This really got me thinking....

Debate only within the framework of the ENPI theory

This really got me thinking....

Postby eschologizer on Sun May 16, 2010 1:54 am

I was thinking and pondering timing stuff today and reconsidered a lot of my timing beliefs. After all this, I came to a new realization that I was not previously open to. Feel free to just skim this, its incredibly longwinded. I would appreciate any thoughts anyone has about this.

I decided to go read Herb Peters view on timing and it really got me thinking. I have always viewed Matthew 24 as being strictly chronological and sequential when it comes to the end time signs presented.

I now believe that it is possible for no end time signs (i.e. matt 24 or 2 thessalonians 2) to have taken place and we go to sleep one night, wake up the next morning and see the Abomination of Desolation.

I will start by saying my previous view first:

Here is how I previously viewed Matthew 24 and 2 Thessalonians 2 (and the rest of the Bible) order of events. I viewed this in a somewhat strict sequence.

1) World War
2) Famines
3) Worldwide persecution with massive falling away from the faith.
4) Abomination of desolation/Antichrist revealed
5) Great tribulation (worst time in human history) for an unspecified length of time after AOD
6) Second coming of Christ and beginning of the day of the lord/time of wrath/rapture.... etc.

I have always been prepared to consider the idea that it is relatively peaceful until the midpoint of the 70th week. However, I was quick to dismiss it, even though I really wanted to be open to it, the Scriptures seemed to say otherwise when I read them.

Here were my main reasons for previously being so strict with the order I listed above:

1.Jesus in verbal order, presents the events 1-6 above in that order and seems to speak of it sequentially, at least at an initial look at Matthew 24.

2.This assumption of mine was verified when I saw Paul “rehash” some of these signs when he said the apostasy has to come first and the man of lawlessness is revealed. (2 Thessalonians 2) I saw Jesus mention a falling away first then the abomination in the “holy place” or temple, and Paul lists the apostasy as “first” and the man of lawlessness is revealed. Since Jesus says “then” after the world war and famines, I assumed the passage demanded world war before the abomination of desolation took place, along with persecution and apostasy.

3.Daniel 11:36-45 seemed to also strongly support this position. It describes the Antichrist. It says he is attacked, then responds by invading many countries, including Israel. Since the abomination of desolation is so offensive and forcefully intrusive action by such a politician, I assumed the AOD occurred after the Antichrist militarily invaded Israel.

4.This position also verified by Revelation 6. Jesus describes in Matthew 24 the great tribulation as being the worst time in human history and it immediately follows AOD. In Revelation 6, I see the red horse (world war) then black horse (famine) then pale horse (Death), where a quarter of the earth’s population is killed (an extremely severe time in human history). This verified my assumption of world war, famine, then AOD then Great tribulation.

However, now I have reconsidered and it makes more sense, especially in light of the commentary by Herb Peters. His reasons aren't all necessarily the same as mine, but his were the catalyst.I now believe it is quite possible that the AOD could be the first major end time sign.

My strict sequentialist position was not without difficulty, however. Here are some questions that arose in my mind when considering my strict chronological position.

1.Jesus always speaks of his coming as something incredibly sudden and we could be caught off guard if we don’t watch. Luke 17:30-31 even seems to suggest that the revealing of Christ in the sky to occur even at the same time the Jews are fleeing the AOD to the desert. A world war, then famines, then persecution, then AOD, seems to provide a lot of warning and have the potential to significantly hinder the surprise effect of second coming.

2.When the angel explains the end to Daniel, the question is raised "How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?" (daniel 12:6). He is given a time frame of 3.5 years/or 1290 days, more specifically. (Daniel 12:6-13). If the AOD is supposed to happen 1290 days prior to some event (12:11) then what about all that world war stuff that happens before the antichrist invades Israel? (Daniel 11:40-41). How does that also fit into a 3.5 year period? It wouldn’t.

3.In light of the ENPI and my strictly sequentialist view I was getting increasingly frustrated with the need for a world war, famines, and persecution all before this June/july. That seems extremely difficult to facilitate, especially since the Antichrist candidate has no power currently and that is an extremely short period of time to get all that stuff done, without lawlessness being unrestrained and mechanisms in the EU are not in place to get all of this done (they are still creating their external action stuff with the EEAS, includes military, etc.) Also it seems very difficult to suddenly facilitate a worldwide persecution without an Antichrist to sort of head that up.

Here is my proposed solution to my own timing issues. Here is why I think the AOD could be the first sign to occur.

1.Matthew 24 does not by any means have to be read in a strictly sequential manner. Verses 7-14 summarize events all the way up until the “end.” It talks of world war, famines, then persecution and apostasy and the one enduring to the end will be saved, and also talk of the end coming once the gospel finally reaches all nations. As we would all agree, 7-14 is a very general summary of what we would all agree the end will look like.

2.As the discussion continues, Jesus does not say “then” after the persecution before discussing the AOD. He simply says “so when you see the abomination that causes desolation.” Then he describes the need for Jews to flee to the mountains, the worst time in history, then finally the second coming of Himself. He may be very well describing the same situation v. 7-14 describe except from a different and more detailed perspective. “So when you see” doesn’t mean “then you will see” (though it can). The word "so" probably means something along the lines of the word "therefore."

3.This same order could also be seen in Daniel. Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 makes a strong allusion to Daniel 11:36-37 and connects the Antichrist’s boasting to him idolizing himself in the temple. He says the Antichrist’s boasting is taken so far that he idolizes himself in the temple. It is interesting that Daniel first mentions the boasting that Paul associates with his idolizing himself in the temple (11:36-39), THEN he goes on to describe the military situation the Antichrist faces and such (Daniel 11:40-45).

4.It is also important to note that at the AOD Jesus does not say “too late, your all going to die at this point, because Antichrist has already invaded Israel with all his troops.” No he says to flee to the mountains, which strongly implies the Antichrist’s military forces have not yet arrived or haven’t done anything yet (even though they will really really soon).

5.AOD also provides incentive for the king of the North and South (probably Syria and Egypt) to preemptively attack Antichrist in the first place. At first I perceived this as sort of a random and inadvertent attack by two potential allies on an empire that they probably could not take on. I saw no reason for what I believed was a “pre-AOD” invasion. Now, in this case, there is massive incentive for such an attack on the Antichrist. He’s being a huge jerk and declaring himself to be God and also represents an extreme military danger, especially considering what he goes on to do. (Daniel 11:41-45).

6.As to how one could do an AOD without a military invasion at exactly the same time, I suggest that a diplomatic mission to the country (i.e. AC goes to visit Israel on some diplomatic purpose). Any guy with say hundreds armed gunman is gonna be able to do what he wants to do in a building (temple). They just surround the building as the AC enters the temple declares himself God, and announces impending invasion.( A jerk in the temple is the least of their worries when an impending invasion is at hand.) This point just speculation however, showing it is possible to do without an invasion right then.

7.Paul does say that the Day of the Lord cannot come until “the apostasy comes first” and the man of lawlessness is revealed. This “first” as I previously believed, doesn’t necessarily apply to the man of lawlessness being revealed, but to the day of the Lord itself. I looked up the greek for “first” and it means “before, beforehand.” It doesn’t necessarily mean, apostasy first, then man of lawlessness. The language easily allows for that not to mean that. I could say a similar phrase and easily say that the day of the Lord cannot come until sacrifices are stopped first and the abomination of desolation takes place. That phrase I created for analogy purposes doesn’t require the stopping of sacrifice to be before the abomination of desolation. It just means they both have to happen before the Day of the Lord.

8.As far as the persecution and falling away, this will happen a lot easier (for the enemies of God) and a lot faster when they have counterfeit miracles feeding the deception and a very very powerful man who likes to invade countries and who demands worship. He could also, in theory, demand anything else he wanted (such as laws against Christianity, suggestions to turn in your relatives and neighbors, etc), as he has those miracles going for him and claims to be God. NASB interestingly says that "lawlessness" is increased during the time of apostasy. This may be a hint that at that point lawlessness is unrestrained.

9.As far as “our candidate” is concerned, if this set up is true, he doesn’t have to do anything before he enters the temple. And as far as the theory is concerned, no pre-AOD “fireworks” are required, as I previously thought. This does not mean that pre-AOD fireworks cannot or won’t happen, its just they are not theologically required (in my opinion). Also, we don’t see any difficulty “seeing it all happen” for many reasons. First, most people believe the Antichrist is demon-possessed and it is understood he won’t reveal himself until the one restraining lawlessness moves out of the way. I think in a world with unrestrained demonic lawlessness, it is not difficult to envision a former politician being demon possessed and returned to politics by an unrestrained Satan, if thats the way its meant to be. Though it is all part of God’s sovereign plan from the beginning, I imagine Satan picks his favorite person to for the Antichrist job and I don’t think the fact that someone quits their previous politics job will prevent Satan from picking his favorite person for the job. And there is no reason his favorite person cannot be “our guy.” The only thing in the way of this is to argue that for some reason this “retirement” from politics is some sort of sign from God that we should give up on ENPI theory. However, I do not believe this is a great theological reason to give up, since God has often fulfilled prophecy in light of insurmountable human odds. The resurrection of Christ is a perfect example. All of this said, however, with due respect to Mr. Solana, if in fact he does not turn out to be the man we think he might be. I would feel terribly bad for him in that case :( .

I see it as potentially happening something like this:

1) Abomination of desolation
2) World War (esp. Daniel 11 wars) & famines ------------------> PART OF GREAT TRIBULATION
2) Persecution and apostasy all the way until end ---------------> PART OF GREAT TRIBULATION
3) Day of the Lord/Second coming/rapture/etc.

So that is my incredibly longwinded explanation of why I now think it is possible for a normal watching Christian to simply wake up one day and see the AOD without any prior warning.

"for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath." 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10
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Re: This really got me thinking....

Postby Mr Baldy on Mon May 17, 2010 4:04 am

Hi eschologizer,

After reading your post, I can see that you have given some very serious thought as to how you are considering how End Time events will play out.

I re-read Matthew 24, and Revelation 13. I would like to make the following points, as a matter of opinion, and the way that I have viewed these events as well.

First, I would say that I don't believe that we will wake up some day, and the AOD has occurred. Jesus mentioned the AOD, and implied that it was a point of reference for the Jews to look for. However, prior to mentioning the AOD, He mentions the "birth pangs" that will have occurred prior to this event. He further stated that "these things must occur, but the end is not yet".

The "birth pangs" although not considered by many to be signs of the End - they do lay the foundation, to the point and time leading to the AOD.

Second, I would like to say that the coming Antichrist won't just show up on the scene, have all the answers to the Worlds problems, or say he's God. However, he does have an appointed time to appear on the scene, he will have been given "authority to act" or "power to continue", (which as you know, implies a previous Position of Power); and he will have the support of the 10 kings that will rule with him, for a very short period of time (1 hour).

But more importantly, we must UNDERSTAND what the AOD actually is. I mean, is it when the Antichrist "displays" or "proclaims" himself to be God, by sitting in the Temple? Or is it some sort of Abomination that is set on the "wing" of the Temple by the Army of the Antichrist? Many who are watching, to include myself still ponder this very, very, important question. I believe that once we do come to the understanding of what the AOD actually is, then the answers will be revealed to us.

So in closing, I believe that the way you first viewed that events will happen is a more likely scenario. I believe that some sort of Crisis will occur that will propel the Antichrist into the Position that will ultimately fulfill Scripture. He will be nothing more than a mere Politician, who will wage war against the Saints of God, and anyone who apposes him. Scripture is clear on that. Scripture, in my opinion shows the Antichrist as a man of WAR. Many want to paint this picture of the Antichrist as being this so-called "False Messiah" - I see nothing in Scripture that supports that line of thinking.

Eschologizer, if you are weary about the ENP(I) Theory - don't be; at least not yet. Things can happen very quickly, and suddenly - but there are signs that will be apparent, so that we will know. I admire your Love for searching and seeking the Truth. You are attempting to gain understanding, and there is absolutely no doubt that the Lord will bless you in your understanding.
Mr Baldy
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