Biblical prophecy

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Question 6: Those who believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture seem to be able to find scripture to support their views. How can two totally opposite views come from the same scriptures?

Answer 6: It comes down to a difference of interpretation—a big difference. There is a reason for that. In each of my books, I place the “5 Major Rules for Bible Interpretation” up front, can’t miss them. I abide by these rules in what I write; it’s important for everyone to know that. If you want to attack my view, do it on the basis of the rules. These aren’t my rules. They are time honored rules developed by those who love the Bible. If only one is following the rules, then the one who doesn’t is free to say or do anything.

    On the subject of the rapture there is no reason for reasonable and committed Christians to have any differences. One of the principles guiding sound interpretation is “That we have not arrived at the truth until all the relevant passages on the subject are harmonized.”

    We hear PTR preachers giving lip service to the Word of God but we don’t see the same pastors, teachers, professors and supporters teaching this principle of harmonization (hermeneutics) with regard to prophecy. If they did, they could not remain Pre-tribbers. Period. There are Pre-trib zealots and defenders, but if they were harmonizing all the relevant Scriptures they would be faced with a decision—continue defending the indefensible or yield to the truth. This group remains Pre-trib because they go to the Scriptures with that mindset and look for anything confirming their view while dismissing anything that doesn’t. That is not interpretation according to the rule.

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Question 2: So your mission with “Lifesaver,” then, is to reach the people who are Pre-tribulational, PTR as you call them, and convert them?

Answer 2:  Basically, I’m out to reach anyone I can; anyone who wants to know the truth. If they are currently Pre-tribbers, I have given them more than enough reasons to abandon this teaching before it’s too late. If they are not, I want to inoculate them against believing in “any moment rapture”. My intention is to show that the Spirit of God is behind our assault on Pre-tribulationalism. The flaws or holes of the PTR view need exposed. This is the Lord’s way of sounding the alarm for his people.

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Question 1: Lifesaver is the third book you have written. The titles of the first two books, The People of God, and The Prophets of God, are self-descriptive and expected from a Christian perspective. But the title, Lifesaver, is a mystery.  How did you come up with that title and what does it mean, exactly? How does it relate to the book?

Answer. 1: The first two books are the first part of a series that I call ‘The Prophets, Priests, and Kings Series’. From the responses I was receiving, I realized that readers who had been exposed to the ‘any moment rapture’ position, or the Pre-Tribulation (PTR) view, were thinking apples while I was talking oranges. They were not benefiting from the content the way I hoped they would. It became obvious that I had to first go after the supporting pillars of the PTR view with sound, reasoned Biblical arguments. I knew that if I could help some switch to the Pre-Wrath rapture (PWR) view, their personal Bible study would benefit and they would be able to get a lot from my books as well.

   The title is a story in itself. I had some long titles I was working with that sounded negative, such as “Fatal Flaws in the Pre-tribulation Rapture Position.” Pre-trib writers made an early pre-emptive strike in this war of ideas when a PTR writer wrote “Fatal Flaws in the Pre-wrath Rapture Position.” I was firing torpedoes back—that is kind of how I saw it at least. I was in combat mode and was looking for a nice, pleasant picture of a passenger ship sinking to use on the cover. Tough assignment, huh?

     Then my wife, Leslie, found the picture of a lifesaver. She thought it would look great for the front cover and I agreed. “Lifesaver” carries more of a positive message and more indicative of what we’re trying to do. It isn’t just about shooting holes in the PTR ship but also about giving readers a “lifesaver,” a position and view that will save them by opening up end-time prophecy. The picture led us to the title.

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Right after I officiated at my sister-in-law, Patty, and husband, Ray’s wedding, one of her bridesmaids approached me in a huff. It was many years ago yet I still remember that young lady’s verbal shot at me. It was my confidence that seemed to upset her. During the ceremony I declared that Christ was the only way to salvation. So this young woman proceeded to upbraid me for my intolerance. She was certain there were other roads to heaven for non-Christians. But since when is having assurance that salvation is through Christ alone “wrong”?

Sometimes contemporary Christianity reminds me of the upset bridesmaid: Tolerance is only extended so far. Everything is fine as long as we agree, but do not step out of line.  In regard to our understanding of what the Bible says about the second coming, Christians have our own version of the Taliban.  Dissent is quashed. But how can we arrive at an accurate interpretation of Bible prophecy, if we refuse to gather all the pertinent verses or listen to pieces of conflicting evidence? All admissible facts need to be heard, not just those that support the opinion of the majority.

Do we see why Christians have muddled heads on the subject of the Bible and the future. When it comes to understanding the future, we hear but one side. We tend to submit to the false premises that all true Bible-believing Christians are in agreement or there is only one side that should be heard. In some places, Bible students cannot even broach the subject of the Pre-Wrath rapture of the church or that believers will be called on to endure great tribulation globally in the last days, without being accused of heresy.

That is the way with puzzles. You know it is solved when all the pieces perfectly fit the creator’s theme.

Here’s the best way I know to explain how I know what I know. Each weekend the New York Times Magazine publishes and distributes a challenging crossword puzzle. Across the land thousands of minds go to work to solve this puzzle in as short a time as possible. Some can zip through it in an hour or so. Others, like myself, take quite a bit longer.

Let’s say we challenged an experienced NYT cruciverbalist (crossword solver) about his or her answers. We may get a “What are you asking me that for” type of look. At some point, they would probably tell you that their answers fit. Yes, they are confident because they have discovered what’s in the mind of the puzzle’s creator. That is the way with puzzles. You know it is solved when all the pieces perfectly fit the creator’s theme. Is it to say one is superior because they solved a NYT puzzle? Of course not, but the solvers are confident and exhilarated. It was Archimedes who grasped the physics of water displacement. At his epiphany, he  made the bold but perhaps rash declaration, “Eureka! I found it!” It was as if he was saying, “Problem solved!”

Why am I confident the Pre-Wrath Rapture position is correct? Because I am a puzzle solver and I tell you it fits. (Those who are not puzzle solvers have trouble with this concept.) Other answers do not quite fit regardless how hard one tries or how sophisticated one sounds or how much one beats the table while raising their voice. Simply, it will not come together as designed.

There is great satisfaction in puzzle solving. In my book, “The People of God,” I present twenty-six different clues to prophecy solvers. My goal is not to tell other explorers of the mysteries surrounding the end of this age what to think (i.e. the answers) but how to get in the mind of prophecy’s Creator so they can figure it out. As with math or science, there is only one correct solution.

If this is what you call arrogant, then so be it. I call the one that makes that judgment bigoted and narrow. (Two can play that game!) What would one call dismissing conclusions that were based on hundreds of Bible verses without ever giving them fair treatment? Intolerant is perhaps one descriptive word that comes to mind.

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