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The Persecuted Church
 

 

                            

 

The abandoning of Bible eschatology

Latter Rain adherents believe in a last day’s revival unlike any other in history taking place today. This view is an outgrowth of the “kingdom now” restoration movement. It wrongly applies eschatological passages for Israel to the church today. To many, the nation of Israel is no longer an integral part of God’s end time plan and rejected, despite the warnings in Romans 11:18-29 and Genesis 12:3.

 Some have fully rejected the idea that Christ is coming to take His people out of this world (called the rapture/resurrection) as he pours out judgment on a Christ rejecting world,. Many have ridiculed the hope of being taken to heaven replacing it with a new hope, a kingdom built by the church that will take over the world before Christ comes back. The Church is to be empowered like Jesus and is now to solve the world’s social and political problems even though we can’t solve our own.

Take back dominion from Satan that we supposedly lost in the garden and control the world for Christ. The church reigns or as some say Christ reigns through the church. Instead of looking for our coming savior, we now look to ourselves to solve the problems of planet earth before He returns. But this is not how events transpire in the prophetic Scriptures. Dominionists often use biblical truths and distort them to reinforce their justification for building the kingdom here on Earth today. This is all part of the falling away, it diminishes our preparing and staying awake, watching for His coming as the events He forewarned transpire.

One may ask Is Jesus coming soon anymore? 

Nowhere does Scripture teach that things will get better and better before the return of Jesus Christ, instead they get worse and worse. This is denied, even the Tribulation of which is depicted in the Old Testament and codified in the last book written of the bible is reinterpreted. Jesus explained this time by saying it would be like “in the days of Noah.” We are watching the world’s current condition spiraling downward and this is exactly what the Scriptures illustrate will happen in the last days, but the deniers voices are coming from the church.

We are told violence will increase, and it is. We are told sin will increase, and it is. To argue against this is to deny reality.

God is always saving people, but there is no Scriptural basis for believing in a massive end-time harvest by the church. It is in the tribulation period that we have many who will be saved but give their lives (Rev.7) because they refuse to take the mark of the beast.

A common mistake is taking what Peter said in Acts 2:17 (quoting Joel 2:28): “I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh” and claiming that various revivals today are its fulfillment. This is not the meaning of this verse and cannot be applied today. The question that needs to be answered is: When is this prophecy fulfilled?

The feast of Pentecost was fulfilled when the Church had the Holy Spirit sent to them. As John says in Mark 1:8: “I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” The first Pentecost celebrated the giving of the law in the Old Testament; Pentecost in Acts 2 was the official birth of the Church as the Holy Spirit was given to all who believe ( that’s why he came a mighty wind with glory seen). It was Fulfilled on the feast of Pentecost; 50 days after Christ’s death (Passover/unleaven bread), the Spirit was poured out and continues to be poured out on both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 10:45). 

Paul writes in Romans 11 that all of Israel will one day be saved. Scripture explains that Israel will one day repent of their rejection of the Messiah and call on Him in the end of the tribulation period (Zech. 12:10), which is called a particular term, “the time of Jacob’s troubles.”

 Hosea 5:15: “I will return again to My place till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.” When did the Lord leave and return to heaven? By Jesus  after his resurrection.The Lord will respond to their repentance (Matthew 23:39). Zechariah writes of all Israel, at that time: “I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son” (Zech. 12:10). They will know Jesus is their Messiah and repent.

What Peter is proclaiming in Acts 2 did not see all of what happens in Joel 2. This is known as a double reference in which a prophecy has a partial fulfillment at that time and a complete fulfillment at a latter date. There is a similarity in one or more point[s] of the text, yet Peter quotes all the text from Joel. The point of similarity has to do with the outpouring of and manifestation of the Spirit. We find that the timing of these events will be at the time of dreadful Day of the Lord. The location where this takes place is Israel. The passage he quotes has yet to see its completed fulfillment.

If one looks carefully at Joel and then at what took place in Acts 2, we see that it was not fulfilled completely at that time. Example: They did not prophesy or dream dreams. The sun was not darkened, and the moon was not turned to blood. Nor were there “Blood and pillars of smoke before the coming of the great and terrible Day of the Lord.” This is clearly referring to a specific future event that is also described in Joel 3. None of the natural phenomenon had occurred in Acts 2, but there were some similarities. Joel 3:1 says “in those days” and “at that time,” describing the time period this occurs.  In Joel 3:15 the sun and moon grow dark and the stars become dim (Matthew 24:29). It is in these days, in the tribulation that the complete fulfillment of Joel 2 will occur.

Those at Pentecost were experiencing a foretaste of what would happen by the Spirit at the end of the tribulation period, which would bring revival to the WHOLE nation Israel (those 1/3 that survive Jacob’s trouble Zech. 13:8-9).

He pours out His Spirit on all flesh. Specifically Israel, For all of Israel to be saved. In Acts 2: The words “your sons,” “your daughters,” “your old men,” and “your young men” are all referring to the fact that God is speaking to Israel’s sons and daughters then and also in the future. The supernatural occurrences of prophesy, visions, dreams are all promised to them. At this time Peter then finishes by quoting Joel 2:32: “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” However the next portion of Joel makes it clear “For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls.”

It’s not for the church but for the unsaved. The location is Israel, just as the first Pentecost was in Israel.  There is a tremendous harvest coming, it will take place in the Tribulation (Rev.7).  For now we have an apostasy from the word, a Laodicean church.

 

 

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