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Prophecy Interpretation Is A Rubik's Cube

 

Being totally intellectually honest here (and I always try to be that on this website, which could get me in trouble with the denomination I attend, just kidding J), I have to admit that each major doctrinal interpretation about the prophecies concerning Jesus Christ's 2nd coming, which I have tried to honestly document on this website (there may have been a few I missed), has merit, and each has its own set of fatal flaws.  What is the answer?  Which doctrinal interpretation by which denomination or theologian is correct?  I don't know, and I suspect that none of them are totally correct.  But I am not a theologian.  I try to accurately record on this website what some theologians and denominational leaders have taught on the subject, often in my own words.  And make no mistake, I have striven to figure out the truth on the matter myself.  But taking an honest look at what all the differing theologians and denominations have said on the subject, I find some truth and some fatal flaws in all of their interpretations.  I honestly believe all the prophecies in the Bible are true and inspired to be written in the Bible by God himself, sometimes directly spoken to a prophet, sometimes inspired by God's Holy Spirit.  It is our human interpretations, often influenced by our own worldview, which has proven to be flawed, each and every one of them.  But the problem with theologians and denominational leaders alike is that most of them are or were (the deceased ones) part of a particular denomination, and thus feel compelled to favour or back up their own denomination's version for end-time/2nd coming prophecy, often to the exclusion of all others, thus objectivity is lost.  Prophecy, if I might be allowed to make an analogy, is like that terribly frustrating (for most of us) Rubik's Cube (for those of you who don't know what it is, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubik's_Cube).  So I am throwing the gauntlet down in front of all you theologians and denominational leaders to drop your biases and pride, come together in prayer, and solve this Rubik's Cube of a problem on what the proper interpretation of end-time prophecies and the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ are exactly.  What I see from the interpretations and difficult Scriptures I'll list below is that the differing theologians and denominations have tended to be like some of us who couldn't solve the Rubik's Cube once it had been scrambled, and so we'd peel off the coloured sticker that we couldn't get to match, and swap it for another that didn't match, thus aligning all the colours alike for each face of the six-sided cube.  I don't know what God thinks of those who do this, but we must stop doing that, and find the proper solution, otherwise we as Christians in our various denominations look like idiots to the unbelieving world around us that we are attempting to witness to.  Why, because the unbelieving world lumps us all together, for the most part, simply as being ׂChristians׃, without putting the various denominational tags on us.  Our central message, regardless of our individual denominational prophetic interpretational beliefs, should be the promotion of the Gospel of Christ, the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ. We all should be agreed on what that Gospel is.  What is it?  I think I've pretty well defined it in an article I wrote, based on the Scriptures [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/misc/WhatIsTheGospel%20.htm].  But if we could stop looking so much like idiots to the unbelieving world in our prophetic warning message to them, that would be a real plus, and help us to fulfill the job Jesus gave all of us to do (cf. Matthew 24:14; Matthew 28:18-20). 

 

Scriptures That Conflict With Various Interpretations

 

1.  The pre-trib Rapture/1st Resurrection to Immortality doesn't take into account the hundreds of thousands to millions of tribulation-saints who will die, and thus have to have their own separate װRapture/Resurrection' to immortality during of after the tribulation (post-tribulation).

 

2.  Those that teach the pre-trib Rapture/1st Resurrection to immortality say that the trumpet blown in 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18 is not the 7th Trumpet or Last Trumpet of Revelation 11:15-18, but is a separate trumpet that has nothing to do with being ׂthe last Trump׃ or 7th Trumpet.  But the companion Scripture passage, even used as a companion Scripture by those promoting a pre-trib Rapture of the Church, is found in 1st Corinthians 15:49-56, where in verse 52 it states, ׂIn a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:  for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.׃  This doesn't square with a pre-trib Rapture/1st Resurrection to immortality interpretation. And Revelation 11:15-18 indicates the 1st Resurrection to immortality takes place at the time of the blowing of the 7th Trumpet (just before the 7 Last Plagues), backing up 1st Corinthians 15:52.

 

3.  There are a number of Scriptures that indicate that the Church (or a part of the Church) will be taken to a place of Safety during the tribulation period, somewhere on earth. 

 

4. Matthew 24 could indicate or point to a mid-trib Rapture or Place of Safety preservation of the Church.

 

5. Revelation 3 (if taken to represent the successive era's of the Church from 100AD to present) indicates that two era's of the Church exist side-by-side, and that one goes into the tribulation whilst the other is afforded protection (without specifying how, cf. Revelation 3:10).

 

6. Revelation 5:9-10 (taken in proper context with Revelation chapters 4 through 6) clearly points to the Church being in heaven singing a hymn to God before his throne, before the scroll with Seven Seals (with the four horsemen) is opened, initiating the great tribulation.

 

7.  Revelation 12 points to the Church (or part of it, fitting Revelation 3, the last two era's) being taken to a place of safety on earth.

 

This is the tip of the iceberg, but I think it proves my point.  As to what I personally believe, I don't know anymore, your guess is as good as mine (actually, I hope we all stop guessing and ask for God's inspiration through his Holy Spirit on the matter). We'll all have the solution to this Rubik's Cube problem after we have attended the Wedding Feast on the Sea of Glass and returned with Christ to rule the world.  But for the sake of the unbelieving world we're supposed to witness to, we need the solution now. I'm making this challenge directly to the various theologians and denominational leaders.  The best some of us local members of the various denominations can do is to pass this challenge on to them. They may not like you for doing so, but they, as well as all of us, answer ultimately to Jesus Christ and no man.  And hey look, I'm just a local member of a denomination myself, and I don't even pretend to have the answers.  If you're tired of the mess, pass the challenge on. Below are some links going to some of the various interpretations, as I've tried to accurately as possible convey them.

 

1.  Pre-Tribulation Rapture explanation (a good one, has merit):

http://www.unityinchrist.com/1thes/1stThessalonians4-16-18.htm

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/prophchart.htm

 

2. Commentary study on Revelation, pertinent sections:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/revelation3-1-22.html

http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/revelation4-10.html

http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/Revelation%2018-20.htm

 

3. Historic Pre-Millennial interpretation of the 2nd coming:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming.htm

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/Biblical%20Prophecy.htm

 

4. Place of Safety Scriptures:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/romans/print/Petra-ThePlaceofSafetyprt.htm

 

5. A recent Post-Tribulation Rapture/1st Resurrection interpretation:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/Pentecost-Revetion1.htm

 

A Command From Jesus Christ To The Body of Christ

 

Is there a good reason Jesus Christ wants us to be more unified in our presentation of this part of the Gospel?  You bet there is.  Jesus gave the entire Body of Christ that would be living in the end-times a direct and powerful command.  If I were some of you theologians and/or leaders of the various denominations or parts of the Body of Christ, I'd take this command of Jesus Christ very seriously.  Ignore it at your own peril.  This direct command of Jesus to the Body of Christ is given in Zephaniah 2:1-3, and you can read about it at:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophets/Zephaniah/Zephaniah1.htm

 

For all the rest of us ordinary believer guys and gals, here's a very good sermon transcript showing a proper perspective on how to apply end-time prophecy, see:

http://www.ucg.org/sermon/prophecy-prepare-end-time/

Content Editor Peter Benson -- no copyright, except where noted.  Please feel free to use this material for instruction and edification
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