Sunday, April 30, 2006

Is This Guy NUTS?

If you’re an individual that’s not particularly religious and you just happen to stumble across this blog, it may appear somewhat weird. I understand this. There are so many cults and nut jobs in this day and age. How do we distinguish one quack from the next, and how do we know if someone is just an everyday Christian that believes in the Bible basics? It’s usually pretty obvious that a person is nuts if he or she speaks loudly of UFO’s, probing, and the Messiah within the same sentence, but unfortunately it’s not always that clear.

Even if people don’t seem to have a great interest in the Bible as a whole, it appears to me that most become very curious when they hear the contents of the book of Revelation mentioned. The statistics don’t lie—if you’re an American, two thirds of you believe that Christ will return to earth someday. Even if you don’t attend “church,” one third of you believe the same.1 And sixty percent of all Americans believe that the world will end.2 There must be something to it, and one shouldn’t be too quick to conclude that all end times beliefs are spoken by religious fanatics that have secret agendas to overtake Washington and force feed their religious beliefs to the masses, or that have plans to bomb abortion clinics.

My beliefs are simple. I believe the Bible is accurate, and, for the most part, speaks for itself. Many prophecies have already come true exactly as the prophets foretold, and because of this I think it would be unwise to ignore what they say is going to happen. Christ came just as they said He would, and He will come again just as they say He will. It’s that simple.

I believe all you have to do is read a few select passages within the Bible to know what Jesus says about His return and the end of the world. Once you know the basics you should be able to discern, at least on the major issues, if a certain religious person is putting forth fictitious rumors, or if they are simply reciting what the Bible has already said. You shouldn’t have to listen to anyone preach at a pulpit, or have to read anything by so called scholars or experts when it comes to the future of the world.

Here are a few passages that I consider to be Bible basics, to help you better know what the Scriptures say about the issue. I hope this motivates you to crack open a Bible and seek for more knowledge on the issue. And as always, feel free to ask anything you wish. I will try to give answers straight from the Bible so that you may judge for yourself—is this guy nuts?

1. “Update: A 1997 U.S. News & World Report Poll," Sign of the Times, August 1998, p 7
2. Jeffery L. Sheler, “The Christmas Covenant,” U.S. News & World Report, 12/19/1994, p 62

Matthew 24:4–31 (New International Version)

Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

So when you see standing in the holy place “the abomination that causes desolation,” spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

At that time if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!” or, “There He is!” do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. So if anyone tells you, “There He is, out in the desert,” do not go out; or, “Here He is, in the inner rooms,” do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

Immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other (Matt. 24:4–31).

2 Thessalonians 1:8-10 (New International Version)

He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power on the day He comes to be glorified in His people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.

Revelation 21:1-4 (New International Version)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."


8 comments:

Jamie said...

Mr. Bussard,
I sub to you on bloglines (I'm a silent reader of the Prewrath yahoo site...which is how I found myself here).

I don't always follow ideas when I think I'm "getting it" so I'd like to ask you a couple of questions... I'm often puzzled when people in my RL circle respond with every bit of news (hurricanes, strikes, political campaigns, wars) that these are the birth pangs. Haven't these things always been with us? The scripture you've cited...well, isn't this addressing a specific time period or type of action? Or at the very least is pointing towards a huge volume? Or am I supposed to take it in part like the days of Noah, where such things are so the norm that people pretty much are feeling indifferent? Sorry, I can't seem to word it to match my puzzlement...but in essence, how can we at this time in history differentiate between shadows of things to come and actual birth pangs? I understand this scripture to be true, but the everything-in-the-news-is-birth-pangs seems to be used a lot by those around me that are entirely pre-trib in thinking. I mean, certain things are supposed to happen - need to happen - before the return of Messiah...and while a lot of things have fallen in line...isn't there still an awful lot that needs to happen (meaning, while it is impossible to narrow down on a specific date it's a pretty sure bet it won't be this evening?)

If you could decipher the question in that, I applaud you - I'm not sure I'm making myself clear at all. In talking about certain things are supposed to happen before all can be fulfilled...do you have a rundown on what remains? Something else I've notied among the circle I find myself in real life, is that the OT (not just the law) is pretty much done away with...more a collection of good stories to learn by...sorta like Aesop's Fables, but accepted as historical. There's almost a push to ignore anything even remotely tied with God's law...and I think that this has resulted (throughout history) in a lack of knowledge in things like the feasts of God. Out of pure curiosity, I would be interested in the use of the remaining festivals in your research or in your support of the PreWrath position?

Recovering said...

I've had similar frustrations with calling everything birthpangs. There's nothing new under the sun...

Dave Bussard said...

I agree with your assessment of the Old Testament in Christendom, and I too believe that there are probably three remaining prophetic feasts to be fulfilled during Christ's coming and the end of the age. I should probably write a little something about that in the near future.

As for your question, I THINK I know what you're asking. Are you asking if I believe that the birth pains mentioned in Matt 24 are signs that began in the first century, or if they are specific signs that are yet to truly take place? I do know that I get tired of the hype type of Christianity that tries to apply every news event and "natural" disaster to a so called prophetic time clock. The "Rapture Index" at raptureready.com comes to mind. Silly.

And MR. Bussard is not necessary. Dave'll do. :o)

Dave

5/01/2006

Anonymous said...

Jamie-

I realize the question was asked to Dave, but if I might tag onto what he has written...

In Matthew 24, the disciples had asked the question, "What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" His response is to answer that question, "What is the sign?" So in response, Christ names things that are NOT the sign, then He gives the actual sign.

False Christs ~ NOT the sign
Wars ~ NOT the sign
Rumors of wars ~ NOT the sign
Famines ~ NOT the sign
Earthquakes ~ NOT the sign
Persecution ~ NOT the sign

The abomination of desolation ~ That IS the sign.

These folks who try to point to these very things as signs of the end should realize that Christ Himself said, "All these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet."

As far as...

(meaning, while it is impossible to narrow down on a specific date it's a pretty sure bet it won't be this evening?)

...I believe Daniel 7 gives us the whole panorama of the times of the Gentiles. The final snapshot of the fourth Gentile world power has ten horns. A little horn comes up in the midst of that ten-horned beast while plucking up three of the horns. Those are the final events before the Son of Man comes with the clouds of heaven, Daniel 7:13.

Have fun and stay busy - Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

Jamie said...

Thank you - actually I think I was confusing myself and all the remarks combined helped...sometimes I hear something so much, so often, and so confidently stated that even when I *know* its not Kosher, it can sometimes slip into acceptance when thinking out a thought. In this case...the very thing that was bothering me - you pinpointed...but The Orange Mailman highlighted a key phrase that my mind was deciphering the same way others do to argue the 'these are all birthpangs' theory.

The Feasts are a huge thrill for me, so I look forward to any future posts on the matter. I may not be the only one, but I think that their is something paralleling not just the prophetic meaning/fulfillment of the first four feasts with Messiah's first coming...but I think that the *reasons* causing the peoples' indifference (or at least misunderstanding?) towards the feasts themselves (equating into their not understanding/accepting a lot of what was happening) will be pretty similiar to those in the endtimes. I think the setting aside of the OT will lead to a lot of grief.

Thanks, Dave! I do look forward to reading more on your site.

Dave Bussard said...

Thanks, Darrin. I'm really busy lately. You should run my blog for a while! Jamie, I assume you've read Rosenthal's book, "Feasts of the Lord." Have you, or anybody, read any other good books covering the 7 feasts and their prophetic significance?

Dave

slaveofone said...

"I believe all you have to do is read a few select passages within the Bible to know what Jesus says about His return and the end of the world."

That is called positivistic naive impressionism.

Good luck (you're gonna need it).

Dave Bussard said...

Morals will worsen.
Followers of Christ will suffer.
Christ will come again to rescue the remaining followers.
Those who denied Him will pay the consequences.

The world won’t be spontaneously vaporized by atom bombs.
The world won’t be spontaneously vaporized by Aliens.
The world won’t spontaneously combust from global warming.
We won't die from lack of oxygen because we didn't save a spotted owl, and instead cut down some trees.

God is in control and the basics couldn’t be clearer. Sure, there are all sorts of things concerning the future that we can't nail down, but when it comes to the important things that we need to know, it’s only man that has muddied the facts and confused and complicated the simple essentials.