HAL LINDSEY & DAVID WILKERSON
. . . An Open Letter from the Tribnet
CHAPTER 21 – The False Prophet
Doug Krieger & Dene McGriff
“And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful events and great signs from heaven…and there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth nations will be in anguish at the roaring and tossing of the sea; men will faint from terror apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken” (Luke 21:11, 25-26).
Say what you will – there are many prophetic voices in the world today – but two of the foremost in evangelical Christendom are Hal Lindsey and David Wilkerson.
We at the Tribnet are but mice compared to these giants of the prophetic. Both speak out each time the earth shakes and the seas roar – both decry America’s wickedness and both unfalteringly embrace the prophetic Scriptures as relevant – both see in world events (political, sociological or “cataclysmic”) the unfolding of God’s purposes in these Last Days. In sum, these happenings are God’s instruments in calling men and women to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Their styles vary but it is their persistence to declare that the miraculous intervention of God Almighty into the affairs of humankind is happening in these “end times” as recorded in “The Scripture of Truth” – Jesus Christ is coming again in glory and we better get ready!
Likewise, they are decried by many as inconsistent – especially mixing “events” to match Scriptures – and even as “false prophets” because of their precision – which is not always on the mark. But, we are not here today to bemoan brother Wilkerson’s wayward claims (Tim McHyde: David Wilkerson Prophecy of “Calamity”: Why False) nor Hal Lindsey’s (Ed Hinson: Part V: Famed False Prophets – Hal Lindsey) – no doubt, not a one of us “dwells in unapproachable light” – nor do we excuse them nor ourselves as pluperfect when it comes to “discerning the times.”
However, that said, and at the risk of being condemned by many a faithful brethren for what may appear to be compromise to the faithfulness of God’s Word, we certainly, and without any equivocation, cannot put them in the same class as a Herbert W. Armstrong or a Harold Camping; nor, for that matter, a Jesus Only, Irvin Baxter, or the current Voice of Prophecy, Seventh Day Adventist, Fred Kinsey. A thousand times NO! These are in every way, shape and form, mainline premillenarian evangelical eschatologists of the first order who would lay their lives on the line for the Savior without hesitation. They “earnestly contend for the faith” once delivered!
The one, Hal Lindsey, is out of Dallas Theological Seminary – when DTS really was “into” eschatology as a major course of study…now it’s barely on the DTS radar; shunted to the periphery of theological irrelevance; and, the other, David Wilkerson, from the Assemblies of God – both of whom are unwavering in preaching the gospel of Christ and leading men and women to a true saving knowledge of Jesus Christ – while simultaneously declaring the prophetic to their generation and heralding the soon appearance of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!
AN APPEAL TO REASON & PROPHETIC UNDERSTANDING
The Great Falling Away from the Faith & Signs of the Time
Today, the believing Church is assailed by the “great falling away from the faith” (II Thess. 2:3; I Tim. 4:1) – heresy is rampant among the faithful. Jackie Alnor’s latest blog rehearses the travesty that went down when the famed Bible Answer Man, Dr. Walter Martin, and prophecy spokesperson, Doug Clark, carried on a dialogue at the Trinity Broadcasting Network in 1986 in which TBN was “lovingly” exposed as wholly compromised in the major tenets of the faith by having a host of false prophets and heretics parade across their stage after being exposed by the likes of Dave Hunt, Dr. Walter Martin and Dr. John Ankerberg (See: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5). TBN’s answer to self-criticism was banning Martin and Clark from further programming—thus ended the “loving relationship” between discernment ministries and TBN (and to this day continues estranged).
Coupled with the growing apostasy are myriad “signs of the time” – begging for discernment – that even earthlings ascribe these events as precursors to the END OF THE WORLD as we know it. Now, with the meltdown rampaging on at the Fukushima Nuclear Facility – a veritable “China Syndrome” or the classic movie “On The Beach” – a nightmare of apocalyptic proportions – and the entire Middle East having its own meltdown; wouldn’t one contend that the “Birth Pangs of the Messiah” are upon us and that we’re living in Matthew 24 and Luke 21? Likewise, are we not witnessing “that in the last days perilous times (lit. “times of stress”) HAVE come” (II Tim. 3:1) wherein “men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power” (II Tim. 3:2-5)?
Economic stress – leading perhaps to a one-world currency and a meltdown of the world economy – is exacerbated by Japan’s catastrophic events. Now, seismologists are proclaiming that solar flares and lunar activity - let alone millions of sardines washing ashore in Southern California – portend either the San Andreas Fault is about to snap or worse, the Cascadia Subduction Zone of the Pacific Northwest coast of the USA/British Columbia will mimic Japan’s mega-quake and send a 30 meter (100 foot) tsunami overwhelming hundreds of thousands living along the shoreline – including Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle and even Portland, Oregon. Meanwhile Americans are given travel warnings to stay out or get out of Japan and the West Coast analyzes the first radiation cloud which wafted ashore from Japan’s nuclear reactors this March 18, 2011 – which, President Obama says is harmless – but can the US Government be trusted on a radiation plume?
BABYLON THE GREAT
Meanwhile, America struts her stuff throughout the nations of the world. The world’s only super power whose military and economic dominance is so overwhelming that she has absolutely no equal – nor will any catch her! The world is paralyzed to engage Moamar Gadaffi’s threatened massacre of the “rebels” unless and until the USA signals “it’s a go” – finally, Europe allegedly takes the lead, while all along being led by the USA! Along with the good, the bad and the ugly, this nation, as you, David Wilkerson, have boldly proclaimed is the source of the world’s smut, abortion-on-demand, total sensuality, rife materialism, insidious pride and already she has been judged by your prophetic voice given to New Yorkers PRIOR to the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center terrorist attack:
“I’ve sent you prophets and watchmen. You’ve been warned over and again. I prospered you above all nations. I endured your worship of gold and silver. I endured your shameless sensuality. I endured your mockery, your continuous shedding of innocent blood and murdering of babies. I’ve endured your timeless efforts to eradicate my name, even from your history books. Now I’ve stricken in hopes of saving you, that you would repent and turn from your wicked ways so that I could heal your land and I will destroy your enemies. Now folks, show me where that’s not scriptural. Prove to me from God’s word that He will not judge America as He’s judged Sodom, Rome, Greece…
“Now what’s going to happen if this nation misses the message and we don’t turn back to the Lord? The window of opportunity is very short now. What’s going to happen if abortion continues and we end up killing born babies for research purposes? What happens if we re-build bigger and better only to enrich ourselves even more? And all the talk I hear now is that somebody is going to build the towers bigger and better than ever. What’s going to happen if we don’t trust God now instead of trusting our armed might? Let me answer that question, not out of my own heart, not out of speculation, but the word of Isaiah clearly tells us what follows the rejection of His call to repentance and turning to pride and boasting of greatness.”
Brother Wilkerson – as you foretold of the judgment of God upon Babylon on the Hudson in 1992 – even so, has she changed or is Babylon the Great filling up her cup of putridity all the more until she overflows? You reviewed your own words against her before she was “pre-judged”….
“Let me read to you a message I delivered from this pulpit. It was September 7, 1992. It’s entitled, ‘A Prophetic Warning to New York City.’ Some of you were here, perhaps, in 1992. Let me read this. This is from this very pulpit. Right now, I believe God is speaking a warning to New York City and I wrestled with His severe word as I prepared this message and I prayed, ‘Lord, is this really going to happen?’ Again and again I heard this still small voice, ‘Preach it and warn the people. Those who want the truth will receive it.’
“Dear Saint: This warning is not meant to scare you. It’s meant only for you to take [this] to the Lord and pray. This is what I believe the Lord has shown me. Thirty days of chastisement will fall on New York City such as the world has never seen. God’s going to let down the walls. Unimaginable violence, looting, a thousand fires will be burning at the same time throughout the city and its burroughs. Times Square will be ablaze and the flames that ascend into the heaven will be seen for miles. Fire trucks will not be able to handle it all. Trains and buses will be shut down. Billions of dollars will be lost.
“Broadway shows will stop completely. It will cause businesses to flee the city in an unstoppable hemorrhage. The violence will be ferocious. It will shock the whole world. Our streets will be lined not just with National Guard but the militia…. You see, I don't like to hear this. Folks, we didn't want to hear it then [in 1992] and it’s happened (i.e., September 11, 2001) and now we weep…One network anchorman said this, and I quote him, ‘Just think of it. Our two symbols of power and prosperity have been smitten in one hour.’ He didn’t know he was quoting from Revelation 18:10, ‘...Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.’” (The Towers Have Fallen and We Missed The Message – given by Pastor David Wilkerson – September 27, 2001)
As beautiful, awesome, secure and technologically unbelievable as was the Titanic – she was frightfully doomed when she collided into the iceberg that cold, dark night. Alas! The Towers Have Fallen – and We Missed The Message! Your conviction and that of Brother Lindsey, demands a Pre-Tribulational Rapture of the Church; therefore, America will NOT be here in its current dominance – nor, according to Hal Lindsey does America play a “bit part in Bible prophecy.”
Indeed, Babylon’s destruction BEFORE the Tribulation period seems to be America’s only recourse in order to eliminate her from the final week of prophecy! However, we appeal to you and to Brother Lindsey, to reconsider that position in light of Scripture which cries out otherwise – i.e., to the contrary, America plays a dominating role in Bible prophecy as Babylon the Great – that great consumer nation from which all the Merchants of the Earth have become rich through her trade; and furthermore, she is NOT destroyed until the final days of the Great Tribulation as witnessed in Revelation 16:17-21 at the pouring out of the Seventh Bowl in that period known as the “Wrath of the Lamb/Wrath of Almighty God” from which the Church is spared and indeed raptured prior thereto at the sounding of the Last or Seventh Trumpet (Revelation 11:11-15; I Corinthians 15:52; Matthew 24:31; I Thess. 4:16). Herein is the longsuffering of God Almighty revealed in that He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance!
The prophetically salient issue out there is the United States of America. The Tribnet’s series, “In Search of Mystery Babylon” – and in many of our other publications – amplifies your conviction of Babylon’s identity in the Last Days. The natural tendency is to look at Bible prophecy and say: “Well, America obviously isn’t mentioned by name, so ‘Mystery Babylon’ must describe a nation that existed in the ancient past or somehow emerges in the Latter Years - whether she bears remnants of the Roman Empire (the EU), the Muslim World, China, literal Iraq or some new age amalgamation – this is yet to be determined?
Mystery Babylon’s “apostate” characteristics led the Reformers to fixate on Roman Catholicism as the sum and substance of Mystery Babylon – but her military/political and consumerism demonstrate beyond any singular religious expression that she is a “composite” of apostasy, rank commercialism and awesome military might.
Few want to address the elephant in the room. Novel concept: Could Prophetic Babylon of Revelation 16-19 possibly be our beloved America? This, in spite of the fact, that both of you recognize the apostate nature of the American Church (Revelation 17), and neither you nor Hal Lindsey have to look too far to see that America is the great consumer nation of the world (Revelation 18) and the greatest military power on earth (Revelation 19); and, America is Israel’s only friend and the only one likely to sign a defense treaty (Daniel 9:27) with Israel’s leadership; a treaty that most evangelical scholars identify as the infamous “Treaty of Death and Hell” to be signed between Antichrist and Israel (Daniel 9:27; Isaiah 28:15, 18).
THE NUCLEAR NIGHTMARE – A LAST DAYS “FEARFUL EVENT”
On March 16, 2011 Europe’s energy chief, Guenther Oettinger, said in remarks to the European Parliament on Japan’s nuclear nightmare:
“There is talk of an apocalypse and I think the word is particularly well chosen . . . Practically everything is out of control . . . I cannot exclude the worst in the hours and days to come.”
If ever there were a “fearful event” as our Lord declared – this has to be it! No one knows what happens when temperatures reach 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit as one of the reactors has now reached and continues until all six reactors are in some form of total meltdown – all the while the atmosphere is filled with contaminating radioactive materials – while managers, bureaucrats, politicians and so-called leaders are either in confusion or purposefully mislead the people…we still do not know what’s happening!
“The ‘China Syndrome’ refers to a possible result of the catastrophic meltdown of a nuclear reactor. Also called a loss of coolant accident, the scenario begins when something causes the coolant level in a reactor vessel to drop, uncovering part—or all—of the fuel rod assemblies. Even if the nuclear chain reaction has been stopped through use of control rods or other devices, the fuel continues to produce significant residual heat for some time due to further decay of fission products. If not properly cooled, the fuel assemblies may soften and melt, falling to the bottom of the reactor vessel. There, without neutron-absorbing control rods to prevent it, nuclear fission could resume but, in the absence of a neutron moderator, might not. Regardless, without adequate cooling, the temperature of the molten fuel could increase to the point where it melts through the structures containing it. Although many feel the radioactive slag would stop at or before the subterranean aquifer, such a series of events would release large quantities of radioactive material into the atmosphere and groundwater (or sea water), potentially causing damage to the local environment’s plant and animal life.” (Wikipedia)
Or, consider the exposure to 750 RADS reaching the entire West Coast of the USA, Canada and parts of Northwest Mexico in a matter of 10 days, given prevailing wind currents:
· 550 – 750 (RADS) - Vomiting and nausea in all personnel within 4 hours from exposure, followed by other symptoms of radiation sickness. Up to 100 percent deaths; few survivors convalescent for about 6 months.
· 1000 (RADS) - Vomiting and nausea in all personnel within 1 to 2 hours. Probably no survivors from radiation sickness.
· 5000 (RADS) - Incapacitation almost immediately. All personnel will be fatalities within 1 week. (Source: University of Maryland – Environmental Safety, Division of Administrative Affairs)
But the above map is adjudged a HOAX, and there’s no chance any radiation will reach the USA (though in Sacramento, CA on March 18, Japan’s diffused radiation plume reached our California capital):
“The map claims that fallout measuring 750 RADS/hr (1 RAD = 1 REM = 10 millisieverts) will reach the west coast of the US within 10 days. This is preposterous. To date, the worst dose rate found directly at the reactors was 40 Rads/hr and the current dose rate at the plant is less than 0.05 Rads/hr. There is absolutely zero chance that any measurable radiation will reach the west coast of the United States as a result of the events in Japan.” (Beware The Fake Fallout Map!, Jack Gamble, Nuclear Fissionary, March 15, 2011)
Yet by this weekend (March 18-20, 2011) the New York Times says the Japan radiation plume, though harmless, will (has) reached Southern California (Scientists Project Path of Radiation Plume, William J. Broad, New York Times, March 16, 2011)
You would agree, Pastor Wilkerson, given the extremity of the circumstances – to cry FIRE in a burning theater is not extreme at all! But the removal of nearly 70 million Canadians, Americans and Mexicans to the hinterlands is impossible – no matter who’s crying “run for your lives!” There is no question – this COULD happen . . . so fragile is our environment . . . so nonchalant is our government . . . and so “at ease in Zion” are we. Truly, there’s so much confusion – who’s telling the truth? Even so – you know that the False Prophet’s fingerprints are everywhere to be found in these matters and only the barometer of the Word of God can be our ultimate recourse….for the world’s alarms are seasoned by the spirit of Antichrist that is gone out into the world and magnified by the footsteps of the False Prophet.
“The same people telling us that the levels are miniscule and the radiation ‘harmless,’ are from the same organizations who assured us that the Chernobyl disaster only killed 9,000 people, when in reality it exposed 550 million Europeans, and 150 to 230 million others in the Northern Hemisphere to notable contamination and led to nearly a million deaths.” (U.S. Government Cannot Be Trusted On Radiation Plume, PrisonPlanet.com)
Or do we believe…?
“A plume of radioactive fallout swept across Europe, leaving measurable contamination as far away as Finland. There was a veritable continent-wide panic reminiscent of the response to the Three Mile Island incident seven years earlier.
“In the final analysis, however, the health consequences were relatively small. According to the Nuclear Energy Agency (a specialized agency within the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, an intergovernmental organization of industrialized countries based in Paris) only 31 persons as of April 2001 had died as a direct consequence of the accident. They were all either plant personnel or directly involved in fighting the fire following the explosion. Another 140 individuals from these same groups suffered varying degrees of radiation sickness and health impairment, but all had recovered fully with no permanent consequences. During the period between 1990 and 1998, in the regions affected by the explosion and subsequent fallout, officials diagnosed 1,791 cases of thyroid cancer that were assumed to have been caused by the radiation release. The deaths and the injuries are tragic, of course. But this is a far cry from the misinformation contained in a Greenpeace website commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, where they state flatly that 2,500 people were killed, millions were affected, and hundreds of thousands displaced.” (Defense Watch, Chernobyl: Reality and Myth)
But, brothers, this “fearful event” – full of confusion and distortion – does not overshadow the growing reality that we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of what has become “Sodom and Egypt” foretold in Revelation 11:8 – that GREAT CITY in whose street the body of the Two Witnesses shall be seen for those 3.5 days? Will not the whole earth follow after the Beast . . . “And all the world marveled and followed the Beast” (Revelation 13:3) . . . the same Abomination of Desolation, the Desolator – Son of Perdition – that Man of Sin, who “will make war against them” (i.e., the Two Witnesses)?
WE APPEAL TO HAL LINDSEY
Moving from Babylon the Great, destined for ultimate judgment and the birth pangs of the Messiah leading up to the Great Tribulation, we now turn to Brother Hal and commend him on his outstanding insight into the Three Prophetic Wars facing them who dwell on the earth at such a time as this:
· The GOG-MAGOG WAR (Ezekiel 38 and 39:1-16; Daniel 11:40-43) – During the seventieth Week of Daniel’s prophecy.
· The ARMAGEDDON Campaign – culminating in the final “Battle of Armageddon” and the Second Coming of Christ (Daniel 11:44-45; Ezekiel 39:17:20; Revelation 16:16; 19:17-21; Zechariah 14:1-9)
Brother Hal, you have clearly articulated these three prophetic wars in this sequence with anointing and concern for the Church, Israel and the Gentiles that they might be alerted and put on notice to repent of their sins NOW and turn to the Lord as recorded in your Hal Lindsey Report – 03.11.2001.
You identified Scriptures heretofore for us at the Tribnet which we initially thought did not quite fit into the Oracle of Damascus (Psalm 83 and Obadiah 1); however, as we searched the Scripture and compared them to Isaiah 17 and Zechariah 9 – it became abundantly clear to us that these passages in the Psalms and Obadiah most definitely lay claim to the Burden of Damascus and to the terrible Confederacy of Arab States who shall – and have – in the Latter Years assail/assailed Israel – we affirm, once again, as with President Shimon Peres, that “six phases” of the Arab Israel Conflict have persisted since 1948 and that the final conclusion to the Oracle of Damascus (the seventh phase) has yet to take place. (President Peres lists the six phases of the Arab-Israeli Conflict thus far as: (1) 1948 - The War of Independence; (2) 1956 - Suez Canal War; (3) 1967 – The Six Day War; (4) 1973 – The Yom Kippur War; (5) 1982 – The Lebanon War #1; (6) 2006 – The Lebanon War #2 (Hezbollah). We now await the infamous seventh phase of the Oracle of Damascus “until the end of the war” (Daniel 9:26).
When it does the main belligerents left in the prolonged struggle will be Syria (Damascus); Lebanon (Hezbollah); Gaza (Hamas); and the “fortress of Ephraim” (The Palestinian Authority – See: Three Prophetic Wars). The primary Scripture for this conflict occurs before the infamous “Treaty of Hell & Death” mentioned in Daniel 9:27 (i.e., the “Defense Pact” made by Antichrist with Israel’s leadership – also Isaiah 28:15, 18) and is found in Daniel 9:26 – “the end of the war” – prior to the commencement of the Seventieth Week of Daniel (“Then he (Antichrist) shall confirm a treaty (or “defense pact”) with many for one week”). The “end of the war” is not World War II as some surmise, but the end of the Arab-Israeli Conflict for these Scriptures in Daniel 9:24-27 were written “For your people and for your holy city” (i.e., the Jews – vs. 24).
It may have a “double fulfillment” in that the reference to “the end of the war desolations are determined” may also refer to the finality of desolations which conclude at the final Battle of Armageddon (Daniel 12:11; 8:13-14); but since after Daniel 9:26 we clearly find that the “end of the war” immediately precedes “Then he (Antichrist) shall confirm a treaty with many for one week” (i.e., the commencement of the Seventieth Week of Daniel’s prophecy and the full revelation of the Antichrist who demands such a “defense pact” with Israel’s leadership), we affirm this “war” to be the current Arab-Israeli Conflict.
We believe that you believe what we have so stated here, even most of its details – and that you affirm the Gog-Magog War comes somewhere at the commencement of the Seventieth Week; with Armageddon after Gog-Magog.
Now – may we entreat you, dear brother, to come to terms with the “doctrine of the imminent return” of our Lord Jesus? First, the distinction to “discern the signs of the time” – of which we know you concur with us – are so discerned to prepare the members of the Body of Christ so that they will not be caught unaware of His Coming in glory. For, we are not of those earthlings prepared unto wrath and judgment at that final Battle of Armageddon – the “Supper of the Great God” (Rev. 19:17) or “My Great Sacrificial Meal” (Ezekiel 39:19); for most certainly are the earthlings warned prior to that final Battle of Armageddon and the Wrath of the Lamb, for to them He shall come as a “thief in the night” (i.e., the pouring out of the Seventh Bowl) . . . but unto us who await His appearing we are “caught up” unto Him in glory.
“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame” (Revelation 16:15)…and immediately we hear this: “And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air…and great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath” (Revelation 16:16-17, 19)
For – if the Oracle of Damascus (indeed, a truly prophetical event yet to take place before the commencement of the final seven-year time frame) precedes the commencement of Daniel’s final week (which it most definitely does) – then, tell us, how can the Lord’s return be imminent, if indeed, this event comes before the Tribulation and, as you have said, there will be a lapse of time between the Oracle of Damascus and the Rapture, which you affirm to be before the Seventieth Week’s commencement?
Likewise, and as you have so aptly and repeatedly stated, Israel’s regathering and statehood is the most blatant manifestation of Bible Prophecy, heralding the coming of the Lord and the Rapture – is not Israel’s rebirth a great prophetic event before the Rapture? Surely, this prophetic fulfillment is a major “sign of the time” and militates against the “doctrine of imminence” in which the Lord’s return cannot be an “any moment” occurrence…i.e., prophetic events must take place BEFORE the return of the Lord or the Rapture of the Church; to wit:
“Pretribulationists call this the doctrine of imminence. If Christ can return at any-moment, without the necessity of intervening signs or events, then it renders pretribulationism most likely and postribulationism impossible. Imminence in relation to the rapture has been defined as consisting of three elements: ‘the certainty that He may come at any moment, the uncertainty of the time of that arrival, and the fact that no prophesied event stands between the believer and that hour.’ ” (From: Dr. Tom Ice – Imminence and The Rapture (Part 1))
If this is the Pretrib belief – and “no prophesied event stands between the believer and that hour” – there appears to be a major contradiction – at least in your case as a proponent of the Pretrib position which necessitates “imminence.” How can you consider the Oracle of Damascus yet to be fulfilled before the Rapture? You inadvertently contradict yourself – you cannot “legitimately” be Pretrib in your belief and still hold to a major prophetical event yet to take place before the Rapture of the Church. Logically, and within the rules of the English language, you are truly contradicting yourself. The rebirth of the State of Israel occurred before the Seventieth Week of Daniel as a major prophetical event and the Oracle of Damascus is yet to be fulfilled (as yet another major prophetical event) and, furthermore, as you have so clearly defined it, the Oracle of Damascus is not the Gog-Magog War which occurs within the Seventieth Week of Daniel and prior to Armageddon.
The Problem with Modern Prophetic Interpretation – Israel Replaces the Church’s Testimony?
The prevailing interpretation of sound evangelicals – and we count you solidly among them – is committed to the position of the Pre-tribulation Rapture. They fail to consider any other prophetic possibility. The dominant thesis has “born again” Christians raptured prior to the Seventieth Week generally known as “The Tribulation.” This sends the world into a downward spiral, including the possible final demise of America. Somehow (according to the Pretrib position) baby “tribulation saints” emerge who’ve been shocked into salvation by the exit of their friends and loved ones via Rapture; they become mighty witnesses. Interestingly enough, there is no “judgment beginning at the household of God” in their scenario and the Laodicean Church escapes The Tribulation and unites with Jesus for seven years while the world is ravaged by apocalyptic phenomena, the manifestation of the Antichrist and the Reign of the Beast – and the emergence of this peculiar group who are not Gentiles, nor Israel (i.e., Jews), nor members of the Raptured Church – but are known as “tribulation saints.”
So many of these great men of God somehow miss the point that this is the “tribulation of the saints” (See: Revelation 11-12). They fail to realize that the Church is not being judged by God but tested by Satan (Revelation 11:2, 7-11; 12:17; 13:7, 10 – this is the time of the “perseverance/patience/purification of the saints” (Revelation 13:10; 14:12; Daniel 12:10)). Indeed, they don’t consider the fact that the Church meets the Lord in the air/cloud (Revelation 6:12-17; 7:9-14; 11:12-13; 14:12-16) as He returns and before the bowls/vials of the Wrath of God are poured out onto the earth (Revelation 15:1-4 – the “overcomers” and then the “bowls of the wrath of God on the earth” in Revelation 16:1-21 are poured out, and at the conclusion is the final Armageddon and the announcement of the Lord’s Coming (Rev. 16:15) immediately thereafter, after Babylon’s final judgment at the Seventh Bowl (Revelation 16:17-21)).
Please see our timeline. The Pretrib Rapture cuts short the testimony of the Church via the Pretrib Rapture and leaves her most glorious hour to Israel or the peculiar interpretation of 144,000 “Jewish Evangelists” – when, in the divine scheme He desires to bring forth His Two Witnesses (Israel and the Church) to give testimony against Babylon prior to her sentence and judgment on a world-wide scale.
The “Tribulation Saints” – They Are Christians – They Are Members of the Church!
“Tribulation Saints” who “have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14; 6:11) – who are called “brethren” who “overcome by the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 12:10-11) – who “have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17) – whose names “have been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb” (Revelation 13:10) – who “sing the song of the Lamb” (Revelation 15:3) – all these descriptions of these “tribulation saints” constitute them as members of the Body of Christ, the Church. As men who understand Dispensational Truth – there are but three groups of peoples in this age: the Gentiles, the Jews and the Church. The “Tribulation Saints” cannot abide in some ethereal state of being – they are either in the Church or not – they are no longer “Gentiles or Jews.” The Church is not absent from the Tribulation Period – she prevails in testimony unto the end of the Seventieth Week of Daniel’s prophecy and at the conclusion of the three-and-one-half days, 1,260 days, 42 months, time, times and half a time or 3.5 years or one-half of the latter half of Daniel’s Seventieth Week – she is raptured and then is the Wrath of God poured out upon the earthlings during the final thirty days of desolations recorded in Daniel 12:11.
A FINAL APPEAL ON BEHALF OF ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH
We are not here to elongate this personal appeal and to go into excessive eschatological detail – the stakes today are altogether too high – the hour is too critical. Babylon the Great occupies the Mesopotamian Plain – she will not leave it – figuratively, allegorically, spiritually and literally – the United States of America has set her seal upon ancient Neo-Babylonia – are we clear yet?
Meanwhile, a United States of Europe is but a pipe dream – certainly, without leadership, unable to project power both now and into the foreseeable future; awaiting the USA to make a move on Moamar Gaddafi before she “leads” – as George Friedman, founder of STRATFOR, states in his 2011 release:
“The European Union will not disappear, certainly not within the next ten years. It was founded as a free trade zone and will remain one. But it will not evolve into a multinational state that can be a major player on the world stage. There is not enough common interest among the nations to share military power, and without military power Europe does not have what I have called ‘deep power.’ The Europeans struggled between national sovereignty and a European unity blocks military integration even more intensely. Ultimately, there is a European bureaucracy but no European state . . . We have already seen the high-water mark of European integration.” (The Next Decade, George Friedman, pp. 154-155)
Today, the Church and Israel are at the crossroads of prophetic convergence. We implore you to reconsider the entire Pre-tribulational position as antithetical to the testimony of these Two Witnesses. They are the “two olive trees” (Israel) and the “two lampstands” (the Church) – Revelation 11:4 – they are corporate beings against whom “the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them” (Revelation 11:7).
The one, Prophetic Israel, testifies/wars against the “Gentile World Powers” (to the earth); the other witness, the Church, testifies/wars “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). But within the crucible of Daniel’s Seventieth Week the joint testimony of Israel and the Church shall be heard to the earth and the heavens…for the Mighty Angel has “set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land” (i.e., upon the Beast who ascends from the “sea” and the Second Beast who is “out of the earth”) and has commissioned that we, as John, “must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings” (Revelation 10)
Yes, they must give testimony just as their Lord gave testimony and it cost Him His all! But he arose from the grave – just as they shall:
“Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet…and they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them” (Revelation 11:11-12).
This is the Resurrection of the Just and the Rapture of the Church – and then “in the same hour there was a great earthquake” (Revelation 11:13) – and we believe this earthquake is the final judgment of Babylon (Revelation 16:18-19) and the thirty days of the Wrath of God (Daniel 12:11)…the “sounding of the Seventh Trumpet” (Revelation 11:15) which ultimately announces the Second Coming of Christ (i.e., “the last trump” – I Thess. 4:16; I Corinthians 5:52).
“And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth…Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath” (Revelation 16:18-19).
Brothers, the Seventieth Week of Daniel is a time of testimony, indictment against Babylon the Great, perseverance, purification, suffering and ultimate resurrection and rapture…leading to Babylon’s conviction and sentencing at the Wrath of the Lamb and His glorious return. Yes, call the Church to “her utmost for His highest!” The Church across the globe endures great suffering for her Lord – even as we entreat you. We should prepare our hearts for “our greatest hour” – by His grace we will be triumphant as we herald His Coming in Glory – then shall it be fulfilled by us, His “tribulation saints” . . . .
We trust the Holy Spirit will move upon you both to prepare His Body for their greatest hour – the “Blessed Hope” is the “glorious appearing of the Great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13) – He and He alone is our Hope – let us, as He taught us, endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (II Timothy 2:3) – “for if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him” (II Timothy 2:12). His grace is sufficient – and then shall it be fulfilled as well upon us all:
“Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).
Our appeal to you and to other serious proponents of eschatology – who are far more knowledgeable than we – is that you would allow the Lord to reveal His Word to you concerning these pressing matters as the world careens out of control – to come to terms with staid teachings having little or nothing to do with “witness and testimony” in these Last Days.
In light of the sheer immensity of the apostasy gripping American Christianity – could she not be Daniel’s “little” or “younger horn?” More importantly, we implore you to consider the Church’s yet vital, strategic and most critical role in the great events of the Last Days. Your consideration that the “two witnesses” are merely Moses and Elijah (latter-day super heroes) or perhaps the Old Testament and the New Testament (mere concepts) falls far short of God’s ultimate intention. The Beast knows who they are – for it is he who “wages war” against the Two People of God – Israel and the Church, His bride…and that both peoples will stand together in the end as a testimony to the faithfulness and love of the Almighty (Revelation 21:9-21 – “Holy Jerusalem…the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel…and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb”)…and that they “overcame by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives even unto death” (Revelation 12:11).
These are huge issues that should not be dismissed out of hand. Deception is the hallmark of the Last Days – as “false christs” abound (Matthew 24; Luke 21). Things we hear on the news, see on TV, read about in our books or magazines or hear from our pulpits may be misleading and part of this horrid deception, leading saints astray and throwing us off track. We all need an open and teachable heart – it is in this spirit that we appeal to both of you and ask you to resist not only the spirit of Antichrist now present in the world, but the “ministry” of the False Prophet committed to apostasy and rank deception.
Fear has gripped the nations – before the best, the worst is yet to come – everything appears out of control – may your voices be heard in perilous times, times when fearful events traumatize the people; and times wrought with confusion and the uncertain sounds of worldly trumpets – brothers, call the Church to repentance and testimony in these Last Days! Our prayers are with you – now is the time for the nations quaking to know this is The Late Great Planet Earth – the time to Set the Trumpet to Thy Mouth.
God bless you mightily as you seek Him for His people, for Israel and the Church, and for the nations and peoples that they might turn from their sins to the Living and True God and be redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb.