Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Walter Kaiser's take on Egypt

"World-class" (as they say) OT scholar Walter Kaiser is not known as a "newspaper-clipping exegesis" kind of guy. So it interests me to see him find a number of contemporary fulfillments of Biblical prophecy in Egypt, and he comments on the current situation.

I offer it for your edification, puzzlement, musing, discussion.


109 comments:

Fred Butler said...

Too bad he is off the rails regarding the creation week of Genesis. I like his stuff otherwise.

Wendy said...

In the second paragraph, Kaiser says
a bridge passage of vss 16-17 has the Egyptians afraid of Judah for the first time in her history, which cannot be other than the events of the six day war in 1967.

I wasn't born yet, but it seems to me from my research that the six-day war hardly made the Egyptians be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the LORD of hosts shakes over them. Is 19:16 Egypt may have been afraid of (I would say surprised, more than afraid) of Israel for a little bit, but is that the same thing?

On the other hand, his application of verses 19-22 were interesting. Nothing strikes me particularly wrong about this, so I suppose 20, 30 or 50 years from now we'll know if he was right.

Please, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Wendy said...

On a side note:
Are we, as Christians, supposed to be trying to figure out where the Bible is describing our current times?

My thinking nowadays is that 1) the Bible does describe future events, 2) they will happen, 3) because they are sometimes obscured from black-and-white interpretation, we should leave it be at the first 2 points.

Example: We can praise God that Egypt will be oppressed but that is God's plan to draw her to Himself and save her, etc and we can be assured that will happen, but we don't have a reason to to try to figure out where in the timeline this will happen?

Jerry said...

Linky no worky.

Did you scare him off?

Al said...

Edified by the reading of Isaiah 19 again, after reading a week or so ago when you mentioned it.

Couple thoughts stir in my little post-mil brain... And these really go to the great difficulty I have with a dispensationalism that allows for a Temple form of worship alongside a Spirit and Truth filled worship and both are called pleasing to the Lord.

He mentions a monument on the boarder but, and correct me if I am wrong here Dan, the Hebrew is not a memorial statue like our Statue of Liberty, but a memorial pillar over which an offering is given (see Genesis 28:19 for example). This makes much more sense when coupled with "the altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt." It sounds like worship to me and the Lord is please with it (He sends them a deliverer) and it being in the "midst" and on the boarder have more to do with the extent of the worship than they do with geography (in my opinion anyway).

Now, if the author means that Assyria, Egypt and Israel will all worship Christ before the Second coming, then may his exegetical tribe increase. If he means something else, well… No Jesus - No worship (at least no God honoring worship).

al sends

DJP said...

Worky for me, on two different browsers. Worky for the other commenters.

Are you in Lower Slovenia today?

/c:

Halcyon said...

Wendy:

I wasn't born then either, but from what I've heard from people who were, the Egyptians became deathly afraid of Israel during the war because of the Israelis' incredible fighting spirit (one of my Bible professors even told me that in a few fights, the Egyptian troops ran away in terror from the advancing Israelis).

Just my two cents, if that helps.

Fred Butler said...

@Al,
I think you are correct about the idea of worship. I see these events as something that happens during the millennium when the nations come yearly to worship God. (BTW, Millennium temple is nothing like OT temple. There are no sin atoning sacrifices, for example). Zechariah 14 provide additional detail about the nations coming yearly to Israel.

DJP said...

Wendy: Are we, as Christians, supposed to be trying to figure out where the Bible is describing our current times?

People who take all of the Bible seriously (as opposed to amills, postmills, etc.) expect to find real-time, full-value, deception-free fulfillment of all prophecy. So it's legit to look to see it within space and time. This bugs amills, because they've puree'd everything in to one big featureless blop; so they don't get to play, unless throwing stones is "playing."

So yes.

HSAT, I don't myself look to see much prophecy being fulfilled per se until the pre-Tribulational rapture of the church. I expect that we may well see the game-board being set up, and the players being moved into position; but I think the Rapture is the next event on the calendar.

Fred?

Al said...

Fred,
I appreciate this, but is Dr. Kaiser saying that we about to enter the Millennium or the last and great tribulation?

It seems that is not his position here, but I could be wrong.

Of course I think the next Temple is the one described in The Revelation of Jesus Christ chapter 21.

al sends

Al said...

"People who take all of the Bible seriously (as opposed to amills, postmills, etc.)"

'I'm of Apollos' much Dan?

al sends

DJP said...

I see a quotation, but not a connection.

DJP said...

...or do I need to decode the comment? Am I being too literal?

(c;

Lynda O said...

Interesting ideas. I too understand the Isaiah 19 prophecy as referring to events during the Tribulation and then afterwards in the Millennial Kingdom, so when he throws in the 1967 war it sounds like at least some "historicism" blended with general futurism. I think we have to be careful with saying that specific news events here in our time are specific fulfillment of passages that are likely referring to the Great Trib. period -- because often some later event will come along and show that such "fulfillment" wasn't the real deal after all.

But I see a lot of stage-setting going on, especially with Israel, decline of the U.S., and Babylon being rebuilt. With all the prophecies related to Babylon's final demise, it seems that the Great Tribulation will not occur until Babylon is operating as a functioning, populated city, and the overall buildup of the Middle East is definitely moving toward that end.

Brad Williams said...

I hope he's right if it means mass conversions of Egyptians to Christ. In that, I do not care if he is right for the wrong reasons or right for the right reasons. May Christ be glorified through the conversions of millions in Egypt!

JackW said...

Anyone have some spiritual night vision goggles I could borrow?

Seriously, I wish I could see it coming, but hope I don’t!

Check list:
Lamp
Oil
Stay awake

DJP said...

Mostly, Linda, I put it up because I like Walt Kaiser, have profited a lot from his work, think well of him... and it's just interesting to see a scholar of his caliber making these connections. Something interesting to think about.

Al said...

Dan - my friend,

Don't you think saying, "my group takes the whole Bible seriously and those other guys don't," qualifies for a Pauline rebuke?

No one took the Bible seriously 'till Darby? Really?

al sends

DJP said...

Not at all. The proof is in the pudding, where it belongs. If you can make the case that someone arguing that "Israel" means "Israel" when a curse is prophesied, but "Christian church" when it's a blessing (and then only if the blessing is adjusted), more health to you.

Me, I'll say he's not taking the source-text seriously, no matter what a terrific guy he is otherwise.

To the rest, did you mean to channel the boys at Worms? "Oh, sure, Luther, NOBODY had the truth until you came along!"

I think it is there in the text. That's what I want to talk about: the text.

Hunh. I should do a blog. Call it... oh, I don't know... what would be a good name for it...?

donsands said...

How about the pre-historic mill guys, like John Piper? I guess they fit in-between Pre-mil dispens, and a-mill and post-mill.

The one teaching I truly can not see in Scripture is this Rapture. But I understand how it can be taught, but when I read 1&2 Thess. I hear Paul talking about our Lord returning just once.

Walter Kaiser is a fine teacher of the Word.

I don't understand what he means by a "Deliverer" with a capital D? Is this Christ our Lord? Maybe he will answer me on his blog.

A side note, I really pray the Lord is coming back soon. I long to see Him, and what an event to be part of, the Second Coming of our Lord!

DJP said...

Hi Don!

I love both Kaiser and Piper; don't agree with either on everything.

EVERY CHRISTIAN who believes in the Bible believes in the Rapture. It is taught, in so many words, in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

Where we part company is on the question of the timing of the Rapture.

Al said...

So, when the author of this post on Egypt says that the pillar the Lord talks about in Isaiah 19 is something akin to our Statue of Liberty. Should we take him seriously because he is taking the whole Bible seriously?

How about we just say you are wrong and here is why...

On another related note, are there any Postmil "Van Impe" equivilants?

al sends

DJP said...

Besides, Al, aren't you kind of saying, "I am of not-Apollos"?

Al said...

Dan, I just said this guy was wrong, I did not put him into a camp of lesser or greater Christians.

al sends

Al said...

1 Thess. 4:17 is no more proof of the so called Rapture than I Cor 15:51 is... you have to read your desire into that text in order to harvest your darling.

There is only one more bodily coming of the Lord and it will be at the Resurection of the just and the unjust.

al, Just taking JESUS seriously, sends

(Jesus trumps Bible every time)

DJP said...

We crossed comments, Al. I was referring to your resuscitation of Diss #2 ("No one took the Bible seriously 'till Darby? Really?"), not your interaction with Kaiser.

DJP said...

Really, Al, you don't even believe that "we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air"? So Paul was just flat wrong, to you? You have some interpretation of Jesus that makes him war with Paul?

Wendy said...

Halcyon:
deathly afraid of Israel during the war because of the Israelis' incredible fighting spirit

Ok, that's understandable. I can see where I made too light of that situation.

I think I just need to stay out of Isaiah and related conversations.

John said...

Dan: I agree with you.
Wendy: Yes, we should be looking. The signs are everywhere.

I think we would all agree that the doctrine of justification-sanctification-salvation is core to the Christian faith. 500 years ago the so-called church had so corrupted that doctrine that we needed a thing called the Reformation to get people back to the Word of God and the truth.

If the core doctrine(s) of Christianity had been largely lost and corrupted, isn't it possible, just possible, that the church's eschatology had been messed up, too? If so, is it any really surprise that the "fixin-up" of bad eschatology lagged a little behind?

John said...

Brad Williams: there will be mass conversions of Egyptians. It's not unprecedented. ALL Israel shall be saved.

Jesus will return in response to their plea. See Hosea 5-6.

If it happens for the Jews, I would not be surprised if it will happen for others.

Al said...

I "seriously" believe that this is describing the resurrection. I "seriously" do not think there will be two resurrections.

seriously

al sends

DJP said...

John, I think that's a terrific question, though it irks folks with un-reformed eschatology. I've asked and never heard an answer: what's the diff between amillennialism and RC eschatology? Is there one?

It doesn't mean they're both wrong; but it does suggest that this, like baptism, may simply have been where the line-of-ability fell for the first generation of reformers.

DJP said...

Al, maybe it's just a personal dead-zone for you. If memory serves, I think you said once (forgive me if I'm wrong) you've never read much from dispensationalists. And I forget whether you know any Greek. But the verb harpazo in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, via the Latin rapere, is where we get Rapture. If you have some nothing that living believers are caught away at the Second Coming, well, that's your Rapture.

If you didn't know that, I seriously suggest your study of this issue has yet to begin.

John said...

DJP: "puree'd everything in to one big featureless blop"

Makes my heart flutter. :)

Frankly, the pulpits should have been on fire about this the past couple of Sundays.

Al said...

John,

Calvin only believed there was one resurrection.

al sends

DJP said...

...pace John the Revelator. One of Calvin's unreformed areas.

MSC said...

I can never quite figure out where Kaiser stands. Is a progressive dispy? Is he somewhere between that and hisotic premill? Or does he stand in a category all his own? Dan or Fred, any insight here?

John said...

Isn't this about the point where Brian McLaren or someone will come in and say that they don't like dispys because they're all just sittin' back waiting for the rapture?

I hate it when they do that. Why, I even used to have 30-year mortgage.

DJP said...

Your second guess is close to my own "take" on his position, MSC.

John said...

Al: "Calvin only believed there was one resurrection."

There's that lagging behind thing I was talking about, right there.

I, too only believe in one resurrection, per person. Sidebar: OK. Maybe Lazarus and the ones raised at the time of the first resurrection will get a second one, but, for the most part, it's one per person.

John said...

DJP: "I've asked and never heard an answer: what's the diff between amillennialism and RC eschatology? Is there one?"

I almost asked that myself, but I self-censored, but just this once.

Fred Butler said...

Al writes,
On another related note, are there any Postmil "Van Impe" equivilants?

Gary North and all those Tyler TX postmill dudes.

Al said...

Dan, I know some Greek, enough to work my way around the tools with some proficiency. I am not where you are by any means. I do not doubt your translation of the word, but to say that mechanics of the Resurrection form the foundation for the idea that there will be a pre-resurrection snatching away of those who are alive at Christ's pre-coming, coming is odd to me.

I can't remember if I said I had not read much in the way of dispensationalism. I have studied John MacArthur, David Jeremiah and some others on the subject. This was while I was a dispensationalist and sitting under several pastors who taught on the subject.

al sends

Fred Butler said...

Al writes,
Of course I think the next Temple is the one described in The Revelation of Jesus Christ chapter 21.

So all of those 8 chapters of detail regarding Ezekiel's temple is spiritual fluff?

DJP said...

Fred! How dare you! It's deeply-meaningful spiritual fluff!

Al said...

Dan,

Do you believe that there will be more than one group of "the dead in Christ? (1 Thess. 4:16)"

It seems to me that when Paul describes the bodily resurrection of those saints in 1 Thess, he is talking about all those who died in Christ. So, if there a period of time between this first snatching away where Christians die, then there will be a second group of "dead in Christ" that I don't see Paul address.

al sends

al sends

Paula said...

Is it just me, or is that blog currently down?

Fred Butler said...

Al writes,
I can't remember if I said I had not read much in the way of dispensationalism. I have studied John MacArthur, David Jeremiah and some others on the subject. This was while I was a dispensationalist and sitting under several pastors who taught on the subject.

(Troll on)
I wrote up this post just for folks like you my friend,
What Dispensationalists Believe
(Troll off)

DJP said...

Paula: just you.

DJP said...

Let's start with the basics, Al. I don't see any point in arguing details with someone whose hermeneutics fuzzes even the big stuff.

So, Jeremiah 31:31-37 — does that mean what it says? That Israel will never ever be able to sin so badly that it loses its distinctive ethnic place and identity in the plan of God?

Al said...

Fred,
Is the Temple in Revelation 7 a physical temple?

I think the book should be read the way it was written... in all its deep, spiritual, fullness.

Of course, there will be no Temple in the New Heavens and New Earth. The last temple judged by God and found to be leprous... why will this new temple, with angels flying in and out, be destroyed or removed again?

al sends

Robert said...

Fred,

When I click your link, this is what I get:

Sorry, the page you were looking for in the blog Hip and Thigh does not exist.

I'm right there with you and DJP, though, on being a dispensationalist...was just curious what you had written.

donsands said...

"Where we part company is on the question of the timing of the Rapture."

Good point. I bow to this well spoken remark.

The stuff happening in the Middle East is interesting. Dr. Kaiser may be right about multitudes coming to Christ. I know in Iran the Gospel is going forth in a great way.

A powerful awakening of dead souls by the gospel would be marvelous to see. And I pray we would have one in the Church in America.

DJP said...

For once only, I'm going to (for awhile) let people be nuts and undisciplined. Including me.

So Al, while I'm waiting for your agree/disagree with Jeremiah, please interpret Exekiel 42:2 — "The length of the building whose door faced north was a hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty cubits."

What's that mean?

DJP said...

I was just informed that Pastor Mark Hitchcock, who definitely comes from the take-the-whole-Bible-seriously school, just preached a sermon dealing with Egypt.

I'll listen to it later myself, DV.

Robert said...

Dan,

Was this meant to link in with your WDJ(N)S series this week? Just seems quite providential how this all worked out to be about the same discussion.

Al said...

Dan, I cannot read Hebrews 11 without believing that the physical descendants of Abraham will not experience some great in gathering into Christ, but Jer 31 is fulfilled (and will be fulfilled) in Christ alone.

There are three "Behold the days are coming says the Lord" in Jer. 31 and I think if you don't isolate the middle one (Jer. 31:37) you get a better reading of the text.

I have to run to an elder's meeting. Perhaps I can pick this up and explain myself later.

I will have to take up Ezekiel later too. Very sorry.

Blessings on all your heads…

al sends

DJP said...

So "Jer 31 is fulfilled (and will be fulfilled) in Christ alone" = "Jer 31 is never going to be fulfilled"? Or at least "Jer 31 is never going to be fulfilled in any sense Jeremiah or his readers would have understood"?

This is the fatal flaw of that kind of hermeneutic which, in a good-hearted zeal to put Christ everywhere, ends up making God a welsher.

Which does not glorify Him.

Al said...

"For once only, I'm going to (for awhile) let people be nuts and undisciplined. Including me."

I fear I bring out the worst in you.

al sends

Al said...

And Dan, I think it was fulfilled in the return of the Jews to the land after Babalon, further fulfilled in the first coming of Christ, and will be further yet fulfilled in his second coming in a greater way. Again, taking all the " Behold, the days are coming" sections together.

now I am late… thanks refresh button!

al sends

Fred Butler said...

Sorry about the link,
It worked when I checked it before posting.
Trying again:

What Dispensationalists Believe

It seems to work this time.

mwhenry said...

Not impressed. It seems like another "he is there, he is here, do not believe it" kind of situation.

We are usually very careless in attaching a current trend or event to prophecy. Many examples in the bible show people ignorant of the prophecy taking place in their midst.

Brad Williams said...

Whoa! I missed it.

Dan, just insert all that stuff I said last time we fussed about this; I'll insert everything I said when we last fussed about this, and then we'll go home congratulating ourselves on how well we skewered one another.

Huzzah!

Al said...

OOK... home and the wife is making cubed steak, so let me expand on what I wrote.

In Jeremiah 30 the Lord addresses the Nation in exile, with these words in verses 2-3: “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you. For behold, days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the LORD, and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall take possession of it.”

There is a great deal of material in chapter 30 and 31 that covers the current situation in which Jacob/Israel find himself. It appears grim, and their guilt may keep them far from the Lord and the Land- yet, in verse 22 of chapter 30 they hear that "And you shall be my people, and I will be your God.” And in verse 17 of chapter 31: “There is hope for your future, declares the LORD, and your children shall come back to their own country.”

The Lord continues that theme in chapter 31 where the Lord has ransomed Jacob (though not yet) and the children will rejoice.

Then God summarizes all of this in three stanzas all preceded by Behold the days are coming declares the Lord

First, in verses 27-30: [27] “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. [28] And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, declares the LORD. [29] In those days they shall no longer say:“ ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.’[30] But everyone shall die for his own sin. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.

Now, did this happen after Babylon? yes The children of the idolatrous generation that went into exile will not be held there any longer. Will this be further fulfilled at Christ’s second Advent? The sins of the fathers will be cut off from their children forever.

(part 2 and 3 to follow)

Al said...

Second, the one most often quoted by the most serious of biblical scholars:

[31] “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, [32] not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. [33] But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [34] And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

[35] Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD of hosts is his name: [36] “If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the LORD, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever.”

[37] Thus says the LORD: “If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, declares the LORD.”

God did this for Israel out of Babylon, He did not cast them off again. In fact he identified with them in the person of Jesus Christ and Israel did not sin at all in the person of Christ. Of course this has a final fulfillment in the Second coming where there will never be another covenant breaker. No one who tramples the blood of Christ under their feet or outrages the Spirit of Grace (Hebrews 10).

(part 3 to follow)

Al said...

Lastly, in verses 38-40 The land is promised to them. [38] “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when the city shall be rebuilt for the LORD from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. [39] And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. [40] The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be sacred to the LORD. It shall not be uprooted or overthrown anymore forever.”

Was the land given to them after exile? Yes. Were they dispersed after the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70? Yes, but all as part of the final fulfillment of this promise. The Church, the New Israel, went from Jerusalem, into Judea, Samaria and even the uttermost ports of the earth. One day, not one square inch of the planet will not know the name of the Lord.

He will be their God and they will all be His people.

That is a short explanation of the two chapters. The key to me is bolded phrase that begins each promise. Much more could be said, but I think I at least looked at the text seriously. Heck, I even think I took it literally.

al sends

Stefan said...

Dan:

Apart from the fact that you're completely wrong about the timing of the Rapture, this has been a most fascinating comment thread.

Of course, Jeremiah 31 in particular seems very much to be an already-not yet prophecy. Christ most certainly inaugurated and sealed the New Covenant in His blood, but verses 34 and 38-40 are most definitely still waiting for their fulfilment.

Pierre Saikaley said...

On another related note, are there any Postmil "Van Impe" equivilants?

Al see #5 over here

Stefan said...

...And more seriously than my previous (as yet unposted) comment, let us pray for a revival in Egypt. This is a land that has a continuous Judeo-Christian history going back 2500 years: the land of the Greek Old Testament, and a 2000-year old church. But as is the case in other countries with a heritage that old, it is a country with many people who claim the name of Christ, and yet don't know Him as their Lord and Saviour. Let us pray that in the midst of these trials, that the Church will undergo a great revival, and be a living witness to the Gospel.

Robert said...

I don't see how people can think of the church taking the place of Israel...especially in light of Romans 11. I think Paul spells things out pretty clearly there. And that seems to go hand in hand with Jeremiah 30:18-31:1. Especially 31:1 - "'At that time,' declares the LORD, 'I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.'"

Al said...

Robert,
Paul says that of the Church as well does he not?
2 Cor. 6:14-18
14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For awhat partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or bwhat fellowship has light with darkness? 15 cWhat accord has Christ with Belial?2 Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For dwe are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and fwalk among them, and gI will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Therefore hgo out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, 18 iand I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

And as our gracious host might say, "How would Paul's readers take this statment in light of the OT promises to Israel?"

al sends

Al said...

Pierre,

My comment was in response to Dan's comment that of those who have commented here only the dispensationalist take the whole Bible seriously.

The Statue of Liberty exegesis struck me as funny and not very serious.

al sends

Al said...

sorry... I did not take out all the foot notes from the text I copied and pasted.


al sends

DJP said...

Goodness, Al, what does that have to do with anything? God tells Gentiles to believe, too. Does that transmogrify them into Israel? He tells men and women to submit to something - does that make men women?

Paul (and all of Scripture) keeps Israel distinct. That's Robert's point. He's got Scripture with him. The hermeneutical process isn't supposed to be done with an egg beater.

DJP said...

And again what does "the statue of liberty" have to do with anything? It's an analogy: "a monument will be erected like our statute of Liberty to remember the great Egyptian Spiritual Revival." At least Kaiser thinks Isaiah meant what he said, and doesn't spiritualize it into hymnbooks or carnations in a lapel or something. He thinks "a pillar to the LORD" means "a pillar to the LORD"! Imagine that!

Al said...

Dan, Robert said that the reason he cannot believe the Church "takes the place of" Israel is that God says that "they will be my people." How can this prove that genetic Israel is particular in God's eye and the exact same promise be given to an entirely different group of people?

This line of argument really does baffle me.

al sends

DJP said...

I think that bafflement is more a display of deficient hermeneutics, than anything about Robert's observation.

"They shall be my people," to most readers, would mean "They shall be my people." Only to the decoder-ring set can it mean "They shall stop being my people."

You're a good guy. Your hermeneutics aren't worthy of you.

Al said...

How is the Statue of Liberty like a place of worship? Sure Lady Liberty and a pillar both stick up out of the ground and both memorialize something, but Isaiah was talking about worship extending from the heart of country to its borders.

All Egypt will be saved.

al sends

DJP said...

Goodness, now I have to give hermeneutics lessons on Walter Kaiser? "a monument will be erected like our statute of Liberty to remember" means there is a point of connection, in that both are memorials. It doesn't mean Kaiser thinks it will be a big woman in a robe made of metal.

Al said...

I am not nearly as good as my hermenutic... :-)

al sends

Al said...

I think that in the interest of linking newspaper events to the goings on in Egypt he missed the larger point of the passage.

Dan, I appreciate the bits and bytes and like a houseguest I fear that after a couple days I should move on.

Blessings on your head brother, still one of my favorite bloggers!

al sends

DJP said...

If by "move on" you mean to another subject, that's permitted.

But leaving the blog? DENIED!!!

Al said...

oh... the former for sure. I love this place :-)

al send

witness said...

Dan I highly respect your gifting to teach and preach God's Word. HSAT I do not understand how you can come to the conlcusion there is a pre-trib rapture.

The Scriptures clearly teach there is a rapture, but it is in conjunction with the first resurrection at Christ's post-trib return.

If I am wrong, then I want and pray for correction. I do not want to be found guilty of mishandling the Word of God.

What hard scriptural evidence is there for a pre-trib rapture as opposed to a post-trib one?

Submitted humbly and respectfully...

DJP said...

Off topic!

But briefly, it's an inferential case drawn from a number of doctrines and scriptures. One key passage is 1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 5:11. Read it as if for the first time, noting the very consistent shift between we/us/you on the one hand, and them, on the other. We are destined for catching away and deliverance; they are destined for wrath. Jesus delivers us from wrath (explicitly promised in 1:10; 5:9). The entire period of the Tribulation is a time of wrath (Revelation 6:16) which targets Israel and the world (Daniel 9:24-27) - not the church.

So I believe Scripture, is why, and Scripture promises the church will be delivered from eschatological wrath, which I take to refer to the Tribulation period.

That's a very brief answer on a subject which has been the topic of many books.

The Squirrel said...

Dan,

That is one of the - no, that is the - best short explanations of the "why?" behind the belief in a pre-trib rapture I've ever read.

Thank you.

Squirrel

witness said...

But the wrath we are delivered from in 1 Thes 5:9 is not a period of wrath (Tribulation) but the wrath of final judgment for sin. Look at the whole verse and see what it (the wrath) is contrasted with...

For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ ~1 Thes 5:9(ESV)

The same word is used in Romans 5...

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. ~Romans 5:9,10(ESV)

Besides if you want to "infer" something, isn't it inferred that we are here to see the Day of the Lord not because we have been raptured, but because we are awake, sober, and watching?

But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. ~1 Thes 5:4-6(ESV)

I just cannot see any credible evidence for the pre-trib timing.

DJP said...

Is the Tribulation characterized as the end-time outpouring of God's wrath?

witness said...

Sure, but you can characterize today as being under God's wrath. The question is what wrath is Paul talking about in 1 Thes 5.

If Paul is referring to the Tribulation here as God's wrath, then are believers during that period appointed to wrath?

DJP said...

First, you answer then my question: "Is the Tribulation characterized as the end-time outpouring of God's wrath?"

witness said...

Yes, the Tribulation is another example of God's wrath.

DJP said...

Then if (as you insisted) your mind is open to Scripture alone, you will see your evidence of the pre-Tribulation rapture.

In the whole-epistle context of the time of God's final, end-time outpouring of His wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2:10; 5:9), Paul says only one thing about the church's relation to it: it is not appointed to it, but will delivered from it. The world, by contrast, will experience that end-time wrath.

Of course the church needs to stay awake, because (unlike post-Tribbers) we will have no warning and no signs of when we're to be caught up to be with the Lord.

John Walvoord did a good job of demonstrating that there can be no thought of the church being on earth at this time, yet exempted from God's wrath. Force the church into the time of the wrath of God, the wrath of the Lamb, of Jacob's Trouble, and you run the danger of making Christ out to be a wife-beater.

witness said...

Living through and even experiencing the extreme difficulties of the Tribulation do not constitute being the object of God's wrath.

The suffering, persecution, natural disasters that kill believers today come about because of God's wrath against sin. Yet, they are not destined for God's wrath. What Paul has in view is God's final wrath for sin.

When Paul said this in Romans 5 did he only have the Tribulation in view as God's wrath?

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. ~Romans 5:9(ESV)

Again I offer no disrespect, but inferences do not make for solid ground to build a doctrine.

DJP said...

Actually inferences are solid grounds for many doctrines. Any honest, responsible man will tell you that he holds his doctrines with varying degrees of certainty. There are various ways of denoting the difference (first tier, second tier, etc.).

So: I tell my kids to get in the house and stay there while I burn the house down around them. "But I don't mean this for you!" I assure them, as I splash gasoline around the outside of the house. "I'm just burning the house. Not you!"

Make sense?

Equally, I think.

Lynda O said...

Dan, did you get a chance to listen to Mark Hitchcock's message on this? Any thoughts from it? I thought it was a good basic overview of the topic, along with a few good quotes, like from J. Vernon McGee -- "the Cross will yet be the place to which Egypt will look instead of the crescent."

DJP said...

Yes, yes, and yes.

(c:

witness said...

What about these guys... are they the objects of God's wrath or have they obtained salvation?

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed.
Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. ~Rev 20:4(ESV)

It appears God brought these believers, purchased by the blood of Christ, into and thru the Tribulation and yet they are not the objects of God's wrath. They were not destined for His wrath but to obtain salvation.

Note what it says about these who have endured tribulation to the death...

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. ~Rev 14:12

These are believers, they are Christians. Were they recipients of Paul's promise to the Thessalonians?

The Squirrel said...

witness said...
What about these guys..."

Those would be people saved during the Tribulation - after the Rapture - and are, therefore, not part of the Church.

Squirrel

John said...

Witness: on Rev. 20:4 you mentioned "brought into and through"

Is that in the text or did you infer it?

Stefan said...

So how will the brothers and sisters in Revelation 20:4 become believers in the first place, if those who know and proclaim the Gospel have all been raptured away already?

sonofthunder7 said...

I really probably shouldn't stick my foot into this lively discussion...but I just can't resist attempting to harmonize between you pre-tribbers and post-tribbers..

Just wondering, Dan, et al, what are your opinions of the pre-wrath rapture position(if any of of you have heard of it, that is!).

Briefly summarized as follows: the believers will go through a time of persecution and hardship and great tribulation(per Matthew 24) but will be raptured simultaneously with the sixth seal and the commencement of the Day of the Lord, somewhere after the 3.5 year point.

Just curious as to what your thoughts were on this, Dan and others.

DJP said...

I'm pre-wrath. But the whole seven years is the time of God's eschatological wrath (Revelation 6:16).

Which is to say I am somewhat familiar with the position, and find it unpersuasive. I think it's been pretty well fisked by the pre-tribbers.

witness said...

Dan sorry for derailing the thread and I will bow out here so as to allow it to get back on track.

Perhaps sometime you can write something where this is the subject and we can discuss it further.

witness said...

Unless, of course, this line of discussion is ok with you?

sonofthunder7 said...

Alright, fair enough. It's been a while since I've studied eschatology...so I won't attempt to debate you here and now(as much as I would like to ask you some questions on your view of Matthew 24!) I'm tempted to say more to elaborate my position, but it seems you're fairly familiar with it so I shall try and exercise self control.

Rhology said...

DJP,

Is there a link to your own or someone else's stuff that would be well-suited for leading someone like me who is undecided wrt eschat and thinks that premill has a lot going for it, from thinking the pre-Trib Rapture is totally unsupported by the text, to being convinced of the pre-Trib Rapture? I would really appreciate any ideas you might have on that.

Grace and peace,
Rhology

Fred Butler said...

@Rhology
There is always the pre-trib research center website that may have
some things to consider, http://www.pre-trib.org/

Also, the classic "three views of the rapture" book with Moo, Archer,
and Feinberg, has been updated and reprinted, but with fresher
material. The mid-trib view has been replaced with a fellow defending
the pre-wrath view, which I have always understood to be a modified
post-trib view.

The fall, 2002, TMS journal was dedicated to examining the rapture issues:
http://www.tms.edu JournalIssue.aspx?year=2002

They of course take a pre-trib position.

Dick Mayhue has some messages on the subject at his personal website.
Scroll down to find the sections on eschatology.
http://www.richardmayhue.net/messages.html

What about S. Lewis Johnson's stuff on eschatology?
http://www.believerschapeldallas.org/temp/tapes/slj-19_eschatology/index.htm

Hopefully that is helpful.

Sir Aaron said...

@DJP:

"Of course the church needs to stay awake, because (unlike post-Tribbers) we will have no warning and no signs of when we're to be caught up to be with the Lord."

The church stays awake so that it will not be surprised...we wont have specific signs, but we should know generally that the time is soon. Is that right?

The Squirrel said...

Stefan asked...
"So how will the brothers and sisters in Revelation 20:4 become believers in the first place, if those who know and proclaim the Gospel have all been raptured away already?"

There will be countless Bibles Left Behind®, as well as thousands and thousands who will have heard the Gospel but not believed before the rapture. God sovereignly brings His elect to faith when He desires, according to His good will.

We also have the 144,000 sealed Israelites of Revelation 7 and the two witnesses of Revelation 11 at work. The results are plain, "...a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues... 'These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation...'" (Revelation 7:9,14)

There will be a witness to the Gospel left on the earth after the Church has been removed to safety.

Squirrel