lastbookofthebible is about the Last book of the Bible. It is an indepth look at the Revelation of Jesus Christ or rather at what happens as the Revelation unfolds.
It is quite possible that society however battered might actually survive for the most part the series of events that unfold from chapter four onward.
There has been a lot of hype and argument over this book.
I am told there are at least eight different positions on the Tribulation and the Rapture and all that jazz. I am interested in what the scripture says and what the Spirit says with it. But for the sake of getting at the truth let’s look at these 8 views of the rapture
The Eight Views of the Tribulation and the Rapture are:
All believers are raptured before the tribulation. Rapture and second coming are separate events. Israel and the Church are on separate tracks.
Taken from the American Presbyterian Church
Essential Definition: Premillennialism believes that there will be a literal, physical reign of Jesus Christ with the saints on this earth before the institution of the eternal state. It believes that this will happen at the second coming, at the glorious visible return of Jesus Christ at the end of this age. Hence it is called Premillennialism, believing in a premillennial return of Jesus Christ.
Taken from Wikipedia
The mid-tribulation position espouses that the rapture will occur at some point in the middle of what is popularly called the tribulation period, or during Daniel’s 70th Week. However, since the Bible only uses “tribulation” to refer to the second half of Daniel’s 70th week, from a mid-tribulationist’s point of view he is a pre-tribulationist. The tribulation is typically divided into two periods of 3.5 years each. Mid-tribulationists hold that the saints will go through the first period (Beginning of Travail, which is not “the tribulation”), but will be raptured into Heaven before the severe outpouring of God’s wrath in the second half of what is popularly called the tribulation. Mid-tribulationists appeal to Daniel 7:25 which says the saints will be given over to tribulation for “time, times, and half a time,” – interpreted to mean 3.5 years. At the halfway point of the tribulation, the Antichrist will commit the “abomination of desolation” by desecrating the Jerusalem temple (to be built on what is now called the Temple Mount.
Premillenial pretribulational partial rapture
Taken from Wikipedia
The pre-tribulation position advocates that the rapture will occur before the beginning of the seven-year tribulation period, while the second coming will occur at the end of the seven-year tribulation period. Pre-tribulationists often describe the rapture as Jesus coming for the church and the second coming as Jesus coming with the church.
Premillenial prewrath rapture
Taken from Wikipedia
The prewrath rapture view also places the rapture at some point during the tribulation period before the second coming. This view holds that the tribulation of the church begins toward the latter part of the seven-year period, being Daniel’s 70th week, when the Antichrist is revealed in the temple. This latter half of the seven-year period [i.e. 3 1/2 years] is defined as the great tribulation, although the exact duration is not known. References from Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 are used as evidence that this tribulation will be cut short by the coming of Christ to deliver the righteous by means of the rapture, which will occur after specific events in Revelation, in particular after the sixth seal is opened and the sun is darkened and the moon is turned to blood. However, by this point many Christians will have been slaughtered as martyrs by the Antichrist. After the rapture will come God’s seventh-seal wrath of trumpets and bowls (a.k.a. “the Day of the Lord”). The Day of the Lord’s wrath against the ungodly will follow for the remainder of the seven years.
Evangelical post millennial rapture
Taken from Wikipedia
postmillennialism is an interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation which sees Christ’s second coming as occurring after (Latin post-) the “Millennium”, a Golden Age in which Christian ethics prosper. The term subsumes several similar views of the end times, and it stands in contrast to premillennialism and, to a lesser extent, amillennialism
Taken from Wikipedia
is a view in Christian end-times theology named for its rejection of the theory that Jesus Christ will have a thousand-year-long, physical reign on the earth. This is in opposition to premillennial and some postmillennial interpretations of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation.
In contrast, the amillennial view holds that the thousand years mentioned in Revelation 20 is a symbolic number, not a literal description; that the millennium has already begun and is identical with the current church ag , (or more rarely, that it ended with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 — see Preterism). Amillennialism holds that while Christ’s reign during the millennium is spiritual in nature, at the end of the church age, Christ will return in final judgment and establish a permanent physical reign.
St Augustine’s amillennial view
Taken from Wikipedia
Amillennialism gained ground after Christianity became a legal religion. It was systematized by St. Augustine in the 4th century, and this systematization carried amillennialism over as the dominant eschatology of the Medieval and Reformation periods. Augustine was originally a premillennialist, but he retracted that view, claiming the doctrine was carnal
BB Warfield’s take on St Augustine’s amillennial view
Its possible by the time of B B Warfield, St Augustine’s thinking on premillenialism may have become monergism.
Partial rapture view
The partial or selective rapture theory holds that true Christians will be raptured before, in the midst of, or after the tribulation depending on one’s genuine conversion to the faith. Therefore, the rapture of a believer is determined by the timing of his conversion during the tribulation. The proponents of this theory hold that only those who are faithful in the church will be raptured or translated and the rest will either be raptured sometime during the tribulation or at its end. As stated by Ira David (a proponent of this view): “The saints will be raptured in groups during the tribulation as they are prepared to go
Post Tribulational view
Taken from wikipedia
The post-tribulation position places the rapture at the end of the tribulation period. Post-tribulation writers define the tribulation period in a generic sense as the entire present age, or in a specific sense of a period of time preceding the second coming of Christ. The emphasis in this view is that the church will undergo the tribulation — even though the church will be spared the wrath of God. Matthew 24:29–31 – “Immediately after the Tribulation of those days…they shall gather together his elect…” – is cited as a foundational scripture for this view. Post-tribulationists perceive the rapture as occurring simultaneously with the second coming of Christ. Upon Jesus’ return, believers will meet him in the air and will then accompany him in his return to the Earth. In the Epistles of Paul, most notably in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, a trumpet is described as blowing at the end of the tribulation to herald the return of Christ; Revelation 11:15 further supports this view.
There are also 6 views of Eschatology in general.
A friend if mine writes, “Revelation is like Deuteronomy in the way it is set up, as a suzerain treaty. It may be on the web, as it is out of print, but in seminary we had to read Meredith Kline’s Treaty of the Great King.” Very interesting. I found some of her book on the covenant structure of Deuteronomy. It seems to show how Revelation fits the same pattern in its overall structure in some people’s view. That only concerns Revelation, however, not the whole of eschatology.
Another list of approaches to Revelation (not eschatology as a whole) include:
This is a basic definition taken from Wikipedia
Christian eschatological view that interprets prophecies of the Bible as events which have already happened. Daniel is interpreted as events that happened in the second century BC while Revelation is interpreted as events that happened in the first century AD. Preterism holds that Ancient Israel finds its continuation or fulfillment in the Christian church at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The term preterism comes from the Latin praeter, which is listed in Webster’s 1913 dictionary as a prefix denoting that something is “past” or “beyond,” signifying that either all or a majority of Bible prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70.
Interestingly enough Daniel does have certain items that have been fulfilled like the ram and goat, the statue of Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel’s interpretation of it. Also the blow by blow in an enigmatic writing style of events tied to people without their names. It almost has a Nostradamus feel to it. But a careful read will yield almost an exact match to events that took place during the reign of Alexander the Great of Macedonia and the fourway split of his domains after his untimely death. In fact the detail is amazing considering how far in advance Daniel actually wrote. He wrote of Suza describing the royal palace area in great detail as it were. He places himself there but this is the prophetic voice. He describes the intrigues of the four kingdoms and how two conquered two and split the whole of the domain in half and fought bitterly over it. This is the Ptolemy and Seleucid wars. He even gives mention to Antiochus Ephiphenes. It is this person whose profile best fits an “Antichrist”. He describes the intrigues and political moves of Bernice; whose ploys cost her, her life and the life of her child. But there are passages which don’t seem to have anything to do with the history we know. Passages like the setting up of thrones and Ancient of Days, which don’t at all fit the context.
In the statue it is commonly known that the feet are the dominions of Rome. Some of its holdings were strong and some weak. We know the Rock cut without hands is Jesus of Nazareth. We know the kingdom was in His message. But there is to many passages that don’t fit into any true historical context even to this time. Besides which there are certain things that can end being fulfilled multiple times.
This is a basic definition taken out of Wikipedia
Historicism is a method of interpretation in Christian eschatology which associates biblical prophecies with actual historical events and identify symbolic beings with historical persons or societies. The main texts of interest are apocalyptic literature, such as the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation, and historicist methods have been applied to ancient Jewish history, the Roman Empire, Mohammedism, the Papacy, the Modern era and even into the End time.
Interestingly enough the historicist approach is partly right. One needs to look and see where prophetic biblical passages have their fulfillment. As I mentioned above just in Daniel alone several items of prophecy have found their fulfillment but as I also mentioned above prophecy can be fulfillable multiple times. The temptation and therefore down side to this is that of date setting. Because we have two differing calendars and history tends to cloud by virtue of source exact dates and because God intentionally does not give us the starting gun to spin down the clock we can only surmise from certain eras in time and approximate that in such and such an era the Second Coming might be eminent.
3. Symbolical or Idealist view
This is a basic definition taken from Wikipedia
Idealism (also called the spiritual approach, the allegorical approach, the nonliteral approach, and many other names) in Christian eschatology is an interpretation of the Book of Revelation that sees all of the imagery of the book as symbols.
There is some validity to this approach as the symbolic language often refers to the spirit realm, but then if this is so it tends to restrict God’s interaction with the world and ages of men.
4. Extreme Futurist view
5. Moderate Futurist view
Both of these views tend to look in a historicist attitude and a literalist’s viewpoint. They don’t place fulfillment on anything but exact events. With a clear reference to history and a clear understanding of the text being analyzed, it is possible to weed out what has been fulfilled from what has not. Obviously then this writer may hold a futuristic view in part. But when you get to areas of the spiritual where idealistic symbolism comes into play this thinking can be skewed. These lines of thought are marked out by dispensationalism as possibly stemming from the works of a 15th century Jesuit named Fransisco Ribera.
6. Progressive Parallelism (or recapitulation) view”
This view sees the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ as not a series of events but the coverage of the same event from differing perspectives.
I don’t support this view. Apparently this view seems to match best with the a-millennial view point.
Here is the problem with this book. It is Preterist in nature as events like these have happened in the past. It is futurist in nature because there is a set sequence of patterns and images or events that have to happen in the order or conditions indicated for it to be a prelude to the return of Messiah. It is historist in nature for the same reason it is preterist. History is literally “littered” with examples of various aspects of this book, examples that typify major earthquakes, and in recent history as of this writing the quakes that started with, I believe, Haiti. Look at the devastation of that and consider that this type of quake on a much grander scale is listed as an event in the breaking of the seals. Dispensationalists will tend to compartmentalize the moving of the will of God into eras. God is messy, He doesn’t compartmentalize easily. In fact He doesn’t compartmentalize at all.
The first thing one must realize about this book is that it a detailed vision taken down by a man who was in the overarching custodial control of the Holy Spirit as John the Apostle wrote. That this book makes it into the cannon of Scripture is in some way surprising but then again the Old Testament is riddled with the Prophet under the overarching custodial control of the Holy Spirit speaking the Oracles of God to men and nations. All of those words of prophecy were futuristic in nature, and in fact if certain ones that could happen in the life span of a prophet didn’t happen that person was NOT a prophet speaking for God and not to be feared or listened to. In fact if the prophet managed to be alive at this determination he was lapidated (stoned). This is the last real Prophet’s prophetic utterance and it’s principle purpose is not to be a display case mystery but a Revelation of Who Jesus Is. It is Jesus who is the one come up from Bozrah as it were with wine stained clothes or rather bloodied raiment. The wine of that cup fills to the span of the bridle of a horse for quite a large area of real estate as the blood of the slain on a certain field in a certain battle called Har Megiddo or Armageddon. It is Jesus whose return to vanquish the armies gathered to destroy the quake ruined city of Jerusalem, where He had chosen o establish His name in the Earth; whose entry with certain hosts of heaven triggers a reaction within every believer who is still on Earth at that fell moment. (Looks like I am a post Tribulationalist) I could of course be dead wrong on all counts and until it is exactly played out, we won’t know all the moves and ramifications. But Paul told us not to be ignorant of the times (Epochs) or seasons (Moedim) as to the events that were to come. Old and New Testament are littered with clues, but to understand the chain of events one must look at the various books as Templates. Each one needs to specifically align to the others to validate the series of events in Revelation.
Having said all this I am not going through this book and setting dates. But I do want to discuss certain issues and images that come up in this book. They describe a world of chaos the likes of which no series of events to this day have managed to create. The book as a whole from chapter four to the end is almost the perfect match for the Deuteronomic chapter on the blessing and the curses. In the section on the curses; they appears to be parallel in nature but they are not. They are escalations of the mains types of curses and they are interspersed with the concept of choice to turn from sin or continue therein. The difference being that in the Deuteronomic curses one is given opportunity to repent whereas in Revelation it is known that they would not repent.
Revelation details specific churches and the issues Jesus had with it. The rest of the book details major events that build on one another. By just the end of the seals, there have been releases of horsemen whose devastating effects on culture geography geology zoology the ecosystems of both land and sea and even to the air we breathe or rather the quality of it are felt full force. Such disastrous catastrophes have occurred so as to alter society on a global level. Chaos is in such full flower that anyone with viable solutions will be listened to and even hailed the miracle worker of the day. This and the message the “answer man” has become a major problem for Believers.