Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Rapture Recorder

Cody G. Carson, who I’ve never met, e-mailed me about two years ago and I’ve been “sitting on it” until now. I try very hard not to make fun of pre-tribbers and the things that sometime come out of their belief, and I will attempt to give you the following information without doing so, but it’s very hard to do if you're anything like me.

Carson has invented a “Rapture Recorder” to videotape and document the rapture once it happens. He feels that it will help those left behind understand why cars and airplanes suddenly, without warning, crash due to disappearing people.

Unfortunately Carson misses that Christ’s coming will be seen by all, and that the world will have no doubts as to Who is behind the big event. I discussed this with him during some e-mail exchanges but it was clear that he didn’t really understand what I was telling him, as if what I was saying was somewhat foreign to him.

The “Rapture Recorder” is said to have different options and backups for the main switch that would trigger the devices to record what takes place at, or after, the rapture. But the main switch is a bone from a deceased Christian. When the rapture takes place the bone will disappear from the device to meet its owner in the sky, the switch will be activated and recording will ensue.

I’ll give him credit for coming up with an interesting thought that would be great for a pre-trib movie, but unfortunately the recorder will be unnecessary and serve no purpose. Upon the real rapture that will take place after the Great Tribulation, Christ will come in visible form for the world to see. His wrath will begin and hail, fire and blood will be thrown to the earth, and a third of the earth, a third of the trees and a third of the grass will be burned up (Rev. 8:7). With the plagues that follow the first trumpet I’m guessing that much of the world will have little ability to watch TV, and I’m afraid that if power is still readily available, Cody’s “Rapture Recorder” will be left unnoticed. It will sit silently, still blinking a digital twelve o’clock. Oops, I made fun. But just a little.

Below is the entire e-mail that discussed the invention.

Rapture Recorder

Press Release: Explanation of the Rapture Recorder

Cody G. Carson publicly unveiled and demonstrated a prototype of his
invention, the Rapture Recorder, during his first sermon at Word
Covenant Fellowship church in East End Arkansas on Sunday night
March 13th. Cody purposed to use the invention to make a “left
behind” documentary using captured video footage of the actual
Rapture. The documentary could then be used as a witnessing tool for
the post-Rapture witnesses of the Great Tribulation.

Background: In1999, Cody was working on a sci-fi oriented left
behind movie plot. He did research in the rapture recorder’s design
until a working plan was created. The Y2K style story plot was not
finished before the new millennium had started, so the story was
shelved. The Left Behind series was gaining popularity, and Cody
decided to explore a different story line that would be more
original. In the mean time, he discussed the invention with several
individuals. The original design was very complicated and expensive.
Cody then designed a more inexpensive Rapture Recorder, but was
uneasy about the reaction he had been receiving while perusing the
idea as a real invention. The project was shelved again until after
Cody completed the movie Culture Wars. Cody was busy preparing two
more movies when he felt the calling to preach his first sermon, and
used the working invention as a visual aid/wakeup call about rapture
reality in his sermon that lasted approximately one and a half hours.

The device was explained in this manor: Cameras would be set up in
multiple time zones located in high traffic areas such as busy
intersections, public walkways, airports, etc. Locations would
target a heavy Christian population. The cameras would send video
and sound data to a website that records a continuous thirty minute
time block. When the Rapture happens, an automatic switch would
signal the website to save the previously recorded thirty minutes
and then record three additional hours to document the initial
reaction of the people, to capture the car crashes, plain crashes,
fires, and the responding rescue and emergency vehicles. Time and
date codes would be imprinted on the footage, which again, would
represent thirty minutes pre-rapture, and three hours post-rapture

The Rapture Recorder can be automatically activated in various ways
by the vanishing of a person. The activation method used in the
sermon was a switch made from a spring clamp with a pull switch
mounted in the handgrip. This “Rapture Switch”, as demonstrated in
the sermon, held a piece of wood that represented a surgically
removed bone of a deceased Christian organ donor. In the
demonstration, the removal of the “bone” from the clamp, caused it
to close, activating the switch, and triggering an alarm. The alarm
was connected to the non-operational computer to represent the
recorder’s activation. Since the rapture is to be a literal and
physical occurrence, it is logical to assume that the removed bone
would be returned to its owner upon vanishing.

Once activated, the computer would be programmed to automatically go
online and log on to a specified home page, which would be the
activation-or “record page” of the recorder’s website. The website
would challenge with a password, and the computer, having a
previously stored password would log on to the page. Log in would
signal the website to save pre-rapture footage and begin recording
and saving post-rapture footage.

Example: If the rapture happened at exactly Midnight, the constantly
running cameras and website have everything from 11:30 PM until
Midnight already recorded in the recording window of the website.
The Bone vanishes and the switch activates the computer. If it took
a total of five minutes for the computer to power up, boot up
windows, the start program to access the internet and for the
computer to log on with the host website, and to begin recording,
then post rapture recording begins at 12:05AM. The Recorder would
save the current 30 minutes (Everything from 11:35PM until 12:05AM)
and record additional footage until 3:05AM. So it would effectively
capture all video from 25 minutes prior to the Rapture until three
hours and five minutes afterwards.

This makes it possible to film the actual Rapture, making the most
important documentary in history.

A second website, not discussed in the sermon would serve as a
manual backup. It would record a full four-hour saved recording
window and would have a manual log in switch. Any left behind
individual with the password would be able to activate the second
website. This is incase the clamp-switch does not work.

Also, an alternate triggering method, not discussed in the sermon
could be in the resurrection switch being placed over the hand or
wrist of a corps to forgo the need for bone removal. The two-wire
switch could easily be connected via an underground extension cord
to the computer. Various other switch designs and recorder designs
exist; the one discussed above is simply the easiest to understand,
and least expensive to build for the sermon/demonstration.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Jews and the Arabs: Where it Began and Where it Will End

I recently had a very interesting conversation with an extreme liberal. She asked for my e-mail and wanted me to send her information about what the Bible actually says about the rightful owners of the land of Israel and how the conflict between the Jews and Arabs will finally end. Though she never did e-mail me, unfortunately, I thought I would post my prepared response to her here. The majority of the content is strictly scripture, but short headers and/or explanations are included. Most of you are completely aware of the story, but I found it fun to compact it as much as possible to show the beginning, middle and the end.

Much, of course, is left out in an attempt to keep the content to its minimum, but I think enough is here to give the big picture to the individual that may not be aware of the meat of this awesome story. And even if you know the story by heart, read it again! It still thrills me, and I hope it does you, too.

The Jews and the Arabs: Where it Began and Where it Will End
A verse by verse quick-glance

God Promises Abraham the Promised Land

Genesis 12:1-3
The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

Genesis 15:5-7
He (God) took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."

Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

He also said to him, "I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it."

Genesis 15:18
On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.

Sarah Doubts and Ishmael (Arab Nation) is Conceived

Genesis 16:1-4
Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, "The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her."

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.

Genesis 16:11-12
The angel of the LORD also said to her (Hagar): "You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers."

God’s Covenant Promised to Abraham’s Son Isaac Rather Than to Ishmael

Genesis 17:1-2
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers."

Genesis 17:7-8
I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God."

Genesis 17:15-21
God also said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her."

Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?" And Abraham said to God, "If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!"

Then God said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year."

Though the land was promised to Abraham’s descendants God had also made it clear that if they were disobedient there would be grave consequences.

Leviticus 26:14, 30-33
But if you (Jews) do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments I will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and heap your remains on the remains of your idols, for My soul shall abhor you. I will lay waste your cities as well and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your soothing aromas. I will make the land desolate so that your enemies who settle in it will be appalled over it. You, however, I will scatter among the nations and will draw out a sword after you, as your land becomes desolate and your cities become waste.

Israel’s disobedience reached it’s apex when they denied Jesus, God’s Son. Jesus prophesied that their country would be destroyed and that they would be dispersed because they did not recognize Him or the purpose for His visitation to them. Shortly after, in 70 AD, the Romans attacked Jerusalem and Jesus’ words came true. Josephus, a first century historian wrote that over one million Jews were killed.

Luke 19:41-44
When He (Jesus) approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.

In 135 AD Jerusalem came to its finality. Jewish annals report that 580,000 Jews were killed during the course of this war. The Jews were banned from entering Jerusalem and the city was rebuilt as a Roman colony. This event was foretold by the prophet Micah, and just as he said it would happen, portions of Jerusalem were literally plowed under by the Romans.

Micah 3:11-12
Her (Israel) leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they lean upon the LORD and say, "Is not the LORD among us? No disaster will come upon us."

Therefore because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.

But God also promised that the Jews would be brought back to the land of Israel.

Ezekiel 37:21-22
and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel.

The Jews will once again be overcome by great tribulation.

Zechariah 14:2
I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.

And most of the opposing forces will be Arabic/Islamic.

Ezekiel 38:1-9
The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.

" 'Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.

But God will fight for Israel!

Ezekiel 38:18, 22-23
This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign LORD.

I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.'

It will finally be proven to all the naysayers that the Jews truly are God’s people when a remnant is revived and cleansed by God.

Ezekiel 37:23
They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.

Jerusalem will be secure.

Zechariah 14:8-11
On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter.

The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place, from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses. It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

His Return: Imminent?

It seems that one of the major hang-ups that pre-trib believers have when it comes to pre-wrath is their belief that Christ could come any moment, and that believing otherwise destroys the doctrine of imminency. This is the reason that my very first post addressed this issue. In that post I didn’t even feel the need to try to persuade the reader to see that the verses didn’t teach that Christ could come at any moment, and trusted people to simply read the verses and decide for themselves:

Do any of these verses really teach that Christ could come back at any moment and that nothing has to happen first?

Of course, they don’t, and an attempt to find imminency within the verses is a true stretch of the imagination. I like what a friend says on this and other issues that are similar.

“Imminency? You must have gotten that out of the Bible…because you certainly didn’t find it in the Bible!”

While reading a great new pre-wrath article written by a recent convert from pre-trib, one particular reader had this exact problem. Here is their comment:

“It (pre-wrath) does violence to the doctrine of the imminency of Christ's return, which is one of the key doctrines that has motivated Christians since the time of Paul. Knowing that Christ could return at any moment is today and has been throughout history a key motivator for Christians.”

I will certainly agree that pre-wrath “does violence to the doctrine of imminency,” but rightly so. But concerning the statement that “this is a key doctrine that has motivated Christians since the time of Paul,” I take issue.

There is a common misconception that imminency was taught by Jesus, Paul and many others afterwards. First, to miss the clear teaching of Paul that actually taught against imminency in 2 Thessalonians is missing a teaching of utmost importance. Paul clearly taught that Christ would not come until after the lawless one was revealed. Click here for one example that I previously wrote about that shows how John Walvoord, a longtime popular pre-trib author, attempts to sidestep this issue.

Secondly, if the doctrine of Christ’s imminent return was so clearly taught by Jesus and Paul I would think that we would have a historical record of such a teaching, but we don’t. There’s not one single mention of this doctrine within all of Christian writings from the time of Christ until we reach the 1800’s! This is quite telling. How could such a clear scriptural truth be lost by the very next generation after Paul if he so adamantly wrote about it?

The most popular historical writing that pre-trib authors have used to show that imminency, and pre-trib in general, was taught over 1500 years ago is "Pseudo-Ephraem." They use Ephraem’s phrase "taken to the Lord” to show that he wrote of a pre-trib rapture, when in fact it becomes clear that Ephraem actually wrote of Christians going through the tribulation when one reads the whole article! Tim Warner has written a great article uncovering the truth.

Thirdly, this doctrine should hardly be a “key motivator for Christians” to live Godly lives. Tim LaHaye has stated that, “Christ could come back at any moment. When the Church loses this anticipation, she tends to become carnal and spiritually dead (Rapture Under Attack, p. 212).”

LaHaye continues to explain how there is no comfort in Christ's coming if it does not take place pre-tribulationally.

If a follower of Christ becomes carnal, or even loses hope because they reject imminency they have a bigger problem than a lack of imminency. They are lacking true spiritual depth. Even a pre-trib believer will have to admit that none of the old testament God followers believed in an imminent rapture, yet they were able to adhere to their faith and to God. In fact, we all know that Peter was told in John 21:18-19 that he would die by crucifixion, so it’s obvious that Peter didn’t think that Jesus was going to rescue him from this life at any moment. After giving Peter this bad news did Jesus then say, “Sorry, I know life is hard without a pre-trib rapture for you Peter, but hang in there and try to be happy and do your best to attempt to be spiritual without the hope of My any moment coming?” No. He simply, and boldly, said, “Follow me.” Where is Tim Lahaye when we need him to tell Jesus that He was potentially destroying the hope and spiritual life of Peter?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Is Revelation Chronological?

"I am curious, does it bother you that the persecution of Christians by the beast is presented in Revelation after the seventh trumpet? This means that we have to assume the vision is out of chronological order by that point?"

My answer:
I think it’s crazy talk to say that Revelation is in complete chronological order. A lot is, but there are all sorts of parenthetical sections that zoom in and focus on certain events within the 70th week. There are even portions that jump ahead or flash back. Searching to understand these things is never a waste of time unless one neglects the rest of scripture in order to do so. Timing issues within Revelation is not the first thing on our "to do" list when it comes to knowing God's word.

Here’s one example that shows why perfect chronology is not the correct answer when trying to put the puzzle of Revelation together. The account of the two witnesses is in chapter 11. It is said that they die in between the 6th and 7th trumpet. So, if one places the 3.5 year ministry of the two witnesses in the first half of the week they have to say that the time period of the bowls covers the entire second half of the week, which I’ve seen many claim.

I’m sure you’re very familiar with chapter 16 and the bowls, but if it’s not fresh in your mind, read through it and ask yourself this question. Could the beast be increasing in power as he does at the midpoint of the 70th Week if the bowls were being poured? Could he be dominating the world and roaming freely to pursue and kill large portions of people if it was during a 3.5 year bowl period? During the time-frame of the wrath from the bowls everyone will be covered with malignant sores (Rev. 16:2) and the sun will scorch men with fire (Rev. 16:8), to name a few obstacles. I say that it would be impossible for the period of the bowls to cover the entire second half of the 70th Week. The Antichrist just couldn’t do the job we know he will do.

Now, if Revelation is strictly chronological and the two witnesses in chapter eleven minister during the last 3.5 years (which they do—click here to see why), we see in Revelation 13:5 another 3.5 years (42 months) where Christians are persecuted! Is there a 3.5 year period of time after the second half of the week where Christians suffer? No. So we see that in order to claim that Revelation is strictly chronological many contradictions must be overlooked or ignored. If Revelation is completely chronological the two wits don’t fit anywhere!

Monday, October 08, 2007

A Case for the Prewrath Rapture: the “Cosmic Disturbances”

Alan over at Prewrath Rapture Dot Com has written a great article that I think will help those of you that are only fairly familiar with the pre-wrath position. Check it out here.

And while you're here, if you have a question about the end times or a particular prophetic verse, send it my way by posting a comment or by e-mailing me at I'm very busy lately and your questions will help me come up with subjects to write about in future posts here at the Tribune. Plus, your questions help me know what the readers actually want to read about! You don't want me picking the topic every time, do you?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Seals, Trumpets and Bowls: Chronological or Concurrent?

Some claim that the events of the seals, trumpets and bowls overlap and take place concurrently. I don’t think that this is the case, and here are a few reasons why I believe they take place chronologically.

"When the Lamb broke the seventh trumpets were given to them (angels). Rev 8:1-2

I don't know how we can get around this clear timing indicator. Now notice the order that’s displayed when we read verse one and jump ahead to continue to read about the beginning of the trumpet judgments.

"When the Lamb broke the seventh seal...then the angel took the censer and filled it...and the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them (Rev. 8:1, 5, 6)

Also, the seals are not just simply seals without a purpose. They are on a scroll and are used for the sealing of it. It is only upon the removal of the final seal that the opening of the scroll may take place so that the contents may be viewed. What could be inside the scroll other than the wrath of God?

This thought lines up perfectly with the fact that we are “not destined for wrath.” When we take into account that Christ comes after the sixth seal to gather His Church it seems quite obvious why we see the wrath of God displayed in the judgments of the seven trumpets that follow the seven seals.

And I don't think that it's a coincidence that upon breaking the seventh seal there is a silence in heaven for half an hour (Rev. 8:1). It appears to me to be a solemn period where all of heaven recognizes that it’s going to hit the fan. They are in awe and they are sobered by the power of the coming wrath.

If the events of the seals, trumpets and bowls take place at the same time we should expect to have complete harmony, but there are many conflicts that arise when things are inspected under a magnifying glass. One such conflict occurs when the second trumpet is compared to the second bowl. When the second trumpet is blown one third of the sea creatures die (Rev. 8:8-9), but when the second bowl is poured Revelation 16:3 says that “every living thing in the sea died.” I desire more accuracy than this in order to believe these two events take place in similar timing.

Plus, an internet friend of mine presented a good argument to me the other day. In Revelation 7:3, after the sixth seal has been removed and the “earthdwellers” have hidden from the presence of the Lamb (6:14-17), we see it said:

"Don't harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants."

Remember, this is said after the sixth seal but before the seventh. Well, when we read about the first four trumpets (8:7-12) we see that the judgment associated with them is entirely about harming the earth, the sea and the trees. Why would it be said during the sixth seal to not harm the earth, sea and trees if they were already harmed previously by the first four trumpets that paralleled the first four seals?! It wouldn’t. I think this shows clear order.

What I see being portrayed is this:

"Hold back the four winds and don't harm the earth until the bond-servants are sealed. Okay, they're sealed. Now you may harm. Blow the first four trumpets to harm the earth, sea and trees."

And notice in Revelation 7:1 that it's four angels holding back the four winds so as to not harm the earth, the sea and the trees. Then we see four angels blowing four trumpets that harm the earth, sea and trees (8:7-12). Are they the same four angels? It certainly sounds like it to me, and seems to add further proof to the above thoughts. If they are the same four it only makes perfect sense that they would be told to hold back the earth harming judgments, or to not blow the trumpets, until the bondservants are sealed and it is time for them to sound their trumpets that initiate the wrath of God via the Day of the Lord.