I am Coming Soon

One of the greatest harms that Dispensationalists commit is an insistence on interpreting the Bible literally. They are actually ignoring the plain reading of a text, forcing symbolism, metaphors and similes to read as truth. If they were indeed interpreting the Bible literally, they would all be missing an eye or a hand thereby staying out of hell.

29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.  30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. Matt 5:29-30

According to these modern commentators, nothing or very little of the book of The Revelation has been fulfilled. They claim the prophecy was intended for our time, 2000 years after it was written (between 96-98 A.D.).

Soon

However, the testimony of the book itself is completely contrary to a distant fulfillment.

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants what must soon take place; and he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, Rev. 1:1

Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the time is near. Rev. 1:3

And behold, I am coming soon.”  Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book. Rev. 22:7

And he said to me,  “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Rev. 22:10 

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done. Rev. 22:12  

He who testifies to these things says,  “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! Rev. 22:20 

It said these are the things “soon” to take place.  How can “soon” be interpreted as  “literally” later?  What crazy hermeneutic could allow such repudiation of the plain reading of the text?  Any young child could tell you what these verses should mean.

The Greek word tachei means soon, quick, or quickly. [Luke 14:21; Luke 16:6; John 11:31; John 13:27; John 20:4; Acts 17:15;  1 Cor 4:19; Gal 1:6; Phili 2:19; Phili 2:24; 2 Thess 2:2; Heb 13:19;  Heb 13:23] It is never used to mean two thousand years later. The Dispensationalists suggest that it means that the events will happen quickly once they start, however it is never used in this way any where in else in Scripture. There is no use that even suggest a two thousand years gap. It must mean that what the text is talking about, at the very least, begins quickly.

The word or phrase that we would expect to see describe something occurring centuries in the future is: After many days,  in the latter days. [1Kings 18:1; Is. 24:22; Jer. 13:6; Acts 18:18]

 

Coming

The problem is the word “coming”. The casual reader may think “coming” means the “Second Coming”. This is the effect of lazy preaching and not doing your own homework. We were told to wait for the Lord’s “Return” not His “coming”.

In Matthew 24 the disciples asked, when are you coming? They cannot be asking about what we call the second coming or return. They had no expectation that He was going to leave. So, clearly our understanding of the word “coming” and the disciples first century use of the phrase, or just the word “come,” does not mean “return,”  “coming again” nor “second coming” of the Lord.

They had to be asking “when are you coming to judge Jerusalem”?  How do we arrive at this conclusion?  Because, whenever God had informed someone He was “coming” it meant He was coming to judge.

  • When God came to look at the Tower of Babel it meant that they were about to be judged. [Gen 11:5-8]
  • When God came to look at Sodom and Gomorrah it meant that God was about to judge the two cities [Gen 18:21]
  • Other examples where the expression is used:  [Ex 3:8; Ps 50:3; Isa 64:1-3; Isa 66:15; Mic 1:3-4]

All those “soons” in The Revelation are about the “coming” judgments that each  particular passage is about.  They are clearly not “the Return of the Lord”.

See Also: Clouds

The Day of Our Lord

The Lord of Hosts

The Effects of Futurism

Recently, we acquired some old books on prophecy from the internet. They are listed and linked to in the Bibliography.

book divider

One of them had a very interesting statement on the effect that Futurism would have on the church.

Now, if the theories of these writers are entirely groundless, the effects of their error may prove extremely fatal to the Church. The strongest bulwark against the revived zeal of the Romish Church will have been taken away when it is most needed; and the danger of a renewed apostasy will have been fearfully increased, at the time when its guilt would be most aggravated, and its punishment most speedy and sure. A spirit of feverish and skeptical doubt, the most fatal to real progress in divine truth, will have been injected, without warrant, into the  minds of thousands; the light which the word of God has thrown, for the benefit of the Church, on behalf of the whole period of her history will have been quenched in darkness; and her hopes for the future, by a perplexed and fallacious application of irrelevant prophecies, be involved in a chaos of fanciful conjecture and inextricable confusion.  First Elements of Sacred Prophecy by Rev T.R. Birks, page 2, London 1853

He seems to have had the foresight on our present church worldview quite accurately. We have gone from the crazy notion of a rapture, which is what they were teaching in Birks’ day, to the hoax of Blood Moons. Once you deconstruct what prophecy means into what one imagines it means, all the extravagantly concocted spurious errors become doctrine. This lunacy of errors has blinded many a believer into staying babies, continually feeding on the “milk” of the Word. They have been convinced that they cannot read the Bible for themselves. For they do not test what their spiritual leaders claim is in the Text. If they did, they would be throwing many spiritual leaders out. They come to the erroneous conclusion that it is they who cannot understand prophecy and they are stupid.

We are here to tell the congregation of the Lord. YOU ARE NOT STUPID! These things are not in Scripture. There is no rapture, seven year tribulation, or political antichrist in the Bible.

Whether they are misinformed on their own, or they are following some other teacher they have not checked out. They are making it up. The story they tell is a scary one, and because scared people put more money in the collection plate there is no reson for them to stop. They are seeking followers and financial gain over the sure word of prophecy.

See Also: The Messianic/Hebrew Roots movement and Dispensationalism (part 1)

See Also: Faith without Dispensationalism

See Also: Futurism – What it does to your Faith