led astray, because they trust their leaders. Most of them could just as easily have been led into the truth. This is the church [type] that will be strongest when the Rapture comes. This is the church that will enter the tribulation that follows (All Things New, p. 97).
Regarding forthcoming, dramatic geopolitical changes in our world, there are many relevant prophecies; consider, e.g., that the statue described in Daniel 2 is standing in its totality when struck on its feet by the rock (cf. Daniel 2 vis-à-vis Daniel 7 and Revelation 13).
There is intriguing
In this paper (including main body and footnotes) we have considered two difficult passages of Scripture: Daniel 9 and Ezekiel 4.
We have discovered that distinct rules must be applied to these prophecies in order to interpret them correctly.
In the case of Daniel’s period of “seventy sevens” (490 years), we had to realize that, counted continuously, they did not bring us up to the Second Coming, as heralded in that passage. We had to recognize a curious gap of indeterminate length in which we are now living. This gap of time is often termed “The Church Age.” Its purpose is given in Romans (NIV):
I do not want you
to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited:
Much more significant to our urgent wake-up call to the Church is the posited interpretation of Ezekiel 4.
In the case of Ezekiel 4, we saw that his total time of 430 years (390 for Israel and 40 for Judah), taken consecutively from the a starting point of, e.g., the Fall of Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C., would not carry us up to the prophesied (yet pending) return of all dispersed Jews to Palestine.
We saw that the key to our understanding was found in the Law of Moses (e.g., Leviticus 26:18), which resolved the dilemma by showing us that after an initial punishment, if the Jews had not truly repented, the remainder of their punishment time would be multiplied by a factor of seven.
We saw that this
interpretation pointed us to some time in our own immediate future
wherein all Jews worldwide will return to
It is strongly suggested that this mass return will shortly be instigated by none other than the man Antichrist.
It is further offered that Antichrist’s position of strength to carry out his anti-Semitic campaign of persecution will come about by his military resolution of a soon-coming period of worldwide crisis; to be followed by an interlude of global prosperity and construction; all before the Pre-Trib Rapture.
There are many contemporary challenges to dispensationalism (and the belief in a Rapture), e.g., The Emergent Church Movement, and Dominionism. Regarding dominionism, Dave Hunt indicates that traditional dispensationalist doctrines are being replaced by what he termed “An Emerging Eschatology.” In his crucial book The Seduction of Christianity (with T. A. McMahon, 1985), he warns:
Two factions are now emerging within the church. One side adheres to the belief that an apostasy is coming for the church in the last days, and with it a great tribulation and God’s judgments for the world. We are to rescue as many as we can before it is too late, calling them to citizenship in heaven.
On the other side are those, equally sincere, who see the primary call of the church as solving social, economic, and political problems. Although they are also concerned to see souls saved, the conversion of the masses provides the means for taking over the world for Christ… (p. 215).
Which of these two camps resists the seducing spirits now openly at work in the Church? Personally, we believe the above quote delineates life and death.
Sadly, among evangelical Christians, the challenges of certain false teachings wear away support for dispensationalist ideas. Belief in a literal Antichrist and a literal Rapture is very clearly on the decline. There are some noteworthy exceptions, e.g., Tim LaHaye and his Left Behind series.
respected dispensationalists like Mr. Hunt, Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, Chuck
Smith of Calvary Chapel,
Regrettably, LaHaye, et al, could not accept the idea
of further major prophetic events coming prior to the Rapture. They
could not accept
Those who read should be tolerant. Although there are probably several legitimate differences of opinion, we each know only in part. In honest humility we must make room for every ray of truth sent to us, even in the face of long-held convictions.
If the ideas briefly advanced in this article elucidate truth, then the Church is ill-taught, and therefore gravely ill-prepared, regarding what to expect next.
that possibility, and given the inadequacy of our treatment of
1Professor Arthur E. Bloomfield (1895-1980)
Books by Arthur Edward Bloomfield:
o The End of the Days: A Study of Daniel’s Visions (1961)
o Before the Last Battle-Armageddon (a.k.a. A Survey of Bible Prophecy) (1971)
o How to Recognize the Antichrist (1975)
o Where is the Ark of the Covenant? (1976)
Some of the above works are available at, e.g., bethanyhouse.com, amazon.com, and kregel.gospelcom.net. Others are found only at used book Web sites, e.g., alibris.com.
2abiding in Jesus
Please procure Abide in Christ, an essential book by Andrew Murray which teaches us, as Christians, how to really enjoy Jesus himself, and to enter into the abundant life. It answers, among other questions: “Is daily sinning an inevitable necessity?” (p. 173). Available at, e.g., http://www.cisn.com/clc/.
Another recommended work along these lines is Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, by Dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor.
The above materials are important to our becoming truly usable in God’s hands at this crucial time in the history of the world.
3Daniel -27, with explanatory notes following
20 While I was speaking
and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people
24 "Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
25 "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. "
Explanatory notes on ‘The Seventy Sevens’
· The weeks are weeks of years, so the total is 7 x 70 = 490 years.
Here is an interpretation of how the 70 weeks (of years) break down:
7 Nehemiah approaches Artaxerxes, 445 B.C., Nehemiah 2:1-8.
+62 Messiah/anointed one arrives = Christ’s First Coming.
69 ‘Messiah cut off [crucified], but not for himself (KJV).’
Romans typify ‘People of Prince/ruler who shall come’; they destroy
(CHURCH AGE = TIME OUT/ PARENTHESIS IN TIME)
+ 1 Final Week = Daniel’s 70th Week. ‘Prince who shall
70 come’ is Antichrist. See Daniel 2:40-45, 7:7; Revelation 13:1-3.
· The part of the prophecy relating to the first sixty-nine weeks has already been accurately fulfilled.
· You and I are currently in the “Church Age,” which continues up to the Jews signing of their seven year covenant with Antichrist.
· The final 1 week (of seven years) will be initiated by the Jews’ signing that treaty with the Antichrist --“He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.'”
· Concurrent to the signing of the treaty, we posit a second rapture --of the Tribulation Saints, Rev. 7:9-17. (Consider the recommended Revelation Chart, Footnote 9; also the discussion of Mid-Trib and Post-Trib Raptures, Footnote 4 below.)
4Pre-Tribulation Rapture (With notes following on Mid and Post Trib Raptures, and also on The First Horseman of the Apocalypse)
A popular view taught by some dispensationalists (those who insist on consistent literalism in their hermeneutics), this is the belief that there will be a secret calling up of living Christians to Heaven (see, e.g., Rev. 3:10, 4:1, 12:5), which will occur just prior to the time of Great Tribulation, during which the Antichrist will openly persecute remaining Christians and converts (Rev. 12:13-17).
The Pre-Trib Rapture is a rescue (and arguably a reward versus a right) from a time of Great Tribulation that commences shortly after that Rapture occurs.
Please note: there is an imminent, distinct, earlier time of coming world crisis (prior to the Pre-Trib Rapture) which facilitates the acceptance of Antichrist, as he brings ‘peace out of war and security out of chaos.’ However, this (second) time of calamity begins after the Pre-Trib Rapture, and is initiated by The Breaking of the Second Seal in Heaven (Rev. 6:3-4).
The second time of crisis, under
the Seven Seals and Seven Trumpet-Bowls, could not be a time for
building great and wealthy cities like Babylon (or the Temple in Jerusalem),
for there will be no peace. Further, the
time remaining until the Second Coming will be too short (10 1/2 years away) for great building programs to
MID AND POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURES
Revelation 7:9-14 (NIV):
this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could
count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the
throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding
palm branches in their hands. 10And
they cried out in a loud voice:
"Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb." 11All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
13Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?"
14I answered, "Sir, you know."
And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
See, e.g. Revelation 11:15-19 (Seventh Trumpet sounded), and:
26"At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the [seventh] trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
1 Corinthians 15:52
51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last [seventh] trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
Notes regarding the First Horseman of the Apocalypse
It is held by some that the First Horseman of the Apocalypse symbolizes the arrival of the Antichrist on the world stage.
However, this first horseman (on a white horse, Rev. 6:2) is neither Christ nor Antichrist. Antichrist is already on the scene; he is not from Heaven; and he has no association with the color white. Rather, this horseman corresponds to the messenger proclaiming the Gospel from Heaven, recapitulated in Revelation 14:6.
Notice that it is the horse that is white, red, black, or pale. The color applies to the horse, not the rider. It represents not the character of the rider but the nature of the work to be done. White connects with righteousness—always. Christ has white hair; the saints have white robes, God’s great judgment throne is white. “They shall walk with me in white.” White cannot by any stretch of the imagination be applied to Antichrist.
The white horseman causes the gospel to be preached to every kindred, tongue, people, and nation. It will be preached from heaven, but from the earth the messengers will seem like flying angels.
“He that sat on him had a bow.” It has been said that he had a bow but no arrows, and therefore the man represents a counterfeit. But if we say a man carries a gun, we assume the gun to be loaded. The reference is to the third chapter of Habakkuk where this same scene is in view.
Was the Lord displeased against the rivers? was thy wrath against the sea? that thou didst ride upon thine horses and thy chariots of salvation? Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. –Hab. 3:8,9
Notice the four questions, three referring to judgment and one to salvation. The bow represents the preaching of the Word accompanied by displeasure, anger and wrath.
(When Christ comes with his saints, they will ride upon white horses, but at that time they will not carry bows. The day of preaching is past. The Word is then a sword proceeding from the mouth of Christ. He will do all the fighting in that day with the word of His mouth.)
“And a crown was given unto him.” The Greek word is stephanos. It is always used of Christ and the saints. It is never used of Antichrist. Antichrist has “ten crowns,” that is “diadema”—many crowns.
“He went forth conquering and to conquer.” The Greek word is nikao. It means “to have the victory.” It is used in only one other place in the New Testament—Romans 8:37: “We are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” The words “and to conquer” would suggest final victory (All Things New, pp. 141-142).
5the Jews did not truly repent
We find the prophet Daniel, in exile, confessing to this very fact at the end of the initial seventy years of punishment:
“As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth.”
Regarding eschatology, most genuine Christians fall into one of two broad camps:
1) Those who believe in a Rapture (Pre, Mid, Post, or some combination), and a literal man, Antichrist. This would include, e.g., Tim LaHaye, Dave Hunt, Chuck Smith, Arthur E. Bloomfield, me, and probably you.
2) Those who have rejected these teachings (or are in the process of rejecting them) for a greater focus on the affairs of Planet Earth. This would include dominionist leaders like C. Peter Wagner, and others who want to unite to clean up the world for Christ.
Now imagine, if you will, the soon arrival of a momentous time of crisis and terror that stands the whole world on its head (including me and you).
Initially, who might seem to have all the answers?
Pre-Tribulationists in the first camp, à la LaHaye, will be selling more books. They will be teaching that “the Rapture is surely any second.” Most of us in this camp will be crying out, “Please beam me up now, Lord Jesus; and help my neighbors to listen before it’s too late!”
Post-Tribulationists also will be selling more books, and insisting that this is the start of The Great Tribulation, at the end of which will come the Rapture.
However, in our contrary scenario (to borrow a phrase), this time of world crisis and suffering is to be clearly resolved by (a generally unrecognized) Antichrist, no Rapture required. Now who will be selling more books? Camp 2 will seem to have all the answers this time around:
“We told you so!” they will chortle. “Because we have faithfully continued to ‘break down the walls’ and unite in prayer and service, things worldwide are getting ‘better and better in every way.’
“You sticks in the mud, with your teachings about some mythical ‘rapture’, enough already! Now eat humble pie and join us: let’s start doing ‘Kingdom business’ together. Remember what we’ve been telling you all along: instead of looking up, look around -- this fallen world is in great need!”
And in fact, many more from Camp 1 (including many Post-Tribulationists) may then be seduced to abandon their vigilant watch for the Rapture (Luke ). They will apparently have no leg to stand on: their doctrinal model has failed them.
Riches, power, and pleasures will now beckon very, very strongly. And so, many from our camp will then say of the dominionists, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”
For their sake and ours, it is urgent and imperative that you and I seek the Lord, immerse ourselves in prayer and God’s Word, and allow ourselves much time to re-visit the prophetic Scriptures! Let us be prepared to share what we find.
· Turn off your television
· Put that novel back on the shelf
· Re-think your plans to take on some major new project
· Seek the Lord with prayer and (gasp) fasting
“Only let us live up to what we have already attained” (Php. , NIV).
7Doctrine of Imminency
This is the belief that no other prophetic event needs to be fulfilled before Jesus returns for his Church. In other words He might come "at any moment.”
The common notion, for example, that the Apostle Paul expected Christ’s return during his own lifetime simply cannot be supported from Scripture.
Jesus spoke of the Rapture as “your redemption”[Luke ]. Following the custom of the prophets, Jesus addressed His people at the time of the prophecy. “Your” does not refer to the four disciples to whom Jesus was talking but to the people involved in the prophecy. There is nothing unusual about this. It is a common prophetic device.
Jeremiah commands: “Flee out of the
This was spoken
addressed are those living when the prophecy is fulfilled and who are
directly involved. There will be a city
which, in the last days, will be to our world what
Paul also used this method when he says, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up.” –I Thess. 4:17. It does not follow that Paul expected the Rapture before he died; in fact, the context shows that Paul simply follows the prophetic principle of stating the prophecy in the words of those to whom it is spoken.
Jesus did the
same thing when He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming,
and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”—
could be multiplied. It is an important
principle of interpretation. Prophecy is
often couched in the words of those to whom it is addressed or to whom it is
directly spoken. The fact that God can
do this is one of the marvels of prophecy.
God speaks of future things as though they were already happening. “
foregoing, we must understand that the Pre-Trib Rapture will only become
imminent sometime after
8in the manner of Cyrus the Great
God raised up Cyrus, king of Persia (who was not a Jew), directing him to take actions that would favor the Jews, and that would fulfill the miraculous prophecy made by Isaiah, which mentioned Cyrus by name, about 150 years before he came to the throne! (See Isaiah 44:28; 45:1ff.)
As a result of an order by
King Cyrus, some 42,000 Israelites returned to
Someday very soon, after his meteoric rise to power, the Antichrist will quickly begin persecuting the Jews, and will thus be criticized by some (probably mostly Christians). Nevertheless, he will also have just brought the world out of a colossal epoch of crisis, for which there will be near universal relief and gratitude. And, after all, he will seem to furnish genuine world peace and prosperity--for the gentiles, anyway.
May we remember recent world history: strong, yet evil leaders can inspire vast multitudes--and deliver on their promises.
Following World War I (The
The Kaiser had been
replaced by the weak
Then, in 1929,
At that time in
Are we so naïve as to think that during the greatest world crisis to date, many undiscerning in the Church will not feel, at least initially, blindly indebted to such a charismatic world leader?
o “Don’t be too judgmental of him.”
o “Don’t be so ungrateful as to bite the hand that feeds you.”
o “He’s no saint. But then neither was Cyrus the Great, and God used him to help his people back then; today, we Christians are ‘the chosen people.’”
For the violence done to Lebanon will cover and overwhelm you [Mr. Antichrist]; the destruction of the animals [which the violence frightened away] will terrify you on account of men's blood and the violence done to the land, to the city and all its inhabitants.
Ezekiel 28:2-5 (NIV)
2 "Son of man, say
to the ruler of
" 'In the pride of your heart
you say, "I am a god;
I sit on the throne of a god
in the heart of the seas."
But you are a man and not a god,
though you think you are as wise as a god.
3 Are you wiser
than Daniel ?
Is no secret hidden from you?
4 By your wisdom
you have gained wealth for yourself
and amassed gold and silver
in your treasuries.
5 By your great
skill in trading
you have increased your wealth,
and because of your wealth
your heart has grown proud.
Antichrist will become the
ruler (prince) of
Ezekiel 28:11-16 (NIV)
11 The word of the LORD came to me: 12 "Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king
" 'You were the model of perfection,
full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in
every precious stone adorned you:
ruby, topaz and emerald,
chrysolite, onyx and jasper,
sapphire, turquoise and beryl.
Your settings and mountings were made of gold;
on the day you were created they were prepared.
14 You were anointed as a guardian cherub,
for so I ordained you.
You were on the holy mount of God;
you walked among the fiery stones.
15 You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created
till wickedness was found in you.
16 Through your widespread trade
you were filled with violence,
and you sinned.
So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God,
and I expelled you, O guardian cherub,
from among the fiery stones.
17 Your heart became proud
on account of your beauty,
and you corrupted your wisdom
because of your splendor.
So I threw you to the earth;
I made a spectacle of you before kings.
18 By your many sins and dishonest trade
you have desecrated your sanctuaries.
So I made a fire come out from you,
and it consumed you,
and I reduced you to ashes on the ground
in the sight of all who were watching.
Ezekiel 26:14, 19
14 I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD.
19 "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When I make you a desolate city, like cities no longer inhabited, and when I bring the ocean depths over you and its vast waters cover you….
No such destruction as described here has yet happened to Tyre (located on the coast of modern Lebanon); therefore Ezekiel chapters 26-28 describe events regarding Tyre that are still in the future. See also Isaiah 23 & 24.
Zechariah 5:5-11 (NIV):
5 Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, "Look up and see what this is that is appearing."
6 I asked, "What is it?" He replied, "It is a measuring basket. " And he added, "This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land."
7 Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! 8 He said, "This is wickedness," and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed the lead cover down over its mouth.
9 Then I looked up—and there before me were two women, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth.
10 "Where are they taking the basket?" I asked the angel who was speaking to me.
11 He replied, "To the country of
Important Note: Isaiah 13:19-22 describes the complete
Regarding the future, literal, final fall of
Doubtless the possibility of a literal second
“If a prophecy has not been totally fulfilled in the past, then there will be a future complete fulfillment.”
“The emerging church or emergent church is a diverse movement within Protestant Christianity that arose in the late 20th century as a reaction to the influence of modernism in Western Christianity. The movement is usually called a "conversation" by its proponents to emphasize its diffuse nature with contributions from many people and no explicitly defined leadership or direction. The emerging church seeks to deconstruct and reconstruct Christianity as its mainly Western members live in a postmodern culture." Taken From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergent_church
In actuality, the Emergent Church Movement expresses the emergence, and acceptance, of mysticism in evangelical churches. Its leaders include, among many others, Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo, and Richard Foster. Notice their slick advertisements in your favorite Christian magazine, or on your local Christian radio station.
For good information, please see, e.g.,
“Millions of Christians all over the
world are confronted with the growing tide of dominionism. This is a form of
Christian humanism in which believers see themselves as commissioned and
empowered by God to manifest His kingdom on earth to the good of all. Dominionism is based upon kingdom theology
since it claims to physically reveal the
Most dominionists reject the Rapture out of hand as unnecessary: according to their view, it is the Church’s mandate to “change the world,” improve it, and take it back “for Christ.” Some adherents attempt to justify this supposed mandate with a verse from the Olivet Discourse:
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 (KJV) [cf. Mark ]
Their interpretation of this verse is that Christ’s Second Coming cannot occur until the Church reaches all nations with the Gospel.
However, they misinterpret the verse. In reality, it is not a mandate to the Church in order to allow Jesus’ return to earth (though obviously we are to witness); rather it is a prophetic promise, to be fulfilled by messenger(s) in the sky, after the Pre-Tribulation Rapture:
Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. Revelation 14:6 (NIV)
Dominionist proponents are legion; their New Age, spirit of antichrist, politically correct push for unity is rapidly picking up steam across all religious lines.
Their workers are not always “up front” with their
beliefs--in order to attract the widest possible audience. As an example, please research the popular
ecumenical (“Joel’s Army”) work of the late
A small sampling of American evangelical dominionist
proponents would include C. Peter Wagner, Ted Haggard (current president of the
National Association of Evangelicals in the
Bloomfield, Arthur E. All Things New: The Prophecies of Revelation Explained.
Bloomfield, Arthur E.
House Publishers, 1971.
Bloomfield, Arthur E. The End of the Days: A Study of Daniel’s Visions.
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