The Tragic Divorce of Our “Blessed Hope” from the Gospel By Jonathan C. Brentner Somewhere…
Are You Waiting, Watching, and Looking?
By Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon
Tom: You’re listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a program in which we encourage everyone who desires to know God’s truth to look to God’s Word for all that is essential for salvation and living one’s life in a way that is pleasing to Him.
We have been discussing Dave Hunt’s book, When Will Jesus Come? Compelling Evidence for the Soon Return of Christ.
But, Dave, before we get into that, we have to follow up an issue we talked about last week, and that is our apparel. You remember, there was some concern by Gary, our producer, that you were looking a bit like a test pattern, or an NBA referee, and I know some of our listeners might be concerned about that. But I’m saying you’re looking very dapper today, and certainly I look okay…
Dave: Oh, yeah.
Tom: But I’ve been known to wear black, and that puts Gary off, because with our black surroundings here it looks like….
Dave: Can’t find you. Severed head!
Tom: Well, yeah, it looks like a severed head, you know. It can scare some people. But we’re beyond that now, we’re back on track. Gary, who is the head of our wardrobe critiquing department, he’s happy, so we’re happy.
Dave: Very good.
Tom: Now, Dave, chapter 18 of your book is titled, “Timing Factors,” and you open with the following scriptures, which I’m going to read.
Matthew 24:21-22: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days be shortened, there should no flesh [on earth] be saved.” That is, this is a worldwide phenomenon.
Then Luke 21:35: “For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.”
And then, finally, Revelation 3:10: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”
Now, Dave, you adamantly maintain that there are no signs and no conditions that are needed to be fulfilled in the past, nor are there any today for the Rapture of the church to take place. And in view of the verses that I read, these seem to present some problems for imminency, but you maintain it. Why is that?
Dave: Well, I maintain it because, I guess, as we have covered in past programs or probably earlier in this book, the early church was taught to watch, look for, expect, wait for Christ at any moment. You don’t watch and wait and expect something that can’t happen unless something else happens first. So if the Antichrist had to come first, well, then we’re not looking for Christ, we are looking for the Antichrist. Or if the Great Tribulation had to happen, we certainly wouldn’t be watching expectantly for Christ to appear at any moment, but the church was told that. I mean, we’ve gone through the verses—I’m sure it must be in the book earlier—but Philippians 3:20, Paul says, “Our conversation [or our manner of life or citizenship] is in heaven, from whence also we look for our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our vile bodies to be like unto His.”
So, obviously, he’s talking about the resurrection. We’re waiting for Christ to come to resurrect the saints. We’re looking for this!
Or if you went to Titus 2:13, if you want another looking: “…looking for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior.”
Or 1 Thessalonians 1:10-11, somewhere around there: “You turn to God from idols to serve the living and the true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven.”
Or Hebrews 9:28: “Unto them that look for Him shall He appear.” You know, there are other verses. So apparently they were supposed to be watching and waiting and looking. And as we, I think, mentioned last week, it doesn’t mean that if you are not out there scanning the sky for Christ when He comes, He won’t take you in the Rapture—it means that this should be the attitude of the church, okay?
So, Tom, in spite of what other problems you are going to try to throw at me this morning—I thought you were on my side! Anyway, in spite of that, we’ve got to go by what the Bible says. They were supposed to watch and wait and expect.
Tom: Now, wait a minute here! You amaze me! I’ll tell you why: here in your own book you present the toughest problems that you could possibly throw at, you know…so don’t get on my case! [Laughs] These are things that you have laid out in terms of the problems that affect imminency and you lay them out. So, Dave, all I have to do is look at your book and throw you the toughest questions I can, because you have already thrown them at yourself.
Dave: Right. For example, Tom, the verses you read from Matthew 24:22-23, it says, “Except those days be shortened, no flesh would survive.” Now, of course that’s not talking about the Rapture, that’s talking about conditions immediately after the Rapture, the Great Tribulation. So…although the world at that time certainly did not have the weapons that would wipe out all flesh. You couldn’t do that with bows and arrows and swords and spears. That is not to say that they could not have been developed immediately after the Rapture, because this is talking about something immediately after the Rapture. Now, I’m not going to speculate as to how that might have been accomplished, but nevertheless, that’s not too difficult a roadblock to have put in our way.
Tom: Well, when I read that, I thought, “Oh, Dave, you’ve really dug yourself a hole here.” But what you’re saying is the possibility is available because we know that the Antichrist, he’s going to be Satan’s man. He’s going to be supported by lying signs and wonders. So we don’t know what will take place—we’re not going to be here, we believe—but we don’t know what exactly he’s capable of.
Dave: Right, but we do know that now we already have weapons that would wipe out all flesh! And then, of course, Revelation 13 says that a man is going to control all banking and commerce with a number. You couldn’t have conceived of that in the day that this revelation was given to John by Christ, but we know that we are there also. We’ve got GPS; you can’t escape. You don’t even have to tell them. That’s one of the things that’s really amazing, Tom. When you get a GPS car, and you punch in where you want to go, you don’t have to tell them where you are. That voice, Bambi or whoever it is, says, “Go 200 yards straight ahead and turn left,” you know, and so forth. That…whoever it is up there (it’s nobody up there, it’s a computer) knows where you are at every moment, okay? So…
Tom: Dave, excuse me: I just returned from Europe, as you know, and I got lost in Vienna for two and a half hours. I didn’t have GPS, I just had a map, and boom!
Dave: Well, you needed a GPS.
Tom: Oh, man, did I need it! But go ahead.
Dave: I want to tell you, Tom, we had our passports stolen in Augsburg, and we had to go to the US Consulate in Munich, and we went unerringly there—never made a wrong turn! Ruth was driving and I was guiding her, but, Tom, that was something that we rejoiced over. It was so amazing that it could happen! We didn’t have GPS then either, but we’ve had GPS on other occasions there—takes you right to where you are going. You just give them the address.
So anyway, these things were not currently in operation in Christ’s day, but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t have been developed. I don’t know, as you said, I don’t know what other means Antichrist might have had or might be able to…he may even advance beyond this. So, on the one hand there seems to be—you can refresh my memory with some more of these—but there seems to be some problems.
Tom: Sure. Well, what about, “as it was in the days of Noah”? You know, there’s a condition that’s set there, and I think about World War I, or World War II. That seems to be a time in which certain things couldn’t take place because of the conditions in the world.
Dave: You know, that’s a tough one, Tom. It seems to be a time of peace, although it doesn’t say that. It says they were buying, and selling, and building, and planting, and partying. I lived during World War II, I was part of it, and there was a lot of that going on. The United States wasn’t suffering. I think it’s a general condition. In other words, I think that there it’s pointing out you couldn’t have a post-Trib Rapture because the world is practically destroyed. The judgment of God has been poured out upon this world, so I don’t think we’re going to say that in every place in the world they’re seemingly prospering. But even the world during World War II was a world that is described there.
Now, by the way, many people think, “Well, as it was in the days of Noah and Lot—wow! Talk about evil!” But that’s not what Christ emphasizes, and that’s rather interesting. As it was in the days of Noah, they were buying and selling, building, planning, partying, marrying, giving in marriage. Well, they certainly were doing that during World War II. We had a lot of songs about that. But those conditions that Christ describes absolutely cannot be present at the end of the Great Tribulation. So we’ve knocked out a post-Trib Rapture right there.
Tom: Mm-hmm. Dave, as you think about it, disturbances in the earth—we’re not just talking about earthquakes and so on—but as we look to Revelation and those things that take place, there’s not going to be a spot on the earth that’s not going to be affected by the changes in climate. The sun turning to blood…I mean, everybody is going to—no matter where you are, everybody is going to be affected by that.
Dave: Absolutely. So it couldn’t be a rapture at the end of the Great Tribulation.
Now, that it is talking about conditions at the Rapture is quite clear, because Christ says in Luke 17, “So shall it be in the days of the appearance of the Son of man.”
Now again, Tom, I think we talked about it—I can’t remember what we said—but He’s not going to appear to everybody. We talked about a secret Rapture, didn’t we? He didn’t appear to everybody, but He will appear to His own, and “unto those that look for Him He will appear. And when He appears we shall be like Him.” That’s the appearance that it’s talking about there; it’s not talking about when He comes in judgment. And that would be Revelation 1:7: “Every eye will see Him, and they also who pierced Him, and all the kindreds of the earth shall mourn, wail because of Him,” and so forth.
So, Tom, I think the Bible lays it out pretty well the way we’re expressing it there.
Tom: Well, Dave, what impresses me about this is, number one—you went after the tough ones, really difficult ones, but you end with this thought: you don’t want to speculate. No one can say what the possibilities are that the Antichrist might bring these things about. On the other hand, the simple possibility of these things happening—when I say “simple possibility,” what the Antichrist could do maintains (preserves, really) imminency. But there’s no condition, no condition that could preclude an imminent Rapture of the church.
Dave: Yeah, if there are no conditions prior to the Rapture, and that would have to be the case for imminency to hold, well, that means whatever these other things are that have to be current at the time of the Second Coming, which is seven years later, they could be developed. No question about it.
In fact, Tom, as you know, things like the Xerox machine, for example—the inventor tells us he received this from the spirit world.
I remember—in fact I will never forget—a lawyer in West Palm Beach wanted to have breakfast with me. I don’t remember whether…I’m not sure he was a Christian even; I don’t think he was, because of some of the research that I had done. And why did he want to have breakfast with me? I’m sure we have never mentioned this on this program. He said, “Well, I was at this cocktail party the other night, and I was talking to Doctor So-and-so,” and he named one of the top nuclear physicists in the world, who at that time had made some major contributions to the development of various kinds of weapons, and so forth. And the lawyer said, “We’re standing there with our drinks in our hands, and I just kind of casually said to the doctor, ‘Where do you get these ideas?’ It was a stupid question, but the doctor shocked me with his answer! He said, ‘I get most of them from the night school I attend.’” And the lawyer says, “I looked at him and said, ‘You go to night school?’ He said, ‘Well, not the kind that you’re thinking of. But very often when I fall asleep, I awaken. It seems to me that I am out of my body, out in space somewhere, in the company of other scientists, where we are being taught advanced concepts by spirit beings.’”
And the lawyer looked at him and said, “Is this guy drunk? Is he pulling my leg?” He wanted to ask me a question: “Have you ever heard anything like that?”
I said, “You had better believe it. It is happening to a lot of people.”
So, Tom, that could have been accelerated right after when the Antichrist is here.
Tom: But let me support that from Scripture. A lot of people say some of the things that we presented in The New Spirituality, for example, which originally was America, The Sorcerer’s New Apprentice… There is contact with spirit entities from tribes in Venezuela, the Yanomami tribe to Siberia. As a matter of fact, that’s where the term “shamanism” developed, the Tungus tribe in Siberia. But let’s go to Scripture. This is…
Dave: Well, Tom, let me say that psychologists, psychiatrists, and medical doctors are even teaching their patients to develop spirit guides, and we document that.
Tom: Well, we just did an article in October. The October issue deals with psychology and the doctrine of devils, and it features—if I can use that term—Carl Gustaf Jung, who is the, you know, among not just New Agers but now in Christianity is the most popular psychiatrist…although he has been dead since ’61, he’s the most popular psychologist around.
But anyway, 1 Timothy, for Christians who are a little skeptical about this, just turn to 1 Timothy 4:1: “Now the spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times…” I believe that’s where we are today!
Dave: I believe so.
Tom: “…in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and the doctrine of devils.” I mean, we’re seeing it happen.
Dave: Tom, I remember Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, and wow! That was such a big seller, popular in Christian bookstores. Christians loved it, and the author Richard Bach said—I mean, he just lays it out—he says he received it all by dictation from a spirit entity. So, I mean, it was new age of course; it was the very antithesis of the truth the Bible teaches. So there it was, and I could give you many other examples from my own personal experience.
So anyway, I think that it could have accelerated after the Rapture. Antichrist is in control, and these things could have moved very fast.
Tom: Okay, now in bold type, paragraph heading, you asked this question, and I’m going to ask it to you: What about the temple?
Dave: The temple…and again, Tom, we’re talking about after the Rapture. The temple doesn’t have to be there before Christ takes His own out of here, but very quickly thereafter, and that could happen at any time. Now, people say, “Well, yeah, but you’ve got the Dome of the Rock. I mean, that really stands in the way.”
Well, as I point out there, I think, and in Judgment Day! in particular, Jerusalem is not ever mentioned in the Qur’an. The only place that they say that they find it is Surah 17:1, which talks about al-Aqsa, and al-Aqsa means “the farthest place of worship.” In other words, for a farthest place of worship for a Muslim you would have had to have a mosque there, and there was no mosque there.
Let me read what the Egyptian Ministry of Culture recently published as the interpretation of Surah 17:1. It says, “This text tells us that Allah took his prophet from the al-Haram [sacred mosque] in Mecca to the al-Aqsa Mosque. But in Palestine during that time there existed…” I don’t like that word, Palestine, but we can’t get rid of that; we’re running out of time, “…there existed no mosque that could have been the mosque the most distant from the al-Haram Mosque. The night journey, Isra, was not to Palestine; rather it was to Medina. It began at the al-Haram Mosque, and the journey ended at the mosque of As’sad ibn Zurarah in Medina. The details of the journey of the Hijra, Muhammad’s escape by night from Mecca to Medina, are the very same details of the night journey, the Isra, because the night journey of Surah 17:1 is indeed the secret Hijra.”
Okay, now I believe the Antichrist could very quickly tell them, “Well, you’ve got to move that thing back to Medina.” It was never intended—in fact, that verse Surah 17:1 was not in there; they put it in there a few years ago among those verses inscribed, very beautifully in Arabic, inside the Dome of the Rock.
Dave: And they would move it!
Tom: Well, he could say, “The reasons you Muslims are having problems is because you’re not following the Qur’an.”
Dave: Right, yeah. So it could be moved and it could be moved very quickly. And you know that now, of course, the Israelis, they’ve got all the instruments; they are ready to do it. They probably have the stones cut out as well for the temple, and they could help the Muslims move that. Oh, it would be a great togetherness project in a new peace that Antichrist has guaranteed.
Tom: Dave, we’re just about out of time, but I’d like to come back and start with this next week, because we have to get to the issue of, well, what about in times past? The Jews aren’t even back in their land. How could that take place? […] I’ll hook you up.
Dave: Okay, very good.
Program Number: 2011